Latvia Becomes the Newest Target for Russia’s Denazification Program – Opinion

Though Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was nothing more than your basic landgrab, Putin felt obliged to tart up his justification with a noble purpose. First, he cited the plight of the people living in Donbas without bothering to mention that their plight is a direct outcome of Putin’s policy of violating Ukrainian sovereignty by setting up two feeble, bullsh** “republics” whose sole purpose was to create a perpetual casus belliUkraine. Then he brought up the necessity for denazifying and demilitarizing Ukraine and bringing the perpetrators of “genocide” in Donbas to account.

We will pursue this goal by demilitarizing and demazifying Ukraine. Additionally, we intend to bring to justice those responsible for numerous crimes against civilians including Russian Federation citizens.

The term “nazi” has a very particular meaning in Putin’s Russia. Putin crony Sergey Karaganov says nazism isn’t about antisemitism, “[i]t is about hating and suppressing all other nationalities.” In Russian parlance, “all other nationalities” is a set of one: Russia. Russia doesn’t seem all that concerned about the presence of actual fans of the Third Reich so long as they are singing Putin’s song.

Russia considers May 9 a significant day. This is when they claim credit for defeating Nazi Germany single-handedly. In their mythos, Normandy, North Africa, and Italy didn’t happen. It was not a strategic air campaign. There were no convoys that made it to Murmansk Run, carrying thousands upon thousands of Studebaker trucks and fighters P-40s as well as millions of Spam. Stalin was fighting the forces that were evil, while FDR and Churchill did nothing but tiddlywinks. The millions of dead Russian soldiers owe much more of their fate to their leadership’s tactical and operational stupidity and political commissars directing NKVD murder squads than to some German gefreiterA bunker.

In the Baltic States, which have a substantial Russian population transplanted to colonize and “Russify” those countries after Stalin’s deportations and purges, Russia uses May 9 festivities to increase cultural awareness and a sense of separateness from the legal government of those countries. Latvia took action last Thursday to curb pro-Putin propaganda.

On Thursday, 8 April, Latvia’s Saeima passed in the final reading the Law on the Day of Commemoration of Victims Who Died in Ukraine, providing that 9 May becomes a day of mourning.

In addition, the parliament also decided to pass the proposal from Mārtiņš Šteins to prohibit sales of fireworks on 9th and 10th of May 2022.

The goal of this law is turning Latvian residents’ attention towards Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine and demonstrating solidarity with Ukrainian people in the fight for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. With this law 9 May in the entirety of Latvia becomes a day of commemoration of victims in Ukraine, honouring the civilians and armed forces personnel who died as a result of Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine.

During this day of commemoration it will be required to hoist the flag of Ukraine next to Latvia’s flag at all public buildings, buildings owned by private legal persons and associations, as well as apartment homes, Riga Castle, the State President’s Residence, Saeima and Cabinet of Ministers buildings.

The law prohibits the organization of public celebrations or festivities. Municipal administrations are not permitted to issue permits for such events.

The law also provides for municipal administrations to annul permits issued for this year’s 9 May events if they were issued before the law has come to force.
On 11 May 2022, this law ceases to be in force.

Russia is, you may well think, an invincible country. Part of the so-called “Putin doctrine” is that Russia is the guarantor of security for Russian communities abroad. Latvians make up 25%, which is a decrease from the 40% who were ethnic Russians when Latvia regained its independence. Estonia is aware of the potential danger of having a large, unassimilated Russian community that looks to Moscow to inspire them. Estonia requires Estonians to teach in public and private schools. All family members who arrived after 1940 in Estonia had to pass a citizenship test, demonstrate Estonian proficiency, and be eligible to serve in any government office. Estonia also has blocked Russian TV and other media influence since the Ukrainian invasion. Estonian policy guarantees that in a few generations, Estonia’s Russian-ethnic minority will be similar to the American Indian, Irish, or other minority ethnicities. While being Estonian, they will retain some Russian cultural influences. It is pretty much like how America operated before our “melting pot” became “a bowl of salmonella, listeria, and e. coli infected mixed salad.”

Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, went on an incredible rant.

According to Kremlin-backed media, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the decision ‘an attempt to humiliate the Russian-speaking community living in Latvia, which cherishes the memory of the exploits of anti-fascist heroes’.

She added: ‘The blasphemous decision of the Latvian parliamentarians is subject to strong condemnation by all sensible forces not only in Russia, but throughout the world.

‘At the same time, this legislative act is not surprising, since the ruling regime in Latvia has long been well known for its neo-Nazi preferences and attempts to whitewash the atrocities of Nazi Germany ‘s henchmen.

‘Just as Riga in every possible way covers the crimes of the Kiev regime against civilians in Ukraine and Donbas. We are convinced that that history will put everything in its place.’

The rapacious Moscow regime is a danger to Latvia. It was conquered and colonized once, and doesn’t want it to happen again. It had to look at the first Russian invasion of Ukraine when Crimea was annexed, and an insurgency created the “republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk with foreboding because a disloyal Russian-speaking population demanded to be separate and Russian troops arrived to back up the demand. Back in 2014, I wrote about the danger that Russia’s behavior posed not only to the Baltic States but to NATO by American weakness (Obama’s Tallinn speech probably guarantees peace in our time and How Putin Dismembers NATO Without Firing A Shot. An example of the Cold War scenario

The silver lining to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is that he has done what was previously thought impossible, expand NATO to Finland and Sweden and wean part of Europe from cheap Russian gas. He has also convinced countries that were once afraid of Moscow to take positive actions for their own security because everyone now knows Moscow’s demands are non-negotiable.





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