Ukraine, Georgia and Latvia, Beacons of Freedom

I am being a sarcastic, of course. Ukraine has banned broadcasting of Russian TV channels. Georgia cut access to the .ru domain and banned Russian TV channels (and Euronews!), no doubt to silence any questioning voices over their criminal aggression as opposed to the likes of Fox, CNN or the BBC, which swallowed the psychopathic Saakashvili’s lies hook, line and sinker. Finally, and most disturbingly, Latvia is now arresting those who dare question the stability of its economy on charges of ‘destabilizing the financial system’.

The Western MSM would do well to express greater interest in this instead of endlessly hectoring Russia – the whole specks of chaff and logs and eyes thing, you know. Otherwise, as in the 1930’s, the debris of capitalism could end up once again incubating incipient fascist regimes.

Russia concerned over banned Russia TV in Ukraine regions

MOSCOW, October 9 (Itar-Tass) — Russia is seriously concerned over a ban on broadcasting of Russian TV channels in several Ukrainian regions, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Andrei Nesterenko said on Thursday.

“As a result a considerable part of the Ukrainian population were deprived of an opportunity to receive information on the native language,” he pointed out. “The ousting of the Russian language and the Russian culture cannot but affect bilateral relations. Numerous letters are coming in the Russian Foreign Ministry from people expressing concerns over the situation in this issue, and we share these deep concerns,” Nesterenko said.

Looks like they’ve decided to take Loco Lucas’s advice to heart (apparently, Russian media is a hotbed of Nazi propaganda), thus following in the footsteps of Georgia which banned Russian TV broadcasts and access to the .ru domain during their criminal aggression against Ossetia.

EDIT 11/26/08:

False Dmitri gives us the breakdown on Latvian information control about the financial crisis. Put’s the Streetwise Professor’s (mostly unfounded) complaints of Russian ‘information management‘ into perspective.

Valter Fridenberg (on the photo), a popular Latvian pop-singer, has been arrested by the country’s security services. Apparently he made a joke during a concert about the state of the Latvian economy. More specifically at the concert given on November 9, 2008 in Elgava he said:

“If anyone wants to run and get their money out of the bank, please at least wait until the end of the performance.”

The young man is now a suspect in the crime aimed to destabilize the financial system of Latvia, according to Mr. Fridberg said that his words were a joke made to introduce the next song, and his fans understood them as such. However, the people at the security services think otherwise. In an interview following his arrest, he said very cautiously: “It looks like now we have a censorship in Latvia.”

A few days ago the Latvian Finance Minister Atis Slakteris informed that several of those responsible for spreading rumors about devaluation of the Latvian currency had been arrested. Another disturbing news concerns an economist working at the Ventsipls University College who has been arrested for an article about the perspectives of the Latvian economy and the banking system of Latvia.

All this confirms that Latvia is experiencing a very serious financial crisis. The days of the “Latvian economic miracle” (and democracy?) are over.

The latter claim is not as outlandish as it might seem. During the Great Depression, civil liberties and the Constitution were suspended in Latvia and power passed to the authoritarian Ulmanis. He pursued a ‘Latvia for Latvians’ campaign (Lettization), which eliminated ethnic minorities from all important positions in the national economy (about 90% of the banks and credit establishments in Latvia were in Latvian hands in 1939, as against 20% in 1933). A dark foreboding of what the future may have in store for already oppressed Baltic Russians…


  1. DaRuss,What are the chances of Ukrainian Oblasts declaring independence – Donetsk, Lugansk, Crimea?DJP

  2. Da Russophile says:

    Well Crimea tried in the 1990’s (but was rebuffed by Russia itself). And there are pretty strong separatist tendencies in Donetsk.So I think that amidst the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine, coupled with a concentrated media-political campaign on Russia’s part, and the possibility of this happening becomes quite real.

  3. Michael Averko says:

    Yushchenko’s policies encourage greater division in Ukraine.A Ukrainian government that’s more respectful of Russocentric concerns in Ukraine will better solidify that country remaining whole (not that Ukraine is on the verge of breaking up).All this is said on the belief that the Russia unfriendly advocacy in Ukraine is (in overall terms) more provocative than what can be reasonably accused of the Russia friendly side.

  4. Concerning that situation the freedom of speech in Latvia: I’ve published a follow-up (a translation of the interview Dmitry Smirnov gave to Izvestia. DS is the economist arrested in Latvia for publishing an article on the state of the Latvian economy):

  5. NB “False Dmitry” is a funny name (you are referring to the historical events that followed the death of Ivan the Terrible?)

  6. 1. Thank you for linking to that, Dmitri. You’ll be pleased to know this story has made it into the Western MSM, surprisingly enough.

    Albeit they still have to smear Russia in there somewhere… – “Unlike Russia, where state-controlled media largely ignore bad news, Latvia has a vibrant free press.”

    2. Yeah. I found it funny that you should imitate a President whose name is Dmitri, of all other names. Glad to see you can take a joke. 🙂

  7. Hi AK,

    1. Thanks for the info – great article. I forgot that Dmitry Smirnov is spelled Dmitry SmirnovS in Latvian (another Dmitry – hopefully a real one ;-))

    2. It was a great joke and to the point. In Russian it sounds funnier though.

    Cheers, Lzhedmitry

  8. “Unlike Russia, where state-controlled media largely ignore bad news, Latvia has a vibrant free press.” – is a great line. I wish Il’f and Petrov were still around to elaborate on this 😉