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NFE/5.0en-USnews-webmaster@google.com2018 Google Inc.Sun, 16 Dec 2018 15:18:19 GMTGoogle News
Things of Latvia: Not writing about the "Caurvējš"  Eng.Lsm.lv

This is the last Thing of Latvia. Looking back, we have written about more than 30 different Things of Latvia. Some have proved popular, some not. Some have ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Latvia Marks 100 Years Since Independence From Russian Empire  RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

Latvians have been marking the centenary of their independence with festivities across the country including music concerts, military parades, and fireworks.

RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Magic of Latvia's kokle showcased by young maestro  Eng.Lsm.lv

Of the many musical gems in Latvia's cultural crown, perhaps none is as beloved as the kokle, the national instrument.

Eng.Lsm.lv
Russian-speakers to Latvia: Embrace bilingualism  POLITICO.eu

Moscow is playing close attention to the fate of Russians in Europe.

POLITICO.eu
Truro soldiers recall their time in Latvia | News | Truro News  Truro Daily News

Two Colchester County soldiers are now back from a six-month tour of Latvia. This is what they saw.

Truro Daily News
Kariņš could be Latvia's next prime ministerial nominee  Eng.Lsm.lv

A representative of the smallest party in the Latvian parliament could be the next candidate to attempt to form a government, with early signs suggesting he is in ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Riga to Russian speakers: Learn Latvian  POLITICO.eu

RIGA — Last September, school children weren't the only ones headed back to class in Latvia. The end of the summer vacation also saw some 3,500 ...

POLITICO.eu
This week's weather in Latvia: snow, sleet, rain - not necessarily in that order  Eng.Lsm.lv

The picture-postcard snow-covered scenes of recent days in Latvia are likely to be spoiled Monday with the arrival of rain and sleet, though many places will ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Recent college graduate from Austin teaching abroad through a prestigious scholarship program  KIMT 3

Carlson is teaching in Riga, the capital city of Latvia, a country on the Baltic Sea.

KIMT 3
Latvia leads Baltic GDP growth in third quarter  Eng.Lsm.lv

Latvia's strong economic growth continued into the third quarter of the year according to data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) and released ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Probable Russian spyware discovered in Latvia's Interior Ministry system  Eng.Lsm.lv

The IT systems of Latvia's Interior Ministry have been affected by spyware, probably of Russian origin, reported LTV's De facto investigative news show ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Michigan Guard Soldiers help Latvia celebrate 100th anniversary  United States Army

RIGA, Latvia -- On a crisp autumn afternoon, rays of sunlight pierced the overcast, hitting shades of red, white, and blue with stunning vibrancy as they passed ...

United States Army
Watch: Latvia's dancing policemen  Eng.Lsm.lv

You may have heard of a laughing policeman and a sleeping policeman, but chances are you've never seen a dancing policeman - let alone a pair of them.

Eng.Lsm.lv
Latvia Celebrates 100 Years of Independence  BKLYNER

My home country, Latvia, is celebrating 100 years of (relative) independence this weekend, November 18th, so beg you to indulge me and join me in wishing ...

BKLYNER
Latvia's centenary marked in spectacular style  Eng.Lsm.lv

It has been a memorable twenty-four hours in Latvia with a fine selection of sights and sounds to feed future memories. One of the undoubted highlights must be ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Concord's Brown finishes 18th at men's skeleton World Cup in Latvia  Concord Monitor

Concord's Kyle Brown finished 18th for USA Skeleton in the season-opening men's skeleton World Cup in Sigulda, Latvia, on Saturday morning. Nathan ...

Concord Monitor
96% of Latvian lats banknotes, 39% of coins exchanged for euros by end November  Baltic Times

RIGA, Dec 16 (LETA) - After Latvia gave up its national currency, the lats, and switched to euros on January 1, 2014, 96 percent of lats banknotes and 39 percent ...

Baltic Times
Latvian populist party candidate nominated for PM post  POLITICO.eu

Aldis Gobzems promises to do everything so 'Latvians can live in prosperity and harmony.'

POLITICO.eu
Latvian slopes experiment with year-round snow  Eng.Lsm.lv

Latvia has experienced its first real snowfall of the season this week, but as Vidzeme TV reports, there has been snow on the ground in Latvia throughout the ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Latvia intelligence suspect 3 of spying for foreign country  Washington Post

Latvia's authorities say three people have been detained suspected of activities that could help a foreign country which it didn't name.

Washington Post
Germany wins World Cup season's opening 2-man bob in Latvia  Herald-Whig

SIGULDA, Latvia (AP) — Germany's Francesco Friedrich drove to victory Saturday in the World Cup season's opening two-man bobsled race. Friedrich teamed ...

Herald-Whig
Latvia rejects UN migrant pact  EUobserver

Latvia has become the latest in a series of EU states to reject a non-binding United Nations pact on migration. Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, ...

EUobserver
More strife in Latvia's coalition formation process  Eng.Lsm.lv

Prime Ministerial nominee Aldis Gobzems of the KPV LV political party took to social media early on December 4 to inform the public that talks with the For ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Gallery: Latvian independence marked in Tallinn, president in Riga  ERR News

President Kersti Kaljulaid is in Latvia on Sunday to mark the centenary of Latvian independence. Meanwhile members of the Estonian government marked the ...

ERR News
Things to know about Latvia's soon-to-be-published KGB files  Eng.Lsm.lv

By year-end, Latvia is to publish a trove of KGB (Soviet secret police) files that remained in the country after the collapse of the USSR. The process, known as ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Inside Europe: Latvia to publish files of KGB informers  Deutsche Welle

27 years after regaining independence, Latvia is to start publishing online, files of former agents who worked for the KGB, the Soviet secret police. The agents ...

Deutsche Welle
Historian: Latvians see themselves as victims, but there are heroes to discover  Eng.Lsm.lv

Markus Meckl is a professor of history at the University of Akureyri in northern Iceland. He formerly taught in Rīga at the Latvian Cultural Academy, arriving in the ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Denmark is important Latvia's partner in defense and regional security – Vejonis | News  leta.lv

RIGA, Dec 6 (LETA) – Denmark is important Latvia's partneri n defense and regional security, said Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis during the official visit of ...

leta.lv
Major new festival for Latvia announced  Classical Music

The inaugural Riga Jurmala Music Festival will be held in the Latvian capital in the summer of 2019. The festival will be based around four weekends, each ...

Classical Music
Latvia's Ivars Seleckis named winner of PÖFF Lifetime Achievement Award  ERR News

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) on Wednesday evening awarded Latvian documentary filmmaker and founder of the legendary Riga School of Poetic ...

ERR News
Lavrov criticizes Estonia, Latvia at OSCE Ministerial Council  Baltic Times

TALLINN - At the 25th meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE Ministerial ...

Baltic Times
Poroshenko awards President of Latvia with Prince Yaroslav the Wise Order (Photo)  UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has awarded President of the Republic of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis with the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise of the first ...

UNIAN
Employees in Latgale still earning lowest wages in Latvia | News  leta.lv

RIGA, Nov 29 (LETA) - Employees in Latvia's eastern province of Latgale are still the lowest-paid in Latvia, according to the wage data released by the Central ...

leta.lv
Latvia shows 7th fastest growth of export-created jobs in EU since 2000 - EU Commission  Baltic Times

RIGA - The number of jobs created in Latvia thanks to export growth has grown by 138 percent since 2000, which is the seventh steepest rise in t...

Baltic Times
George Kweku Davies: Sierra Leone forward flying high in Latvia  BBC Sport

Sierra Leone international George Kweku Davies says he hopes his trophy success with Riga FC in Latvia will be a "stepping stone" in his career.

BBC Sport
Battle Creek Air Guard in Exercises with Latvia Armed Forces  Battle Creek Enquirer

About 40 airmen, including some from the Battle Creek Air National Guard and the Latvia Armed Services have completed joint exercises, local air guard officials ...

Battle Creek Enquirer
NATO "Tomahawk Patrolling" in north-east Latvia  Eng.Lsm.lv

Between 26 November and 6 December, military exercises dubbed "Tomahawk patrolling" will be taking place in north-east Latvia, the Latvian Defense Ministry ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Start of construction of Merks Viesturdārzs residential project (Riga, Latvia)  GlobeNewswire

SIA Merks, part of AS Merko Ehitus group, has started the construction of Merks Viesturdārzs residential project in the city center of Riga. The project consists of ...

GlobeNewswire
Princess Mary sports dramatic new hair during Latvia visit with Prince Frederik  Who

Where did they go? Princess Mary's signature long brunette tresses appeared to be chopped off in a dramatic new hair do. The Crown Princess of Denmark and ...

Who
Prospects for cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and Latvia discussed in Riga  AzerNews

From November 16 to 19, 2018, Kubanychbek Omuraliev, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to Latvia, visited Riga to hold bilateral meetings and participate in ...

AzerNews
Latvia awards 225 million-euro train contract to Spanish manufacturer  Emerging Europe

Latvia's state-run railway company Pasažieru Vilciens (PV) has announced that it will buy new electric trains from the Spanish manufacturer Talgo. The deal is ...

Emerging Europe
Every tenth entrepreneur in Latvia would be prepared to deliberately distort competition in order to make higher profit - Competition Council | News  leta.lv

RIGA, Dec 5 (LETA) - Every tenth entrepreneur in Latvia would be prepared to deliberately distort competition in order to make higher profits, according to a ...

leta.lv
Russian Armed Forces’ delegation to inspect Latvian military facilities  TASS

RIGA, November 20. /TASS/. A group of four Russian military officers will visit Latvia on November 20-23 to monitor the country's military activities, the Latvian ...

TASS
Estonia, Latvia targets of criticism by Lavrov at OSCE Ministerial Council  ERR News

At the 25th meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE Ministerial Council) on ...

ERR News
De Facto: failure to form a government in Latvia forces use of mechanism not used in decades  bnn-news.com

Parties' inability to reach an agreement on the new government has forced the use of a mechanism that has not been used in Latvia in more than a decade.

bnn-news.com
Latvian President urges EU to continue sanctions policy towards Russia  UNIAN

President of the Republic of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis has called on the European Union member states to continue the sanctions policy towards Russia.

UNIAN
Latvia must protect democracy, avoid populism - Murniece | News  leta.lv

RIGA, Nov 18 (LETA) - Latvia has to protect democracy, which is one of the main values at the foundation of the State of Latvia, Saeima Chairwoman Inara ...

leta.lv
Azerbaijani singers named best in Latvia [PHOTO]  AzerNews

Azerbaijani singers successfully performed in Latvia.

AzerNews
Association warns of possible emergency in Latvia's hospital sector in 2019 | News  leta.lv

RIGA, Nov 23 (LETA) - The Latvian Hospital Association has warned that the hospital sector can find itself in a state of emergency next year because of the ...

leta.lv
Princess Mary of Denmark puts on a chic display in Latvia  Daily Mail

The Danish royal, 46, appeared delighted by the festive scene in Latvia, beaming for the camera as she stepped out in a teetering pair of powder blue stilettos, ...

Daily Mail
Things of Latvia: Chris Norman  Eng.Lsm.lv

In the 1970s and 1980s the United Kingdom had an amazing list of colossal and incomparable rock stars dominating the charts: David Bowie, Robert Plant, ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
airBaltic recognised as leading exporter of Latvia  Travel Daily News International

The Latvian airline airBaltic has received the Dienas Bizness TOP 500 award as the Exporter with the Largest Export Growth in Latvia. It was awarded by Latvian ...

Travel Daily News International
European Commission approves Latvia's 2019 draft budgetary plan | News  leta.lv

RIGA, Nov 21 (LETA) - The European Commission has approved Latvia's 2019 draft budgetary plan, pointing out that the plan is broadly compliant with the ...

leta.lv
Freight transportation in Latvia up 8.6% in nine months | News | LETA  leta.lv

RIGA, Dec 3 (LETA) - Compared to January–September 2017, over the nine months of 2018 the volume of freights carried by land and via pipelines increased ...

leta.lv
Latvia's GDP grows 4.7% in nine months | News  leta.lv

RIGA, Nov 30 (LETA) - During the first nine months of 2018, Latvia's seasonally and calendar-unadjusted gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.7 percent ...

leta.lv
Winston most popular cigarette brand in Latvia  Baltic Times

Winston was the most popular cigarette brand in Latvia in the first nine months of the year, the State Revenue *Service's* data on excised g...

Baltic Times
Latvia's industrial production falls for second consecutive month in October  bne IntelliNews

Latvia's calendar-adjusted industrial production fell 1.9% y/y in October, the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) reported on December ...

bne IntelliNews
Spain's Talgo to supply electric trains to Latvia for €225.3m  Eng.Lsm.lv

Latvia's Pasažieru Vilciens (Passenger Rail) rail passenger carrier will purchase new electric trains from Spanish company Talgo, the rail company's CEO ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Latvian cops help gardai in hunt for gang who hacked man to death with machete in horror attack in Cork  The Irish Sun

Two of the suspects in the horrific murder of dad-of-two Mikolaj Wilk are hiding out somewhere between Latvia and Lithuania.

The Irish Sun
Tallin 2018: Estonia, Finland, Latvia may offer a joint cash rebate to attract international production  Screen International

Estonia, Finland and Latvia are considering offering a joint tax incentive to attract inward investment through international production into the three countries and ...

Screen International
Latvia signs for Black Hawk helos  IHS Jane's 360

Latvia has signed a deal for four Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk transport helicopters that were approved earlier in the year, Jane's was told on 28 November.

IHS Jane's 360
Vejonis thanks Iceland for its support in restoration of Latvia's independence  Baltic Times

Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis on November 16 thanked Icelandic President Gudni Johannesson for Iceland's support in August 1991 when La...

Baltic Times
Latvia lacks women role models, says researcher  Eng.Lsm.lv

The Latvian political environment is very male-dominated and there is a lack of female role models for girls and young women to aspire to, according to Marita ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Watch World Cup bobsleigh & skeleton from Latvia  CBC.ca

Watch live as Canada's best bobsleigh athletes are in action at the season's first World Cup event in Sigulda, Latvia.

CBC.ca
Anti-Semitism in Latvia exists only on the internet  Baltic Times

They say that time is a great healer, but to the Jewish community in Latvia the events of 1941 will never be forgotten. As many as 70000 ...

Baltic Times
US ambassador to Latvia sends warning over corruption  EUAC

On December 9, to coincide with International Anti-Corruption Day, the U.S. embassy published a statement from Bikoff Pettit on Latvian corruption. “I want to tell ...

EUAC
Brazil, Singapore and Latvia join calls on Mark Zuckerberg to face 'Grand Committee' on fake news  The Telegraph

Politicians from Brazil, Singapore and Latvia have joined calls for Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to stand before an international "Grand Committee" ...

The Telegraph
Latvia speaks out against disinformation and journalist killings  Eng.Lsm.lv

On 20 and 21 November 2018, at the meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO International Program for the Development of Communication ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Association declares state of emergency in Latvia's hospital sector  Baltic Times

RIGA - The Latvian Hospital Association has declared a state of emergency in connection with the Constitutional Court's ruling regarding t...

Baltic Times
Chilly start to a challenging weather week in Latvia  Eng.Lsm.lv

Monday morning in Latvia started with general cold and freezing fog in places, forecasters said November 26.

Eng.Lsm.lv
Latvia seeks medium-range GBADS as part of wider military revamp  IHS Jane's 360

Latvia is seeking to field a medium-range ground-based air-defence system (GBADS) as part of a wider modernisation of its armed forces, Jane's was told on 28 ...

IHS Jane's 360
Radeviča steps down as president of the Latvian Athletics Federation  Eng.Lsm.lv

Retired Latvian long-jumper Ineta Radeviča has stepped down as the head of the Latvian Athletics Federation after a repeat analysis of her sample from the ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Inflation in Latvia reaches 3% in 2018  bnn-news.com

November 2018, compared to November 2017, the average level of consumer prices rose by 3.0 %. Prices of both goods and services grew by 3.0 %.

bnn-news.com
Good results on home ice for Latvian bobsleigh, skeleton teams  Eng.Lsm.lv

Latvian teams showed excellent results in the World Cup bobsleigh and skeleton events taking place at Sigulda over the weekend.

Eng.Lsm.lv
Ukrinform: Trade volume between Ukraine and Latvia grows by 43 percent  Kyiv Post

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (R) and his Latvian counterpart Raimonds Vejonis (L) meet in Kyiv on Nov. 24, 2018. Photo by president.gov.ua. Popular

Kyiv Post
Channell fourth to start skeleton season in Latvia  Pique Newsmagazine

In her first-ever IBSF World Cup at Sigulda, Latvia, North Vancouver skeleton racer Jane Channell finished just off the podium on Dec. 8. Channell, a regular at ...

Pique Newsmagazine
Third attempt to form Latvian government collapses  bne IntelliNews

Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis withdrew his nomination for the leader of the New Conservative Party Aldis Gobzems to become Latvia's next prime ...

bne IntelliNews
Latvia-Poland family animation 'Jacob, Mimmi And The Talking Dogs' gets sales deal (exclusive)  Screen International

New Europe Film Sales ink early deal for France rights to title.

Screen International
Educator teaching in foreign country  KIMT 3

Kristen Carlson is teaching in Riga, the capital city of Latvia, a country on the Baltic Sea.

KIMT 3
Latvian unemployment slightly up in late November | News  leta.lv

RIGA, Dec 12 (LETA) - At the end of November, the unemployment rate in Latvia rose by 0.1 percentage from a month before to 6.2 percent, LETA was told at the ...

leta.lv
Former Riga City Council official, wanted in Latvia for corruption, arrested at Riga Airport  Baltic Times

RIGA - Former Riga City Council official Arija Stabina, wanted by Latvian law enforcement authorities for corruption, was arrested at Riga Inter...

Baltic Times
PICTURE: A220 flies formation for Latvian centenary  Flightglobal

Latvian carrier Air Baltic has flown a specially-painted Airbus A220-300 in formation with fighters to commemorate the centenary of the Baltic country's ...

Flightglobal
Editorial: Latvian officials recently visited Nebraska to note an interesting connection  Omaha World-Herald

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln recently held ceremonies to remember and salute those who served in World War I, a conflict in which more than 55,000 ...

Omaha World-Herald
Hugo is here to help you translate Latvian  Eng.Lsm.lv

Anyone baffled by the mysteries of the Latvian language has a new resource at hand with the unveiling of a government-backed translation tool December 12.

Eng.Lsm.lv
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark Just Channeled Jackie Kennedy in a Pink Pillbox Hat  TownandCountrymag.com

When Denmark's Crown Princess Mary arrived in Latvia yesterday for an official visit, she appeared to be channeling American first lady Jackie Kennedy with ...

TownandCountrymag.com
Tallinn Black Nights honours Latvian documentary filmmaker Ivars Seleckis  Screen International

Director's The Crossroad Street won an EFA in 1990.

Screen International
Pabriks cedes nomination in contest to become Latvian prime minister  Eng.Lsm.lv

Artis Pabriks has ceded the possibility of becoming the country's next Prime Minister, he told the press December 1.

Eng.Lsm.lv
Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis: Ideal Latvia is only in our own hands  Baltic Times

The kind of Latvia that we shall build each coming day is only in our own hands, President Raimonds Vejonis said while addressing the nation at ...

Baltic Times
MFA: Presidents' mutual visits show strategic importance of Azerbaijan-Latvia ties  AzerNews

The mutual visits of the heads of state and the signed documents once again show the strategic importance of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Latvia, ...

AzerNews
Latvian ladies drawn into group with Spain, Ukraine and GB for EuroBasket | News  leta.lv

BELGRADE (Serbia), Dec 12 (LETA) - The Latvian national women's basketball team has been drawn into Group A together with Spain, Ukraine and Great ...

leta.lv
Danish Crown Prince Couple visit Latvia  Royal Central

On 6 and 7 December, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary undertook an official visit to Latvia to celebrate the country's 100 years of independence ...

Royal Central
Latvian President Unlikely to Dissolve Parliament - European Parliament Member  Sputnik International

RIGA (Sputnik) - Miroslav Mitrofanov, a European Parliament member from Latvia, told Sputnik on Wednesday that he believed that Latvian President Raimonds ...

Sputnik International
After Malta, Denmark and Latvia scandals, ECB boosts money laundering scrutiny  Malta Independent Online

In wake of a string of European money laundering scandals, not least of which was the Pilatus Bank debacle in Malta, the European Central Bank yesterday said ...

Malta Independent Online
Most EU defense ministers object to creation of EU army - Rinkevics  Baltic Times

RIGA - During the most recent meeting of EU defense ministers, at least two-thirds of European defense ministers were against the idea of creati...

Baltic Times
Information exchange by Latvian banks on SWIFT network carried out as usual – financial watchdog | News  leta.lv

RIGA, Nov 28 (LETA) – Information exchange by Latvian banks on SWIFT network is carried out as usual, said Finance and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) ...

leta.lv
Latvian parties refrain from predicting success for Gobzems government  bnn-news.com

Politicians participating in government formation talks organized by KPV LV prime minister candidate Aldis Gobzems refrain from saying if the government ...

bnn-news.com
Latvian pair secure second place in World Cup bobsleigh  Eng.Lsm.lv

The Latvian pairing of Oskars Kibermanis and Matīss Miknis took second place on December 8 on home ground - or home ice - in the World Cup bobsleigh ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
Latvian PM candidate proposes five-party government  bne IntelliNews

Aldis Gobzems, the leader of Latvia's populist KPV party and the candidate for the Baltic state's new prime minister, proposed a five party government coalition to ...

bne IntelliNews
Major Latvian construction company prepared to sue Scandinavian construction giant Veidekke over unpaid bills  Baltic Times

RIGA – One of Latvia's leading construction companies, JSC BMGS, is preparing to sue the Scandinavian construction giant Veidekke Entreprenad AB ...

Baltic Times
On the road with Latvian exporters: Latraps  Eng.Lsm.lv

The village of Eleja is as far as you can get from Rīga heading in a southerly direction – and perhaps not only in geographic terms. The capital may be the place ...

Eng.Lsm.lv
 

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Latvia ( or (listen); Latvian: Latvija [ˈlatvija]), officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Republika), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Since its independence, Latvia has been referred to as one of the Baltic states. It is bordered by Estonia in the northern region, Lithuania in the southern, to the east is Russia, and Belarus to the southeast, as well as sharing a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi). The country has a temperate seasonal climate.After centuries of Swedish, Polish-Lithuanian and Russian rule, a rule mainly executed by the Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on 18 November 1918 when it broke away and declared independence in the aftermath of World War I. However, by the 1930s the country became increasingly autocratic after the coup in 1934 establishing an authoritarian regime under Kārlis Ulmanis. The country's de facto independence was interrupted at the outset of World War II, beginning with Latvia's forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union, followed by the invasion and occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941, and the re-occupation by the Soviets in 1944 (Courland Pocket in 1945) to form the Latvian SSR for the next 45 years.The peaceful Singing Revolution, starting in 1987, called for Baltic emancipation from Soviet rule and condemning the Communist regime's illegal takeover. It ended with the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia on 4 May 1990, and restoring de facto independence on 21 August 1991. Latvia is a democratic sovereign state, parliamentary republic and a very highly developed country according to the United Nations Human Development Index. Its capital Riga served as the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Latvian is the official language. Latvia is a unitary state, divided into 119 administrative divisions, of which 110 are municipalities and 9 are cities. Latvians and Livonians are the indigenous people of Latvia. Latvian and Lithuanian are the only two surviving Baltic languages.Despite foreign rule from the 13th to 20th centuries, the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations via the language and musical traditions. However, as a consequence of centuries of Russian rule (1710–1918) and later Soviet occupation, Latvia is home to a large number of ethnic Russians (26.9% in Latvia), some of whom (14.1% of Latvian residents) have not gained citizenship, leaving them with no citizenship at all. Until World War II, Latvia also had significant minorities of ethnic Germans and Jews. Latvia is historically predominantly Lutheran Protestant, except for the Latgale region in the southeast, which has historically been predominantly Roman Catholic. The Russian population are largely Eastern Orthodox Christians.Latvia is a member of the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OECD, OSCE, and WTO. For 2014, the country was listed 46th on the Human Development Index and as a high income country on 1 July 2014. A full member of the Eurozone, it uses the euro as its currency since 1 January 2014, replacing the Latvian lats.