3. Protection of the constitutional order
Russian non-military influence activities in Latvia
Last year, so-called [* – See below publisher’s additional note] compatriots continued protesting against legislative amendments introducing a gradual transition to instruction in the state language in all secondary education schools. Protests were held by the unregistered KSAŠ (HQ for the Defence of Russian Schools). The activities of KSAŠ abated after the European Parliament elections, confirming VDD’s view that their primary purpose was to serve as a platform for LKS [** See below publisher’s additional note] during the election campaign. But despite the reduction of activity, there are no grounds for thinking that the education and language issue generally has lost its appeal for the orchestrators of Russia’s influence measures against Latvia. Russia is not interested in the strengthening of critical thinking or the emergence of a knowledgeable and competitive new generation in Latvia, as such people would be harder to manipulate and exploit. Furthermore, the education issue is handy for the campaign to discredit Latvia abroad. For example, at the end of 2019, in parallel with a European Russian forum in Brussels a “youth forum” was held as part of the series “Russian identity outside Russia.” During the intermission, young LKS activists dropped tendentious booklets titled “Minority Schools Under Attack in Latvia” in the mailboxes of MEPs, claiming that Russian schools face “deliberate extermination” in Latvia.
In 2019, VDD identified cases where so-called compatriots were used to provoke clashes of opinion which could lead to verbal or physical confrontations and result in vivid propaganda clips and opportunities to discredit Latvia on the global stage. As in previous years, Russia attempted to do this with the memorial events for Latvian legionnaires held on 16 March, but on the whole Latvia’s society is immune to such efforts.
Document data: 18.03.2020. ISBN 978-9934-8830-3-3 Link: https://vdd.gov.lv/en/?rt=documents&ac=download&id=55
Publisher’s additional notes:
** Latvian Russian Union party