About the commission
On 5 May 2005, the Latvian Parliament, Saeima, passed the declaration “On the Condemnation of the USSR Totalitarian Communist Occupation Regime Implemented in Latvia”.
The Cabinet of Ministers passed Regulation No. 523 on 5 August 2005 establishing a commission to determine the number of victims and location of mass graves, collect information regarding repressions and mass deportation of Latvian citizens, and calculate costs incurred by the Latvian state as a result of the USSR totalitarian communist occupation regime (hereinafter – Commission). This Commission existed until 1 August 2009 when its operation was suspended due to the economic crisis.
The Commission has the following principal tasks:
- Determine the number of victims of the USSR totalitarian communist occupation regime;
- Determine the location of mass graves;
- Summarise information on repressions and mass deportations;
- Calculate losses caused by the regime to the Latvian State; and
- Calculate losses caused by the regime to the inhabitants of Latvia.
To date, over 50 studies in the field of economics, environmental protection, demographics and history have been created by order of the Commission. In addition, 56 expert examinations were also carried out. With the Commission’s support, the 3-volume book Aizvestie [Deported] was published, and two conferences and several seminars have been organised. Currently, a database of people repressed politically during the Soviet occupation is being compiled and three books are being prepared for publication.
The Commission’s Informative Report (30 July 2009) established that the losses incurred by the Latvian state as a result of Soviet occupation amount to over 200 billion lats (~300 billion euros). These losses have had and continue to have a great impact on the development of Latvia since the restoration of independence.
The Commission is necessary for the following:
- Ensure objective, scientific study of history;
- Declare the fact of losses caused during occupation, thus fulfilling the duty of the occupied country from the point of view of international law;
- Highlight the fact of occupation in relations with the Russian Federation, stating that the Republic of Latvia was founded in 1918, not the Latvian SSR, and that we consider Russia the successor of rights and obligations of the USSR;
- Prepare for possible international proceedings to claim legally and economically justified compensation from the Russian Federation; and
- To calculate the impact caused by the Soviet occupation for current and future generations.