Latviski English По-русски
Sunday 19.11.2017 | Name days: Liza, Līze, Elizabete, Betija

Latgalian residents living along the border know Putin, but not Bērziņš

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe current situation in Ukraine – with Russia attempting to carve up Crimea – is possible mostly because Crimea has been under the influence of Kremlin’s television channels.

A good example would be a similar situation with Russian media channels in Latgale, Latvia.

Each roof has all kinds of antennae and satellite dishes – all point towards Russia and Belarus. This kind of image can be found throughout Latvia’s border, as reported by Nekā personīga programme of TV3.

As residents have become used to the censured news coming from Putin and Lukashenko, they take their word as truth. The impact of this information war on Latvia’s state security has been talked about for years.

‘Our country has no care for this kind of thing. I believe municipalities can do whatever they want – teach children patriotism in schools, hold different events and so on, but if there is no actual movement from the state, I’m sorry – we cannot change this situation otherwise,’ – said Chairman of Dagda region Viktors Stikuts four years ago.

At the time popular politician, social servant and a true patriot of Latvia Andris Badūns wrote a letter to the Security Police with a request to prevent propaganda coming from Russia and Belarus from taking over the country’s border regions.

Security Police praised him for his patriotic views. Politicians of responsible Saeima committees – Ingrīda Circene and Māris Kučinskis – promised to act.

Four years later, the programme decided to see for itself what the government of Latvia has done in this time in order to defend its national interests along the border and if residents still only watch television programmes from Minsk and Moscow instead of those from the Latvian capital.

Residents who can afford decoders and those who can afford satellite broadcast or cable are satisfied. These positive examples are more of an exception to the rule. According to municipalities, the audience of Latvian television channels has reduced in the past four years. This is because television channels from Russia and Belarus are free of charge, unlike those of Latvia.

‘Maybe the government could solve the problems along the border in some way. Our region is the most problematic in this regard. This is mostly because it has the longest border with Belarus. However, considering there is at least 10 km of uninhabited area between us and Belarus, imagine how strong a signal they have for their channels to be able to reach us beyond the forests,’ – says Dagda Regional Council Chairwoman Sandra Viškure.

This signal is the only source of news for Elizabete Strode. She cannot afford a decoder for Latvian channels. Even though she is born Latvian, she has forgotten her native tongue because of television. Her antenna could not reach Riga even four years ago. She was promised to be given a decoder at some point, but that never happened. The only link she has to Latvian politicians is the recent congratulation she received from the Mayor of Riga for March 8th. Naina Maslova admits she would like to watch Latvian channels if she had a decoder for them.

Four years ago there was a situation when residents who watched mostly Russian channels supported the policy used in Russia and Belarus. Four years later, nothing has changed.

When asked if they know the name of the President of Latvia, Dagda’s residents reply: ‘How should I know?’ or ‘I seem to have forgotten…’ and ‘Zatlers. No! Not Zatlers…What was his name…Bērziņš. I know how he looks like. I also know he is a millionaire’.

‘We need to offer our residents – citizens and non-citizens – maximum of accurate and objective information about events that transpire in the world and in Latvia in a language they understand,’ – says the head of Dagda’s nursing home Andris Badūns.


Leave a reply

  1. Oddis says:

    Is this really a problem that some few thousand people watch Russian TV? It’s even more sickening to hear these “patriotic” nationalists spreading news about the fantastcic country Latvia. Collectivism is the root of all eveil.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

European Parliament triggers punitive procedure against Poland

Members of the European Parliament have passed a resolution requesting for the application of the so-called «nuclear option» for Poland, Article 7 of the EU Treaty, because of the threat to the rule of law in the biggest Eastern European country.

BNN summary of the week: medicinal cannabis in Lithuania, cargo anti-record, and Lemberg’s dwindling influence in UGF

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Fight; Growth; Truth; Future and Opinion.

NAF: Russia’s attitude remains unfriendly towards Latvia

So far Russia’s demonstrated attitude has remained unfriendly towards Latvia, said Commander of Latvian Armed Forces Leonīds Kalniņš in an interview to LNT.

Lembergs’ turn to testify before parliamentary committee has come

Aivars Lembergs, who is accused of serious crimes and is suspended from performing duties as chairman of Ventspils City Council, has been invited to come to a meeting of the Saeima’s Investigative Committee and answer questions associated with so-called oligarchs case.

How Latvian communities around the world plan to celebrate Latvia’s birthday?

«Celebration of independence of the Republic of Latvia is an important tradition that allows members of Latvia’s diaspora to maintain ties with their homeland – this year’s event will be even more expansive and inclusive than ever before. This is because events associated with the country’s hundredth birthday will be organized all around the world,» says manager of World Federation of Free Latvians office in Latvia Jānis Andersons.

European Parliament triggers punitive procedure against Poland

Members of the European Parliament have passed a resolution requesting for the application of the so-called «nuclear option» for Poland, Article 7 of the EU Treaty, because of the threat to the rule of law in the biggest Eastern European country.

Wage rules violations most often associated with envelope wages

To promote public awareness and improve commercial environment, honest competition and honest compliance with taxes, Latvia’s State Revenue Service intends to expand its database with new information about taxpayers, BNN was told by SRS.

Management of Unity’s Saeima faction to change in December

«Political consultations with all of Unity’s partner parties that are represented in the Saeima’s faction have concluded. An agreement has been reached to perform management change before the end of Saeima’s autumn session – around 21 December,» says Unity’s chairman Arvils Ašeradens.

EP prepared to commence talks with EU governments on reforming asylum system

The European Parliament is prepared to commence talks about reforming Dublin Regulation to ensure every member state is able to resettle a portion of asylum seekers.

Estonia to pour into Finnish-Estonian cultural fund 700 000 euros

Estonian cabinet of ministers has decided to attribute 700,000 euros to the Finno-Estonian Cultural Fund, an organisation working since 2015 aimed at fostering cooperation between the two states in culture, creative economy and training both for individuals and organizations.

Russia in UN vetoes extension of Syrian chemical attack investigation

At the UN Security Council, Russia has used its veto powers to block a resolution with which it would be allowed to continue the international investigation into a chemical attack this spring in Syria, which prompted the U.S. to launch missile strikes on a Syrian airbase.

Latvia’s birthday expected to be windy

A precipitation zone will reach Latvia from the west on Friday, 17 November. The precipitation zone will, however, pass over Latvia quickly, making rainfall short and periods of clear sky more frequent and longer. Air temperature is expected to stay within +5° C… +8° C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

State of emergency in force in flood-hit Greece

Rescue services in Greece are looking for no less than five people, who have gone missing following unexpected and disastrous floods on Wednesday, November 15, that killed 15 people; however, bad weather is still expected.

Laupīšanas 101 director: Latvia’s film industry has yet to reach its potential height

There is sufficient evidence to prove that Latvia’s film industry is capable, but at the same time many films are directed basically the same way. There is a lack of creativity, which means very slow development for the industry, said Kaspars Marhlevičs, director of short comedy Laupīšanas 101, in an interview to BNN.

Medical cannabis bill paves way in Lithuanian legislature

Otherwise conservative Lithuania has made a big stride forward legalising cannabis for medical use with 92 Lithuanian parliamentarians voting Thursday, November 15, to open the bill draft on medication containing cannabis. The law draft should go back to the parliamentary floor for deliberations on December 12.

Latvian sentenced to ten years in prison for fighting on the side of ISIS in Syria

On Thursday, 16 November, Latvian citizen Mārtiņš Grīnbergs was sentenced by Riga Regional Court to ten years and three months in prison for fighting on the side of Islamic State terrorist organization.

European Parliament: Africa’s development requires a new stimulus

To resolve economic, social and migration-related problems, which usually accompany lasting crises, better African-EU cooperation is needed, European Parliament members say.

Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry proposes preventing new MPC reforms

Increase of mandatory procurement components cannot be allowed. Exactly the opposite – this cost should be dropped entirely for end electricity prices in an attempt to improve international competitiveness of companies, BNN was told by council members of Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry.

Matīss: LDz cannot raise tariffs and perform rail electrification under cargo anti-record

Because Latvijas dzelzceļš has set an anti-record in cargo transports in the first ten months of this year, Saeima deputy and member of the National Economy Committee Anrijs Matīss says raising the fee for the use of infrastructure cannot be allowed. He adds that the intended railway electrification project should be considered very carefully.

Lithuania and Latvia placed in top 10 in climate policy index

In the annual Climate Change Performance Index, where climate policy action in 57 countries has been evaluated, on a scale from «very high» to «very low», 11 EU member states have been evaluated with as having been highly active, with Sweden showing the best results ahead of Lithuania, the UK, Finland and Latvia.

Bite Latvija buys Stream Networks and Latnet

Mobile commutations operator Bite Latvija has signed a purchase agreement for 100% of shares of Stream Networks and its subsidiary Latner Serviss, as BNN was informed by Bite manager in Latvia Kaspars Buls.

airBaltic carried three million passengers in first ten months of 2017

In the first ten months of 2017, airBaltic carried a total of 3,007,034 passengers to destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East, BNN was told by the company.

Kaljulaid sees African opportunities to outplace EU in digitalisation

During a visit to Ethiopia, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has discussed African-EU relations with the African Commissioner for Trade and Industry and recommended investing into digital development that would be beneficial for the continent itself.

Most employed people in Latvia are satisfied with their jobs

More and more often employers experience lack of qualified labour force, as well as increase of employees’ confidence about their competitiveness on the labour market and their openness for better job offers.

Estonian railways operator happy about increasing freight volume

Freight carried on the infrastructure of the Estonian state railway company Estonian Railways in October amounted to one million tons, which is a 10.4% hike compared to October 2016.

Newest comments