Russia's invasion of Ukraine has strained ethnic relations in Latvia - expert

  • 2022-03-14
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Russia's invasion of Ukraine has strained ethnic relations in Latvia, Martins Kaprans, a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Latvia, said in an interview with Latvian Radio on Monday. 

The expert said that before the war in Ukraine, ethnic relations in Latvia could be described as a rather peaceful coexistence. 

Although the relations between various ethnic groups remain generally unaffected, Russia's attack on Ukraine has brought about certain tension and caused people to look at the recent events with anxiousness and suspicion. 

On the whole, all ethnic groups are showing understanding of Ukraine's plight, although some instigators have been noticed trying to take advantage of the situation, Kaprans said. 

The expert also said that Latvia's society is relatively united when it comes to admitting Ukraine's war refugees, with around 75 percent of people in Latvia supporting their admission. 

The expert noted, however, that some ideological conflicts and confrontations are possible in  Latvia's largely Russian-speaking city Daugavpils where a larger part of the population might be under the influence of the Kremlin's disinformation and thus inclined to side with Russia.