The Baltics: should Britain be rushing to their defence?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by whitecity, Mar 26, 2014.

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  1. YarS

    YarS On ROPs

  2. You should listen to what your phone is trying to tell you.
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  3. Latvijā ierodas Kanādas bruņu tehnika

    Video of.... as I understand the article, additional, systems being brought into Latvia ahead of ZAPAD 2017. The Americans are also sending additional forces to Estonia. @terminal ?

    The other news is that rental property is becoming more expensive in Riga because of the Canadians... causing some people to be unhappy, seriously.
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  4. There's nothing in the Canadian news at this time about the arrival of new troops in Latvia. I imagine it's just the troops and equipment which were announced previously finally arriving. They've been waiting for the base faculties to be built before going over. This will be part of the deployment which Obama arm asked Canada to provide while he was still in office, so it has nothing to do with short term events in the region.

    In one of my previous posts of a few months ago I linked a news story which gave the approximate deployment schedule, but I doubt I could find it easily at this time. If I recall however, the main body of troops were supposed to start arriving at around this time.
  5. No, the Canucks arrived two months ago - in the Latvian article it states that this is additional equipment.
  6. Of interest?

    Riga, 11 August, LETA. Since August 1, Russian aircraft and vessels have been detected 16 times near the borders of Latvia, according to the public information provided by the National Armed Forces, compiled by LETA.

    The activity is really building up now.
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  7. It appears they are different troops - here's the DND announcement released on Saturday: Canadian Armed Forces sending military personnel and equipment to support training activities in Latvia -

    They're there to support upcoming exercises in the autumn.
    They're sending an artillery battery and approximately 100 additional personnel. They're from the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, from Shilo Manitoba.
    They will be supporting the Latvian-led NATO exercise called "Silver Arrow" in October.
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  8. Really informative post; I think the reality is that they are here for ZAPAD20017 ;) Or rather, just f..king hoping they are not saying hello to ZAPAD2017 ;)
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  9. The Russian foreign ministry have said in an interview with the CBC that they're not happy about Canadian military exercises in Latvia. 'Very provocative action': Canada's war games in the Baltics irk Russian official
    However, since that was in an interview in which this was quite likely a response to a question asked by the CBC, I wouldn't read much into what is really a boilerplate answer.

    The first third of the article consists of the above as an intro, followed by well known historical background. Those parts are probably best skipped over. The last third returns to that theme.

    The middle third is more interesting and goes into a description of "Operation Reassurance" related exercises, and includes several photographs.
    The Latvians have been playing the role of the opposition forces.
    The primary objective of the exercises from the Canadian perspective appears to be confirming that the Canadian forces are prepared for their role.


    The middle part of the article is worth reading, but the first and last parts are probably best skipped as they don't present anything new.
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  10. It seems whatever anyone else does it's always a provocation to the Russians.
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  11. A gem from Youtube:
    Only take a few minutes of your time to watch.

    Where's Yars when you need him?
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  12. The film is quite interesting from the perspective of the legal mechanics used in the re-annexation of Latvia by the Soviets. I had read something by a Russian author that the Soviet Communists were very keen on ensuring that the legal formalities were always seen to be done, while of course ensuring that the "right" people were in control to make sure the process came out with the desired result. The round-about and convoluted charade shown in the film is best understood from that perspective.

    The film maker (Albert Jekste) attracted my curiousity, as he was living in Newfoundland at the time the film was made. According to this Google Books link: Canadian Film Technology, 1896-1986
    he originally worked for the Latvian state involved in supporting the film and projection equipment used to display state films to the Latvian populace. In 1939 he was appointed head of Latvian state film production, under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior.

    What happened between 1939 and 1945 is glossed over, although I would be quite surprised if someone in such a prominent position could manage to avoid the attentions of either the Soviet or German security apparatus. Director of state film production is not a position that either the Soviets or the Germans would leave in the hands of someone who was not considered to be completely reliable. What happened in that period however isn't mentioned. However, it then goes on to state that in 1945 he was associated with Ikon-Zeiss of Kiel, Germany.

    In May, 1951 he opened Atlantic Films and Studios in St. John's Newfoundland as part of an industrial development program initiated by the Newfoundland government. It should be pointed out that Newfoundland did not join Canada until 1949, so it's quite possible that this project was well under way before Newfoundland was part of Canada. For a number of decades after that time, Newfoundland was heavily involved in state sponsored economic development projects of varying degrees of success that would not have been out of place in the more socialist parts of Europe. Viewed in that context it becomes more understandable as to how he ended up setting up business in a part of Canada that did not normally offer a lot of attractions to immigrants seeking to set up businesses. Details of the financing and ownership of the venture are not discussed, but it would not be unusual for Newfoundland to have provided start up capital.

    Jekste's business was a joint venture with Zeiss, for whom he was the exclusive North American distributor. In short order he set up additional operations in Montreal and Toronto, and at the end of the 1960s, in New York as well.

    The above biography should assist in understanding his background and provide context to the film under discussion. It sounds like he was a businessman of some consequence who quite likely had good connections with other prominent people, including in the film industry. He wasn't some obscure immigrant with a camera shop in a small, remote, provincial town. He quite likely had the resources, experience, connections, and above all, the motivation to initiate the film and to personally decide on the content, editing, and overall result.

    To put it briefly, the film is best understood as coming from the viewpoint of someone who had held a fairly prominent position in the Latvian state apparatus prior to WWII, and who in the 1950s almost certainly had a strong desire to see a return of Latvian independence once again. The film's avoidance of discussing what happened during the German occupation was likely due to Jekste not seeing how giving attention to those events would advance his ultimate goal.

    To sum up, the film is interesting from the perspective of showing the inner workings of the Soviet re-annexation process, and also for providing an opportunity to discuss the activities of an exile Latvian nationalist. I don't know to what degree Baltic State (and Ukrainian) nationalists have been active in the UK, but there were quite a few very dedicated ones in Canada (and the US) who kept up a steady drum beat of anti-Soviet activism here all through the cold war, and had some noticeable effect on the politics here and government policy towards the Soviet Union.
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  13. Latvian humour...
    Some Latvian soldiers embedded with American Airborne coming under fire, life, the universe and crashing the drone - twice.