In the next couple of years we will see the first two phases of the so-called hybrid-war in Latvia. The first is a very concentrated processing of human brains using media weapons. The other is something similar to what happened in Ukraine, when groups of activists and well-known people will begin taking over administrative buildings and declaring ‘republics’ like Zilupe People’s Republic, believes publicist Igor Vatolin, who has founded the European Russians Movement in Latvia in order to unite Pro-European Russians.
‘Then everyone will look to the reaction of the Latvian government and NATO. This kind of development would be shown as a major victory on Pro-Kremlin TV,’ – noted Vatolin in his interview to Latvijas Avīze. He adds that Latvia’s membership in NATO will not allow foreign forces to enter Latvia like it happened in 1940.
According to him, some part of Latvia’s society expects Putin to come to Latvia. They would welcome Russian forces with flowers if something like that were to happen. Unfortunately, this is the situation. There are Russians and Latvians who claim they do not like Europe, that the economy is ruined and that they would rather live in Russia. This especially applies to those living in Latgale.
‘Putin does not have any stable values. The only thing that is important to him is staying in power. With that, he, as ex-KGB, performs special operations and gambles. He needs to demonstrate new kinds of offensives before Russian residents. While USA remains under leadership of Barack Obama, whose objective was to stop two wars (in Iraq and Afghanistan), Putin can use this time to taunt NATO until November 2016. Unfortunately, Latvia is the weakest link in NATO in terms of presence of pro-Putin supporters,’ – says the publicist.
According to him, Tatyana Zhdanok has risen on Latvia’s political stage only because of Putin. He believes Zhdanok continues to promote Putin’s point of view and that everything he does and plans to do is in the right. ‘I have to predict that her party may enter the Saeima, because some people in Latvia are agents of the totalitarian neighbour. The main weapon of the modern psychological war is not tanks and rockets – it is the media. Policies of media sources are based on the assumption that if there is no coverage in Russian, people will watch Latvian channels. This is why a strong Latvian or Baltic media resource in Russian language and pro-European contents can serve as a good safety measure,’ – says Vatolin.
He also notes that ‘Harmony is slowly becoming an authoritarian party that has not a whole lot of social democracy left in it. Nil Ushakov is beginning to resemble Putin in his management model. He also constantly performs all kinds of special operations. Social democrats are supposed to defend interests of working people, not think of ways of getting to power. Unfortunately for Ushakov, he is an authoritarian leader that is wrong. He supported the Language Referendum, he left the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments…He did, however, later fix this mistake by re-joining the association.’