According to Alexei Pushkov, the heyday of “Latvianism” in terms of demography came during the Soviet period.
Commenting on the attempts of the Latvian authorities to explain the mass exodus of Latvians from Latvia over the last 30 years by a certain “horizontal latitude of natural Latvia”, a Russian senator noted that Soviet Latvia was inhabited by the most people (2.8 million in 1991) and, accordingly, by the Latvians the most. Since then, the population has decreased very strongly (from 2019 to 1.9 million) and continues to decrease due to the departure of Latvians to the EU countries.
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“By the way, I was told in Riga that during the Soviet period Latvia had more than 80 breweries. Now there are 4 of them left. And the beer market was flooded with global tasteless “Heineken” and global bitter “Sarlsberg”. To the question of identity”, – Pushkov points out ironically.