/// /// Materials and documents on the Soviet army's presence in and withdrawal from Latvia. The team of authors has in this book described the events of the 20th century, when in 1939 the sovereign state of Latvia was occupied by the armed forces of the USSR, and where they remained, with a few minor interruptions, until 1998. The book`s authors, on the basis of indisputable documentary evidence, describe how Soviet military personnel ruled the "military base", participating in elections to institutions of the "free" Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (LSSR) at the highest levels of state and local authority, distributing land to themselves for the deployment of military sites, constructing residential accommodation for themselves, complete with schools and cultural institutions. The infrastructure of the military institutions was merged with that of the civilian. The second largest city in Latvia, Liepāja, was proclaimed a "closed city", where it was only possible to live or even be present with the special permission of the institutions of the occupying authorities. Araound half a million Soviet military personnel were stationed in 24 of the 26 regions of Latvia, together with their families and demobilized personnel in receipt of military pensions. There were unimaginable stockpiles of munitions, military factories and combat equipment. The Baltic Sea coast, being the western border of the USSR, was off limits to access from outsiders. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, in this "military base" could be found nuclear weapons, missile technology, cosmic espionage equipment, and half a million confused military personnel, who were now openly referred to as "occupants".