Thursday, August 10, 2017

Civil war in Latvia? Not so fast

Mārtiņš Kaprāns,

Image from article, with caption: A Latvian soldier takes cover during exercise Saber Junction 15 at the U.S. Army’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, April 23, 2015. Saber Junction 15 prepares NATO and partner nation forces for offensive, defensive, and stability operations and promotes interoperability among participants. Saber Junction 15 has more than 4,700 participants from 17 countries, to include: Albania, Armenia, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey and the U.S. (U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Markus Rauchenberger/Released)

On 28 July, republished an article by [a] Latvian pro-Kremlin activist, Alexander Gaponenko, whose name has appeared often in CEPA briefs (see here and here). That article, “The Latvian advocate of human rights: civil war is inevitable,” was excerpted from a longer piece that appeared a few months ago. In his original article, Gaponenko reflected on the conflict between Anglo-Saxons and Russians in Eastern Europe, a dichotomy that echoes the Kremlin narrative on the civilizational conflict between Russia and the West. The excerpt claimed that the Baltics’ ruling elites have pursued “a policy of repression, discrimination and forced assimilation of Russians.” This unsubstantiated narrative has been a part of the Kremlin’s hostile public diplomacy towards the Baltic states since the 1990s. ...

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