Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Ninety Percent of Ethnic Latvians Back Ukraine against Russia and Even 22 Percent of Ethnic Russians There Do the Same, New SKDS Poll Finds

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 10 – Ninety percent of ethnic Latvians support Ukraine against Putin’s war there, but the ethnic Russian community in that Baltic country is divided: 22 percent support Ukraine, 21 percent support Russia but a majority do not have or are not prepared to give an opinion, according to a new SKDS poll.  

            There are many ways to read these results including that Latvians are overwhelmingly united with NATO on the question of Ukraine, that many ethnic Russians there share their views, and that the Russian community in Latvia is deeply split with a large portion of it preferring to remain outside of politics.

            But Viktor Gushchin, head of the largest Russian organization in Latvia, says these results are the product of Riga’s oppressive policies, ones that he says mean Latvia must not be allowed to present itself as a democratic state and that must be actively countered by Moscow (ritmeurasia.org/news--2022-04-10--russkie-i-russkojazychnye-latvii-posle-24-fevralja-2022-goda-59358).

            In angry and defensive tones, the ethnic Russian leader says that “the course of constructing a nation state in the Baltic countries where the population is traditionally multi-nation and multi-lingual inevitably has led to open and indirect support of the ideology and practice of Nazism.”

            As such, Gushchin’s words are yet another indication that at least some in Moscow and many in the Baltic countries who support Moscow hope for an expanded Russian intervention in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, certainly a political one but quite possibly a military one as well.

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