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Extremely anti-Russian article
It seems this article was written by some of Latvian neo-nazy (most of Latvians are, Hitler is their national hero). It does not mention that Russian is completely banned in Latvia, it's a crime to teach or learn Russian. This is just shows how typical wikipedia is then it goes about Russians - maybe you should consider renaming it to Der Sturmer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 21:14, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
- "Latvian neo-nazy (most of Latvians are, Hitler is their national hero)","It does not mention that Russian is completely banned in Latvia, it's a crime to teach or learn Russian" - Talking about lies. Last time i got nearly beaten up by Russians in Riga when they learned where i am from and i don't speak russian. Please add the link here for discussion since this topic is very polluted by Kremlin funded sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 18:37, 14 April 2020 (UTC)
Merge with other article
The other article focuses more on the Soviet era through contemporary while this rewrite so far still has to deal with Latvia's first independence. I would like to have some more time to work on this article and see where it winds up before looking at a merge. (In principle, I agree, I just don't think we're ready—I'll be glad to do the merge after this article is "done.") —Pēters J. Vecrumba 16:39, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Russian "identity" as Latvian minority
I fail to see the reason for the elimination (identity already emerging at the end of the 19th century) with the comment that "Russians would have not known what Latvia was before 1917." Latvia was one of the prime industrial centers of the Russian Empire, for example, accounting for one fourth of the industrial output of the entire country in metal fabrication. Yes, one fourth. The ports of Latvia together out-shipped any other port in the empire, and even on its own Riga was not far behind St. Petersburg in total tonnage. Russians were very clear on what Latvia was and what Riga was as the capital of the Latvian province. If a better argument is not presented than the ignorance of Russians regarding where they were living--considering I provided Russian-related references that supported the orignal statement in the article--I will be reverting (and would expect a discussion here first, next time). —Pēters J. Vecrumba 16:39, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Apologies, I've had a lot of personal stuff going on (like job hunting, alas) and have been away from Wiki so have not had a chance to continue rewrite. I put back an earlier edit of demographics which someone had removed, which is that Latvians declined in absolute #'s as well as %-age of population during Soviet control, that is, total Latvians prior to first Soviet occupation as compared to Latvians at restition of independence. That verbage was based on reviewing the raw numbers. Pēters 20:35, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Property restitution issues
I know there have been several changes in Latvian property restitution laws over the years, but I don't know the specific details. However, the following quote which is now in the article is untruthful:
- "To the credit of the Latvian government, anyone who legally gained a residence according to Soviet law was able to claim that residence upon Latvian independence (even if that "legal" basis was Soviet confiscation of property). Returning property owners seeking to reclaim their property were compensated with equal land elsewhere (no recourse to reclaim the building itself) or with certificates which could essentially be used as discount coupons in acquiring shares in privatized undertakings."
I know for a fact that several years after independence forced property (land and apartment) seizures for the purpose of restitution to the pre-war owners or their descendents happened. Such a seizure occured to the privatized land and residence of one of my relatives in 1993. I do not know the details of the seizure (maybe it was because of some technicality - the relative in question passed on a few years back (RIP) and I am not sure how much information I will be able to find out now), but I do know that this was not an isolated incident. After I emigrated from Latvia, I continued to hear about more similar cases. Another thing this misrepresents is that under the Soviet system, apartments in apartment buildings were issued as property (like 'condos' for anyone familiar with real estate in North America), but when those apartment buildings were given to the pre-war owners or their descendants, the apartment owners suddenly became the apartment tenants. There was a highly publicized case (Shirshin I think was the name of the victim) where a couple that had been issued an apartment sometime in the 50s or 60s in Riga were evicted by the restituted apartment building owner a few years back.
I think someone more familiar with Latvian property restitution laws and the notable specific cases of restitution should re-write this paragraph. I do not know any such persons. In any case, the information as it is right now is not true. Moonshiner 03:40, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
- On the other side of it, I know people who have reclaimed family property and been legally unable to evict the people living there. In cases including mine, that of relatives and of acquaintances, the inhabitable portion of property could not be returned and was replaced by other property in kind. What I wrote (which you quoted) is after my reading the Latvian regulations on restitution of urban property and of rural property (two separate sets of rules)--which were provided to me directly by the Ministry of the Interior.
- Unfortunately, there are plenty of cases involving shady deals, "interpretations" of rules, and the essential dictatorial rule of "pasvaldibas" (county self-governance) which can put everything into abeyance. I know of someone who went to claim family property, was denied (though the property was not inhabited), and the local government folks apportioned it amongst themselves, chopped down all the trees, and pocketed the money. The perversion of law does not define it, however.
- Things are rather busy now and I don't know if I've got the rules here or in Latvia, I'll be glad to follow up with the references. I am sorry for the experience of your relatives, but in all honesty there are such stories on both sides of the property reclamation equation. The explanation of the law is entirely truthful. Pēters 01:22, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
- I fail to see the relevance of this paragraph, as it has nothing to do with nationality and involves Russians and Latvians alike. Property restitutions are a thorny issue, see Germany after reunification. Bringing this up in an article about the Russian minority in Latvia only implies that Russians, in general, are to blame for everything done by the Soviet Union.--Joostik (talk) 19:48, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
A particular quote
As a former Latvian native, the following sentence in the section 'Current situation' is particularly puzzling for me: "Russians settled mostly in larger cities because initially smaller towns were less safe for them because of local resistance..." What period of time and which towns and what sort of resistance is this sentence refering to? This is the first time I have heard anything like this. Please provide sources if you can (I am right now tempted to plaster every other sentence in that section with 'fact' tags since they refer to concrete events and dates but no supporting evidence is given). If no one can come up with this in the next few weeks, perhaps this oddity should be removed, as I think it not only implies small-town Latvians are racist (well, some people might agree, but this has generally not been my experience), but also gives a very misleading picture of Russians who settled in Latvia. Moonshiner 17:55, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
It is not particularly relevant for the history of Russians in Latvia anyway, but it is blatantly hypocritical to mention that the Ulmanis' government retired in 1940 without mentioning that the country was at the time already under full Soviet military control. Ditto for the so-called "elections" that followed. Off the top of the head, one would also guess that the newly-"elected" Saeima had already renamed the puppet country into a "socialist republic" and itself into some sort of "Soviet" by the time when it formally "asked for admission" into the Soviet Union. Cheers, --3 Löwi 18:58, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
- Who forbade you to defend your freedom and to fight for it? Pusillanimity of the Latvian elite is no excuse for rewriting the history. --Ghirla | talk 19:08, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
- Your suggestion, Ghirlandajo, is the equivalent of saying that women ask to be raped. Would you also suggest that Denmark was not occupied by Nazi Germany? Nowhere is history being rewritten -- unless you think that blatantly false Soviet historiography being even less accepted outside Russia than it was prior to the collapse of the USSR constitutes "rewriting the history." The occupation is fully documented by numerous historians. Wikipedia already includes articles on the occupation -- Occupation of Baltic Republics, Occupation of Latvia, Baigais Gads, etc. It is very relevant to the history of Russians in Latvia because many of the Russians arrived while Latvia was under Soviet rule. --Pēteris Cedriņš 19:42, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
- Peteris, I'm not going to question your nationalist mythology here. Suffice it to say that what you say above does not make half-forced migration of various Soviet peoples to Latvia a "Russian colonization". You wouldn't say that France is being "colonized" by Arabs nowadays, or would you? Purge the article from POV phrasing or get ready to face more revert conflicts in the future. --Ghirla | talk 22:37, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
- "Nationalist mythology"? No, Ghirlandajo -- history. Consult any standard reference. See, for example, the Library of Congress Country Studies. Latvia was occupied as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and annexed against its will. "The leading positions in postwar Latvia's political, economic, and cultural life were filled by Russians or Russified Latvians, known as latovichi, who had spent much or all of their lives in the Soviet Union. Political power was concentrated in the Communist Party of Latvia (CPL), which numbered no more than 5,000 in 1945. The rapid growth of industry attracted migrant workers, primarily from Russia, further facilitating the processes of Russification and Sovietization. Net immigration from 1951 to 1989 has been estimated at more than 400,000."
- No, of course I wouldn't say that France is being colonized by Arabs -- France is an independent nation-state and sets its own immigration policy. If the Nazis had retained control of France for half a century, as the Soviet Union (to which Russia is the primary successor state) did in Latvia, deported part of the population and settled vast numbers of Germans and people from nations subjugated by the Nazis in France until the ethnic French were barely a majority in France... then yes, I would say that France had been colonized. There were 206 499 ethnic Russians (and 1 472 612 ethnic Latvians) in Latvia in 1935, but 905 515 ethnic Russians (and only 1 387 787 ethnic Latvians) in 1989.
- That many of the Russians (and I did not include details on the other colonists, who were largely Russified) came here through no fault of their own, and that many were born during the occupation, is something you might research and add to the article.
- There is neither nationalism nor POV in my presentation of the facts (I didn't write this article -- I merely reverted after someone changed the text to suggest that Latvia joined the USSR voluntarily; that flies in the face of the facts, since there was no plebiscite, the country was militarily occupied, and the elections to the "People's Parliament" were plainly rigged). I have a POV, of course, but yours tends to infect your editing, as it did in the reverts to the article on the Abrene district. If you have information to add, or dispute the facts, please do so. Simply throwing around unfounded accusations about "nationalism," like your earlier accusations of "irredentism" and "Russophobia," is not at all constructive. I find that sad, since so many of your articles are so very fine. --Pēteris Cedriņš 02:41, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Peteris, while denying Russification and claiming that the attachment to the USSR was voluntarily is baseless, the term "Colonization" is certainly inappropriate in the current context. Also, regarding the non-Latvians who came not through the fault of their own and/or were born there, what do you mean by saying that this might be "researched". Do you dispute that? The issue of post-independence discrimination of non-Latvians have been widely published and were even addressed by the Council of Europe and by the Strasbourg Court (I am only 90% sure that it was Latvia in the court case(s) but we can check that too). As such, the "Second influx" and the "Third influx" sections lack neutrality very much. We can either tag the sections with the POV-section template or address these concerns sooner rather than later. --Irpen 03:59, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
- Irpen, the term "colonization" is used exactly once in the article: "Immediately after the war, Stalin carried out a major colonization and de facto Russification campaign in what were now the three Baltic Soviet republics." How is this "inappropriate in the current context"? I suggested that the question of people coming through no fault of their own and being born here be researched not because I dispute it but because referenced estimates for those born in occupied Latvia would be specific information, and material on the circumstances in which people came would be a welcome expansion of the article -- i.e., I think facts and details are preferable to vague generalities. I haven't been addressing the supposed discrimination of "non-Latvians" (far too foggy a term, since citizenship is not based on ethnicity and about half of the ethnic Russians are citizens, most by descent and ca. 100 000 through naturalization; if passages on the occupation are stricken, the issue of non-citizens cannot possibly be understood by anybody regardless of their political persuasion). There have indeed been court cases at the ECHR (as there are for every CoE country), in most of which the court ruled on very narrow aspects of specific cases. The Council of Europe has certainly addressed the issue of alleged discrimination, but it addresses many issues (and then some) -- in the main, Latvian policies are fully in compliance with European norms, and the Council of Europe recently closed the post-monitoring dialogue despite the contrary position of the Russian delegation. I did not write this article, Irpen -- I don't really intend to revise it, either, and only reverted an edit which you seem to agree was baseless. Like many articles, this one needs a lot of work. It is difficult to work on controversial articles if editors who are not constructive, like Ghirlandajo, vociferously interfere without contributing anything and apparently without any desire to address serious concerns seriously. I have read your talk page and know that I am not the only editor who takes this view. --Pēteris Cedriņš 05:05, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
- An advise from "non-constructive" editor - read Wikipedia:No personal attacks. Users indulging in personal attacks may be blocked from editing Wikipedia. Take care, Ghirla | talk 12:01, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
About... "Who forbade you to defend your freedom and to fight for it? Pusillanimity of the Latvian elite is no excuse for rewriting the history" and "nationalist mythology"... The Baltics signed their pact of "mutual assistance" with the Soviet Union because Stalin had already told them he could invade any time--and they knew the Soviet army would overwhelm them. Finland, which declined those same "mutual assitance" discussions, was summarily invaded--confirming Baltic fears. Once Soviet troops stalemated with Finland and a peace was declared along that border (to be broken again later), the Soviets turned their army on the Baltics. Molotov concocted the circumstances under which the Baltics "threatened" the Soviet Union and invaded, including the pretense he needed to protect the Soviet troops already there. People were already being deported to Siberia while Latvia was still (technically) independent--clearly an act of war, not some "half-forced" migration. As for "widely documented discrimination" against Russians following the restoration of Latvian independence, this is primarily the manufacture of Russian propaganda and agitation, taking on veracity through endless repetition. I would specifically point to the worldwide convention of Russian journalists held in Latvia (Jūrmala) in the summer of 2000. Even Duma representatives attending the convention freely admitted that the "oppression" that they had come expecting to spotlight did not exist and that they had, in fact, been misled. Latvian Russians have lost their enforced privileges, yes; but losing the ability to cut in front of the line is not oppression, it's only the enforcement of civilized manners. If this is a "rewriting" of history, then by all objective scholarly measurements it is a far more accurate depiction of circumstances than continuing Russian pronouncements (including Duma resolutions) that Latvia joined the Soviet Union willingly and legally.
"Neutrality" means putting facts first. I'll be glad to discuss Latvian nationalist veracity versus Russian propagandist veracity any time. Peters 19:45, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, this was hodge-podge that no longer bore any semblance to reality. Soviet occupation, Nazi occupation, Soviet reoccupation redone, population statistics of 1989 added. Out of deference to prior author(s) left Helsinki Accords reference, added Yalta, and clarified what was/was not recognized. Peters 04:21, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
- I have no issues with taking out information which, for example, better belongs in Latvia. However, as others felt it necessary to put in that history as a backdrop, it needed to be more factual--as was expanding the Helsinki Accords mention, which totally missed what the accords did, and didn't, mean to Baltic independence. Peters 05:13, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
- I can agree with Irpen's suggestion that some of the material in this article is superfluous and belongs in the History of Latvia article, and Vecrumba seems to agree, too -- his edit was necessitated by the attempts of some previous editors to deny the fact of occupation, though. An assessment of the Helsinki Accords, for instance, does not belong in this article; this is not the place to discuss the issue of recognition or non-recognition. An explanation of how many of the ethnic Russians in Latvia arrived whilst the country was under occupation most definitely does belong here, however, and such an explanation could be kept short by including links to articles like the Occupation of Latvia. It might be appropriate to note that Russia (and many of the ethnic Russians in Latvia) dispute the fact of occupation, but including wording that seeks to legitimize a sham "people's parliament" chosen in rigged elections when the country was under occupation is completely unacceptable; the facts are well documented and available from numerous reputable sources, as noted here and on other talk pages where the question has come up (e.g., Talk:History of Latvia, Talk:Occupation of Latvia). The Wikipedia already has articles entitled Occupation of Latvia and Occupation of Baltic Republics (and the Baigais gads article by Vecrumba, which ought to be merged with the Occupation of Latvia article, in my opinion). It seems clear that some editors (e.g., Ghirlandajo) dispute the fact of occupation and consider the use of the term POV, and this basic difference will continually crop up in many articles which require reference to the occupation. It is in no way NPOV to try to remove a term simply because some people object to it; "annexation" is not a replacement because "annexation" and "occupation" are two very different things, as I tried to explain in Talk:Occupation of Latvia. Latvia restored its independence in 1991, which is why many of the ethnic Russians who arrived during the occupation are non-citizens or have naturalized; this is a major reason why the reference to the occupation is absolutely necessary to this article. That the Russian Federation considers Latvia a newly independent state and does not accept the legal continuity of the Republic occupied in 1940 is relevant, too, but that does not mean that the facts should be watered down or that the term "occupation" can be replaced with a fundamentally incorrect term employed as an ungainly euphemism. The baseless changes to the article that were edited and reverted by 3 Löwi, Peters, and myself would lead to many things making no sense at all -- for instance, the sham "elections" of 1940 (in which there was but a single list, the democratic opposition having been arrested) are not considered elections; the 1993 elections were the fifth, not the sixth, parliamentary elections, and the current Saeima is the eighth, not the ninth (the puppet diet of 1940 was termed "the People's Saeima"). I am reverting Ghirlandajo's last edit, and I think that changes to the article should be discussed here and supported with better reasons than edit summaries in which sourced references are dismissed as "nationalist drivel." --Pēteris Cedriņš 13:33, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
- As the circumstances of occupation of each of the Baltic Republics differs in the details (e.g., dates, terms of "mutual assistance pacts," governments-in-exile versus legations-in-exile during the occupation), I would suggest that Occupation of Baltic Republics serve as a general introduction, with a separate Occupation of Latvia, Occupation of Lithuania, and Occupation of Estonia (including merging Baigais Gads with Occupation of Latvia). The details for each republic should be left to their respective communities to sort out and document.
- (I would note that not only were the Latvian post-invasion elections rigged, but captured Soviet documents show the rigged results themeselves were then completely falsified.) Peters 19:08, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
And please make sure that article uses the terms wisely. While "occupation" certainly applies as the term to describe the act of the Soviet takeover, speaking of Baltic countries as "under occuplation" in 70s and 80s simply looks odd, international politics and recognition of lack of it notwithstanding. Just use the terms appropriately please. I don't want to start another series of arguments over this. Another frequently abused in WP term is "annexation", which in international relations is much more specific than all the meanings that people use it for. --Irpen 19:13, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
- Even Stalin used the word "occupy" to Vilhelms Munters, the Latvian Foreign Minister. Its use is totally appropriate, as the Russian government continues to deny the term and circumstance "occupation." 50 days, 50 weeks, or 50 years--an occupation is still an occupation regardless of how long it lasts. I would suggest that an appropriate "counterpoint" for those wishing it (Ghirlandajo et al.) is for the Baltic occupation pages to note that the Russian government, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, continues to maintain that the Baltic Republics legally and willingly joined the Soviet Union--that "opposing" viewpoint can be happily documented with supporting evidence and interpretations in its own article. (My own personal view is that the Russian Duma passing resolutions to that effect unassailably demonstrates the total moral corruption of the Russian state, but that's my POV--a POV which I have taken great pains to omit.) The facts and circumstances as I documented them are incontrovertible. Peters 19:39, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
50 days, 50 weeks, usuallly yes yes. 50 years, hardly. Unlike typical occupied territories in international relations, those republics were with time integrated into the Soviet Union. They retained many local specifics, as well as some other republics did, but they were de-facto integrated in the country. Please do not generalize regarding those wishing. I don't know who exactly you mean and whoever it is, I suggest that you chill out. You want to avoid the article being a hotspot, than just stick to facts, preferably the relevant facts only, choose words carefully (that doesn't mean avoiding hot words when appropriate, but yet choose the best appropriate and most exact words) and don't generalize over those who disagree with you. Otherwise, the fastly growing talk page would have to be archived almost weekly and the article's edit hisotry would be virtually useless for editors who want to develop it for being filled with reverts, overshooting (that is, how Peteris once put it, replacing "Occupation" by "Liberation" to later settle for "Control) and edit summaries that would not help future editors to understand the article's evolution. I don't want this to happen and I suggest you also give it a thought. Please note that I did not revert your filling the article will unrelated stuff but simply tagged it and other editors agreed with the tagging. I don't want this to turn intro RV war battleground. Oh, and I have nothing against Latvians or anyone else and , you may be surprised, I am not Russian either. --Irpen 19:57, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
- I think we can agree to stick to demographics and leave the political interpretations for elsewhere. I look upon the Soviet presence as an uninterrupted occupation; Irpen rightly observes Latvia was integrated de facto; and then there are the views that it was all legal. I'll take another cut through it sticking to numbers (which were also missing in the original) and remove the politics--assuming we all agree to hash out differences elsewhere. Peters 22:55, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
- I was hoping to write something less detailed and refer to the Demographics of Latvia page, however, that appears to be woefully inadequate where any detailed historical information is concerned. Too much to bite off for now! I believe the current "Third Influx" edit is appropriate to our specific topic. I would note, personal observation, that Latvian Russians aren't "tainted" by the presence of Russian organized crime, however, it is of great concern. Peters 00:55, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
- Irpen, whilst Latvia was certainly integrated into the USSR (something that naturally followed annexation by a totalitarian empire), I don't see how that ever ended the occupation. To return to a metaphor for a moment -- if I kidnap a girl and hold a shotgun wedding, does it become less of a kidnapping because I hold her hostage for a few decades, or because I consider us a happily married couple (and a few of my relatives, mostly those of the same character as I, agree)? The USSR changed, of course, but what point would you look to as a twilight in which occupation becomes something else? I don't think there is anybody here who would argue that there was any semblance of democracy in the USSR prior to 1989/90, at which point Latvia almost immediately elected a Supreme Soviet that declared the restoration of independence on the basis of the 1920 constitution of the Republic, with a transition period that ended when the coup against Gorbachev failed. The point, then, is that Latvia was never part of the USSR of its own free will, and never gave its consent to any "integration" except at gunpoint. The occupying military -- which became Russian rather than Soviet, notably, upon the collapse of the USSR -- was not withdrawn until 1994. If you take Stalin's death as some sort of line after which occupation blurs into some gray convivio with the other brotherly republics, you come upon the suppression of the national communists in 1959, which has far-reaching effects on the Russians in Latvia who are the subject of this article -- in short, attempts to improve the rapidly deteriorating position of the Latvian language and seek "socialism with a human face" during the Khrushchev Thaw were crushed by the Kremlin and its local lackeys, the leading national communist Eduards Berklavs was sent to Vladimir, and thousands of people were labeled "bourgeois nationalists" and silenced, often losing their jobs. It is not difficult to terrify people who were deported or had seen their relatives deported. Pelše, a Russified ethnic Latvian who rarely spoke Latvian and was never a Latvian citizen became the leader, and many of the high positions here were filled by Russian Latvians, often more "anti-Latvian" than ethnic Russians (e.g., Boris Karlovich Pugo was among the better known persons from that crowd...). That there were many Latvians who collaborated with the Soviet regime is undeniable, of course, and half a century of occupation certainly leads to major changes in society (the influx of Russians and other Russophones being one of them). The historian Daina Bleiere notes, however, that the growing numbers of Latvians in the nomenklatura in the 1970s and 1980s consisted mostly of technocrats who entered the Party for pragmatic but not ideological reasons; with any possibility of "socialism with a human face" suppressed almost a decade before the Prague Spring, even the strong 1960s generation one saw in Russia did not appear here. Eduards Berklavs, once a committed communist, re-emerged in the late 1980s as a founder of LNNK -- the Latvian National Independence Movement, less compromising than the Popular Front. --Pēteris Cedriņš 10:43, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
I believe it is appropriate to remove the "disputed facts" and "POV" flags. Let's leave the occupation for elsewhere. Peters 02:00, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
- It would be helpful if Irpen, who added the neutrality tag, would specify exactly what he considers to be not neutral at this point. --Pēteris Cedriņš 13:14, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
- Hello, Irpen? Well, if there are no other comments, I'll probably just go ahead and remove the tags tomorrow. BTW, from personal conversations with Latvians and Latvian Russians, I really don't agree that the Russians feel they are viewed with suspicion as a generality, but as I don't have any citable references to say either way, I've left that alone. Peters 17:18, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
- Found estimate of Russian troops remaining when Russia withdrew. Peters 17:39, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
I can't agree with the tag removal (A side note, please give at least 3 days to respond at talk to questions like "Can we remove the tag?", people have other things to do but Wikipedia, and even within Wikipedia there are other articles on the watchlists). The tag removal is even less possible now than it was.
First of all, I disagree with sticking to demographics the way you stick to it. What was made out of this is a highly POV tainted text for the Demographics of Latvia article. I would have POVed that other article had you decided to add this there, but here it is totally out of place. Look at the article's title and check its contents. And, also, while obviously having time to present such a detailed analysis of the Latvian population "continued to slip" (note that this is not a Latvians article) it is obviously "forgotten" to mention how Russians (the subject of the article, BTW) were treated during the Nazi occupation. The Baltic Russians article, is rather laconic on this too devoting just 12 words to the Russians who found themselves under the Nazi occupation: "those who fell into German hands were treated harshly, many were murdered."
Elaborating on every inappropriateness of the current version will take longer than rewriting this whole article from scratch. If you in good faith question the POV being justified, address the issue I brought up above, and I will bring the next one. I lack time to rewrite this article, but I can't agree to the tag removal and I can bring more reasons once the ones above are addressed. But, again, I would think that it would be easier to rewrite the whole thing from scratch than NPOV this version. --Irpen 21:27, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
- If the Latvian and Russian populations both rose, then that would have maintained some sort of status quo balance. The former clearly and consistently declined while the latter clearly and consistently went up, due in large measure to external influx of ethnic Russians from elsewhere in the Soviet Union--as documented by Soviet sources. There's nothing POV about that, it is simply a numerical representation of the decline of Latvian influence and rise of Russian influence in Latvia while the Soviet Union had control. I attach no value judgement to it, these are just numbers. If quoting Soviet sources on Russian population in Soviet Latvia is POV, then I don't hold out much hope of any agreement on this article. I don't have a lot of detail on the Russians during the Nazi occupation, I essentially left what (unfortunate) little was there (written by someone else)--and would most definitely welcome an addition. Equally necessary is a lot more on Russian cultural life today in Latvia, again an area I cannot expertly comment on, other than knowing there's a "Moscow House" in Riga as well as theater, music, etc., a good number of Russian book stores, etc.--hardly doing the topic justice, but I would be glad to start that if someone could follow up. I'm not contributing to this particular page to grind some personal axe. You'll note I added Mikhail Eisenstein, the architect most responsible for one of the architectural glories of Riga -- Albert Street. You wanted "occupation" politics out of the article, that's been done. Peters 08:02, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, the caption where it says "against policies" seems to be more NPOV. Various groups all over the world (blacks of USA, Arabs in Europe, etc.) claims discrimination (and indeed their situation is frequently worse than that of titular nationality in one way of another, (example: non-existance of high schools in their language) but it wouldn't be clever to call everything to be discrimination in encyclopaedia (and it is not only ethnically based in this case; it is based on werether the person lived in Latvia prior to 1940 and so on as well); the best we can do is to write that the protest is against policies and, in order to make everything understandable, eplain what those policies are, how they do effect the minorities (and that is already done in the article close to the picture). This way it is the most encyclopaedic I believe. Alcatel 18:02, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
After reading the following sources, I think that discrimination is the right word to use:
Some of the above sources are neutral western publications with no axe to grind. Quite obviously there is some discrimination going on there. That is why I unsugercoated the caption. --Latinus (talk (el:)) 19:47, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
- Unfortunately, just like the British tourism pamphlet that a decade after Latvian independence repeated Soviet propaganda that the Freedom Monument was built to thank the "liberator" Stalin, many western publications repeat Russian ministry pronouncements and the pronouncements of Latvian Russian "activists" without having spent time in Latvia. A photo-op, a quick quote, and there you have it, Russians flooding into the streets to protest. Anything not from first-hand observation and reporting is as suspect as Soviet propaganda. I at least have talked to Latvian Russians both here and in Latvia about life during Soviet times, and after. How many here can claim that? Peters 01:17, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- I find "neutral [western] publications" to be an oxymoron, and an encyclopedia must take care when employing the press as a source. But I would suggest that you read Angus Roxburgh's article a bit more carefully, Latinus. For instance: "Since September, Russians have no longer had the right to be educated entirely in Russian. Now, in the last three years of school, 60% of subjects must be taught in Latvian." (Italics mine.) My, my -- severe discrimination and gross human rights violations, eh?
- The CoE, the OSCE, and the EU do not find Latvian laws discriminatory; there have been occasional recommendations that Latvia has not followed -- e.g., granting the right to vote in local elections to non-citizens -- but these have the character of recommendations; many countries do not permit non-citizens to vote. If there are instances of discrimination, Latvia can be (and, like any other European country -- is) taken to court in Strasbourg. Latvia abides by the decisions of the ECHR.
- But, to the meat of the matter -- I was not "sugercoating" but clarifying. The caption gives the impression that there is ethnic discrimination in Latvia at the state level (as does Roxburgh's headline, which is demonstrably false and probably not written by him).
- The sign in the pic, other than making a propagandistic exclamation about the Russians being indigenous (a contention to be examined in light of the facts on the influxes above) and stating that they compose half the country (when ethnic Russians compose less than a third -- 28.6% -- of the population), makes two demands: "citizenship for all" and "Russian for official language."
- 346 746 ethnic Russians were citizens of Latvia in July 2005, 288 207 were non-citizens (or permanent residents without citizenship), and 21 084 were resident aliens (mostly citizens of the RF). See the facts and statistics on residents, Naturalization Board of the Republic of Latvia.
- I live in Daugavpils (mentioned in this article as the second largest city and having a Russian majority) and served on the board of the Multinational Culture Center here. The city is indeed 54% Russian and only 17.7% Latvian, ethnically -- 27 different ethnicities are present in this town, though many people who are not Latvian were Russified under Soviet rule (the Polish schools were closed, for example, and even Latvian language educational opportunities were extremely limited).
- It is notable, however, that most of the ethnic Russians in Daugavpils hold citizenship by descent -- i.e., prior to naturalization, at registration in 1993, 39 988 Russians here in Daugavpils held Latvian citizenship, whilst 27 058 were non-citizens. 13 024 of the Poles (who still outnumbered the Latvians in 1993) held citizenship, 5086 did not. 512 of the Lithuanians held citizenship, 639 did not (perhaps we discriminate against our Baltic brethren, too?). There were even 242 Latvian non-citizens!
- In other words, those Russians who really do have roots here do hold citizenship. You could say that homines sovietici are discriminated against, I suppose -- but there is a simple naturalization process for those who wish to become citizens, and as of December 105 088 persons have been naturalized, 68.2% of them ethnic Russians. In addition, children of non-citizens born after the occupation ended can get citizenship without knowing the language or history of Latvia.
- None of the above means that there is no discontent in the Russian community (communities, actually, since the ethnic Russians are not a monolithic group), but that should be treated in the article without resorting to simplistic demagoguery. There are different points of view, and many people believe that Latvia and Estonia should have granted citizenship to all residents automatically, as Lithuania did. Most ethnic Russians think Russian should be a second official language. These views should of course appear in this article -- but any understanding of the society and system would require additional information, e.g., on asymmetrical bilingualism and the legacy of the occupation. It is not informative to say "Blank was born in Latvia but can't get citizenship due to discrimination" if Blank was born in occupied Latvia, or was a KGB agent, or works for an irredentist Russian political party.
- You could accuse Latvia of linguistic discrimination, but the accusation would need considerable elaboration; the fact is that only about one in five non-Latvians knew the language when independence was restored, and that was a consequence of Russification during the occupation and a symptom of language status ("the language of prestige," etc.) -- almost all Latvians know Russian, and most know it fluently. One might note that the first language legislation was passed when even Russian soldiers could vote and everybody still held (Soviet) citizenship, so the contention that the language laws are a consequence of "disenfranchisement" is questionable, indeed; one should also point out that linguistic discrimination is more often suffered by Lettophones, not Russophones, even today -- about half of the Russians can speak some Latvian now, but studies of its use paint a rather gloomy picture of what "some" means and actual practice, especially in the workplace. Personally, I know this very well and am forced to use Russian every day.
- The issues should be presented here, but a balanced article requires some depth and considerable care with phraseology. The three links you posted, Latinus, do not offer any background -- the first is a Russian view that covers "post-Soviet space" in a tendentious manner, the second seems to consist of ellipical notes for a lecture, and the third is a shallow piece of journalism which even so qualifies "discrimination" with quotation marks ("Anger at ‘discrimination’ as nation goes to polls"), much as another editor attempted to qualify the word in the caption. Rather than restore that edit, I attempted to find less POV language, and I do not consider accuracy to be "sugarcoating" or using "weasel words." This article is supposed to be about Russians, not Russophones (the latter being an ambiguous term, since most Letts are Russophones, too), and the radical opposition to Latvian policies is not confined to ethnic Russians, just as many ethnic Russians are not in radical opposition to Latvia's policies. The media can be cited, of course, but it will not be very constructive if one brings in Roxburgh and another Socor or Goble to counter the view, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. -- Pēteris Cedriņš 09:35, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- It is perhaps fit to observe that Joseph Stalin once said, "Paper will put up with anything written on it." And what the paper gets to see in today's Russia is largely controlled. Quoting from an analysis of the Soviet press by Oleg Panfilov, a typical scenario--from several years ago, but still as true: "A couple of weeks ago, a group of journalists from Moscows liberal press flew to Tbilisi to meet with politicians, government officials and Georgian journalists. When Georgian reporters asked why the Russian press publishes so much blatant disinformation, the Russians replied that no other information is available." (italics are mine) Peters 00:01, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
- With respect to links 1,2, and 3 earlier, (1) is Russian pronouncements--I have been a subscriber to CDI and the presence of an article does not indicate any kind of journalistic acceptance or western endorsement (2) is a high school project, interesting reading, but unaware of differing historical circumstances in the Baltic states, of real differences between the Russian communities in the three Baltic states, and unaware of the non-homogeneity of those Russian communities within each state; (3) I quote from Angus Roxburgh's article:
- "They say all the “non-citizens” have the right to become Latvian citizens if they wish. All they have to do is pass a Latvian language test and an exam in Latvian history (in which they must answer “correctly” that Latvia was not liberated by the Soviet Union from the Nazis but occupied and subjected to a further 50 years of totalitarian rule).
- "But Tatjana Zdanoka, one of Latvia’s MEPs and the only Russian member of the European Parliament, says it’s not so simple. “Many of the non-citizens – such as my own mother – are elderly people who can neither afford language lessons, nor have the aptitude at their age to learn, nor wish to pass an exam by mouthing things they don’t believe in.”"
- Roxburgh's attitide (using the phrase they say putting in quotes the words "correctly" regarding occupation and finishing with the idea that people are forced to mouth things they "don't believe in"--is one of looking for the byline to make impact, something he has been criticized for in reviews of his work. Roxburgh also wrote, in 2002: "At least the truth is now told in Russia." Roxburgh would appear to be wearing rose-colored glasses where his assessment of Russian attitudes and intentions are concerned. His professional history certainly point to his Russophile tendencies, even having worked in the Soviet Union as a translator--while Roxburgh was able to freely converse with Latvian Russian "activists" in their native tongue, it's clear that he did not do so with Latvians for balance, and, further, projected his admiration of the Russian people (which is otherwise laudable) on to the "activists" in Latvia.
- At the end of the article, Roxburgh expressed amazement that with all the tension it's amazing they're not at each other's throats, as an afterthought without further comment--instead of that setting off alarm bells that his whole notion of ethnic tensions in Latvia is a poor and shallow assessment on his part of actual circumstances. Peters 15:05, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
- [swords=8fd5893941d69d0be3f378576261ae3e&tx_ttnews[all_the_words]=Tatyana%20Zhdanoka%20latvia&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=26551&tx_ttnews[backPid]=7&cHash=2ffa58ef8c Here] is a true objective link painting a representative picture of Tatyana Zhdanoka; Russians and Latvians meeting halfway on issues is not on her agenda. Peters 03:12, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
About "No axe to grind"
I thought it would be worthwhile to share a translation of an article which appeared in one of Latvia's major newspapers after the BBC News' publication of Roxburgh's articles on discrimination against Latvian Russians. The most insidious "axe" is the one ground by someone we would have assumed is objective.
BBC Journalist Perpetuates Lies About Latvia
Aija Cālīte, "Latvia's Newspaper"
Tuesday, April 12, 2005 00:01
BBC journalist Angus Roxbourgh traveled to Latvia in March. Although he is permanently based in Brussels, and others among his colleagues usually write about Latvia, Angus Roxburgh brought to us [meaning, to Latvia] his concerns about the status of non-citizens and educational reform.
After a short visit, the "BBC News" published two stories for its readership. First, "Citizenship row divides Latvia," and then -- "Latvian lessons irk Russians."
Threatening the stature of the Russian language
Writing about the law on citizenship, it was stressed that 450 000 Russians and Russian-speaking non-citizens is a problem in Latvia. Although the journalist did explain how this sort of situation had developed (deportation of Latvians, the artificial flood of immigrants), nevertheless he emphasized, that "Russians must take a test in Latvian, and pass an exam about Latvian history -- in which they must "correctly" answer that the country was occupied and colonised, not liberated, by the Soviet Union in 1945." Yet another Russian-speaker said, that the government's policy was to divide society along "ethnic lines." The Russians the journalist met informed him that it is "psychologically difficult", and those seeking citizenship "have decreased", although they would like to integrate. Tatjana Zdanoka and the "Russian rights activist" Igor Vatolin, a journalist for the newspaper "Chas", also expressed their opinions. Regarding Latvia's official position, Angus Roxburgh quoted deputy of the Saiema A. Kirsteins as having said that "unwanted foreigners would be herded on to trains and shipped back to their "ethnic homeland" - with a brass band playing on the platform to see them off." Not another Latvian -- politician or just an ordinary citizen -- was interviewed.
The article "Latvian lessons irk Russians" tells about the currently banned Riga's 22. High School teacher N. Skestere, who, ignoring legal requirements, conducted her lesson on Greek history in Russian. The school director, Natalija Rogaleva, justified it, being of the opinion that "Russian is a great language, but here it is gradually being squeezed out. Soon it will remain only a household language." Student Lera was also unhappy that a number of subjects had to be studied in Latvian because it "worsens our knowledge of physics, chemistry, history, and so on." The journalist describes huge protests last year against reform, emphasizing, that "Latvian officials say they were organised by Moscow." He himself is completely convinced that the protesters are the students themselves... He repeats the conclusion, that for the Latvians "this is 'pay-back time' for Soviet rule" though "the government denies it." A. Pabriks statement is cited, that the goal of reforms is to insure that children "know equally well the language of their family and the state language of the country." And right along with it, N. Rogalevas opinion [responding to Roxburgh's question] that "something needs to be done to improve integration": "They should stop calling Russians 'occupiers' and 'immigrants', and stop calling all the time for Russian schools to be closed." And, in preparing this story, Angus Roxburgh didn't talk with a single Latvian.
After its publication in the "BBC News" home page, the story was republished, from Scotland's internet newspaper "Sunday Herald" to Turkey's "Turkish Weekly." Angus Roxburgh also prepared a radio broadcast, accessible on the internet.
Who is this Roxburgh?
BBC journalist Angus Roxburgh is one of the most experienced of this public broadcaster's journalists. From 1992 to 1998 he was stationed as Moscow correspondent because of his good command of the Russian language. He had polished it back during Soviet times, working as a translator in Russia from 1984 to 1986. As a "Sunday Times" correspondent Roxburgh was ejected from Moscow, though returning in 1991 as a correspondent for the left-leaning "The Guardian." Angus Roxburgh's leftist leanings express themselves most in his book "Preachers of Hate" -- about the incursion of the extreme radical right party in Europe and the sad results that can be expected of them.
Are we powerless?
I wanted to determine, if, during his brief stay in Latvia, Roxburgh had sought any background information at the British embassy. There it was explained to me that no one knew of his arrival in Riga. "Some journalists come to us seeking background information, but others work just with their own information sources" explained an embassy employee. Since Britain's ambassadors have demonstrated a particularly large interest, involvement and investigation of the complex questions of integration, one-sided, slanted stories in the British public media are all the more embittering.
I asked the director of the Latvian institute, Ojars Kalnins, about how cooperation with foreign journalists takes place. Since interest about us has increase along with our joining the EU, the institute's employees have, working together with the Integration ministry secretariat and with the assistance of other agencies, prepared various fact sheets on the most current questions which are of most interest to media heads. He adds, that arriving journalists very often are interested in exactly those questions, about which Moscow recites with regards to Latvia -- about May 9th, about the status of non-citizens, about educational reform. It's the journalist's own choice -- to seek out this information or to just rely on what they hear and see themselves. "If someone arrives with a predetermined judgement about Latvia's problems and only looks for its illustration, they don't come to us looking for information. In reality, if they do stop in, it often happens that it's that very background information which allows the journalist to prepare much more objective materials than with what they previously simply accepted."
I asked, can those who don't want to accept Roxburgh's position do something, so that the BBC also hears their position? Kalnins suggested contacting the BBC's complaints and suggestions department. He explained that working together with exile Latvian organizations in the U.S., this approach had often been taken--if unacceptable information about Latvia surfaced, people organized and wrote mounds of letters. "If I were to answer, for example, myself, that would be interpreted as the government's position; nonetheless, it's important to show that members of the society [in question] do not agree with the journalist's story."
BBC's complaint and suggestion department:
- phone 0044 (0) 8700100222 or write to: "BBC Complaints, PO Box 1922, Glasgow G2 3WT, United Kingdom".
- web site: http:://news.bbc.co.uk, where you can send and Email
(end of article) -- Pēters 06:16, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I read both Roxburgh's articles and find them balanced and illustrating the issue objectively. He provides the background of Soviet repressions and, at the same time, expose the problems faced by the Russian community. I don't uderstand why the journalist doing a story should coordinate with the embassy or any other gov organization for that matter. I added links to the article. If anyone reading them feels like complaining to BBC, this is just as well. Dialogue and discussion is always useful for all sides. --Irpen 07:57, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
- Journalists are of course under no obligation to coordinate any researches with the government -- but one would think that a decent journalist would be interested in what is relevant to the topic if the topic is government policy and its effects. In this case, a reader could expect Roxburgh's article to include the views of the Ministry of Education, and one could also expect some material on the education reform as a whole (e.g., the different tracks for bilingual primary education and the option for schools that don't choose any of these to come up with their own curriculum; LAShOR, opposed to the reform but more constructive than the more extreme opposition, in fact worked out another track together with the Ministry of Education).
- Zhdanok's background, conveniently omitted from the BBC article, is germane to the topic. I doubt very much if Mr. Roxburgh would discuss racial integration in the American South with a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan or a former Black Panther and not mention his interlocutor's past. It is not "objective" to ignore the fact that whilst many ethnic Russians did support independence, many were aggressively opposed to Latvia's statehood -- and Tatyana Zhdanok was one of the leaders of the hardline pro-Soviet Interfront. The radical anti-reform group Shtab included such luminaries as Aleksandr Kazakov -- not a resident of Latvia but a Russian citizen and an aide to the Russian irredentist politician Dmitry Rogozin, he was expelled from the country. Kazakov compared the education reform to the attack in Beslan in an incendiary speech. Some of the most prominent self-proclaimed spokesmen for "the Russophones" are hardly innocuous "human rights" activists -- last month, for instance, the politician Aleksandr Gilman proclaimed Latvia's very existence a total evil like unto Nazism, advocating the removal of "the Canadian pensioner" (Latvia's President, a former refugee) from Riga Castle and the Castle's "return" to the Young Pioneers. Zhdanok has invoked Macedonia in thinly veiled references to the possibility of violent ethnic strife if the radicals' demands are not met.
- Articles on language policy, education, and integration must offer background -- skipping over asymmetrical bilingualism, a description of the school system and the integration program to focus on an embittered teacher violating the law (who later disavowed her comments, by the way) and "balancing" this with remarks by a rightist Latvian politician known for speaking before thinking (since ejected from his party), rather than providing an overview of these processes, is hardly "objective." Some of the better Russian language schools did not have a problem with the reform, for example; seeing the need to prepare Russophones for higher education, they had concentrated on graduating fluently bilingual students prior to the political brouhaha. It is revealing, too, that the non-Russian minority schools were not opposed to this reform (the state provides minority education in Polish, Hebrew, Ukrainian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Romany and Belarusian, as well as Russian -- Latvia actually has a remarkably liberal education system and was one of the first countries in Europe to adopt a law guaranteeing public education in minority languages, in 1919). There is a substantial difference between offering education in a student's mother tongue and Latvian or, in essence, running a separate school system for an imperial minority; the nature of the latter is reflected in the slogan used by radical opponents of the reform, "Russian schools -- our Stalingrad!"
- As it is, opposition to the reform has declined precipitously since Shtab's heyday. A study by the Ministry of Education released in June of last year showed that 30% of the parents of those affected by the reform supported it, up from 16% the previous year. Another 27% partly supported it (22.6% in 2004) and only 35% were opposed (down from 59.4% in 2004).
- I am not going to indulge those who apparently enjoy revert wars, but I do think I have given sufficient reason in sufficient detail for my contention that the current caption for the photograph is inaccurate, inappropriate, and POV; "Russophones" are not an ethnic minority, and this article is supposed to be about the ethnic Russian minority -- more than half of the ethnic Russians hold Latvian citizenship, many non-citizens are not ethnic Russians, and Russian language schools are not "Russian schools"; they are attended by many students who are not ethnic Russians, whilst many ethnic Russians and ethnically mixed couples increasingly prefer to send their children to Latvian language schools. Gospozha Zhdanok consistently interprets integration as coercive assimilation -- that is her POV, and many Russophones hold various shades of that POV. Others have another POV -- Ludmila Azarova, for example, a prominent ethnic Russian writer and translator, describes the protestors against the reform as unthinking marionettes and destructive zombies, accusing Latvia's Russian language press of psychological terror and distortion.  --Pēteris Cedriņš 16:52, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
- "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be lead to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) -- Mencken has Gospozha's number. For someone as alarmed about the far right as he professes to be, Roxburgh conveniently ignores the equal danger of extremism to the left. --Pēters 00:45, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- As an example of incitement, Pravda on September 24, 2005 published the following: "Only 86,000 of native Russian has received Latvian citizenship sice the collapse of the Soviet Union, while 424,000 live their stripped of basic rights." This is, as just about everything Russia says about Latvia, simply, a blatant lie,--yet instantly and widely propagated as it comes from a well-known news source. Above, however, Pēteris Cedriņš cited the official figures: 346 746 ethnic Russians were citizens of Latvia in July 2005, 288 207 were non-citizens (or permanent residents without citizenship), and 21 084 were resident aliens (mostly citizens of the RF). --Pēters 06:11, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Peters, your rant is misplaced. No one is using anything form that pravda article here. If you want to rant that Russian press is all lies and/or Russians are evil and such, the WP talk pages is the wrong forum. You will find plenty of people eager to discuss those things with you at usenet groups or some popular political forum sites. --Irpen 06:17, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- A lot of the positions people state with regards to Latvia's history, the interpretation of the Soviet role in Latvian history, the situation of Latvian Russians, closely parallel Russia's officially expressed positions, as communicated through its press organs. "Facts" appearing in the Russian press are quoted by everyone from Russian "activists" in Latvia to Duma deputies to Wikipedians "POV"ing anything that does not toe the line with regards to the Russian view. It is unfortunately necessary to make the point that Russia is in no way an objective player in this, and that what the Russian press and Russian "activists" say is not to be taken at face value. It is not a rant to point out Russia's misinformation campaign. That said, I think I've personally exhausted myself on that topic--I have no control over what people choose to believe. I can only suggest some thought and inquiry before the choice is made.
- In the meantime, outside of the exchange of opinions going on here, I've taken a considerable amount of time to start to restructure this article to something that does resemble the title, researching and rewriting the first section, and have yet to hear a word of feedback. I've even tracked down some academic experts on the subject that I've considered contacting for feedback--for example, I've been corresponding with the Latvian Academy of Sciences for a number of years now--but I'm not going to put more effort into it until there's some consensus that we can move forward. --Pēters 07:43, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- Ghirlandajo's most recent edit summary -- "latvian [sic] sources are not NPOV"  -- continues a trend of edits like that in which he changed "references" to "Latvian references" (in the Abrene district article); the suggestion that something is "not NPOV" because it is written by a person of a particular nationality or published in a particular country is quite simply bizarre. Perhaps all of the Russia-related articles should be purged of Russian sources?
- The fact that the article Pēters translated is from a right-wing (increasingly far right) newspaper is another question, but I would suggest that this sort of dispute will be the dead end we end up in if we rely upon the media for analysis. --Pēteris Cedriņš 11:44, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- I have to agree that quoting the extremes hoping to average out to the middle isn't going to bring us to the center. Perhaps we can focus on the rewrite. Russians have a long and dignified history as a Latvian minority. --Pēters 17:40, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
The BBC journalism cannot be an "extreme" unlike the comments on it or on anything else from the right-wing press. I support the idea to return to the article that should consentrate on the Russian minority. The first step would be to move the stuff that doesn't belong here to Demographics of Latvia or anywhere else where it better belongs. This steers this article too far off-topic. --Irpen 17:48, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- About 'The BBC journalism cannot be an "extreme"', we'll just have to disagree, given that in 2 articles Roxburgh only managed to quote one Latvian--an ultra-right-winger--as blanket proof of anti-Russian Latvian sentiment. --Pēters 03:20, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
While I expect to put the demographic research I did for the Soviet occupation to good use, it does seem to me that between the debate over "occupation" and the whole categorization of Russian history in Latvia as its "influxes," this article took a wrong turn somewhere.
I have taken a first cut at a rewrite, taking care of ancient times through to the end of the 19th century, incorporating most of what was there under the first and second influx. (One correction, Russian peasant immigration started in the latter half of the 16th, not 17th century.)
Before I put more effort into this (missing is all of Latvia's first independence, for example, and going back to "Wikify" all the text), I'll leave the rewrite, "part one," up for a while to see what the reactions are. Peters 00:33, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- I was rather hoping for some feedback on "Ancient Latvia Through the End of the 19th Century" and approaching the topic of Latvian Russians by focusing on how they got there and how their identity as a Latvian minority and culture developed. We've had a lot of eager commentary on politics, but not much said on culture and identity. Peters 19:26, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
- I am redoing the POV tags and un-POV'ing the first section, given no one has registered any complaints and the section has been up for more than a week. --Pēters 03:23, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
- I've added the next section, through to before Latvia's first independence. Still looking for some more cultural information for that particular period. The majority long time descendents of Old Believers did not get caught up in the Revolution of 1917; it's fair to say there was probably more Latvian affinity for the revolution than Russian. --Pēters 00:09, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
- You're doing a fine job of trying to give a brief overview of very complex and often contradictory material -- keep up the good work! My main problem with it so far -- in the 1905 revolution, what happened in the Baltic provinces (the Courland and Southern Livland gubernii) differed from what happened in Latgale, which as far as I know wasn't much different from what happened in the non-Latvian part of Vitebsk guberniya. There is and has always been intense disagreement on how "national" 1905 was (in C. and S.L. -- we cannot speak of a Latvia yet), but it certainly had a strong nationalist element, with demands for national schools being made by LSDSP/SDS and the mass demonstrations at Grīziņkalns addressed by Latvian leaders like Asars. The revolution in the Baltic provinces was organized by LSDSP, which was a Latvian party and did not join with the Russian party until 1906 (and stayed autonomous even then); the Riga events were coordinated by the Latvian socialist leaders and the Jewish Bund, but the Russian left refused to participate.
- Soviet historiography emphasizes the class struggle aspect, of course (and that was certainly a major factor), but the Latvian left always saw 1905 as part of what led to the Second Awakening and the nation-state -- granted, the left later split between the "internationalist" and "nationalist" directions in varying degrees (sometimes within the same person), as it did between East and West and Menshevik and Bolshevik... but class distinctions aren't everything, as a look at Cielēns' futile attempts to involve ethnic German workers in LSDSP after independence was achieved would illustrate. I'm a little leery of the claims for "commonality of purpose" -- the Russian minority also included a considerable administrative and military class back then, whilst the Old Believers were a distinct sub-group; they acted differently in the January Uprising in Latgola, too. Just some thoughts, Pēter... --Pēteris Cedriņš 21:24, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
- Good comments, I'll try and incorporate. The commonality of purpose was not a hand-in-hand commonality, of course, it was your adversary is my adversary is my adversary (which I'll clarify). While Russification was not favorable to the Latvians, the Baltic Germans were the real target (e.g., dislodging German as the language of administration and high society). The main point... 25 years of Russification essentially manifested itself as laissez-faire where the tsar's attitude toward the Latvian nationalists was concerned (when they need it most)--and, after all, they were not agitating for independence. It was not until the failed revolution of 1905 that the tsar took the Baltic Germans back in and then tried to (unsuccessfully) ally Latvian Russians against the Latvians. This was a definite shift in position. Personally, I believe this may also have already planted some seeds of distrust regarding Latvia's "large neighbor"--but I don't have any scholarly references to confirm that suspicion. I did indicate Latgale as an exception earlier (regarding serfdom), I'll make sure to carry that exception forward with regard to 1905 and 1917 (as compared to the rest of Latvia). The Baltic Germans did make a comeback of sorts during independence, at least until the ultra-nationals took over. I'll be looking to explore minority rights and participation as implemented during Latvia's first independence (Paul Schiemann et al.). If you haven't read Hiden's book, I highly recommend it. --Pēters 05:56, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
- I responded at Pēters' talk page. --Pēteris Cedriņš 20:01, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Removed some incorrect facts lacking sources and one incorrect fact having a Russia-based source. IMHO to keep POV out it is important to prove facts by sources from democratic countries who aren't particularily interested in the matter. The article should be more objective now. If something in my edit is unnecessary, it can be reversed if the claims made in the previous version are proved by trustworthy sources, but I doubt they can. Regards 184.108.40.206 15:47, 20 August 2007 (UTC)Martins
The reemigration (to Russia) section which appeared after the merge with the other article seems quite speculative as compares to the rest of the (original) section. Implication is that droves have left for Russia (as opposed to left, for example, for the U.S. or elsewhere), and a host of other problems. Minimally needs a serious reorganization if not simple removal. Data I have read is that even with the Latvian government making subsidies available (as much as 2,000 lats or $4,000) to assist families wishing to emigrate to Russia, there have been virtually no takers. —PētersV (talk) 07:46, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
- Did find some materials on emigration, higher at start to CIS, then tails off and to 50:50 CIS and elsewhere. Will work on citations and numbers later. Tone (I'm reading as official policy was to drive select people out based on ethnicity) will need work as well. (Traveling until end of year.) —PētersV (talk) 23:16, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
What I've found (http://www.hood.edu/academics/html/latgale/history.shtml at Hood University) does not support Jersika and Atzele being Russian. What is described is a much larger Latgale encompassing the states of Jersika and Kukonys and the lands of Tolova and Atzele (all names of Baltic derivation), rulers were Talvaldis, Vetseke, and Visvaldis (all Baltic tribe proper names).
I've seen a pattern now where Russian sources state a larger span of control and influence than non-Russian sources, wondering if this might also be such a case with regard to the current passage in the article. Another equally likely possibility is not being aware that the Baltic tribes originally extended much further west--so, if the territories merely appear to be in what would be considered "Russian" territory, it does not actually imply they were Russian. —PētersV (talk) 00:27, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
- Jersika — Novogrod attempted to subjugate more than once, no indication it was successful
- Atzele — can't find any mention of Russian control or suzerainty
- also, their territories extended beyond Latvia's current boundaries, but not by any degree that would be considered regionally significant —PētersV (talk) 00:47, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
I advise you to read the chronicle of Henry of Lettland where it is explicitly stated that Jersika and Atzele were Russian principalities. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 13:22, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
- And Muscovy was under the "Tatar Yoke"; does that make its inhabitants Tatars? Anyhow, my understanding of the scholarly literature is that it would be to more correct call Jersika a tributary state of Kievan Rus', rather than to say that it was a "Russian Prinicipality", or even that their East Slavic overlords were "Russians", in the modern sense of this nationality. —Zalktis (talk) 07:06, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I will likely restore most of the text removed. Certainly no Wikipedian who knows me would accuse me of having a soft spot for tsarist or Soviet policies with regard to Latvia, however, the removal of the text regarding common interests and the tsar's eventual restoration of Baltic German hegemony makes it appear it was only about Russification. The Latvian Russians of that time were in no way associated with the tsar's Russification policy. PētersV TALK 12:34, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
This source is currently used to prove that 'These initial conditions have been since relaxed, and Latvia currently has one of the most liberal Citizenship Laws in Europe'. The source seems to be a now-defunct collection of several news pieces and comments. As such it's hardly a reliable source by itself and I couldn't find the original source of this assertion there as well. So I propose to remove the 'one of the most liberal' part of the sentence until more reliable sources are found. Alæxis¿question? 20:36, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
- That's fine. (And not one of mine, I should add.) VЄСRUМВА ♪ 14:13, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Removal of sourced info
What is the reason for removing this sourced info from the article? Nanobear (talk) 11:14, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
- Isn't caling someone nazi POV, even if it is sourced? There are plenty of sources confirming that one of the former Latvian prime ministers is a pig, yet we don't say his pig on Wikipedia. And with all due reapect - what has information on human rights to do with history of Russians in Latvia? I doubt you would include that bit if this guy wasn't a nazi, but just a homophobic like one of the previous holders of the position ~~Xil (talk) 12:55, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
- I have no problem with the Nazi part being removed. But can we at least restore the sources? It is unacceptable to remove the sources and replace them with a citation needed -tag. Nanobear (talk) 14:07, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
- No, it is unacceptable to call a Latvian Legion member a "Nazi". The Latvian Legion did not swear allegiance to Germany or Nazi organization or ideals. The Latvian Legion wore Latvian flags under their uniforms hoping for the day they can expel the forces of both Nazi Germany and the USSR. The Latvian Legion were not the "Waffen SS" convicted and Nuremburg as the Russian Federation contends in position papers filed with the United Nations and appearing on their embassy sites, they were stationed as guards at Nuremberg. I left a request for citation for the call for expulsion of Russians in the party platform, which I have not been able to find yet, which is is the only thing having anything to do with the current situation of Russians in Latvia. Nor have I found any article which glorifies Nazis, these are little more than partisan accusations having nothing to do with the subject matter of the article. That is not an invitation to state "Russian sources accuse XYZ of being a Nazi." This is a history article regarding Russians, not a soapbox for editors to synthesize WP:BLP violations calling people Nazis, to blame Russians for sovietization (at the opposite extreme), etc., etc., etc. PЄTЄRS
J VЄСRUМВА ►TALK 15:47, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
- Normaly I would agrre that source should be left alone, however I suggest party's political views be verified with their website rather than independent source - "deportation" is crime against humanity, doubt it is on their agenda. Also I would opt for paraghraph being removed altogether - I misread first that this is parlamentary work group dealing with human rights, this however is a group awarding citizenship for special merits - it hardly has any impact on Russian community ~~Xil (talk) 16:23, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
- The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
The result of the move request was: page moved per request. - GTBacchus(talk) 03:19, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
History of Russians in Latvia → Russians in Latvia – Relisted. Vegaswikian (talk) 02:17, 8 September 2011 (UTC) This title would match other articles in Category:Russian diaspora by country, and would also be more in line with article conventions, so that it could also discuss current issues in Latvia related to the ethnic Russian population. Russavia Let's dialogue 15:06, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
- Support for consistency with the other articles in Category:Russian diaspora by country. Jenks24 (talk) 15:40, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
- Comment The title has not been an impediment to inclusion of current issues. Half of the article is already about the Soviet and post-Soviet era. If anything, more needs to be done regarding the history of Russians in Latvia prior to the 20th century—there is a long and rich history of Russians in Latvia which has nothing to do with the Soviet era or its fallout or politics. (My apologies for still being a newbie and not furiously inline citing everything when I first worked on expanding that content.) I would respectfully suggest Politics of Russians in Latvia as a new article. Lastly, if this is the general nomenclature for "History of [some group] in X" then there are other articles which should be moved as well, such as History of the Jews in Latvia. PЄTЄRS
J V ►TALK 15:02, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
- Support for consistency. Splitting or creating new articles for the better coverage of the topic might also be a solution. GreyHood Talk 07:25, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
- The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
Getting back to history
I scanned my copy of Рижский Вестник ("Riga Herald") from 1869, issue #22, and added. PЄTЄRS
J V ►TALK 21:54, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV
I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:
- This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
- There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
- It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
- In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.
Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 14:31, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Removal of unsourced, badly written text
I removed the lines: "Another fact that, Russians in Latvia feel quite "easier" and "friendlier", as the result of massive Russification at the past, unlike Lithuania and Estonia which they considered "unfriendly" toward Russians. Due to the limitation of Russian rights in Estonia and Lithuania, the Russians can only found themselves in Latvia where the country doesn't have much limitation against Russians and Russian language."
Firstly this claimed 'fact' has no references and secondly it's written in such poor English as to be incomprehensible. Vauxhall1964 (talk) 19:22, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
The source (the Baltic Times which seems reliable) says:
The EUR 140 fine that the Latvian State Language Center has imposed on Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs, the leader of the leftist pro-Russia Harmony party, for using foreign languages - Russian and English - to make posts on behalf of the municipality in social networking sites has taken legal effect.
This fact of being fined for using Russian language is clearly important - but we can definitely add that he was also fined for writing in English.
The second source (Eurotopics) quotes Neatkarīgā which makes explicit connection between the fine and the status of Russians and Russian language:
Are Russians not allowed to speak Russian with each other now? That is going too far. And it only adds fuel to the fire.
So when local sources make the connection we can't just say that it doesn't exist, that would be WP:OR. If other sources deny such connection we can add their perspective as well. Alaexis¿question? 17:58, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
- Ušakovs was fined for "using foreign languages - Russian and English - to make posts on behalf of the municipality in social networking sites". In other words, he "forgot" to write in the official state language, which can be construed as a provocation from his side.
- The second source is actually an opinion piece (viedokļi) by someone called Māris Krautmanis taken from the article in Latvian Klīniskā rusofobija (clinical russophobia). Opinion pieces are not regarded reliable sources per se.Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 19:10, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
- PS. I am not able to find the quote (Are Russians not allowed to speak Russian with each other now? That is going too far. And it only adds fuel to the fire.) anywhere in the original article in Latvian. It seems like the Eurotopics website have used their editorial freedom and authored the quote themselves (an opinion based on an opinion piece). Perhaps someone can tell me that I am wrong in my assertion? Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 19:46, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
- I'm sure you'll agree that "Ušakovs fined for using foreign languages to make posts on behalf of the municipality in social networking sites" doesn't have the same ring as "Ušakovs fined for using Russian in social media", but the reverted edit failed to mention anything beyond the sensationalist headline and if done so the relevance of the information becomes highly questionable. As far I know, Ušakovs arbitrarily created alternate municipality social media profiles that mirrored the content in Russian and English and maintained them with the municipal money (which, I believe, are the key words here), in violation of the Language Law that only allows such communication in emergencies and other exceptional circumstances. Once Ušakovs vowed to maintain the pages with his own private funds the Latvian Language centre stopped having a problem with him. –Turaids (talk) 11:40, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
- I agree, these are important parts of the story, so let's add them. Alaexis¿question? 20:43, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
In 2016, Nils Ušakovs, the first ethnic Russian mayor of Riga in independent Latvia, was fined by the Latvian State Language Center for using Russian (and English) language on the municipality's Facebook page.
- The extra details also demonstrate the fine has nothing to do with him as a Russian or the Russian language specifically, while your propsed wording still stresses those things. Here's a statement (unfortunately only in Latvian) by the Latvian Language Centre that points out that they actually didn't fine Ušakovs personally, but rather the Riga City council and that "It's even commendable to provide information on events such as Riga City festival not only in English and Russian, but also other languages.", but that doesn't mean that the council can carry out day-to-day communication on their municipally funded social media in whatever languages they wish. Claims that the actual motive for the fine is linked with the mayor's nationality or particular language belong with conspiracy theories. –Turaids (talk) 17:39, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
- Well, it would be weird if the organisation that polices language said something different. In any case, I have added it back, please add the position of the Language center to the article as well - I didn't add it as I can't read the original.
- I believe that we cannot claim that something that was widely reported (in connection with the topic of this article) is non-notable just because someone said nothing to see here move ahead. It's either a violation of WP:NPOV or of WP:OR if we make the conclusion ourselves. We could seek WP:Third opinion on this. By the way, thanks for improving the rest of the article. Alaexis¿question? 18:45, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
- Alaexis, why do you think it is worthwhile mentioning in this article, when a person of Russian ethnicity breaks the law in Latvia? Is it something typical of Russians in Latvia, or why does it have to be mentioned? Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 19:28, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
- Turaids, can you please quote the statement that you have found. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 19:38, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
- The fact that Riga City council and not Ušakovs personally was fined is a juridical aspect, not a "position of the Language center", so the very first sentence should read "Riga City council was fined by the Latvian Language center for using foreign languages (English and Russian) on municipal social media" and only then with the interpretations and theories, which is why I'm still questioning its relevancy. Philaweb, here's the full statement:
28.07.2016. — Valsts valodas centrs skaidro pieņemto lēmumu Rīgas domes Facebook profilu lietā
Nila Ušakova ieraksts par Valsts valodas centra pieņemto lēmumu sabiedrībā ir radījis neviennozīmīgu izpratni par šī lēmuma būtību un likumību, tāpēc ir mīti, kas jākliedē.
Valsts valodas centra direktors Māris Baltiņš uzsver, ka Valsts valodas centrs nav sodījis Nilu Ušakovu personīgi. Valsts valodas likums valsts vai pašvaldības iestādei ļauj sniegt (Latvijas) sabiedrībai pieejamu informāciju tikai valsts valodā. Par šādas kārtības neievērošanu pie atbildības tiek saukta valsts vai pašvaldības atbildīgā persona, kas šajā gadījumā ir pašvaldības vadītājs, skaidro M. Baltiņš.
Valsts valodas centrs nevēršas pret Rīgas domes Facebook profiliem krievu un angļu valodā.
“Tas pat ir uzteicami, ja informācija par tādu pasākumu kā Rīgas svētki ir ne tikai angļu un krievu valodā, bet arī citās tuvāku un tālāku valstu valodās. Plaša informēšanas kampaņa palielina iespējamību, ka Rīga būs ideāls galamērķis daudziem ārvalstu tūristiem”, M. Baltiņš norāda uz vienu no izņēmumiem.
Valsts valoda Latvijā ir latviešu valoda, tāpēc dome, tāpat arī domes vadītājs nevar, sev vien zināmu iemeslu vadīts, izvēlēties valodas, kādās veiks saziņu ar Latvijas sabiedrību.
Centrs iesaka Rīgas pašvaldības vadītājam Nilam Ušakovam apzināties ar amatu uzlikto pienākumu ievērot likumā noteiktās prasības, kā arī vispārējas labas uzvedības un ētikas normas, nevis attaisnoties, sociālajos tīklos daloties ar trešās šķiras asprātībām, noslēdz M. Baltiņš.
- P.S. Alaexis, you're also welcome to have a look at his section I've rewritten and make some edits if necessary for a more balanced view. –Turaids (talk) 09:50, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
- I believe that this discussion would profit from an outside view so I have opened a case on the Dispute Resolution Noticeboard.Alaexis¿question? 20:00, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
- As you said, we have a discussion – not a dispute. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 22:11, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
To summarise, I believe it is notable that the mayor of biggest city in Latvia is fined for using the Russian language. This was covered by local () and international sources () specifically in the context of the issue of the status of the Russian language in Latvia. Even Freedom House which is not known for its love of Russia has mentioned a similar incident when evaluating the state of democracy in Latvia (Local Democratic Governance section). Thus it is clearly notable. Other aspects, including the position of the language watchdog that fined Ushakov should be added to the article as well - and the fact that they had to react to this actually reinforces the notability of the incident. Alaexis¿question? 20:16, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
- It is notable that the Riga City Council was fined by the Latvian Language Center for using English and Russian on a municipally funded social media website, where the Latvian Language Law explicitly mentions that all public communication must be in the state language - the Latvian language. The fine was presented to the mayor, as he is the legal representative of the Riga City Council. Paraphrased from statement by The Latvian Language Center, 28 July 2016 ("Valsts valodas centrs skaidro pieņemto lēmumu Rīgas domes Facebook profilu lietā" – "State Language Center explains the decision taken on the Riga City Council Facebook profile case").
- As I mentioned previously, the Eurotopics website presents opinion pieces, not necessarily facts, and is not a reliable source per se. I am sure there are other sources out there, like this one at Meduza. Quote: "The State Language Center monitors and enforces national laws regulating the use of the Latvian language. In the first half of 2016, the center launched 249 cases and fined 180 individuals for language offenses, including 139 people for failing to speak Latvian while performing official state duties."Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 22:06, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
- It definitely would be if he was. But you seem to blur the line between opinions, facts and interpretations of facts. Certain media reporting it one way or another is a fact that no one can deny, but what they try to imply in their reporting necessarily isn't a fact itself and shouldn't be worded as such, especially when faced with opposing facts from the original source that, yes, also contains opinions (4th and 6th paragraph), but I really don't see how Riga City Council being fined can be classified as one of them. –Turaids (talk) 15:40, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Just to clarify, if a particular change only impacts Russian language it makes it relevant to the topic of the article even if it's supposed to apply to all non-EU languages (of which Russian is the only one to speak of in Latvia). The sources agree with me here: Latvian president promulgates bill banning teaching in Russian at private universities in the description of the law. Alaexis¿question? 06:40, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
- I’m not sure what the problem is here, everything in that section is backed by references. It’s a fair representation of the situation. Outback the koala (talk) 13:12, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
- Here we go again. This is what happens when people write about subjects they feel very strongly about, but lack the knowledge and don't seem too inclined to do too much research. The first reference talks about private universities and colleges, offhandedly mentioning public higher education institutions, that Outback the koala somehow combines and turns into "high schools" and "private schools" in Wikipedia. Since you make such an oversimplistic equation, my question to both of you is if "instruction in Russian language will be eliminated" what happens to minority subjects (culture, language, history etc.) that are in high schools, but not in universities? If you finally read the references, you'll find out. And if Outback the koala bothered to open and read the second reference I gave him you would see that it does NOT (for the third time!) talk about Russian as a second language, so you can not use it as reference for that statement. But what it does say is that there's not a clear-cut point in 2019, but instead it's a gradual transition. As for the POV part, the second sentence is a pure speculation and both of the references are tertiary sources that refer to LETA report that in turn refers to an original publication on Latvijas Vēstnesis. –Turaids (talk) 09:17, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
- Well, if you have better knowledge of the topic then suggest something instead of just removing referenced information which you believe has flaws. This is how Wikipedia is being written, little-by-little :)
- The first reference says 'The Latvian Education and Science Ministry proposed applying to private universities and colleges the same restrictions that apply to public higher education institutions, where students have to be taught in Latvian or any of the official languages of the European Union, which means that private colleges and universities will have to discontinue teaching their students in Russian.' It's a fair summary to say that Russian-language instruction will be eliminated as a result of it. What exactly do you dispute? Would Russian language instruction be possible anywhere by 2023 except for native language and literature classes?
- What seems to be not referenced is the words 'the government achieved this outcome by legally removing funding for all instruction in non-EU languages, so as not discriminate against only Russian, although it is the only language effected by the change' as it looks like it's a blanket ban rather than a removal of funding for non-compliant institutions. So meanwhile I'm putting a fact tag there. Alaexis¿question? 12:16, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
- I wish I could, but I don't have the time to always clean up after every single lazy editor who needs to have everything written for them (already had to do that a couple of days ago and funnily enough also involving Russian). The references are also available in English, so you and Koala can easily do the research, if you're actually willing to go beyond "Russian elimination" and "total bans of Russian". As I already pointed out and backed up with references, the claims are not only POV, but also factually inaccurate, so there's no justification for keeping them. If native language, literature and subjects related to minority culture and history are still going to be taught in Russian (and other minority languages) is it really accurate to claim that Russian is being eliminated (which is also a poor word choice, given its negative connotations) as an instruction language? –Turaids (talk) 13:01, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
- Re this I suggest "Russian language could still be used as a language of instruction for subjects related to culture and history of the Russian minority, such as Russian language and literature classes." Alaexis¿question? 15:26, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
- Sure, but it still contradicts elimination, as Oxford dictionary defines "elimination" as "completely remove or get rid of". –Turaids (talk) 15:27, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
- Btw tertiary sources are things like encyclopaedia (Wikipedia:No_original_research#Primary,_secondary_and_tertiary_sources) so the tag is not correct.Alaexis¿question? 09:24, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
- Thanks! Did last few tweaks. The paragraph is still a summary that does not go too much into detail on transition terms and other things, but at least it no longer countains inaccurate and emotionally charged language and original research. –Turaids (talk) 11:55, 23 August 2018 (UTC)