In 2010, ethnic Russians made up 27.6% of the population. The continued strong influence of Russian state-controlled media causes some strong and persistent misconceptions in the ethnic Russian population living in Latvia. However, Russian language schools in Latvia continue to be state sponsored working toward a more integrated society. The Russian language is widely spoken, and often used as a common language for commerce especially in the main city, Riga.

History (no Kurland?)Edit

In 1940, The Soviet Union, under the brutal dictatorship of Stalin, invaded the Latvia as a result of the Hitler-Stalin pact of 1940 (also known as the Molotov-Riebentropf pact). This period began the systematic forced integration of Russian into the Latvia, which was accomplished by a combination of enforcement of Russian language as a state language, as well as forced migration of ethnic Russians into the territories of the Baltics, as well as mass deportations of Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians to Siberia and other Russian destinations. As a result of this systematic cultural genocide practiced by the Soviet authorities, the percent of ethnic Russians in the Baltics rose steadily from an original of about 7% in 1940 to a high of 39.8% at the end of the occupation in 1990.

Ethnic Russians, Byelorussians and Ukrainians began to move in under the Bolsheviks, but this increased after World War 2.

Russians in Latvia live mainly in urban areas. In 2006 ethnic Russians made up 42.3% of the population in the capital Riga and 53.5% in the second largest city, Daugavpils. In the Soviets era, arriving Russians and Ukrainians had been settled primarily in industrial centres to staff factory jobs while rural areas remained populated almost entirely by ethnic Latvians, except for some small areas in eastern Latvia with a longer, pre-communist history of Russian-Latvian mixed villages.

In 2010, ethnic Russians made up 27,6% of the population.


Latvian passport holders are required to pass a basic Latvian language test, as is true in most coutries in the world. In addition, in recognition of the invasion and refugee crisis caused by the Soviet invasions of 1940 and 1945, Latvian passports are also available to refugees and there descendants.

Also seeEdit