The victory of Soviet rule in Latvia in summer 1940 has become a logical outcome which crowned a half-century revolutionary struggle of the Latvian proletariat. The Socialist revolution of 1940 was the end of revolutionary struggle and the beginning of creation of socialism in Latvia. With the year 1940 we associate the economic, social and cultural achievements of Soviet Latvia.
However, the events of 1940 have been the subject of ideological struggle for 70 years. The imperialist forces continue to fan the so-called “Baltic question”, are persistently trying to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the restoration of Soviet power, to present the events of the summer 1940 as "the occupation of Latvia" and forced "inclusion" of it in the Soviet Union.
A lot of work to study these events and to restore the historical truth has already been done by the Latvian historians of the Soviet period. However, the persistence and sophistication of hostile propaganda requires continuation of these efforts.
Speaking about the events of 1940 in Latvia, it is legitimate to recall Lenin's words, uttered by him in 1918 at the Moscow provincial conference of factory committees: "Revolutions are not made to order, not held in conjunction with one or another time, but ripen in the process of historical development and break out at the moment due to a whole range of complex internal and external causes". 
A revolutionary situation in Latvia has sprung up in September 1939 with the start of the Second World War, which has created an entirely new phenomenon in the economic life of Latvia. The economy was completely dependent on the great capitalist powers of Europe. Trade turnover merely with Britain and Germany (who were at war with each other) accounted for 70% of the total turnover. It should be noted that 90% of Latvia's foreign trade was carried by sea. The crisis in navigation led to a raw materials and fuel crisis, which, in its turn, stroke a devastating blow to the industry in Latvia. Already by June 1940 one out of five Latvian workers was unemployed.
At the end of 1939 – beginning of 1940 the regime of Ulmanis experienced deep internal crisis. Externally this fact has manifested itself in the form of struggle for the restoration of constitution, i.e. a return to the parliamentary regime. Ulmanis would not hear it even. But no less important than the internal situation in the country were foreign factors and the international situation on the eve of socialist revolution in Latvia. They were greatly influencing the internal life of Latvia, the mood of the people, etc.
Latvia was forced to reckon with the possibility of Hitler's invasion. Only after the Latvian-Soviet pact of mutual assistance was signed on October 5, 1939 in Moscow, the tension was released. According to the pact, Latvia has provided the Soviet Union the right to create in Liepaja and Ventspils naval bases, as well as several airports in Kurzeme. The Soviet military bases were turned against Nazi Germany and were guarding the security of both the USSR and Latvia. Both contracting parties pledged not to join any unions or participate in any coalition directed against one of them.
On October 18, 1939 a Soviet-Latvian trade agreement was signed, which provided for treble the volume of trade between the two countries. But signing an agreement with the Soviet Union and strongly endorsing it in words, the fascist Ulmanis clique since the first days began to sabotage it and to prepare the country and the army ... to a war with the USSR.
Ulmanis’s Government behind the Soviet Union’s back has strengthened military ties with Estonia and Lithuania, intensely ideological indoctrination of the army, police, etc. General Headquarters of the Latvian army have developed a plan of war against the Soviet Union (the so-called "Mobilization order Nr. 5"). These plans were partly blabbed out by Ulmanis himself on the radio on February 10, 1940.
Moving and stopping places of Soviet troops, airfields, military ships in Latvia from the very beginning were under close supervision. Near the Soviet garrisons in Liepaja and Ventspils the English, German and Japanese reconnaissance parties were active. The Soviet government was well-informed about these anti-Soviet plans.
On June 16, 1940 The Soviet government awarded the Ambassador of Latvia in Moscow Fricis Kotsinsh a note, which indicated the committed violations of the mutual assistance pact, as well as demanded to establish a government that would honestly carry out the conditions of the pact. The Government of Latvia on 16 June 1940 decided to accept the Soviet note. At the end of the meeting 6 Ministers resigned (the rest were on holiday in Daugavpils at the Latgale Song Festival). The next day, June 17, 1940, the Government of Ulmanis resigned in a body.
On June 17, 1940 the Red Army from the south (from Lithuania) and the east entered the territory of Latvia. The Army has entered as a factor of peace and security, without a single shot, and no hand was raised to Red Army soldiers. The Army did not intervene in the internal affairs, but its presence certainly had an impact on further developments. Latvian bourgeoisie did not dare to deploy a reign of terror against the Latvian labor movement, and to suppress the revolutionary forces.
The period of 17 - 20 June 1940 were days of agony of Ulmanis’s regime, when the working class in Latvia rose to overthrow the fascist dictatorship. The demonstrations, organized by the Latvian Communists, took p[lace in many places. Ulmanis’s regime began to collapse. In these circumstances Ulmanis reported on June 20 that the new government was made under the leadership of August Kirhenshteyn. There were no Latvian Communist to be found. Most of them were in prison. At the conclusion of treaties and agreements with the authorities of Latvia, the Soviet side did not ask to release the activists of the Communist Party and their mandatory participation in the new government.
However, the political leadership of the government was exercised by the Communist Party of Latvia (CPL). The requirements of CPL, given to the new government on 21 June 1940 during a demonstration, became a program of action for the government. Under the specific conditions of the summer of 1940 the People's Government of Latvia met the goals of the proletariat dictatorship.
The socialist revolution of 1940 in Latvia, which is an integral part of the revolutionary process of the Great October Socialist Revolution, had its own peculiarities.
First, it was a peaceful socialist revolution; the victory was gained without a civil war, without a strong resistance from the bourgeoisie. In the history of Europe it is an extremely rare, even unique phenomenon.
Secondly, this revolution, being socialist by nature, was at the same time an anti-fascist revolution, because as a result of it the fascist dictatorship was overthrown and many measures were taken to eliminate the institutions of prior regime and break the old state apparatus.
Therefore, in the first stages the revolution has been carried out, the democratic measures were taken.
As one of the central events of the revolution of 1940 the People's Saeima elections should be considered, which took place on 14 and 15 July 1940. The turnout was 1,181,323 voters in the age of 21 years (94,8%), and the working people’s Bloc of Latvia had received 1,155,807 votes, which is 97.8%. 25,516 voted against.
Were the elections free? The answer should be an affirmative one, because no one forced voters to go to the polls, and there was no such device that could do it. There were no lists of voters, so people could vote at any polling station in any constituency, participation in elections was marked in the passports.
Were the results of the election authentic? Yes, and it can be checked as there are documents from all polling stations and substations stored in the archives. However, the documentation solely is not in a position to give a true reflection of the results. At the polling stations and substations votes were counted not only by Communists and people who sympathized with them, but also former employees of the state apparatus and representatives of bourgeois circles. And there were hundreds of them. Where are the "election fraud" claims that those people would make? None exist.
In 1940 - 1941 years in the Latvian SSR all spheres of life have undergone a profound socio-economic transformation. The period of socialist constructions has started. This peaceful process was interrupted by Hitler's attack on our country on June 22, 1941.