Critical, but not Serious: Latvian Russophones in the Shadow of Ukraine

Ivars Ījabs

A few of my international friends have asked me about the attitudes of Latvian Russophones towards the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Do they support the Kremlin’s policy? What do they think about Putin? Would they support any similar action towards Latvia and other Baltic countries? The context of these questions, of course, is the political stability in Latvia. Taking into account the cultural proximity of most Latvian Russophones to Russia as well as their habits of media consumption, concerns about their behavior in a situation of geopolitical instability are quite legitimate. In this blog entry I will try to provide some answers about these attitudes on the basis of recent opinion polls. These answers do not sum up to any definite results about ‘loyalty’ or ‘disloyalty’ of Russophones towards the Latvian state. However, they provide some insights about how Russophones see the Ukrainian situation and about possible developments in the…

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