In declaring Russia the successor state to the USSR in 1991, the Kremlin sought to retain and restore its political and economic influence in the so-called post-Soviet area—Central Europe, the Baltic countries, and Central Asia. The Kremlin-controlled media are currently engaged in strengthening the myth of the Soviet Union as a success story. In today’s Russia, and in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, the three Baltic countries occupied by the USSR after the Second World War, a narrative combining the ideas of ‘Soviet investment’ and ‘ungrateful Baltic people’ is being popularised: the Baltic states are clearly demonstrating their lack of gratitude for generous Soviet era policies, while attempts to describe the Soviet occupation from the Baltic point of view are dismissed as falsification of history.
The purpose of this article is to describe the main directions used in Soviet propaganda to deceive society about the socio-economic situation in Latvia, and in the Baltic states in general, during the first decade of the Soviet occupation (1940–1950). The article also offers insight into the socio-economic realities of the period of occupation and the current topicality of the issue—links between Soviet propaganda and the current communications policy of the Russian Federation.
Keywords—Latvia, Baltic states, USSR, Russia, Soviet propaganda, myths, strategic communications
About the Author
Gatis Krūmiņš is Senior Researcher in Communications Ecosystems and Technologies and Associate Professor of Media and Communications at the Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences in Latvia. His main areas of interest are economic history and the role of history in strategic communications.
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