The Baltics: should Britain be rushing to their defence?

@KGB_resident
Sergei, although I do not agree with you (not yet decided whether that should be in the singular or plural) much of the time; you can be very informative and you tend to come across as a "kulturnyi cheloviyek". And as I have mentioned previously - I hold nothing against Russians personally and appreciate the Russian contribution to the arts and sciences. I was referring to another poster whom I appropriately tend to ignore.
 
No probs.

Take the pre-world war two Polish Endeka party, add more pre-Vatican II Catholic Fascism, a sense of national exceptionalism combined with national victimhood (a sort of chosen martyr nation syndrome), mix in various ludicrous conspiracy theories, a dash of xenophobia, short-sighted socialist economics with cash handouts to gullible supporters, a huge inferiority complex on the behalf of its leaders and much of its membership; and there you have "PiS" or the "Truth and Justice Party" - a very apt Orwellian name for a populist party with a massive ego that can't tell arse from elbow and is taking Poland down a disastrous path. This is much to the delight of the Kremlin (which has worked to actively encourage this and other wrecker movements across the western world). And as our resident apparatchik troll posted earlier, Moscow would dearly love to gather Warsaw into its net once again.
Apologies for continuing my own thread drift, but here is a topical article from the Politico website on this very subject: Poland’s risky ‘America first’ policy
 
Old, different vehicles are Latvian army's weak spot - Bergmanis

Did he really mean to stand in front of the CVR(T)? However, a serious point is that he makes no mention of inter-operability of Baltic acquisitions. Each of the three nations are buying different SPGs, each has bought different MRAVs.

Each nation is crying out for SHORADS as well as theatre air defence - and we hear nothing and yet mobilised one would be looking at a Division if united - no common comms systems. Myriad problems in purchasing and elections due in Latvia on the 6th.
The article says they are grateful for the vehicles "gifted" to them, by the West?!

I seem to remember we/UK/MoD "fleeced" them price-wise, when we sold them the CVR(T) vehicles?
 
Either that Latvian beer is having a massive effect on you already or ‘incredibly poor spelling Sergey’ is on duty today
In the word 'cities' then I made a typo. As for 'fast' then, please, point me where I was wrong.
I meant fast depopulation of Latvia - fast, quick, rapid, speedy, swift...
Latvia: Europe’s nation of introverts
Latvia’s population is shrinking intensely with outward migration, with one of the steepest population declines of any nation in the world.
Bloomberg - Are you a robot?
Several factors are contributing to the depopulation of Eastern Europe, and Latvia has all of them: low income, compared with more developed EU nations; insufficient growth; and strong anti-immigrant sentiment.
The young and educated are disappearing in the greatest numbers, shrinking the amount of working adults who can fund benefits for pensioners. Latvian demographer Mihails Hazans said that, as of 2014, one in three Latvians aged 25 to 34—and a quarter of all Latvians with higher education—lived abroad.
A decade ago, when Austris Lakse was a sixth-grader in the Latvian village of Staburags, his school was converted into a retirement home, a transformation he said would become commonplace.
They left for menial jobs in the U.K., Ireland, France and the Netherlands, he said. Lauris Urtans, another law student, said that most of his classmates from secondary school have either left for Riga or Western Europe. With fewer young Latvians staying and getting married, buying houses or starting families, the school system is slowly shrinking.
 
In the word 'cities' then I made a typo. As for 'fast' then, please, point me where I was wrong.
I meant fast depopulation of Latvia - fast, quick, rapid, speedy, swift...
Latvia: Europe’s nation of introverts

Bloomberg - Are you a robot?
Sure you did. And then you make another point on de-population. I believe you meant ‘vast’ but there you go “Take into account fast depopulation..” ‘Large’ or ‘mass’ would be more appropriate. Or even better as ‘de-population’ has other connotations, ‘mass emigration’.
 
Nice spin. I see a party declining in popularity from 31 to 24 to 23 seats. As I mentioned in an earlier article, the vote is often in the 20-25% area pro-Russian.

The main take away for me is they want to get away from the old corruption, hence the new party getting straight in at 16 and two other party’s going from 0 to 16 and 13 respectively. I don’t pretend to be an expert but for me the Harmony Party is still on a decline and three others who had no representation last time now have 45 seats.
Harmony (Social Democratic party Harmony) is now losing its popular support. It had the best electoral result in 2011 - 259930 votes (28.4%) and 28 seats in the Parliament. That time the Harmony list included some allies that got additionally 4 seats. Now Harmony has only 167117 votes (19.9%). Many Russians don't take part in parliamentary elections being sure that their voice will not be heard and their representatives will not be allowed to be in the government. At the same time electoral activity of enthical Latvians is lower than previously and number of voters is shrinking.
However, the main result of the elections is dramatic changes in ethnically Latvian sector of the Parliament. Traditional and nationalist parties lost too much seats and become in fact marginal.
 
Sure you did. And then you make another point on de-population. I believe you meant ‘vast’ but there you go “Take into account fast depopulation..” ‘Large’ or ‘mass’ would be more appropriate. Or even better as ‘de-population’ has other connotations, ‘mass emigration’.
I see your point. In Latvia depopulation is both fast and vast. Scale of emigration is so big that depopulation is a right term to be used.
The term depopulation in the context of Latvia had began to be used years ago. It is not the new problem.
Latvia facing population exodus
Rural depopulation is common in many former Soviet countries. But in Latvia, where the economy shrank 18% last year, the economic crisis has exacerbated the situation
Latvia is losing more than 1% of its population annually, as the country's young people head abroad to find work.
Mr Neimanis lost his job in 2008 when the economic crisis struck. And although he is an experienced civil engineer, he will probably end up picking strawberries or packing vegetables in England.

Maybe he should be proposed to join British armed forces to defend Latvia (if it would be needed)? Aslo his skills as an engineer and his Latvian would be useful.
 
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Harmony (Social Democratic party Harmony) is now losing its popular support. It had the best electoral result in 2011 - 259930 votes (28.4%) and 28 seats in the Parliament. That time the Harmony list included some allies that got additionally 4 seats. Now Harmony has only 167117 votes (19.9%). Many Russians don't take part in parliamentary elections being sure that their voice will not be heard and their representatives will not be allowed to be in the government. At the same time electoral activity of enthical Latvians is lower than previously and number of voters is shrinking.
However, the main result of the elections is dramatic changes in ethnically Latvian sector of the Parliament. Traditional and nationalist parties lost too much seats and become in fact marginal.
In 2011 they went from 29 to 31 seats.

There does appear to be a low turnout of voters 59.4% in ‘11, 54.5% in ‘18. I guess like many western countries, they are becoming disillusioned with politics.
 
I see your point. In Latvia depopulation is both fast and vast. Scale of emigration is so big that depopulation is a right term to be used.
The term depopulation in the context of Latvia had began to be used years ago. It is not the new problem.
Latvia facing population exodus

Maybe he should be proposed to join British armed forces to defend Latvia (if it would be needed)? Aslo his skills as an engineer and his Latvian would be useful.
Latvia Population (2018) - Worldometers
Peak in 1990, 2.6M now as low as 1.9M. The exodus doesn’t appear to have stopped yet. @Kromeriz has posted thoughts on it in the past.
 
Latvia Population (2018) - Worldometers
Peak in 1990, 2.6M now as low as 1.9M. The exodus doesn’t appear to have stopped yet. @Kromeriz has posted thoughts on it in the past.
It might actually be irreversible by now, the constant f*cking about with taxation, the sops to interested parties and the wholesale political mis-management by the national government create a younger 'western' Russian generation (mostly 18 in this class) who this morning told me that NATO is a bad organisation devoted to destroying Russian culture. Given that the NATO Centre of Excellence for Strategic Communication is based here in Riga, someone should be shot.

Yes, there has been a move away from the traditional parties because everyone knows what a thieving bunch of toe-rags they are but the Latvian mentality is OK with the thieving as long as it trickles down to the them.

As to Harmony - I think his vote has held up remarkably well - in Riga, the money trickles down the poor - In a Riga school, the kids get fantastic free lunches etc - in the Government run school last year, they had to pay - parents know their kids are being looked after. And although @scalieback has a point, if you think of Harmony as a 'traditional party' and not an insurgent, and given that the depopulation is actually most of their voter base leaving for better climes, then the Latvian parties have been taken to the cleaners by the electorate but the voters of Harmony have remained quite loyal and indeed, picked up Latvian Latvians. Interesting times. Of the two new radical parties one is led by someone who makes me look as if I have never even heard of something called beer and the other one is a shyster lawyer; expect more people to leave Latvia - me included, come next year.
 
"Finland has always been the main means of defence for Sweden. Joining any defensive alliance - NATO, Nordic, whatever - would just make it official."
Hence, out today, more from Sweden's intense interest in how Finnish defence modernisation is coming along. Worth a read even if the headline writer couldn't resist getting the "H" word in.

Summary
 
All howitzers bought from Austria are now in Latvia

Rounding out the assets and capabilities. Given their attitude the Latvian army could really present as prickly and difficult to swallow.
From the LINK . . .

"The cost per unit, depending on its modification level, is between €60,000 and €140,000. The howitzers purchased by Latvia had previously seen service with the British Army, but were extensively modernized by Austria and kept in storage".
 
From the LINK . . .

"The cost per unit, depending on its modification level, is between €60,000 and €140,000. The howitzers purchased by Latvia had previously seen service with the British Army, but were extensively modernized by Austria and kept in storage".
I think they got some details wrong...
 

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