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Saturday 03.12.2016 | Name days: Raita, Jogita, Evija
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Researchers: massive support of Russia’s propaganda in Latvia is doubtful

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAlthough there are big groups of residents in Latvia who support Russia’s reports, the possibility of massive protests and support of Russia’s provocations is doubtful, as concluded in the report compiled by researchers of Latvia’s National Defence Academy’s Security and Strategic Research Centre on the possibility of destabilization of the situation in Latvia.

The majority of people do not believe that their action can change much. In addition, they prefer not to stick out in a crowd. Political and social activity in Latvia’s society is very low. This is why external factor will have a hard time to organize massive protests and riots, as concluded by researchers.

Latvia’s residents have varied views in regards to political beliefs between Latvian and Russian speakers. Authors of the study emphasize that approximately half of Russian-speakers and non-citizens do not support Russia’s reports. There is also a great deal of variety in opinions among those people.

In spite of the fact that there is the largest amount of support for Russia’s reports in Latgale, it is not enough to suggest the possibility of separatism. There is also a great deal of opposition towards Russia’s reports as well. Residents speaking Latgalian dialect express patriotic and supportive views for Latvia, researchers say.

In general, Latvia’s population – Latvian and Russian speakers – can be characterized by a great degree of dissatisfaction with political and economic processes in Latvia.

Opinions of Latvian and Russian-speaking residents differ in regards to the matter of whether or not Russia is a threat to Latvia. Although Latvians are more prone towards viewing Russia as a threat, there are some Latvians and majority of Russian-speakers who believe good relations with Russia can benefit Latvia’s economic development. Only half of Latvia’s residents consider Russia a threat. A quarter of respondents wish Latvia’s government would maintain good relations with Russia in spite of the military conflict in Ukraine.

It is emphasized in the study that the influence of Russia’s mass media on the audience of Latvian-speakers is limited. Russia media do, however, have influence over Russian-speakers. Because contents of Latvian media do not reach even half of Russian-speaking residents in Latvia, more attention should be provided to communication with this portion of society, especially when it comes to explaining Latvia’s policy in the context of the European Union and NATO, experts recommend.

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