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The name "Latvia" originates from the ancient Latgalians, one of four eastern Baltic tribes that formed the ethnic core of the Latvian people (ca. 8th-12th centuries A.D.). The region subsequently came under the control of Germans, Poles, Swedes, and finally, Russians. A Latvian republic emerged following World War I, but it was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. Latvia reestablished its independence in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although the last Russian troops left in 1994, the status of the Russian minority (some 28% of the population) remains of concern to Moscow. Latvia joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.


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Military

Military branches
National Armed Forces (Nacionalo Brunoto Speku): Land Forces (Latvijas Sauszemes Speki), Navy (Latvijas Juras Speki; includes Coast Guard (Latvijas Kara Flotes)), Latvian Air Force (Latvijas Gaisa Speki), Latvian Home Guard (Latvijas Zemessardze) (2011)

Military service age and obligation
18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; conscription abolished January 2007; under current law, every citizen is entitled to serve in the armed forces for life (2009)

Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49 546,090
Females age 16-49 540,810 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
Males age 16-49 401,691
Females age 16-49 447,638 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Male 10,482
Female 9,858 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures World Ranking: 122
1.1% of GDP (2005 est.)


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  Latvia (Riga):


  GPS points from Latvia (Riga)

Salini Kuldigas Rajons

Sturi Dobeles Rajons

Dziedakshli Olaines Novads

Brakshti Jelgavas Rajons

Cerpi Ventspils Rajons

Lukas Latvia (general)

Elvancis Strencu Novads

Ropmali Ventspils Rajons




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