The Iskolat (Russian: Исколат) was the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers, Soldiers, and the Landless in Latvia (Исполнительный комитет Совета рабочих, солдатских и безземельных депутатов Латвии) which was the governing body in the territory of Latvia that was under control of the Latvian Rifleman in 1917–18.


Iskolat was established in Riga on July 29–30, 1917, O.S. (August 11 – 12, 1917, N.S.), at the initiative of the Central Committee of the Latvian Social Democracy, then controlled by the Bolsheviks with the purpose of carrying out the October Revolution within the territory of Latvia not occupied by Germany. When Germans occupied Riga, Iskolat moved to Cēsis and later to Valka, where it took power over the Valka district, disbanding the organs established by the Russian Provisional Government.

On December 17, 1917 the Congress of Soviets of Latvia convened in Valmiera and elected Oto Kārkliņš [lv] as the chairman of Iskolat, who was later replaced by Fricis Roziņš [lv] in 1918.

Iskolat fled to Moscow after German forces occupied Latvia in February 1918 and was disbanded in March 1918.


Soviet historiography considered Iskolat to have been the first Soviet government of sovereign Latvia between December 1917 and February 1918, but historian Andrew Ezergailis has shown that autonomy or independence for the "Iskolat Republic" was never the goal for the Latvian Bolsheviks, who were led by the federalist ideologue Pēteris Stučka (Swain 1999: 668–9).

See also


  • "Iskolat", Great Soviet Encyclopedia
  • Zile, Zigurds L. (1977). "Legal Thought and the Formation of Law and Legal Institutions in the Socialist Soviet Republic of Latvia, 1917–1920" (PDF). Journal of Baltic Studies. 8 (3): 195–204. doi:10.1080/01629777700000191. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  • Ezergailis, Andrew (1983). The Latvian Impact on the Bolshevik Revolution: The First Phase: September 1917 to April 1918. East European Monographs no. 144. Boulder: East European Monographs. ISBN 978-0-88033-035-0. OCLC 61541087.
  • Swain, Geoffrey (1999). "The Disillusioning of the Revolution's Praetorian Guard: The Latvian Riflemen, Summer–Autumn 1918" (PDF). Europe-Asia Studies. 51 (4): 667–686. doi:10.1080/09668139998840. Retrieved 2007-07-10.

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