In the past year Latvia and Estonia have been demented monuments to the Soviet soldier who liberated them, Baltic States unanimously voted for sanctions against Russia, and in September 2014 the Latvian parliament (Sejm) national unity party “All Latvia” submitted a proposal to stop giving residence permits (VNZH) to Russian citizens – ostensibly to prevent threats to national security.
It was got to the point that the minister of justice Berzinsh, in September of last year, came out with accusations against the movement “Russian Union of Latvia”. A politician, who only recently took up his post, loudly declared that the alliance is trying to overthrown the current political system in Latvia. Berzinsh has his own double-gesheft (bargain, deal), he goes along with EU politics and with thundering speeches paves the way for himself at his new job.
All of this – is a masked attacked on the Russian speaking population in the Baltic States and potential travelers. By the way, the number of Russian people there is relatively high, from 20 to 27 percent of the population, almost a third. Repeatedly discrimination against Russians was noticed in several major areas: in the field of citizenship, education, as well as language discrimination and not allowing Russians to participate in running the country. The younger generation Estonians is being raised and educated with the help of propaganda. The state TV and Radio Company of Estonia ERR released a video, in which it is explained to children, in what situation it is ok to speak the Russian language. With residents of the country proceeding to communicate with their children to speak only in Estonian, however tourists from Russia are allowed to speak Russian.
That is, until girl found-out, that the man is a tourist, she chastised him for no know the Estonian language. Immediately after his explanation she broke into a fake smile, simultaneously adding that the Russian authorities lie about things being “not so simple” in Baltic States. Someone is saying, that Russians, aren’t understand the meaning of the wave correctly.In fact, Estonians ridiculed their own drawbacks. Maybe so, but criticism of the Russian government does not fit within this explanation at all.
Apparently, it’s clearer to the girl. But in 2012 the president of Russian Vladimir Putin already point out the problem of Russians residing within Baltic States. “Respect for one’s country is determined also by the fact, how is it able it to defend the rights of its citizens and allies abroad. It is important to never forget about the interests of millions of compatriots residing in other countries, as well as our citizens traveling abroad for vacations and business trips. How do we come to terms with the fact that one in six of residents in Latvia and one in thirteen residents of Estonia are basically <<non-citizens>> deprived of fundamental political, electoral, and socio-economic rights, and possibly even the right to use the Russian language.
Take for example the referendum which occurred in Latvia on the status of the Russian language, which once again demonstrated the seriousness of the problem to the international community. After all, three-hundred thousand <<non-citizens>> again were not allowed to participate in the referendum. The refusal of the Latvian CEC to grant the delegation of the Public Chamber of Russia observer status for the referendum does not fit within any explanation. And international organizations that are responsible for ensuring adherence to social Democratic standards, as if they have a mouth full of water (Russian saying meaning not saying a word).”
Situations in other nations
The Baltic States is one of many examples where the Russian speaking population is being giver “non-citizen” status, basically second rate citizens, or even being driven of the land. Take, for example Moldavia. At the end of the 80’s there were established sharp changes in the socio-political sphere. Russians, who accounted for 14% of Moldavia’s population, suddenly began to give up positions in administrative sectors. The saying “we are all soviet people” no longer passed. Rapid changes to the status of Russian speaking inhabitants of Moldavia began as a consequence of the fall of the USSR. Furthermore, the independence of Moldavia lead to a rapid growth of nationalists, some of whom stepped behind the wheel of state control. It is reasonable to assume to the new “elite” of Moldavia supported the pressure on Ethnic Russians.
Today the situation is relatively stable, but this does not stop the government of Moldavia to truly back down. In 2009 they prohibited the well-known Channel Russia-24. Unclearly explaining their actions either with propagandized channels or buy saying no one watches it anyway. There truly has been a decrease in the number of Russian’s (from 600 thousand to 300 thousand), but this is not a reason to turn your back on them.
The situation at hand in Uzbekistan has been discussed online in great length. In the 90’s a massive emigration of Russian’s back to Russia occurred and today their numbers continue to diminish. A large part of the Russian speaking population lives in Tashkent, and the young are forced to leave in search of work. There is an interesting observation “Uzbekistan in the eyes of a Russian”, where it is clear to see the animosity of relation of Uzbekistanis to even Russian tourists, they sell goods for more, deceive, etc. The thought is firm, and has grown into the national idea “We are small, everyone owes us”. However, in any rule has exceptions. My friend was born in Tashkent, went to school in Kiev, and today is in constantly travelling between St. Petersburg and Moscow. Whether she is able to attract people to herself, or is silent about negative examples, but I have never heard anything bad about Uzbekistan from her.
In countries of the former USSR with the political positions against Russians everything is clear. There, where state control is in the hands of nationalists or the right, politics in relation to Russians is tougher. However, we more often hear news similar to what is seen in Baltic States, therefore it is much more interesting to look at how anti-Russian politics affects local officials. They are supposedly Europeans, they are supposed to uphold political tolerance, but it doesn’t seem to be working out for some reason.
Thesis “Russians are hard to discourage” the last year in Latvia has proven this. During parliamentary elections a pro-Russian party “Consent” received 24 seats in the Sejm of the 12thconvocation, at one place more in the center-right “Unity”. The head of “Consent” is the first Russian mayor of Riga Nil Ushakov, and who is expected to become the next prime-minister of Latvia. Logical alignment readjustment, the more painful the pressure on Russian in the 90’s and 2000’s, the stronger the response came. Anti-Russian policy in Latvia will either leave willingly, or sit in the corner and nurture your grievances in the same circle as nationalists, like Speaker of the Sejm Solvita Aboltinja.
Russians don’t leave their people behind.
There is a special program «Return to the Motherland» for Russians who live in different countries. People are given a few choices for the place to live. For example, to those who used to live in Moldova, Pskov’s Province had been offered. The priority places for 2014-15 are the territory nearLake Baykal, Kamchatka, Xabarovsk’s, and regions of Vladivostok. These places are far away from Moscow, and are therefore not very appealing for people to move to.
However this program includes psychological assistance, a provided job, and many other services. In Pskov’s Province in 2013-15 we are expecting 1500 people to move in. This is 3 times more than in 2010-2013. Vladimir Putin many times underlines the importance of any kind of support for these people, «All Embassies and Consulates must provide tangible help to the people who returned. The help must be provided immediately before any kind of accidents will be announce through media sources».
We have A Federal Program called «Russian Language», it gives the opportunity for Russian’s to read and listen to Russian programs and to not feel like «second class» citizens.Whatshould the government do for the people who want to return? Provide loans, psychological trainings, traveling though Russia- so many things to do.
In Latvia there is a lot of political and economic pressure on Russians. The one person’s freedom’s ended when they are in the personal space of another person. Any violation in this rule will lead to strong defense from the people.
Russians living in other countries automatically become a minority. They is no respect by the governments of other countries and there is no real democracy in Europe. Russia today isa lot stronger and more developed of a country than it was 15-20 years ago and it should be attractive to international partnerships. Any evidence of prohibiting national language and identity will have very negative consequences, (for example Estonia). AnyDiscrimination is a defensive mechanism, which can be activated once and is upheld by nationalists. However, everything depends on who is in charge of those aggressive people. It can be a puppeteer from overseas who maynot care about causing possible civil conflicts and unrest. Take for example the inhabitants of Narva, among whom there are many Russians, they can say ,»We want our territory to be a part of Russia», and Russia would seriously consider it.
Translated by Vladislav Karets, written originally by Victoria Fedotova, Politrussia.com