“TheCeļotājs”
"Latvia" Former Soviet Union Military Bases
 
Epilog of
"Latvia" Former Soviet Union Military Bases
 
Through this website and its many pages I tried to show you some of the former Soviet Union Military Missile and Air Force Bases that are located in the Republic of Latvia and Kurzeme Region Area. As we visit each Missile Base, "TheCeļotājs" will not only show the remains of the base, but what type of missiles and their specifications that could have been found there during its operation. As for the period of time these bases were in operation, that information is current unavailable. As for the types of missiles that could have been found there and their specifications is. This information and their pictures is presented in as much as could be found for each type of missile. While visiting the former Soviet Union Vainode Air Force Base and its remains of its harden shelters to get a better understand of the Soviet Union military and its history I have went back in time to pre World War I through World War II to when the Soviet Union reoccupied Latvia after World War II with the types of aircraft that was stationed there along with their specifications and ordnances. 
 
I will not only tried to show these former Soviet Union Military Bases that were built following World War II and their related information, but will go back to the Soviet Union first occupation of Latvia 17 June 1940 to the invasion of the Nazi Army at 03:00hrs on 22 June 1941, with the atrocities the Latvian people suffered  through during this first period of time and occupation. From the 15 June 1940 NKVD Masjenki Latvia Border Attack to the 17 June 1940 Red Army entering the City of Riga, which was the start of "The Year of Horror.  The NKVD World War II Operations to the June 1941 Mass Deportation of Latvian citizens to far regions of the Soviet Union forced labor Gulags to the Atrocities committed by the NKVD on the Latvian citizens during their retreat from the invading Nazi Army. 
 
Also through the Soviet History of, is the history of the Imperial Russian Air Force to the Soviet Air Force to the Soviet Air Defense Forces, Russian Ground Forces, also covered is part of the October Revolution "1917 and beginning of Bolshevik Communist Government, to the Council of People's Commissars and Vladimir Lenin rise to power through the Joseph Stalin years 1922-1953 and a brief history of each of these organizations that were formed under each of them to the present day. Especially the "secret police" arm of both Vladimir Lenin the "VChrka" and "NKVD", along with Joseph Stalin's wide use of the "NKVD" and later "KGB" after the end of World War II and during his time in power.
 
The years between the rise of Vladimir Lenin to power and the beginning of Bolshevik Communist Government to the years of Joseph Stalin from 1922 and until his death in 1953 were years of intimation and mass murders of not only of Russian citizens, but of other countries during the years of Joseph Stalin, these numbers are staggering. During Joseph Stalin time, the 1932-1933 the Ukraine Famine, were some 7 million Ukraine's were starved to death while their grain was being exported by the metric tons. Stalin's most ferocious acts of terror - The Great Purges - took place between 1934 and 1939. about 500,000 were executed in 1937-1939 and somewhere between 3 and 12 million were sent to labor camps. The purges affected not only those who openly opposed Stalin, but ordinary people too. During Stalin's rule of the country, over 20 million people were sent to labor camps, where nearly half of them died. Stalin's "Apparatus of Terror" relied mostly on the NKVD. Stalin's first purges date back to 1930–1933 and were aimed at extermination of those who opposed industrialization and the kulaks "well-off farmers and entrepreneurs, who opposed collectivization".

The Katyn Forest massacre west of Smolensk, Russia" took place in April and May 1940 in the Smolensk region. The number of victims of Katyn is estimated at about 22,000. Of the total killed, about 8,000 were officers taken prisoner during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, another 6,000 were police officers, with the rest being Polish intelligentsia arrested for allegedly being "intelligence agents, gendarmes, landowners, saboteurs, factory owners, lawyers and priests."
 
Then came Stalin's 13 June and 14 June 1941, mass deportation where about 15,500 Latvian residents, among them 2400 children younger than ten were arrested without a court order to be deported to distant regions in the Soviet Union. Targeted were mainly families who had members in leading positions in state and local governments, economy and culture. 
 
Stalin became increasingly paranoid "seeing plots everywhere" and "power-mad" "he demanded continuous praise and applause".
 
Since I started visiting Latvia and the City of Riga, I started expanding my research of Latvia and its citizens and during the planning of my third trip, it was then and during this trip I saw that the people of Latvia had a story to tell and I felt that it needed to be told, this period of time being from 1940 to 1991, 50 Years of Terror and Tyranny needed more then what was being told. Like photographs of all the buildings that made up the former 1941 Jewish Ghetto, or completely photographing not just the 1941 Jewish Mass Executions Sites Memorials of Rumbula Forest with 6 Mass Graves of 25,000 Jews and Biķernieku Forest with 53 Mass Graves of 35,000 that were murdered there and dumped into these mass graves, but also photograph all the mass execution graves and the areas around mass graves. For these sites and the graves should never be forgotten nor the people that were murdered there. At this point in time I decided what needed to be done and have been working on it ever since. Since then I have expanded my research and photographing these mass murder site. 
 
This last year, while visiting the City of Liepāja I was able to locate and photograph the mass execution sites that is located along Šķēde Dunes, where some 7500 people were murdered and buried in 3 mass graves, these sites, which is located about 8km north of Liepāja and along the Baltic Sea Coast Line. One thing I learned while visiting Latvia last year, is most towns don't publicize these mass execution locations even though they had Jews living in their communities during the Nazi time and during the time of these mass round up and executions. I found that one has to physical look for this information and then going out and located them. And I even ran into some that seem they didn't care. This part of the towns history is not quite in their ideology, only what pertains to their towns history. This is all well in good, but these people who were murder were also part of the earlier town history...........
 
During my last two trips to Latvia I spent the time in the City of Liepāja and Kurzeme Region. While in Liepāja I was able to visit the ruins of the Russian Tsar's Fortifications that were built around the City of Liepāja in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Was also able to visit the Karosta Navel Port which was built during Tsar's Alexander III and Nicholas II time and later became a closed and restricted city of the Soviet Union Navy and their Naval Base. I was also able
to visit some of the other Tsar's structures and other Liepāja historical sites located through out the area. While I was in the area I visited other towns in the region. I was also able to visit different historical sites located in out in the countryside of the Kurzeme Region. 
 
Before one can understand what happen to the Latvian citizens in June 1940, one has to first research and understand the country that was doing the occupation, being the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin's Ideology and philosophy of Stalinism or Marxism-Leninism Socialism and Communism, being the "states central control" of every aspect of ones life. From nationalization of the industries and business to its citizens. Especially the youth through the school systems, by the education, political and  culture commissars of the Central Party Committee and Stalin's youth groups, known then as "The Young Pioneer " Under Stalinism mass or high production and high quotas was his ideology "quantity not quality". From manufactured of products to farm products. Some of these  quotas were outlandish. Some of these examples were a cow was to produce some 4000 liters of milk per year, why a chicken was expected to lay some 10,000 eggs per year. These were some of the quotas that the People's Central Committee expected and set for their commissars. If these quotas wont met, the commissar was subject to arrest and either jailed and sent to a forced labor camp or was shot after a mock public trial. The Soviets had quotas on everything. Under Socialism, no one could do anything with out first get either a permit or license to do anything. The People's Central Committee and their Commissars could denied anything if it didn't meet their ideology. Under Stalinism, one had to watch very close what one said or what one did. For one wrong word or deed it could get one arrested and thrown in jail and end up being shipped off to a forced labor camp. These NKVD later KGB forced labor camps or Gulags was Stalin's slave labor camps. The prisoners in these labor camps, worked 16 to 18 hours per day seven days a week, even in subzero weather working at everything from building roads, digging coal, logging, working in factories, etc with not enough to eat to sub-stain life. Many that ended up in hard labor camps never returned. Some of the camps were medical experiments camps where quick doctors experimented on these prisoners. These Gulags were located through Siberia and Asia. Some of the Gulags were located in the far regions of northern Siberia, one might say the Arctic.
 
While traveling around Latvia, it was very easy to spot Soviet era construction. Be it an apartment complex office building to construction of a brick wall. They are plan straight gray concrete walls with no décor on the outside walls at all.  Take for example a apartment. They are constructed by using precast constructed prefab concrete walls and floors that are just put into place like blocks or like stacking shipping containers one on top of another. All apartment complexes are constructed in the same way and look the same plan exterior and interior walls. All windows and doors are the same. Some of them have small balconies for each apartments, while others don't. The apartments are heated by central heating from a steam heating plant located somewhere close to the complex. These heating plants are started in November and shut down either in March or April. One can only know what one has to do if it should turn cold before this plant is started up or after it is shut down. What I can remember, when I was in Latvia in May, it does get cold at nights and if one does not have a electric heated it do get cold. 
 
The military bases I visited, the building were made from plan white brick walls and brick interior walls. Be it barracks or a storage buildings. The concrete harden shelters are made from prefab precast curved concrete. They are raised by a crane and bolted together. Each section is about 4 feet wide and meet at the top depending on the height of the shelter with the opposite half of the other wall. Construction of the shelter were quick, because craftsmanship wasn't that important. Once put together the joins didn't even match or the edges over lapped each other to fix this, they filled the gaps with strips of tar. This was typical Soviet construction, just throw it together and fill in the gaps later.
 
"TheCeļotājs" 
 
 
Revised: 02/12/2013 - 10:28:40