Due to some recent events, we think that we need to clarify some things about the legal status of the Sickle and Hammer Soviet symbol in Latvia.
Over here, it is forbidden to use any Soviet or Nazi symbols in public meetings, protests, sport events and the like. However, this ONLY applies to live events and gatherings of people – and not to the use over the internet or for educational/informational purposes, as we are doing here.
We are not glorifying anything, it’s just that we, obviously, wanted something in our logo that clearly shows the message of Latvia, being on the eastern border of EU, and also shows our past in the USSR. I hope that clears things up a bit.
I have been listening very intently to your podcast, and learning a lot about Soviet life, and particularly in Latvia. I too was born in the former Soviet Union (I was from Toshkent in Uzbekistan), and was adopted and came to the United States when I was young. I have very few memories regarding life there, as I was very young – too young to develop a political consciousness – but I remember life there. In my region, there were lots of pomegranates, there were radishes, there those hollow metal toys, and plastic Cossack soldiers. I enjoyed your episodes about your childhood as it brought me some reminiscence of mine. But it was fascinating to learn about the older generation, life in the Soviet Army (like the recruit who dropped the anchor, and his boss was was sent to the gulag). The Chernobyl episode was probably one of the most striking for me emotionally, I heard about it before, but I think your explanation was perfect example of the failure of the Soviet system.
I am excited about your next episode, and telling us more stories. I do have a few questions if you could take time address.
What is Latvian language derived from? Is it a Slavic language, or German? Or is it it’s own thing, similar to Finnish? And, am I to guess that bi-bilingualism is common in Latvia (Russian and Latvian)? And I believe you mentioned you speak German as well correct?
Have you been to the other Baltic states? Also, there is a portion of Russian territory that is on the Baltic (Kaliningrad I believe it’s called). It’s between Poland and Lithuania I believe. Have you ever been there, or know anything about it? I believe there is a big Russian Naval base there.
Also, in regard to other topics on your Podcast, do you have any plans to cover events in Latvia during the Russian Civil War? I believe that Latvia supported the White Russians during that war (as they wanted independence) but I would be greatly interested to see your perspective in a future podcast.
I apologize for the bombardment of questions, but I always love hearing about life in the former Soviet Union from other great citizens of our beloved Motherland. Thank you graciously for taking the time to review my email and reply to my questions and for the great quality of the podcast. I wish you the best of luck on your endeavor.
Greetings! Thank you for listening, I’ll answer your questions now!
Latvian language is a Baltic language – we’re together with Lithuanians, and nobody else, really. Our own branch of the indo-european language tree. And yes, I speak Latvian, Russian, English and German.
I’ve been to Estonia and Lithuania, yes – but not to Kaliningrad, as I was denied a visa. (Probably because of this show.) The sad part is, that’s where my ancestors from my father’s side come from, so it was a shame, really. There is a navy base there, yes.
And yes – once we’re done with Yeltsin years, as this will go up to 90’s or so, I’ll start discussing the Bolshevik revolution, the civil war and what happened in Soviet Russia and in here. Don’t worry.
I hope this answers some of your questions, thank you again for listening!
Thank you again Kristops for taking the time to reply to my questions. I am very glad you share your knowledge and view as window into an area of the world I am not familiar with. I greatly appreciate it.
Also, I have been listening to your co-hosting of the Lesser Bonapartes podcast, and I find that podcast intriguing as well. And your contribution makes it all more so. Keep up the good work, and I look forward to your next episode of Eastern Border as well as the Lesser BonaparteS.
My question was answered, but I want to tell you that I love your podcast! The first thing I ever read about Russia was “Nicholas and Alexandra.” Then I read a book about Catherine the Great. Not much, in other words. But I love history and learning about other countries. I’m a big fan of Hardcore History and Martyr Made (which is how I heard about you).
I’m always amazed when I tell friends about these fantastic podcasts, only to find out they’ve NEVER listened to any! What can I compare it to? It’s like the best radio ever, but way better than that. The opportunity to learn about people, places, really anything is indescribable. I know practically nothing about Russia as a country. Of course, I get the “news” and a certain amount from books and movies, but this is the real thing. Thank you so much for all your hard work.
I know it’s answered somewhere, but I keep wondering if you can get in trouble for this? Also, your English is wonderful! People who grew up in the U.S. aren’t all that good at it!
I was directed here after listening to an episode of The History of Byzantium podcast, and I have to say I’m glad I did.
I love learning not just about historical events, but also about what it’s like for the lives of the average person living there. Thank you for making the podcast, and I look forward to future episodes.
I first heard you on the Lesser Bonapartes, and am now going to become a supporter. I am 68, so grew up in the cold war era when we were told to crouch under our desk if an atomic bomb were dropped on our school!
My compliments on your command of the English language; I enjoy your use of unusual words and your lovely accent.