Saeima Defense, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee Chairman Ainars Latkovskis said that support for the Russian invasion of the Crimea by a relatively large segment of the Latvian public is a direct result of Russian propaganda, which offers distorted information about what is happening, reports LETA.
Some in the Russian population in Latvia have allowed themselves to be ‘brainwashed’ by this Moscow-generated propaganda. This group has so far not shown an ability to think independently for itself, or to question the spoon-fed, fabricated news it receives from Russia on a regular basis.
Latkovskis says that this situation is cause for concern, as this propaganda by the Russian media in Russia that is ''brainwashing'' its own people has a similar affect on some Russian-speakers in Latvian society. However, he added that there are still many ethnic Russians in Latvia who get their information from a variety of news sources in different languages, including Latvian, and do not agree with Russia's propaganda point of view.
Asked whether these same people who supported Russia's invasion of the Crimea would support a Russian invasion of Latvia, Latkovskis said that such a military scenario is impossible. ''No one has the right to enter our territory, and it must be taken into account that we are a NATO member, and would furiously counter any such invasion. Latvia will be defended, and a repeat or the Ukraine scenario will never take place here,'' the politician said.
One-third of Latvia's residents surveyed believe that Russia's incursion in Ukraineis justified; the proportion of non-Latvians who believe so is twice as high, according to a study carried out by the research company GfK in cooperation with the news agency LETA.
Sixteen percent of respondents said they considered Russia's decision to bring troops to Crimea and, potentially, into other regions of eastern Ukraine completely justified, whereas 18 percent said this was partly justified.
Most respondents, 58 percent, said they disapproved of Russia's actions in Ukraine, whereas 8 percent had no opinion.
Among Latvian respondents, 6 percent said the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine was justified; 11 percent said it was partly justified. Seventy-seven percent said they disapproved of Russia's incursion into Ukraine. Among non-Latvian respondents, 34 percent said the presence of Russia's troops in Ukraine was completely justified, 32 percent said it was partly justified, whereas 24 percent said it was unjustified.
The survey was carried out at the beginning of March when GfK interviewed 1,051 residents ages 18 to 65.