Latvian SSR (TheodoresTomfooleries)

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Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic

Latvijas Padomju Sociālistiskā Republika (Latvian)
Латвийская Советская Социалистическая Республика (Russian)
Motto: Visu zemju proletārieši, savienojieties!
Location of Latvia
and largest city
Official languages
Recognised languagesLatgalian
GovernmentUnitary Marxist-Leninist one-party soviet socialist republic
LegislatureSupreme Soviet
(De facto) Union Republic of the Soviet Union (1940-)
• Total
64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi)
• 2022 estimate
3.309 million
• 2022 census
• Density
50.28/km2 (130.2/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $144.896 billion
• Per capita
CurrencySoviet Ruble (SUR)
Date formatCE, mm dd yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+7

Latvia (Latvian: Latvija), officially the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (Latvian: Latvijas Padomju Sociālistiskā Republika) is a union republic of the Soviet Union in the Baltics. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, the Baltic Sea to the west, Lithuania to the south, Byelorussia to the southeast, and Russia to the east. It covers an area of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi), with a population of 3.248 million as of the 2019 census. Riga, the capital city and largest city, is home to over a quarter of its population. By percentage of the population, Latvia is home to the second largest Russian diaspora in the Soviet Union, with 38% of the population claiming Russian ethnicity.

Modern day Latvia was, for most of history, divided between Livonia and Courland. Both were dominated by Baltic Germans owing to colonization starting from the 12th century with the Baltic Crusades. Latvia would fall under Swedish, Polish-Lithuanian and Imperial Russian control, before declaring its independence on 18 November 1918 as the Republic of Latvia. As part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, Latvia fell under the sphere of influence and was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Latvia would later fall under German occupation from 1941 to 1944, and after the war remained a union republic of the Soviet Union.

Latvia's political status is controversial, especially among the Western and Eastern Blocs. Internationally, Latvia's status as a union republic of the Soviet Union is not recognised, and the Latvian government in exile is regarded as the legitimate government of the Republic of Latvia. To distinguish between the two entities, Soviet Latvia (or Latvian SSR) may be used to clarify the Soviet republic, but commonly Latvia simply refers to the union republic and not the government in exile.