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  • The challenge of Russia's decline
    Slavophile identity defined above all by suspicion of Western cultural and intellectual influence Instead of developing a strategy for Russia s long term recovery Putin has adopted a reactive and opportunistic approach one that can sometimes succeed but only in the short term to cope with domestic insecurity perceived external threats and the weakness of neighbors He has waged unconventional war in the West while pursuing closer ties with the East raising the likelihood that Russia will end up acting as China s junior partner without access to the Western capital technology and contacts that it needs to reverse its decline But Russia s problem is not just Putin Though Putin has cultivated nationalism in Russia according to Harvard University s Timothy Colton at a recent meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club Putin called himself the country s biggest nationalist he found fertile ground to plow Given that other high level figures for example Dmitry Rogozin who last October endorsed a book calling for the return of Alaska are also highly nationalistic a successor to Putin would probably not be liberal The recent assassination of former Deputy Prime Minister and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov reinforces this assumption So Russia seems doomed to continue its decline an outcome that should be no cause for celebration in the West States in decline think of the Austro Hungarian Empire in 1914 tend to become less risk averse and thus much more dangerous In any case a thriving Russia has more to offer the international community in the long run In the meantime the US and Europe face a policy dilemma On one hand it is important to resist Putin s challenge to the fundamental principle that states should not use force to violate one another s territorial integrity Though sanctions are unlikely to change Crimea s status or lead to withdrawal of Russian soldiers from Ukraine they have upheld that principle by showing that it cannot be violated with impunity On the other hand it is important not to isolate Russia completely given shared interests with the US and Europe relating to nuclear security and non proliferation terrorism space the Arctic and Iran and Afghanistan No one will benefit from a new Cold War Reconciling these objectives will not be easy especially given Ukraine s continuing crisis At February s Munich Security Conference many US senators advocated arming Ukraine an approach that could exacerbate the situation given Putin s conventional military dominance there With German leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel opposed to this approach pursuing it would also split the West strengthening Putin s hand further Others at the conference argued that the West should change the game by expelling Russia from SWIFT the international framework for clearing bank payments But critics point out that this would damage SWIFT and the West whose banks would lose the hundreds of billions of dollars that Russia currently owes them For their part the Russians have warned informally that this would be the real nuclear option

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/the_challenge_of_russia_s_decline/ (2016-02-13)
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  • A seat at the table: Berzins, Zatlers and Vike-Freiberga
    unique institution with limited powers The president is elected by a secret ballot of Latvia s national legislature the Saeima The president s most important duties are to nominate prime ministers and to be chief diplomat and representative of the nation Freiberga simply excelled at the later She captured the imagination of world leaders and received complimentary press for herself and for the country she served Zatlers presidency was hobbled from the beginning by the manner of his election It was murky controversial and the deal making was over the top and almost comical Even with all his best efforts he never fully recovered Andris Bērziņš s presidency has not demonstrated any great impact This can also be traced to the manner of his election The former banker was elected by a coalition between his Greens and Farmers Union party ZZS and the Harmony Center party SC Harmony Center has a friendship agreement with Vladimir Putin s United Russia party The agreement has withstood Russia s invasion of Ukraine President Bērziņš struggled with Russia s invasion of Ukraine and continues to struggle with relations with Russia In March 2014 an open letter was circulated by prominent residents of Latvian asking him to resign due to his inability to forcefully and clearly denounce the invasion The letter pointedly observed that the presidents of Estonia and Lithuania were not similarly conflicted Bērziņš has announced that he will not seek a second term This is probably the result of the SC s decision not to again support his candidacy Latvia invests considerable resources and prestige in its presidency an office with limited constitutional powers The Saeima will elect a president this summer and without reforms the process is doomed to once again produce a president who can t effectively represent the nation Attempts were made to change the procedure for election to an open recorded vote in the Saeima By western standards this was a small matter but the legislation failed due to opposition from ZZS and SC ZZS is part of the governing coalition and the SC is in opposition There still remains an opportunity to change the procedures but the window is closing A non secret ballot will not guarantee that the president can navigate on the world stage but it does offer the best hope Saeima deputies would be individually responsible for their votes and public participation would significantly increase I attended the accession ceremony at the White House in 2004 when Latvia and six other nations joined NATO Latvia was represented by then prime minister Indulis Emsis instead of President Freiberga The event had been downgraded to a governmental leader level to prevent the attendance of President Rolandas Paksas of Lithuania who was under suspicion for corruption and leaking classified materials and would soon after be forced from office A truly unfortunate turn of events for Lithuania and a stark reminder that elections have consequences Many considerations go into choosing a president in Latvia I certainly can t speak

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/a_seat_at_the_table__berzins__zatlers_and_vike-freiberga/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Lithuania’s “Barmy Army”
    to the online version of The Baltic Times If you are already subscribed to The Baltic Times please authorize yourself Log In In case you don t have a subscription yet please visit our SUBSCRIPTION section Comments Related Articles Moscow lacks available forces to seize and hold Baltics Estonian defence expert Searching for energy independence in the Baltic forests The challenge of Russia s decline Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles LIIA examines NATO relations with Central Asia Discussing the EU and Russia s soft power in the Baltic States and the Eastern Neighbourhood The Russians are coming to occupy the Baltic States At the faultlines of Ukraine s war Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in touch with the latest Baltic news and views enabling you full access from anywhere with an Internet connection Subscribe Now About The Baltic Times The Baltic Times is an independent monthly newspaper that covers latest political economic business and cultural events in Estonia Latvia and Lithuania Born of a merger between The Baltic Independent and The Baltic Observer in 1996 The Baltic Times continues to

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/lithuania___s____barmy_army___/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Lunch with The Baltic Times: Artemy Troitsky
    quite reaching a quiff he looks something like a bohemian sea captain on shore leave there s a white swathe through his stubble and he seems mildly dishevelled in a just about controlled way We re a little pressed for time as Troitsky has told me by email he has a Skype date with Russian TV in an hour and a half so we get started on the questions more or less straight away So leaving Russia is understandable given his situation but why Tallinn in particular I am a fan of all three Baltic countries all three countries are utterly different from each other Lithuania is Catholic central European Polish influence Baroque architecture Latvia is kind of German influenced very Gothic a bit gloomy Estonia is very Nordic Finnish or Swedish influence and also Gothic and very rural I ve been visiting those countries all my life A real tenderness enters his voice when he talks about the Baltic countries something personal and protective as though they are beloved nieces and nephews What made the real difference it seems is the job he was offered teaching at Helsinki University commuting from Moscow would he says be eccentric So prompted by his wife he got in touch with friends in Tallinn and was offered additional teaching work at the university here so now it seems he spends a lot of time on ferries and planes But it s not entirely for career financial reasons Another reason is that I really have a soft spot for Estonia I ve been visiting since 1969 my grandparents had a little summer country house in Vosu in Lahemaa National Park I have plenty of really good friends here in Estonia among musicians and artists His accent has been filed down by years of speaking English being the world s go to guy on Russian popular music and other cultural matters but a residue remains It s more like a slight additional richness a kind of spiky drawl his h s still catch in the throat in the barbed Russian manner and the occasional article is skipped His command of the language is unsurprisingly strong apart from the odd and pleasant quirk of tending to ignore the past tense in favour of the present perfect has been rather than was which has the pleasing effect of making all the weird and dramatic events he s talking about seem deceptively close He seems to pre empt an expected question one I had not in fact been planning to ask when he immediately goes on There s absolutely no cultural clash no national tensions between me and the Estonians I m a quiet guy myself so I do appreciate those slow and ironic Estonian ways I mention that I noticed in his book the really disproportionate importance that the Baltic countries and especially Estonia play in the story of Soviet rock considering their size and population Again and again in Back in the USSR overwhelmed by the sheer struggle of being hip in Russia Troitsky takes off to Tallinn Tartu or Viljandi towns where a very controlled version of hippiedom seemed permitted to exist the weird slightly disreputable neighbour who is mostly left to mind their own business because they are harmless and no one can understand them anyway Why is this Primarily the Baltic countries heritage of democracy and integration into wider continental trends Or something more intangible Troitsky places the emphasis partly on an ingrained passive resistance founded on deep cultural temperamental and religious differences with Russia we are small and weak and we can do nothing about it but we will never be like you But he also points out that Estonia was a progressive open republic within the admittedly limited scope available to it within the Soviet Union even when compared to Latvia and Lithuania what he calls the softened cultural policy meant that bands were not often harassed and even encouraged provided they stayed within strict thematic confines By contrast in Russia mere existence was more of a challenge and accordingly attempts at professionalism were close to impossible it s been half legal half illegal There s been hundreds of underground bands The music is secondary The message is the message It was exceptionally important to say something but the quality of playing the quality of recording arrangements sound you know it didn t really matter Whereas in Estonia bands could rehearse regularly and hone their skills playing in clubs and bars in Russia the principal way to see music was at so called klatirnyiki parties semi legal affairs held in private flats where guitars were by necessity acoustic and knees often subbed in for percussion At this point we re interrupted by an older lady who is just leaving the restaurant she addresses Troitsky in Russian adopting a defiant expression but one which I think is turned to our favour after a minute or so of intense invective she thanks us and leaves After she has left I ask Artemy what she had been saying I constantly hear you on the TV and the radio and I read you in Estonian newspapers and I m very happy that intelligent people in Russia do have opinions like this And she s an Estonian Judging by the lack of accent she s Russian or maybe half Russian He expresses slight surprise that this approval comes from an Estonian Russian referring to the hostility that many local Russians feel for the country and the vague prevalent nostalgia for the Soviet Union It must be really painful to live in a country which you don t like you don t understand you don t feel yourself a part of this is said in a tone which I can t quite work out is sarcastic or genuinely sympathetic I decide probably the second But could Estonia and the other Baltic countries have done more for their resident Russians Yes Artemy says a lot more He cites aru tv as an example of what should have been done earlier This is a primarily satirical political channel based in Tallinn set up by a Belarusian exile that has been operating online since last year directed at Russian speakers in the Baltic countries Russia Belarus and Ukraine and taking a strongly anti Putin and anti Lukashenko line Troitsky s involvement has been mentioned in most reports but he describes himself as having a mainly advisory role in the project I m not entirely sure if this is true I ve seen footage of Troitsky wearing a Navalny s Brother T shirt poker faced and ridiculing particularly preposterous moves from Putin Whatever the point is that according to Troitsky a similar government funded channel should have been created at least twenty years earlier He contends also that the strictly legalistic approach to citizenship in all three countries led to many potentially amenable ethnic Russians feeling put aside after the restoration of independence They should have been more welcoming at least to those Russians who are responsive to these good vibes When this summer following a decade of steadily intensifying criticism Troitsky did decide to put a border between himself and Vladimir Putin he announced by way of explanation that in contemporary Russia one had to conform or leave Does he stand by this And what does conform mean exactly What would be the consequences of not conforming did he fear for his life First of all he identifies the squeeze on his career the space of my professional activities in Russia has been shrinking all the time for the past thirty years almost everything I ve done has been media related He says that in the last few years he has been blacklisted from all main Russian federal channels and he adds with a chuckle and with a kind of wry bitterness for at least two of which Channel Russia and MTV I was the founding father But why did this blacklisting happen I ve been blacklisted simply because of my big mouth I ve never been a big political activist never belonged to any political party any political movement But I ve always been an outspoken person so when I was asked about things I wouldn t give very diplomatic answers and this has led me straight to becoming a dissident He stresses again that his activities usually only tangentially touch upon politics he has presented programmes about music sometimes about culture in a wider sense overlapping with politics only incidentally but perhaps the problem appears not to be one of direct involvement but of the increasing impossibility of honesty in today s Russia He does mention a little later with pride that he wrote and recorded a song called Put Putin s Gang Behind Bars so perhaps it s not quite accurate that his activities are totally divorced from politics but it certainly does seem that he s not primarily a political actor in the way that say Navalny is and he seems until relatively recently to have been regarded by the authorities as little more than an inconvenience He s fond of gestures that would seem somehow demagogic delusional if they were completed arms flung outwards fingers moving towards pointing But they re always somehow crumpled flapping at their extent turned in which does quite a bit to limit their aggression A lot of them start to come out as soon as Putin is mentioned He mentions also the general atmosphere in Russia as another factor in his departure The shift has clearly been recently he tells me that he loves his country and never considered leaving previously even during the tumultuous protests that led up to and followed Putin s controversial and contested victory in 2012 There s an incredulous upturn to all of his sentences suddenly Troitsky is not someone who s having his cynical expectations confirmed but one who feels genuine disbelief and even bewilderment at what is happening There s a sense to me at least of a rational reasonable person genuinely baffled by dishonesty and cruelty and venality I worry slightly for him The lurch into an unbearable state seems to have come last year when Russia moved from being a softcore dictatorship an authoritarian country like many others to something much more unusual and concerning When they invade other countries when they behave like Germany in the 30s this is something completely different We have passed this phase of being just another authoritarian regime and now we are where we are now I would say it s a fascist country It s a fascist militarist revanchist country What s striking throughout Back in the USSR and his other writings about rock music and culture generally in the Soviet Union is how much faith he has in creativity and music he s forever chasing around that vast extinct country looking for little spurts of defiant genius haring suddenly off to Vilnius or Tbilisi in search of something I read him the last sentence from that book which states the future is bright and unpredictable Nothing scares us now Does that still stand Does he still feel hopeful about music or the arts in Russia Could this be a source of inspiration resistance to an increasingly oppressive regime Again the response comes almost before I ve finished the question and is a firm negative Why so He immediately broadens the answer geographically contending that music is no longer the centre of youth culture in the way it was anywhere in the world it is no longer a movement or a way of seeing things differently but another branch of the culture industry He reels off the giants Lennon Dylan Marley Morrison and says that there has been no one since Kurt Cobain to match them in the sense of being much more than mere musicians leaders of their generation The same could be said in Russia about figures like Andrey Makerevich Boris Grebenshikov Viktor Tsoy of Time Machine Aquarium and Kino respectively all the names of the rebellious 70s and 80s But rock music is no more a philosophy no more a way of life no more a new religion Now it is just ways to entertain young people to dance to have a good time and so on It s not taken even 10 as seriously as it was This is revealing perhaps expecting the song to simply be a pretty compelling structure to house a message rather than the message itself is not especially amenable to the Russian temperament or to Troitsky s own preferences It s striking throughout Back in the USSR just how much of the book is taken up by lyrics a number of which stretch to many lines long when Troitsky is taken with someone he gives them a platform Amazing poet is the highest accolade he has It s striking at one point that a Russian speaking and English speaking singer Kino and Joanna Stingray collaborate each singing lines in their own language the American band sing simple sentence semi sexual declarations of love which Kino back with mystical gnomic self contained koans stand up as there s no one else to save you What is behind this obsession with words does he think First off Russia is a country obsessed with literature and poetry and this seems to have fed into the music itself Surprisingly he rather writes off Russian music in terms of quality and originality Russian bands never came up with anything truly original so musically speaking all Russian rock bands were very secondary to Western rock bands but when it came to lyrics to words many of them have excelled He challenges me to name six Western singers who could be considered poets and we share a few moments of looking off centre into the distance rifling through our mental library I prove his point by my slowness we the West are still at the level of I love you baby it seems The situation is different in Russia he says there you take a rock star and most probably he will be a really capable poet So can this not be a source of hope for those trapped unhappily inside this fascist militarist revanchist state The contradictions and hypocrisy of Putin would seem as ripe for unpicking via music as the Soviet state Why has there been such a dearth of artistic opposition to Putin pure vehicles of opposition such as Pussy Riot aside Troitsky puts it down primarily to careerism the huge majority they just keep silent they make no comments at all You can torture them and they will never tell you what they think And this is happening not because they don t have their opinions but simply because they care about their careers And they don t want to lose their audience by condemning the annexation of the Crimea but they also don t want to close their gate to the West by supporting Putin Is there anyone who he does have faith to challenge Putin The same old rockstars from before are listed the old guard Yury Shevchuk DDT Makarevich Grebenshikov Vasil Shumov Centre et al This seems a little disheartening that the only artists with the strength and guts to fight Putin are for the most part the same ones who were manning the front lines all the way back then So this all seems a little despairing He mentions hip hop as providing a more reliable voice for opposition citing Noise MC but I sense that his heart isn t especially in it He mentions considerable influence on young people but it has the tone of a dry sociological analysis rather than the excitement and passion that he would have brought to it previously He notes that even the relatively small and cornered anti Putin movement is at odds over issues like Crimea and that young people are notably confused a lot of them stand for freedom and peace and love but others stand for a revisionist Russia I start on another question but not before he hoists his glass with a merry but determined to peace and love Bearing in mind he s just demoted all Russian bands to essentially second rate I wonder if the enthusiasm detectable for them on so many occasions is not just a bit put on Was he boosting the rockers of his homeland out of a certain duty The answer is considered it seems at first that he was I only cared about Western rock music to start with he lists the bands he was into in the 70s starting off with various strains of progressive rock including the band he cites as his favourite ever the German experimental band Can which were then suddenly substituted for the harsher tauter sounds of post punk and new wave towards the end of the decade When he discovered Russian rock or at least Russian rock became worthy of discovery he describes it as an obsession He became a mother hen surrounded by all these young geniuses from St Petersburg and Moscow and the Baltic countries His voice takes on again a fondness which is fortunate Talking Heads another favourite of the time probably did not need him Aquarium probably did And the role of advocate suits Troitsky well as he himself recognises my favourite occupation in this world is I love to help people and especially I love to help talented people I don t know a bigger pleasure for me than to find unknown talent and put it forward and help this guy or girl But of course this careful nurturing eventually drew attention from the West and from musicians opeating in very different environs This interests me greatly Was the default leftism of most Western bands a problem for those already living in a Socialist paradise I mention in particular Billy Bragg a sensitive and intelligent Socialist

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/a_critic___s_conscience___russian_dissident_artemy_troitsky_on_his_move_to_estonia/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Belarusian and Russian spy co-operation highlights larger problems in Lithuania
    a Russian something KGB and FSB doctrine fully recognizes and has long sought to exploit through an especially nefarious kind of false flag operation According to the Lithuanian report on Threats from the Belarusian Security Services Belarusian agents in Lithuania continue to focus primarily on the activity of the Belarusian opposition and its ties in Lithuania If that is something one would naturally expect another focus of the Belarusian special services in Lithuania might not be They are currently working in exactly the same directions and against the same targets as the Russian intelligence services the Lithuanian security service report says Not only are the Belarusian services seeking to recruit Lithuanian border guards but the Belarusian defense ministry s intelligence administration is aggressively acting to recruit agents and collect information about military and strategic civilian infrastructure sites in the country Some of these Belarusian adjuncts to the Russian intelligence services are at the Belarusian embassy in Vilnius the Lithuanian service says but others are operating under cover of business groups including in particular tourist offices Tourist firms are useful because they can plausibly arrange visits by Lithuanians to Belarus The Lithuanian security service concludes that it is quite probable that the Belarusian GRU has shared the information it has obtained with the Russian GRU and thus constitutes a greater threat to Lithuania s security than many who consider what is going on only about Belarus may currently think Comments Related Articles Moscow lacks available forces to seize and hold Baltics Estonian defence expert Searching for energy independence in the Baltic forests The challenge of Russia s decline Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles LIIA examines NATO relations with Central Asia Discussing the EU and Russia s soft power in the

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/belarusian_and_russian_spy_co-operation_highlights_larger_problems_in_lithuania/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Moscow faces obstacles to closer involvement with Latvian Russians
    principles to insist that its occupation was entirely legitimate and must be respected What the three Baltic countries have done is to make it possible for those moved in by the Soviet occupation to become citizens with varying degrees of ease guaranteed their rights as a community including the right to travel abroad and allowed them to organize and press their case Not surprisingly many non citizens are not the angry movement Moscow would like And that presents Moscow with a real problem one addressed today by Viktor Gushchin coordinator of the pro Russian Council of Public Organizations of Latvia in an article entitled Is the Russian Community of Latvia Capable of Overcoming Its Ideological Crisis Many ethnic Russians in Latvia actively supported that country s recovery of its independence and they assumed that the post Soviet government in Riga would extend citizenship to all residents But that did not happen because a centerpiece of Latvia s national existence is that it had been occupied and was never just another Soviet republic Many Russian speakers a broader category than non citizens have opposed the closing of Russian language schools and the increasing use of Latvian in the country s public space seeing it as a threat to their community Gushchin continues But the two overlapping groups he says have had little success against Riga s policies Since the 2012 referendum on language he says no new idea which would unite the Russian language community has been advanced Consequently one can today speak about a certain ideological crisis in the Russian democratic movement of Latvia and even of a lack of unity of understanding among its members of what is taking place According to Gushchin there is no unity in the assessment of the political processes in the country or of the political parties which pretend to express the opinion of the Russian language community and there is a sense among any that the interests of the organizations of Russian compatriots and the interests of the Russian language community as a whole are not one and the same thing Indeed he says there is an obvious paradox Most organizations of Russian compatriots back the Russian Union of Latvia despite its inability to elect anyone nationally or locally while the Accord Democratic Party which doesn t do much to support Russian rights nonetheless gets the most votes from Russian speakers Gushchin identifies three sources of what he calls the ideological crisis of the Russian language community of Latvia First Russian organizations have not been successful in representing the interests of Russian speakers thus leading to apathy and disorganization in their ranks Instead highly dissatisfied Russians in Latvia are choosing to emigrate Second both the Russian language community and the political parties which represent its interests are not sound on the issue of whether Latvia was occupied or not Many accept the Latvian version of reality rather than the Russian one even though Riga continues to build an ethnocratic and neo Nazi state

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/moscow_faces_obstacles_to_closer_involvement_with_latvian_russians/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Lithuanian Independence Day and American soldiers
    when Lithuanians bravely dared to declare independence on March 11 1990 despite their Parliament being surrounded by Soviet tanks may just think of their Lithuanian sojourn as another overseas posting they re based in Germany they informed me but to Baltic leaders and citizens these young Americans form a security guarantee European solidarity with the Baltic states notwithstanding it s a US commitment that really counts Indeed Lithuania s belief in its allies was on full show with the flags of Latvia and Estonia raised alongside the country s own and the two fellow Baltic states military bands marching alongside Lithuania s Perhaps most importantly the NATO and EU flags along with those of the alliances member states were proudly carried in the military procession at Parliament Square and on to the city s cathedral And in a moving tribute to the courage of the small group of democracy activists who stared down both the Kremlin and the Red Army and signed the declaration of independence it was Vytautas Landsbergis their leader and post Soviet Lithuania s first president who received the loudest ovations Rather fittingly the former music professor waved to Lithuania s military band as they marched past the podium Read the rest of the article here on the World Affairs Journal website Comments Related Articles Moscow lacks available forces to seize and hold Baltics Estonian defence expert Searching for energy independence in the Baltic forests The challenge of Russia s decline Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles LIIA examines NATO relations with Central Asia Discussing the EU and Russia s soft power in the Baltic States and the Eastern Neighbourhood The Russians are coming to occupy the Baltic States At the faultlines of Ukraine s war Subscribe

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/lithuanian_independence_day_and_american_soldiers/ (2016-02-13)
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  • National Bolshevik activist: ethnic Russians in Baltics mistaken in thinking they can integrate
    of ideology According to the Latvian Russian publicist the very same Latvian who shares her recipes with a Russian almost certainly believes as a matter of faith all the nationalistic dogmas Latvians are the masters of Latvia and Russians are guests Latvia was occupied by the Soviet Union and the Russian language is a foreign language in Latvia Such people will not give up these views even if their level of cooperation with Russians on the everyday level expands by several orders of magnitude Linderman says Put simply if you help your neighbor not only fix his car but also his apartment motorcycle and computer he will all the same retain his nationalist convictions Many Russian diplomats make the same mistake about the non Russian leaders they deal with in the post Soviet states They think that because they get along in an everyday way they can find common ground And then these diplomats are surprised when a Maidan or something similar breaks out and they learn that that is not the case They wouldn t be surprised Linderman says if they had not underrated the power of nationalist ideology or failed to recognize it at all Given this Russian cannot retain in the sphere of its influence a single country if it continues to ignore the issue of ideology Indeed even among those countries which are allied with it in the Eurasian Economic Community are many who are quite prepared to take Moscow s money but who promote nationalism in their schools and media That in turn means that whenever the West wants to overturn a pro Russian or even a genuinely pragmatic non Russian government it will do this easily by operating on young people and the media infected by anti Russian nationalism To oppose such scenarios will be impossible in the absence of a strong and organized Russian community and if that community is a minority it can be strong only with support from Russia Moscow should thus insist on a ban against all anti Russian propaganda as well as on the protection of the rights and interests of the local Russian population Does that constitute interference in the sovereignty of these countries Linderman asks rhetorically and answers Yes it does Linderman says But there is no other way out because Latvia s acquisition of weapons is less dangerous to Russia that the liquidation there of education in the Russian language The war for the souls of people is the most important war and defeat in it is impossible to compensate for even with very large amounts of money Only blood and only human lives can do that he says as we are not seeing today in the Donbas Three things about Linderman s argument are especially striking First he concedes that most Russians even in Latvia are quite comfortable with their current position Second he admits that they will rise up against the government only if and when Moscow openly interferes something he very much wants

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/national_bolshevik_activist__ethnic_russians_in_baltics_mistaken_in_thinking_they_can_integrate/ (2016-02-13)
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