Russians in Ukraine begin to reject Russia

Paul Goble reports:

An “extremely significant segment” of ethnic Russians in Western Ukraine, particularly among the younger generation, regularly vote for pro-Ukrainian parties, either because of “nationalist propaganda” or because they hope to live “‘in Europe’” rather than to maintain “ties with their historical Motherland – Russia,” according to a Russian analyst.

And that is just one of the indications of the declining role of an ethnic community that came into existence in the years after World War II and that played a large role there until the 1990s, Dmitry Korolyev says in a detailed essay on the Russians in the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv.  The first Russian who settled in Lviv, he writes, was Ivan Fedorov, the printer who arrived in 1572, but until 1939, there were very few ethnic Russians there. They consisted mostly of anti-Bolshevik White Army soldiers and their families, and they numbered at most in “the hundreds.”

According to the 1931 Polish census, approximately half of the population of Lviv was Polish, nearly a third Jewish, and roughly a sixth Ukrainian. Other groups, including the ethnic Russians, formed fewer than two percent. But when Stalin annexed Western Ukraine during World War II, the ethnic Russian community there took shape. As Korolyev points out, “most of the Poles were deported to Poland, and the Jews had been destroyed by the fascists.” Initially, their places were taken “above all by local Ukrainians who resettled in the city from the surrounding rural areas.” But soon, Moscow began to organize an influx of ethnic Russians.

Between 1944 and 1959, “approximately half” of the Russians arriving there came from the Russian Federation; the remainder from the eastern oblasts of Ukraine and from other republics of the USSR.” They were attracted by the “high quality housing of Austrian-Polish construction” despite the threat from the anti-Soviet Banderite underground. (Many ethnic Ukrainians in Lviv continue to identify with that group. According to a recent poll conducted by the Ukrainian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (UVTsIOM), “every third Lviv resident considers himself a Banderite” even 65 years after World War II.)

Although many Ukrainians would disagree with him, Korolyev says that the Russians in Lviv “were in no way ‘occupiers’” and did not promote the russification of that city. Instead, he says, “in large measure thanks to their efforts, knowledge and work, “Lviv became a major industrial, scientific and cultural center.” Ethnic Russians formed “the nucleus of the teaching staff” of many educational institutions there, with 56-57 percent of their community occupied in “intellectual” work. Only 13.3 percent of ethnic Ukrainians there were involved in such work in 1959, and only 29.9 percent were in 1989.

By 1951, ethnic Russians formed 30.1 percent of the population of Lviv, a share that dropped only slowly to 27.1 percent in 1959. Indeed, Korolyev continues, the ethnic Russian share of the population of Lviv was higher in those years “than in such cities as Kyiv, Vinnitsa, Kirovograd,” and many others. Moreover, he adds, “if you add to the Russians the Russian speaking Ukrainians (who came from Eastern Ukraine) and the Jews, then almost for half of the residents of the city at that time Russian was their native language.”

“However, starting already in 1960,” the Russian analyst says, “the demographic situation in the city began to change radically. On the one hand, the influx of ethnic Ukrainians from the villages intensified. And on the other, the natural growth of the ethnic Russian population sharply slowed as a result of low birthrates and a high level of divorces.”
Those trends in turn were exacerbated by three others: a Russian preference for later marriages and smaller families, a large number of ethnically mixed marriages. By 1970, 56 percent of Russians married someone of a different nationality, and the outflow of ethnic Russians from the region to other parts of the Soviet Union.

And with the disintegration of the USSR, the decline in the ethnic Russian population accelerated, with 40 percent moving to the Russian Federation and another 40 percent to other parts of Ukraine. Between 1989 and 2001, the number of ethnic Russians in Lviv fell by 50 percent and as a result formed only 8.7 percent of the city’s population.
There was never the kind of “discrimination and pressure” against the ethnic Russians that Korolyev says they experienced in the Baltic countries, but after the Ukrainian nationalists came to power in the city in 1990, ethnic Russians gradually lost their positions in the city government, law enforcement organs, and educational institutions.
That decline in status and numbers was reflected in the fall off in the number of Russian language schools. In 1988/89, 24 of the Lviv’s 100 schools were Russian-language ones, with another seven using Russian and Ukrainian.

At present, there are only five Russian-language schools remaining.

One result of this, Korolyev says, is that “more than half of ethnic Russian children” were studying in Ukrainian-language schools, and an increasing share of all ethnic Russians were declaring a language other than Russian to be their native one – from 1.5 percent in 1959 to 12.2 percent in 2001. If these trends continue, the Russian analyst concludes, the ethnic Russian community which came into existence after 1945 faces a bleak future, one in which ever fewer of its members speaking Russian as their primary language or ultimately perhaps even identifying themselves as ethnic Russians.

Korolyev points to only two positive trends, although he admits theses are defensive. The ethnic Russian community is organizing to promote its position, and ever fewer ethnic Russians are marrying non-Russians, a trend that he suggests points to the desire of those remaining to retain their identity.

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130 responses to “Russians in Ukraine begin to reject Russia

  1. @But when Stalin annexed Western Ukraine during World War II, the ethnic Russian community there took shape. As Korolyev points out, “most of the Poles were deported to Poland, and the Jews had been destroyed by the fascists.”

    There was no Poland, Stalin and Hitler erased it from the map.

    They were deported, yes, but to Siberia and Kazakhstan.

  2. ” Stalin annexed it ( western Ukraine ) to Ukraine ” , that sounds
    as though he annexed a foreign land instead a part of Ukraine that was
    just occupied by another occupier . The same as Krushov ” gifted ”
    Krym to ( Crimea ) to Ukraine . The moscovites are great at gifting
    that , which is not theirs . The russian communist regime, took a
    terrible toll on the ethnic population in all of Ukraine , but that alone
    was olny part of the problem . The other side of the equation was ,
    that they replaced the receding Ukrainan population with hordes
    of ethnic moscovites , that were the priviliged class all over the soviet union under that regime . Thankfully , now after Ukraine and all
    other countries regained their independence , the ethnic people are
    reaserting their control and the moscovites find themselves unwelcome trasspassers were they were once masters . Korolyev ,
    is right about one thing though ; the numbers of moscovites are shrinking and that is a welcome sight indeed .

  3. You should study history of Ukraine. There are many nice places to start, many of them created by Canadian diaspora.

    http://www.conflicts.rem33.com/images/Ukraine/1918_ukr.jpg

    Krimea was not even claimed by Ukrainian hetmanate in 1918, at the climax of hetmanate power.

  4. “At present, there are only five Russian-language schools remaining.”
    That is five too many. We in Latvia know what it is like to have to live with a Russian population who keep bleating about “human rights”
    Let them go to their wonderful russia and see what hman rights really are!!

  5. …I thought this whole blog was bleeting about human rights and democracy… wait is it really a hatred blog posing as one that cares for human rights and democracy??? You must be upset you cannot use the same solution as your grandfathers used for Jews in Latvia in the 1940s with respect to those Russians…

  6. AT must be a Russian! “You must be upset you cannot use the same solution as your grandfathers used for Jews in Latvia in the 1940s with respect to those Russians…” Please explain! Many Latvian grandfathers ended up being hauled away by the barbarian occupiers. And for you information the Russians were just as evil towards the Jews as the Nazis were. They even send back those jews who escaped from Nazi held territory.
    Russians are always talking about the Latvians as Nazis – well today the most nazi state is Russia – talk about calling the kettle black!

    My argument is against the Latvian state funding Russian schools – if Russians want to send their children to Russian langage schools then they should pay for it. The national language of Latvia is Latvian and if Russians refuse to learn Latvian then that is their problem.

    • barbarian occupiers…
      Russians were just as evil towards the Jews as the Nazis were…
      even send back those jews who escaped from Nazi held territory…
      today the most nazi state is Russia…
      if Russians want to send their children to Russian langage schools then they should pay for it…
      if Russians refuse to learn Latvian then that is their problem…

      I’d say the media and politics of Latvia create quite a picture in your head.

      • Actually after the Joint Russian-German invasion of Poland in 1939, the Russians did hand over large numbers of Jews to the Germans.

        • @Actually after the Joint Russian-German invasion of Poland in 1939, the Russians did hand over large numbers of Jews to the Germans.

          And not only Jews. And an ironic thing here is a number of German communist refugees survived precisely because they were extradited to the Germans. In the German concentration camps German communists were treated relatively well and were organized even better (practically controlled Buchenwald for example, after they have wrestled it from the criminals in a very ruthless struggle) and in the Soviet Union they were likely to be simply shot by the NKVD, just like they shot the entire Polish communist leadership when they were exiled to the USSR.

          • And the source of the revelation?

            • There’s no source, because it’s a lie as always.

              What Bobby really wanted to say is:

              Jews lived in ghettos in Poland long before German Nazis came to the country,
              Poles separated Jews in Universities, and excluded by nationality,
              Jews were despised by average Pole as much as by the member of “Anti-Jew commands”, and faced prosecution,
              Jews were an object of a forceful governmental Polonization program, etc.

              As to Andrew, and Jews in Georgia, I don’t even want to start over the theme of ethnic minorities in Georgia.

              I’ll just post this here.
              http:/ /en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Georgia_%28country%29#Ethnic_groups

              • “The situation of the Jewish community of Georgia improved dramatically due to the end of the Soviet occupation. In 1994, President Shevardnadze issued a decree to protect Jewish religious, cultural and historic monuments. In addition, the Jews of Georgia have successfully maintained their Jewish identity and traditions despite the oppression they faced under the Soviets. Intermarriage has always been low and levels of Jewish knowledge are significantly higher than those of other CIS republics.”

                I like WP articles’ places written by Georgians:))))

                The truth is in the next paragraph: Once [under "Soviets" - me] numbering as many as 100,000, today the Georgian Jewish population is approximately 13,000.

                In 2002, Georgian Orthodox Christianity was established as the state religion – oh, andrew, and I forgot that:) Really, isn’t your state also promoting one faith over others by financially supporting it? This, of course, has nothing to do with freedom of religion, right?

  7. @ please explain… look up what countries were considered as Judenfrei by the Nazis and you will understand. Your grandfathers thought there were too many jews in Latvia… Now, you think there are too many Russians…

    • @Your grandfathers thought there were too many jews in Latvia…

      There were no anti-Jewish violence in Latvia prior to WWII, despite the decades of independence (during which the religious Jews were politically represented in the government). And there was also no Latvian state in any form under the Nazi occupation, only the Reichskommissariat Ostland.

      However YOURS grandfathers actually thought there were too many Latvians in Latvia. Oh, and you also thought there were too many Jews in Latvia, too (killing or deporting thousands of them). There were just too few Russians there, they thought. There was no German involvement in this at all, and everything was ordered from Moscow.

      So maybe you should shut up, asshole.

      • My great-grandfather was killed by a Latvian rifleman in Russia, so shut up you asshole… and evidently the Latvians changed their minds and just killed off pretty much all their jews during WWII.

      • My great-grandfather was killed by a Latvian rifleman in Russia, so you shut up… and evidently the Latvians changed their minds and just killed off pretty much all their jews during WWII.

        • @My great-grandfather was killed by a Latvian rifleman in Russia, so you shut up…

          Who was a member of the Russian Bolshevik movement, fighting for Russia against their own country in the Latvian War of Independence, so you shut up.

          @and evidently the Latvians changed their minds and just killed off pretty much all their jews during WWII.

          Some Latvians, and mostly Germans (I wonder if you yell about this frequently at the random modern Germans too, now when their country is a “friend of Russia”?), at the time when there was no Latvia in any form or shape whatsoever, not even the “Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic” which was ruled by Latvian Bolsheviks and “only” backed by Russia. Same thing as with this “Latvian rifleman in Russia” traitor of the Latvian nation. And don’t you this all happened because of the Moscow-Berlin pact of 1939 and their partitioning of the Eastern Europe. Including the Latvian and other Jews who were killed by the Soviets.

          So stop meddling in the Latvian matters (such as conquering, ethnically cleansing and colonizing this country) and causing bad things to happen. The Germans learnt their lesson, why can’t you?

      • There was some anti-Jewish violence in Poland, however, wasn’t it?

  8. As far as the Latvian state funding Russian schools is concerned, its part of European values, you know…too bad Latvians are not European enough to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages…

    • @As far as the Latvian state funding Russian schools is concerned, its part of European values, you know…too bad Latvians are not European enough to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages…

      Too bad Russians are not European enough to not openly piss on the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as well as hundreds of rulings of the European Court of Human Rights in the thousands of cases of torture, murder and “disappearance”.

  9. @AT Must be a Russian: Rigamax must be a Herberts Cukurs fan

    • Good for you! He would suport these Russian schools in the independent Latvia. The man studied languages, published Orwell and supported human rights — I have profound respect for all this!

  10. So why did you post an irrelevant comment if you don’t care for my discussion with Rigamax?

  11. I am a Gunārs Astra “fan”

  12. “too bad Latvians are not European enough to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages…”
    AT, I am far from an expert on the Charter, but I would point out an obvious distinction. The Russian language exists in Latvia, Ukraine, and other countries in the region because of brutally violent colonization by Tsarist Russia and Soviet Russia. Part of that colonization included “ethnocidal” programs, including efforts to Russify the populace and destroy the native language. Russians and there culture are not an historically threatened minority in Eastern Europe and the Baltics.
    As you point out, ethnic Russians living in these places today were likely born there. But to act as though Russians are a put upon minority in these places is disingenuous. It ignores history. To me, a Brit in India cannot cry “minority rights” the way, say, a Guatemalan in the U.S. can.

    • Indeed.

      The Russians who whinge about “minority rights” tend to forget the horrific crimes of their occupations of the Baltic and Caucasian nations, and there attempted Russification of those peoples.

      If they wonder why Baltic and Caucasians dislike having Russians schools in their midst, well they should pick up a non Russian history text and start reading.

      • Well, Andrew, minority rights is a recognized European value. What you say exposes your mentality much closer to those of the Russian regime now than to those who opposes it. There was much between the Latvians and the Russians in the past, good things and bad. People like you dwell on the past and feed on hatered. Thank God, most people are not like this… and there are Russian schools in Latvia, and Russians open and buy businesses there, and invest in real estate, and travel. Especially now after the crisis. This is the future, and you will end up an angry old man… whining about Abhazia and Ossetia twenty and thirty years later, while the world will be moving on.

        • I have no problem with Russian schools. Or with Russians as people.
          Trade ties between Russia and its neighbors are good for everybody concerned, they build mutual understanding and promote friendship if done in a fair manner, and this I applaud.

          I do have a problem with much of what the Russian state does however. Such as the weaponising of trade, see its politically inspired embargos on Moldovian and Georgian products for example, or its ban on Polish meat products, American chicken, etc etc etc.

          Pity you can’t see the difference AT.

          Most people are happy to cooperate with Russians once Russians recognise that the former Imperial possessions have the right to decide their own destiny without having to take orders from a country that has done their peoples so much damage, both physically and culturally.

          As for “whining about Abkhazia and South Ossetia” well, what I complain about is Russian state sponsored ethnic cleansing and mass murder. The world has not forgotten about that, and it is not likely that it will. Both wars were a black stain of the Russian state.

          But unfortunately AT, I see that you, like most Russians are incapable of admitting the crimes that your people committed and are committing. Why is it so hard for Russians to say sorry for so much death and destruction?

          All the Georgians want is for Russia to be a good neighbor, you treat them fairly you will find it reciprocated. They would like to be friends, but they, and the Balts, will never be your servants again.

          Unfortunately Russia, and most Russians, still dream of empire.

          You all need to grow up.

          • Hi Andrew,

            Loved your excellent article of September 19, 2010 at 6:52 am! to the point and spot on.

            However I cannot get over the irrelevancy of AT, he reminds me so much of that previous Russian “Dmitry”, who I renamed ‘dimwit dimitry’ and who used to call LR – albeit a derogatory term – “duffer”. Before , I guess/assume, he was finally banned.

            Give up my friend as you will never win with his likes, as AT answers in the classic Russian soviet communist manner, that is by replying with irrelevance so as to steer the discussion elsewhere and away from your factual logic.

            • Soviet??? Communist???? I consider myself anti-Soviet and anti-Communist. In fact, I am your classical conservative in the economic issues, by virtue of my trade if by nothing else…

            • @who I renamed ‘dimwit dimitry’ — this is really something to be proud of, LES! Have you recently graduated from a kindergarten? Or maybe you’ve just mentally retired?

            • oh, but duffer was for the one selling fakes – not at all derogatory, just a fair characteristic of what our duffer does:)

              well, if you also find some other meanings of the word fit our duffer, Bohdan, then, you know – the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they frequently say in this blog:)

          • Well, Andrew, it judging by your posts, it appears that Georgians still dream of restoring their mini-empire.

        • @Well, Andrew, minority rights is a recognized European value. (…) Especially now after the crisis. This is the future, and you will end up an angry old man… whining about Abhazia and Ossetia twenty and thirty years later, while the world will be moving on.

          Yeah. So, what about the minority rights of the Georgian majority (!) in “Abhazia”and minority in “and Ossetia”, “while the world in moving on”?

          Including the right to return, and the right to life? When their destroyed and looted property will be compensated for by the “independent states” of “Abhazia and Ossetia”?

          And hey, the Georgian schools teaching in Georgian, what about them?

          • Fully agreed. The right to return should be properly negotiated and honored, as well as the right for education in Georgian. After the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is recognized.

            • @Fully agreed. The right to return should be properly negotiated and honored, as well as the right for education in Georgian. After the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is recognized.

              Superb. The “independence ” (dependence) of Abkhazia and “South Ossetia” was already recognised by Russia and also Nauru. What causes the local warlords and their Russian overlords to continue to brutally violate human rights of almost 250,000 Georgian IDPs as well as thousands of remaining residents? ( http://www.hrw.org/europecentral-asia/georgia )

              • Among other reasons, the refusal of Poland, a NATO member ,to recognize these countries. When there are flags of all the NATO countries over their embassies in Sukhumi, I think the negotiations can start.

                • Ah, so an excuse for continued violations of basic human rights of the majority of Abkhazians (including IDPs) is the lack of NATO flags over Sukhumi?

                  I think the reason for this are rather the Russian flags over Sukhumi: http://gdb.rferl.org/501F37D8-BDE5-4D2C-AA2A-764F861A83F8_mw800_mh600_s.jpg

                  Not any “countries”, and this is why the Georgian IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) are classified as such by the UNHCR.

                  Just illegal Russian colonies, nothing less or more. Unless you live in Nauru and love the money enough to play along.

                  Or if you’re a Russian “patriot” anywhere (allegedly in the US, right?) and thus have “NOTHING TO DO WITH INTELLIGENCE” (as you have already admitted).

                  • I cannot understand your arguments. Mine is that once Abhazia and South Ossetia are assured of international recognition, they will have no reasons not to start negotiations on the IDP status. Before that, any return of IDPs would be perceived as re-occupation by Georgia. Won’t recognition by the NATO members, integration of these two countries in European structures and giving them a better deal in other areas actually help them become more independent?

                    • @I cannot understand your arguments. Mine is that once Abhazia and South Ossetia are assured of international recognition, they will have no reasons not to start negotiations on the IDP status.

                      They are IDPs in Georgia. If these two were independent (they’re not), the refugees would be not internally displaced. Get it? This for starters.

                      Now, one “country” is actually a protectorate and a military outpost, and the other one is a crime-based colony (Abkhazia has tourism, at least in theory because it’s more like a huge ghost town than tourist center, but South Ossetia’s “economy” besides funds from Russia is just crime, like this of Transdniester) and a military outpost too (a smaller one). “Independence” is a lie. You know it.

                      And you seems to think it’s perfectly okay to 250,000 ( http://www.unhcr.org/4c8f87676.html ) people to be held hostage by the separatists until theirs and their masters’ demands are fulfilled by the world. This is roughly as much as the remaining population of Abkhazia and “South Ossetia” combined, including the few still remaining ethnic Georgians.

                      Oh, and in 2008 they were burning their homes so they would never return, not any “they may return if”. They were speaking about this very openly even as it was happening.

                      HRW:

                      After Georgian forces withdrew from South Ossetia on August 10, South Ossetian forces over a period of weeks deliberately and systematically destroyed ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia that had been administered by the Georgian government. The South Ossetians looted, beat, threatened, and unlawfully detained numerous ethnic Georgian civilians, and killed several, on the basis of the ethnic and imputed political affiliations of the residents, with the express purpose of forcing those who remained to leave and ensuring that no former residents would return.

                      http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/01/22/russiageorgia-all-parties-augustsouth-ossetia-conflict-violated-laws-war

                    • The problem is that the largest ethnic group in Abkhazia prior to the war was not interested in independence.

                      Why should half the population be dictated to by 17% of the population?

                      Were you a supporter of apartheid?

                      In addition, why do Russians support separatist groups in Georgia, but consider separatists in their own territory (You know, the entire north Caucasus aside from Ossetia/Alania) to be criminals who should be hunted down and killed in the toilet, according to Putin.

                      When will you push for Russia to recognise the independence of Chechnya, Daghestan, Ingushetia etc?

                      By the way, the UN resolutions on the rights of IDP’s to return to their homes stated that this must be done before any referendums on the final status.

                    • I believe the two states should make it like Latvia this time: give their citizenship to every ethnic Georgian, even he is not speaking Abkhazian/ Osset, but if only he, or his ancestors, lived in Abkhazia/ S.Ossetia in 1918. That would be really following the Western standards, I guess.

  13. “If they wonder why Baltic and Caucasians dislike having Russians schools in their midst, well they should pick up a non Russian history text and start reading.”

    Very, very well said, Andrew. It astonishes me when I read complaints from Russians or others about issues such as Russian schools in other languages. It shows an arrogant disregard for history.

    • My view of this is simple. Latvia has an absolute right to declare Latvian the national language and have all official business, including government and public schools, conducted exclusively in Latvian. Non-Latvian speakers must learn it, regardless of whether it is difficult or not, and it’s their burden to make their best effort. But if they wish, they should be allowed to run private schools in any other language, at their own expense.

      The state (i.e., the Latvian government), I think, unquestionably has duty, to facilitate the process of learning Latvian and must provide free intensive instruction and create atmosphere conducive to rapid learning. The government should make an extra effort to help those who have particular difficulties learning the language (e.g., the elderly or people with various disabilities). Finally, there should be no legal penalty for those who refuse or cannot learn. Difficulties that would naturally arise when one lives in a country not speaking the language should be enough punishment

      • No legal penalty for those who does not speak Latvian? So tell me, denying citizenship (i.e. you pay taxes, but get absolutely no representation, and could never be elected) would sound a legal penalty for you?

        • If Latvia does that, it’s wrong in my view. But why don’t they make an effort to learn the language of the country they live in? If the Latvian language and culture are so hateful to some Russians, why don’t they move to Russia?

          • Why should they leave their country? In the spirit of European values, they fight for their rights.

            • @Why should they leave their country?

              “Their country” in the sense they’re Latvians (despite not even speaking the local language), or “their country” in the sense it allegedly belongs to the Russians?

              Lots of Russians are leaving the country which is actually theirs (Russian “Federation”), so what’s your problem with peaceful and voluntary (as opposed to for example their forced exodus from Turkmenistan) emigration TO Russia? And wasn’t there even actually an official plan by Putin gang to fight the demographic crisis by getting back the ethnic Russians to Russia from rest of the former Soviet Union – apparently excluding the Baltic countries for some reason?

              There’s no problem at all, just an excuse for playing imperialism again (instead of solving the internal problems, including the catastrophic decline of the Russian population in Russia).

              • @“Their country” in the sense they’re Latvians (despite not even speaking the local language), or “their country” in the sense it allegedly belongs to the Russians? — the first one.

                • So, how is this these “Latvians” still don’t even know the local language and history of “their own country”, despite living there for so long?

                  Why do they continue to insist of speaking ONLY the language of some other country, instead of “their own”?

                  Are you really sure it’s “their own country” “in the sense they’re Latvians”?

                  • And what about this?

                    http://apostille.us/news/putin_promises_to_help_ethnic_russians_resettle_from_other_former_soviet_nations.shtml

                    So, what’s the “problem” to have them going back to Russia (where the racist Kremlin/Lubyanka gang officially declared they want them to come back, and would actively assist them in immigration), again?

                    • Robert, the problem is that, since they have not left for Russia during the last 20 years, they probably consider Latvia, not Russia, to be their country.

                  • Maybe the current regime did not promote integration and supported the view that these people are second-class citizens. This can discourage people from proactively integrating into society, despite their attachment to the country. Otherwise, as you said, they would have left for Russia.

                    • Not “second-class citizens”. Just not citizens.

                      The rule for gaining Latvian citizenship for former colonists is easy. It’s not “you can’t speak Russian”. It’s just speaking Latvian, too. Really too hard for such allegedly dedicated “Latvians”, for almost 2 decades living in (according to you) “their own country”?

                    • And yes, if they feel so bad being “second-class citizens” for their refusal/curious inability (“Latvian is so hard, I tried for so many years while living in Latvia and I still can’t learn it!”) to obtain citizenship at all, they can go to merry & prosperous Putin’s Russia, where they are so badly needed as pure-blood Aryan Slavs and where they will allegedly receive lots of help with relocating back (and I guess Putin will even sing with them “From Where The Motherland Begins”). So tell me again about this “problem”?

                    • Yes, perhaps Abkhazia and S.Ossetia should do the same as Latvia did in 1991.

                      Speak Abkhazian/ S.Ossetian or get no citizenship. Plus, get no education in native language no matter what.

                • And what about this?

                  MOSCOW President Vladimir Putin promised Tuesday to help millions of ethnic Russians who live in other former Soviet republics to resettle in Russia in what is seen as an attempt to help reverse a sharp decline in the population.

                  (…)

                  A program for assisting ethnic Russians’ return will be launched in 2007 with government funding of 4.6 billion rubles (US$170 million, ?136 million), Putin said, adding that 12 regions had agreed to take in newcomers.

                  “We are aware that an absolute majority of ethnic Russians found themselves abroad against their will,” the president was quoted as saying by news agencies. During the Soviet era, millions of ethnic Russians were encouraged to emigrate to other Soviet republics and many ended up staying when the Soviet Union collapsed and 15 independent countries emerged in its place.

                  (…)

                  But Svetlana Gannushkina, a human rights activist who advocates for refugees, said she expected the new rules to favor ethnic Russians.

                  “My concern is that the program will be applied in such a way as to let in those people whom the government wants. And they want Slavs so that the ethnic makeup will not change. I think it’s more important to work on integration,” she said.

                  http://apostille.us/news/putin_promises_to_help_ethnic_russians_resettle_from_other_former_soviet_nations.shtml

                  So, what’s the “problem” to have them going back to Russia (where the racist Kremlin/Lubyanka gang officially declared they want them to come back, and would actively assist them in immigration), again?

                  • Sharp decline of what? Give me numbers for “sharp decline of population”.

                    In Russia, not in Baltic states, please.

                    • As for the Baltic states, and Poland, here we go:

                      http: // en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Poland-demography.png

                      One can easily see the Polish population dwindling, nearly 1M lost under the cruel Soviet occupation in 1993-2010.

                      http: // en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Population_of_Latvia.PNG

                      The Latvian nation every 2 of 10 citizens under the Soviet occupation in 1990-2010

                      http: // en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Population_of_Estonia_(1960-2008).png

                      And Estonia lost 250,000 citizens (out of 1,5M) under the Soviet occupants’ rule starting from 1990, and to the present time.

                      And, the last but not the least atrocity of Soviet occupants: Georgian population dwindling under Soviet occupation in 1990-2010:

                      http: // en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Georgia_Pop1921-2008.jpg

                      Oh those Soviet occupants…

              • Why would Georgians wish to stay in Abkhazia, when they actually have their country? Why Albanians need to stay in Kosovo, when they have their country, Albania?

      • Latvia is sovereign, so it has an absolute right to do anything it chooses with its Russians and their language. The question is what truly in Latvia’s interests. It does not appear to me that failing to integrate these Russians is a smart national policy. I suspect the blame/responsibility for this country’s failure to make a significant minority a fully-integrated, functional and loyal part of its society DURING 20 YEARS should not be laid exclusively on Russians. Rigamax’ “its not Latvia’s problem” confirms this suspicion.

        • Most Russians would surely go outside of Latvia soon. Many have done so since 90ies, and now most ethnic Russians in Latvia are just older generation people. Young people leave the country massively, Latvians and Russians alike.

          See the WP article on Latvian demographics.

          http:/ /en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Latvia

          -2.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)

          -25% of population in 20 years.

          13% children 0-14 in population.

          11 birth rate, 14 death rate (14 to 13 in 1990).

          Nuff said.

  14. Dmitry is spouting Russian lies. Nobody is denied citizenship. All they must do is to pass a simple language and history test and swear allegiance to Latvia – something which many Russian living in Latvia will not do. That is their problem – not Latvia’s. How often have I heard Russians say “I will never speak Latvian – it is a language for the animals.”

    • To be fair, I know several Russian Latvians who have made the effort to learn Latvian, have passed all the tests, and attained Latvian citizenship and are proud of their country (Latvia) and they too complain about the racist attitude of the majority of Russians living in Latvia.

      • And I know several Russian Latvians who have made the effort to learn Latvian, have passed all the tests, and attained Latvian citizenship and they too complain about the racist attitude of the majority of LATVIANS towards Russian Latvians.

        • I am sure you do. But racism is frequently a two way street.

          It is a pity AT that you are so bigoted you could not see that I was defending Russians who make an effort to integrate in the country in which they are living.

          If more Russians tried they would not be so unpopular in their former imperial possessions.

          Also stating regret for the way your country has acted over the centuries might help. Considering that the Russian state goal was to eradicate minorities through Russification, you should be able (if you are honest) to understand why the Latvians, Estonians, Lithuanians, Georgians, Ukrainians, Azeris, Chechens etc all have a very big chip on their shoulder about Russia.

          • Racist 35% Russian-speaking minority denied the right to use their language in tuition and in official communication? Cool. Real Georgian speaks.

            • Well Dtard, the largest ethnic group in Abkhazia (pre war) at 47% is not only denied the right to use their language, but are denied the right to life and property as well, and they are NATIVE to the province.

              In Russia, only Russian is allowed as the language of official communication, so therefore Russia is being slightly hypocritical in this regard.

              If Russians want to live in Latvia, they need to learn Latvian.
              I do however feel that with such a large ethnic minority that Latvians should also learn Russian, but the official language should stay Latvian, not Russian.

              By the way, Russian Latvians have the option to study in all Russian schools, just as Russians do in Georgia, which are funded by the government.

              In Russia there are no such options for ethnic minorities.

              You are a hypocritical little rodent Dtard.

              • But they were Stalin-sent Georgian colonists, weren’t they, Andrew? According to your own logics?

                Abkhaz had a saying in the early 90ies: Stalin brought Georgians here, and Shevardnadze took them back…

    • Well, don’t say there are no Latvians who say the same about the Russian language…

    • Well said Rigamax!!!

      What? “Dmitry is spouting Russian lies.” But, but what about AT?, may I add that you have omitted the ‘daddy lier’ from your quote or should I say dear ‘dimwit dimitry’, who is so full of, be it albeit soviet Russian propaganda and disinformation as to be a joke of the first order for Putin’s Russian Empire.

      But I am digressing from the subject matter, hence can one imagine all the non Russians in Putin’s Russian banding together and demanding to speak their native language e.g. be it Chinese, Ukrainian etc. rather then the native Russian? Yea sure, for sure? LOL, whereas in fact not in your wildest dreams would the Russians allow it, yet they expect it for their minority nationals in the territories they occupied as soviet communist aggressors – although they prefer to use the word ‘liberators’ – liberators from whom, from what??? and the tens of millions of murders they carried out in communism’s name!

      Let’s face the facts present day Russia will never be a world leader to whom nations will turn as an example to emulate or copy. Not a hope in a million years if the present and future “president for life” – Mafioso Putin has his way and the brainless Russophiles in the land keep on supporting him.

      Face the music Russophiles, present day Russia is in the doldrums and stagnating at an ever faster rate until it implodes through the weight of its corruption and evil.

      • So when/where exactly did I lie and how? Funny, I was not stating any facts, I think, just explained my views and positions. How can I lie about that. As far as your gloomy predictions are concerned, its funny to read them knowing that every statistic has been improving in Russia for the last 1o years, except for the crisis-related feedback in GDP, but that was not as bad as it was in Latvia or Ukraine.

        Russia will never be a world leader? Fine, as long as the standards of living continue to grow faster than in other countries, why should Russians be concerned about that?

        • @As far as your gloomy predictions are concerned, its funny to read them knowing that every statistic has been improving in Russia for the last 1o years, except for the crisis-related feedback in GDP, but that was not as bad as it was in Latvia or Ukraine.

          Awesome. But why, oh why the horribly downtrotten Russians of Latvia do not flock back to this workers’ paradise, which actually has even openly appealed for them to return as their “patriotic duty” and promised help if they do?

          (Even as this http://www.thenews.pl/international/?id=126395 is happening.)

          • Because LATVIA, NOT RUSSIA is their country — what’s difficult to understand???

            • @Because LATVIA, NOT RUSSIA is their country — what’s difficult to understand???

              Yes, it is.

              You see, when I lived in “my own” country for 19 years, I knew its language and history of my country quite well. Heck, even very well. Especially the language. So I guess I’d have no problem whatsoever to obtain a citizenship if I had to pass a test for this. And so I don’t understand these problems of theirs at all.

              Please tell me. Are they all mentally retarded or something? A genetic problem of the ethnic Russian population in Latvia, maybe from inbreeding among the colonialist master race, I don’t know? Are the “current regime” really discriminating them because of their unfortunate disabilities, despite their alleged enthusiasm to be “Latvians” and refusal of offers of warm welcome in the workers’ paradise of the nearby Putinland? Is this their problem? Or is it really something else, and if it is, what is it?

              • Bobby, your racism hinders you from understanding one simple fact: these people have their homes in Latvia. They constitute 95% in some regions, and are made to communicate Latvian to each other.

                It’s simple. In a town where Russians make 95%, a mayor is Latvian, and all public offices only use Latvian.

                You come to a public office, see a Russian official sitting there, ask him, hey, dude, what this text means in the paper I need to fill out, he says, this means this, and this means that, and then you fill out the paper with his help.

                Now your child goes to school. He’s been speaking Russian in the family, because you are Russian-speaking family. But they have closed 3 or the 4 the Russian language schools left in the city, and in the last one, only Russian literature and language lessons are taught in Russian. Your child needs to study Math and Georgaphy in Latvian. First, he needs to start speaking Latvian, of course, which takes 3 first classes. Are you helped/ subsidised to teach your child Latvian before school? Any courses for minority kids? Not actually.

                Then goes the university. You are taught in Latvian only, but the problem is Latvian technical thesaurus is too small. So you are actually taught, say, medicine, in English. Cool.

                After graduation you have a very natural wish to leave this mockery of a state for good. Even if you have a family there. Even if they have lived in Latvia for decades, and have all their family/ friends there.

              • And why can’t they speak their own language in their own country? Why do they need to move to the neighboring country?

    • They live in your country, so its your country’s problem. These harsh words must be a response to how they are treated in their own country.

      • No AT, it’s just well documented “Great Russian chauvinism”.

        And to be honest, it is the Latvians country.

        After all, you Russians treat Georgians whose families have lived in Russia for 200 years as “immigrants” and deport them for simply being of Georgian ethnicity, why should Russians who were sent in to Russify the “colonies” be treated any better?

        • @ And to be honest, it is the Latvians country — That’s the argument Nazis used to eliminate the Jews.

          @After all, you Russians treat Georgians — Shame on those Russians who do it. I definitely don’t. None of my friends does. Georgians are pretty well integrated in the Russian society. There are famous ethically Georgian actors, influential ethnically Georgian businessmen, even ethnically Georgian criminal leaders…

        • @you Russians treat Georgians whose families have lived in Russia for 200 years as “immigrants”

          This comes from where, your fantasy world?

          1) Show me one “Georgian family” that has lived in Russia for 200 years, and still they were not assimilated through interethnic marriages? What is this – out of pure rasism they are choosing only their kin to marry? For 200 years? That can’t be, sorry.

          2) Show me one case where a georgian in Russia gets a lower wage than Russians. One case of discrimination basing on ethnicity.

          3) And then compare wages of Georgians in Russia to wages of Georgians in Georgia.

          Andrew, please, please don’t just boldly repeat here all stupid claims of Saakashvili’s Imedi.

      • @They live in your country, so its your country’s problem. These harsh words must be a response to how they are treated in their own country.

        No, such situation is not the country’s problem. Btw if some country really has “a problem” with a peaceful (as of now) but undesirable group of people living somewhere (such as, let’s say, the “problem” of “Falun Gong evil religion” for the Communist Party of China), it would try to solve it (including with “final solutions”, such as this in Cambodia after the Year Zero), and it’s, you know, bad.

        But Latvia has no problem here whatsoever. Nothing to solve here, the rules are the same for so many years and are not going to be changed. No one going to be jailed, deported or killed neither.

        As already Rigamax told you: “That is their problem – not Latvia’s.”

        What you want is something like this: http://www.japanprobe.com/2010/02/22/should-the-japanese-government-subsidize-north-korean-schools/

        It’s not going to happen.

        • @No, such situation is not the country’s problem. — Yes it is. A failure to make an important minority a fully-integrated, functional, productive and loyal part of society is a problem.

          • Most Russians in Latvia have no wish to intergrate – indeed is there any country where Russians DO intergrate? Another quote from so many Russians in Latvia is “There is only one problem in Latvia – the Latvians”. I do wish AT would stop spouting the fascist Russian party line. It would be interesting to know in which country he lives. . .

            • “Most Russians have no wish to integrate” — people around the world do what they have incentives to do, in a corporate or in a societal setting. People are defiant/ rebelious when they are uncomfortable and/or when their dignity is threatened. The fact that a significant number of Russians living in Lative “have no wish to integrate” shows that there are no right incentives for them to do this and that they are not treated right. I am not spouting anything. I am observing facts and making my conclusions.

            • “There is only one problem in Latvia – the Latvians”. — this is very telling. This appearst to suggest these Russians have a strong connection to the country. But they perceive the ethnic majority as a problem. The constructive thing would be to understand why you, Latvians, appear to present a problem for your Latvian Russians in what should be their own country in all respects and try to resolve it. Or is the real goal to build a Latvia without Russians, so there are disguised incentives not to integrate in place?

              • No AT, it is just the usual arrogance of Russian chauvinists.

                A well documented phenomenon in all former Soviet republics.

                Their arrogant and racist belief that their culture is superior to that of the “minor races” of the empire basically precludes any attempt at integration.

                The average Russians inability to apologise for, or even aknowledge, the horrific crimes against his neighbors by the Russian Empire (both Tsarist and Communist) also precludes any chance of integration with the ethnic majorities, all of whom suffered severely at Russian hands in the past (and in many cases in the very recent past and present)

                • Not only, its also the Latvian arrogant and racist belief that their culture is superior to that of the “barbaric Russian” culture that precludes any attempt at integration. As a country on a path to democracy, Latvia needs to figure out how to marginalize these shauvinistic beliefs on both sides and ensure that all Latvians, no matter what their ethnicity is, feel respected, dignified and proud for their country.

                  • To be honest, with regards to the Russians living in former Soviet republics, it is a bit like having large colonies of Germans in Israel who would then deny the holocaust and harp on about the “superiority of German culture”.

                    If you can’t get this through your skull then there is no helping you.

                    The simplest solution is for Russia, and Russians, is to say ” Sorry for trying to exterminate you and your culture for the last 200 years or so”, to the Baltic republics, to the Ukrainians, the Georgians etc etc etc.

                    And to show a little humility would not hurt either.

                    • Andrew, even if we assume that Russians indeed tried to “exterminate someone and someone’s culture the last 200 years or so” why am I supposed to apologize for this. Or any living Russian for that matter. I did not try to exterminate anyone. Nor my family or my friends or anyone I know. If you think I owe someone an apology, well you are not getting it, for I have nothing to apologize for. If you or Georgia, or Latvia chooses to despise Russians for this matter, this is as much a problem for Georgia or Latvia as it is for Russia. As I said, Latvia can choose whatever it wants to do with its Russians. It can continue to do exactly what it does now. Any choice has ramifications, however. Whatever the flaws are in Latvia’s policy towards Russia, the ramification is a split country with 1/3 of society not pledging full allegiance to the country, not giving their full potential to the country’s political and economic development. If this somehow brings a sense of satisfaction to the Latvians, they are doing the right thing. I just do not see how this is in Latvia’s interests. If Georgia is going to anrily demand apologies from the Russians, well… they are not getting any until they make me feel so nice soft and mellow that I feel like apologizing what all those obscure Tsars and generals from the past did.

                    • @To be honest, with regards to the Russians living in former Soviet republics, it is a bit like having large colonies of Germans in Israel who would then deny the holocaust and harp on about the “superiority of German culture”.

                      Hypothetical German deniers and their Kultur, that would be nothing compared to the real-world Russian minority there. Can you imagine there are Russian “kids” in Israel who attack and beat the Jews and non-Jews alike for not being Aryan? I’d rank it the “Israeli Neo-Nazi gangs” even higher than the “Japanese North Koreans” on the absurd scale. They also maintain close contacts with the Russian National Socialist groups, which is not suprising because of their Russian identity (after rejecting their Jewishness even more than the man who decided to change his name to Zhirinovsky did) and the fact most of the Nazis in the world operate in Russia.

                      Somehow, this is an exclusive trait of the “Russian-Jewish” community there (curious inability of many to assimilate even in the nation made by refugees and immigrants from all over the world AND having literal, Hitler-worshipping, skull-cracking, Nazi thugs among them). And of course, they just won’t go back to Russia.

                      Journayman Pictures:

                    • Robby, denying Holocaust?

                      You mean, like Holocaust Holocaust? Holocaust of Jews in Europe? When 6M Jewish population of Germany was exterminated/ thrown out of the country?

                      Was there a comparable “Holocaust” of Latvians by Russians?

                      Then it must surely be the Holocaust of Latvians in 1990-2010, when Latvian nation lost 25% citizens?

                      Because “under Russians” Latvian (ethnically Latvian) nation grew steadily, starting from the very beginning of “occupation”.

                      How comes every other young-European chauvinist is so weak in numbers?

                      Don’t answer, that was a rhethorical question.

          • But the Japanese govt was sponsoring hundreds of the North Korean schools in Japan (where the kids are brainwashed with communist-militaristic-nationalist propaganda and “Juche ideas”) for a long time, and yet the North Korean Japanese (born in Japan, raised in Japan, living there all their lives in peace and prosperity) remain a part of the society loyal to horrific abomination that is North Korea: http://www.peterpayne.net/2010/04/north-korean-schools-in-japan.html

            So, as you see, it doesn’t necessarily work this way.

            • Who says that sponsoring something stupid blindly works. It has never worked, does not work now and will never work.

              • Thats why people don’t want Russian schools in their country.

                • No it is not. Latvia has all the power to ensure that whatever is taught in Russian schools in its country reflect its country’s values. Furthermore, if Latvian, Japanese or any government, or any institution or person gives money to someone, its that person’s responsibility to ensure that the money is spent effectively. I really cannot see how the Japanese government’s throwing money at North Korean schools with no conditions and no strings attached justifies why there should not be Russian language programs in a country where 1/3 of the population speaks Russian.

                  • Because they should learn the language of the majority (and native) population.

                    Personally I think Russian should be taught in all schools as an optional subject in places like Latvia etc.

                    However, Russians are somewhat hypocritical in this regard, after all the Russian ministry of education does not allow for say Ukrainian or Georgian or Latvian education in Russia.

                    In addition, the “national component” of the Tartars and other ethnic minority republics is being banned from state schools in Russia.

                    Why do you demand that an immigrant (historically speaking) minority in Latvia or Georgia has the right to a separate education, but immigrant ethnic minorities in Russia can only learn Russian in state schools?

                    Thats right, you are a typical Russian chauvinist.

                    • Andrew, I do not demand anything. There are indications, however, that Latvia’s policy with respect to the integration of its Russian minority has been failing miserably. Besides, what I think is reasonable and what you consider as chauvinism has already been recognized as a reasonable approach to handling minority issues in the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which Latvia has refused to ratify.

                    • @Russians are somewhat hypocritical in this regard — Russians do not appear to have 1/3 of population that is not integrated in the society. Besides, Latvia is building a European identity and must respect European values, regardless of what Russia’s approach to treating minorities is. Russia is hardly a role model in this area. Latvia should treat its Russians respectfully in all areas, including the language, not based on how minorities are treated in Russia but in its national interest in the first place.

                    • I agree with you that ethnic minorities should be treated with respect, but it is a two way street.

                      The Russian minority has to actually want to be integrated, and for the most part I little sign of that.

                      Rather than continuing with Russian separate schools, they would be much better learning Latvian, hard as that admittedly is.

                      In addition, remember that your 1/3 of the population is there as a result of Russian attempts to “breed out” and colonise the Baltic Republics, and the Caucasus for that matter, and to eradicate, through Russification or deportation, the original populations.

                      Once again, an apology would go a very long way towards helping reconciliation between native populations and Russian colonists.

                      Do you feel any regret for the way your nation has acted towards the Latvians, Estonians, Ukrainians, Georgians, Lithuanians, Crimean Tartars, Chechens et al?

                      Russia does however have a very large segment of its population that is not integrated, and attempts to integrate them by force have failed miserably. Even though this segment of the population is not 1/3 of the population, it still causes immense problems for Russia.

                      See the north Caucasus for details.

                    • Andrew,
                      @ “remember that your 1/3 of the population is there as a result of Russian attempts to “breed out” — the past matters for those who like to dwell in the past. These people are there, they consider Latvia as their country. They will fight for their rights. Latvia can continue to do what it has been doing for 20 years and remain split, with a Russian fascist party or it can take another approach.

                      @ Do you feel any regret for the way your nation has acted — My nation shared history with all these peoples. The perpetrators of atrocities were as ethnically mixed as the population of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.

                      @Apology — neither I personally, nor most of my contemporaries have nothing to apologize for. If Latvia chooses to discriminate agaist its Russians, its this country’s choice. If Georgians prefer not to deal with Russians without apology, its their choice. As I indicated above, the Russian nation’s responsibility for the Russian empire’s and USSR’s successes and failures is fully shared with other nations within this multi-ethnic state.

                    • You really just don’t get it do you AT.

                      Russia was responsible for a great number of crimes against it’s neighbors, and as for the “multi ethnic state” come on, pull the other one.

                      The attitude of those who suffered under Russian imperialism should give you the idea it was not all peace and mungbeans, in fact quite the opposite.

                      An apology would show that you are not prepared to continue the imperialist, aggressive, and quite frankly genocidal policies of the past.

                      The fact that you and other Russians feel that you have nothing to apologise for causes those oppressed by Russia in the past (and in some cases present) not to trust you at all.

                      They have legitimate concerns that Russians have not changed their ways.

                      You can lie to yourself all you want that “all suffered” under the Tsars or Communism, but the simple fact is that the horrors of both regimes were borne principally by the ethnic minorities including during WW2. Your attitude, despite your attempts at portraying yourself as reasonable, show exactly why these people do not trust Russia or Russians.

                      One only has to look at Russian actions in Moldovia, Georgia, and the north Caucasus to see why.

                      Russian support for and leadership of ethnic cleansing and mass murder, and continuing attempts at empire building.

      • BS is what you say. Nobody ever deported a Georgian residing in Russia and holding at least a valid visa.

        You yourself claimed there are 300 000 Georgians staying in Russia illeglly. They got deported – just to get back soon, for they need to send money to their families.

        • Wrong again retard, quite a few of the Georgians deported from Russia in 2006 had valid visa’s for working in Russia, in fact there is a case lodged with the ECHR on this matter.

          I addition, legal Georgian owned businesses in Russia were targeted and many closed during this all to usual piece of Russian racism against Georgians.

          Of course, you being a verminous piece of filth I am not surprised that you are lying again.

  15. AT: “The constructive thing would be to understand why you, Latvians, appear to present a problem for your Latvian Russians in what should be their own country in all respects and try to resolve it”
    For your information I am not Latvian. I have been living in Latvia for over a decade – and I so sorry for the Latvians who had to suffer so much under the Russian (Soviet) occupation and even now they can not rule their own country as they wish without the former occupiers telling them what they should do. Latvia is a divided country with one third of the population despising the ethnic Latvian way of life. If Russian wish to live in Latvia so be it – but it is them who MUST intergrate with Latvia and not the other way round

    • Well, Rigamax, Latvia is sovereign as I said. They can choose whatever they want with their Russians: kill them off, deport them, ignore them. They have the absolute right and power to do anything. All these methods were tried in the past with respect to other minorities in other countries. I guess the conclusion is that that they do not work. If a country wants a fully-functional, successful society, it must ensure that the majority does not rule as it wishes. Respect for minorities is a cornerstone of any functional civil society. Diversity tends to make a society stronger, not weaker. If Latvia wants to remain a divided country with a fascist Russian party, it can continue to do what it has been doing for the last 20 years. If it wants to become a stronger, more successful, more unified society however, it MUST figure out how to make its considerable minority feel respected, dignified, valued part of society. It MUST figure out a sustainable way of integration that does not breed contempt and society split.

  16. @Rather than continuing with Russian separate schools, they would be much better learning Latvian, hard as that admittedly is.

    No, they can keep their schools, teaching in Russian if they like, they just have to learn the local language and history. That’s all.

    AT actually made some sense with his idea of Russian-language state-sponsored schools that would be controlled (avoiding a debacle like this http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2010/06/north_koreans_japan this), but there’s also a question if the Latvian Russians would agree with him.

  17. UkrainianFromRussia

    Of course, “Russians in Ukraine” are always complaining and bitching. The world never fucking hears about us Ukrainians in Russia, how many of us there actually are, (Don Cossacks are Ukrainians by every meaning of the world), and how many “Russians” are actually Ukrainians who report to the census for ethnic Russians to avoid discrimination. IN Ukraine, there’s probably less than 10,000 ACTUAL Russians. Many Ukrainians in the east were told there is no difference between Ukrainians and Russians, and liked to fantasize that they were RUssians, so the Russians wouldn’t shit upon them. Joseph Shitlin actually won- (Adolf Shitler still took defeat- somewhat comforting). I have an accent typical of Ukrainians from west Russia- I pronounce V as W, (opposite of Russians, who are known to mispronounce W as V in English)- and Russians see this as common in the west- meaning there are far more Ukrainians in Russia than the damn census says there are.

    • Argumentitively Sound.

      Only in my city Lviv, with 1 million population in 90s, there were more then 10,000 Russians. There’s possibly more then that even now, despite all changes, though I do doubt that’s what their passports can show… And what’s your point here exactly? So, Ukrainians discriminate Russians in Ukraine, Russians discriminate Ukrainians in Russia? The only sensible conclusion here is that they are not that different after all.

      Throughout this entire blog I see nothing but ignorant, bitter bigotry. It has become a habit among ex-ussr nations to blame Russians for all the crimes committed by the Soviet regime, from which they suffered just like everybody else. They are being blamed even for Stalin’s crimes, who was a Georgian, by the way. By no means I invite us all to hate Georgians now, or hold them responsible for his actions, hell no, just get your facts straight. My point should be clear here. No people should be hated for the crimes committed by their rulers. I hate to be associated with Bandera, simply because I am from Lviv, yet it happens all the time…

      Right now Russia suffers another dictator, who is trying to provoke a conflict with Ukraine. And I don’t know if you are following, but Russians in Ukraine were the first to protest these actions, as did many Russians in Russia itself & were even arrested for it… Are you people really that dens, or you just need to hate someone? You even brought Jews into this… Jewish people suffered from the entire world throughout hundreds of years and no more from Russians then Ukrainians, be honest.

      I remember the mid 90s, when my city was flooded by degenerates from Polish & Hungarian borders, who don’t even speak Ukrainian but these ugly dialects, all claiming ethnicity, united by the hatred of Russians, using words like “moskali” or “moskovit”, bringing nothing but grief and embarrassment to my nation. And then yelling & pushing their way from a pig-farm straight into ruling my city, renaming its streets, destroying its history… Sad times for Lviv & the Ukraine in general.

      All of you of course are free to believe whatever you want & hate any or everyone, but here is a simple truth. Russians, Ukrainians & Belorussians can all trace their heritage back to Kievskaya Rus’. Believe it or not, we all come from the same people. Once a great Slavic tribe covered a great deal of territory. Different parts of this territory were influenced by different powers, & that is where the difference between these now nations is coming from. I will always see Russians & Belorussians as brothers, and I will look to other nations as potential friends, before anything else. Some of you may think it’s idealistic, but to me it’s simply human. That’s why this choice is easy for me, for above all else I am human & I chose to live in accordance with this fact, to exercise my free will the best way known.

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