Russians in Latvia, Estonia want no ‘protection’: ‘If Russia comes here a war will start’ (video)

The Baltic countries which have large Russian diasporas make no disguise of their concern about Crimea’s annexion scenario. The authorities of Latvia and Estonia are ruffled by the fact that Moscow used the rights of the Russian-language speakers as an excuse for aggression. But regardless of nationality and language, the residents of these countries don’t want Russia to intervene in their affairs, our correspondents say.

Latgale, Latvia’s easternmost region, is well-known to many Belarusians who come here on business or just visit relatives here. In its biggest city, Daugavpils, knowing Russian is unessential – the majority of its residents are ethnic Russians and Belarusians. A lot of them would be in favour of granting the official status to the Russian language.

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{movie}Latvians:’If Russia comes here a war will start’|right|16082{/movie}


“As I am Russian I would like it to become another state language”

“I come from Belarus, and I see no difference between us and Russians in Latvia.”

But they are totally against ‘green men’ protection or any other initiative from Moscow.


“If Russia meddled it would be too much”

‘No intervention should be here. Otherwise a war starts!’

Russian-speaking citizens of Latvia also oppose seceding to Russia. Rallies with slogans ‘Latgale – Russian land’ take place in Moscow, not in Daugavpils. Rumours of ‘a special status of Latvia’ which ‘foes’ started to spread after Russia had invaded Crimea are offensive for heads of Latgale’s self-administration bodies, Latvian PM Laimdota Straujuma stated.

JÃNIS DUKŠINSKIS, Daugavpils Vice Mayor:

‘Every state has its radical forces which escalate such conflicts. Moreover, the elections to the EP and to our local parliament are ahead; they are trying to take advantage of the situation.’

But Moscow has been recently deprived of its powerful weapon – television. Several pro-Kremlin TV channels in Latvia and Lithuania were imposed a three-month ban on broadcasting for stirring up hatred and war propaganda while covering the events in Ukraine. Now this is Estonia’s turn. In response to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict public figures and activists – not Estonians – made a stand against separatist sentiments and intervening in Estonia’s domestic policy. Some 800 persons have already signed the petition named the Memorandum of 14.

JELENA KATSUBA, author of the petition:

“In theory, the Crimean scenario may be launched in Estonian, in any Baltic country, and, as the U.S. Ambassador said, in every country which has the Russian diaspora.”

Of course, problems with Russian-speaking population do exist.


“There is a problem of the native language of instruction. There are many people who don’t have any citizenship at all. It is a huge problem, but the moment is gone, and now Russia is not able to help us solve it.”

Furthermore, Russia’s ‘defender’ image has been destroyed.

Nastassia Yaumen, Martsin Yarski, In Focus

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