Posted by: russkieland | April 5, 2010

Loving Russia from a safe distance

An on-line public opinion research was recently carried out in Latvia, a Baltic country, which, along with Estonia, is constantly held under ideological and propaganda pressure by Russia.

Russian propaganda, amongst other things, with certain degree of success is trying to win the “hearts and minds” of the local Russian speaking minority (called “compatriots” by Russia) and to implant in their heads a specific, Russia-centric worldview, skeptical of the West and antagonistic to the worldview of the peoples of the Baltic states.

The question asked to Internet users in Latvia during the research was: “Where would you go, if you were forced to leave the country?”.

Separate opinion polls were held for Latvian speaking and Russian speaking Internet users, yet yielding rather similar results.

What is surprising, though, is that, despite the massive Russian propaganda efforts, the participants representing the Russian speaking minority (mostly Soviet era settlers from USSR and their children), chose Russia as their destination of choice in only 6% of the cases!

Preferred destinations if forced to leave Latvia. Bar color: red for Russian speakers, blue for Latvian speakers. Preference for Russia ("Krievija") as destination, respectively: 6% and 2%.

The results are especially interesting, if we consider that many of the same people who provided these answers are often overtly expressing Russian Chauvinist views and are actively prising Russia for its perceived greatness and superiority over the other countries.

It is not uncommon for young Russians living in Latvia or Estonia to be flaming “patriots” of both USSR and Russia, despite the fact that the first collapsed before they were born and the other is a foreign country which they haven’t even ever been to.

Still, obviously, when given a choice, only few of them would volunteer to actually go to the country which they claim to admire so much.

Thus it seems, that the Russian propaganda, while often being quite effective in inciting scorn and hatred amongst the Russian minorities in the Baltic countries against their countries of residence, has failed in actually promoting  the positive image of the Russia itself and convincing the target audience of advantages of the modern Russian way of life.

Sources:

  1. TVNET.lv (in Latvian)
  2. TVNET.lv (in Russian)
  3. Image by “Snapshots” via TVNET.lv
Posted by: russkieland | May 8, 2009

Crash test dummies

“For most countries burned by World War II, its final days of May 8 and 9 are marked as a moment of time of remembrance and reconciliation, as proclaimed by the U.N. General Assembly in November 2004. For Russia, May 9 remains the Victory Day — this country’s only meaningful national holiday, its most sacred and bitter anniversary and the one most cynically abused by the authorities in pursuit of their own aims.” [The TIME magazine, May 08, 2007]

The so called “George’s ribbon” campaign is promoted by Government of Russian Federation and Russian speaking media worldwide and is often organized and coordinated by Soviet sympathizers and Russian Nationalist organizations locally in other countries.

The campaign massively and hysterically praises victory of Stalin’s Soviet Union in WWII, while ignoring most of the events before, during and after the war, turning blind eye to any of the Soviet crimes and to the criminal essence of the totalitarian Communist regime itself.

One of the main attributes of the campaign is wearing orange-black striped ribbon on all occasions in public around the 9th of May (which is considered the day of victory in WWII by Russian Federation, just like it was by USSR) to demonstrate that you are supporter of the particular interpretation of the 20th century history – the one which actually is the Stalinist interpretation. Striped ribbons often are accompanied by flags of Russia with the imperial eagle (increasingly popular after 2008 war in Georgia) and at times even by red flags of Soviet Union.

2009-05-09_2

  • “George’s ribbon” in a rather typical combination with a T-shirt sporting abbreviation “U.S.S.R.” and Soviet coat of arms. Such T-shirts are increasingly popular amongst Russian speaking youths in Latvia. (Photo taken in Riga on May 9, 2009. Found at tribine.lv)

Many Russians themselves have criticized “George’s ribbon” campaign as a “hijacking” by state propaganda for needs of the Putin’s regime of the honors for the victory from those who actually fought the war to defend their homeland.

The campaign is regarded by many of it’s opponents abroad as a public stunt of Putinist propaganda, climax of Soviet revanchism mixed with Greater Russian Chauvinism with a true purpose of boosting pride, self-confidence and Nationalist feelings of those with mixed Soviet/Russian-imperialist identity. Behind the formal lines about “Great Victory over Fascism” there seems to be lurking a mixture of pride of past conquests, prising of Soviet militarism, xenophobic enjoyment from once “giving hell” to the West in general and to the local nations in particular, uncritical and passionate adoration of anything Soviet, bitterness about the lost Soviet Empire, dreams of consolidation and re-uniting with the “Great Russia”.

2009-05-09_21

  • Children are an important target group receiving special care and indoctrination of Soviet apologist groups. (Photo taken in Riga during Soviet/Russia sympathizers’ celebration of “The Great Victory”on May 9, 2009. Found at tribine.lv)

“George’s ribbon” campaign feels especially painful to many people in countries once occupied and annexed by USSR at the beginning of the WWII, which led to great loss of human life and suffering. It is made even harder to bear by the fact that amongst the local organizers of the campaign there are individuals who actively fought against restoration of independence of the respective countries in beginning of nineties, as it is, for example, in Latvia.

The fact, that the Soviet victory over Nazis did not bring freedom to these countries but was just a totalitarian regime change with many repressions against the local population to follow, is utterly ignored by those who organize the campaign.

million-01

  • The photo shows “George’s ribbon” fastened to a car aerial. Ribbons like this one are distributed for free by Soviet apologist organizations to their supporters in Latvia. The humorous caption in Latvian says “I am participating in a windshield crash resistance test“. (Found at Million Reasons Why Latvia Is The Best Country In The World.com)
Posted by: russkieland | May 4, 2009

Congrats on 9th of May, Comrades!

Подключаясь к новомодной акции 9-го мая “Георгиевская ленточка”, даем свою лепту тематической серии открыток “Я помню! Я горжусь”. Тематика – историческая. По местам боевой славы Рабоче-Крестьянской Красной Армии со товарищи. Если у Вас имеется что добавить к этой коллекции – присылайте нам (russkieland/@/gmail/./com)!

9th-poland1

  • Красноармейцы и фашисты – вместе на параде в оккупированной Польше, Брест-Литовск 1939 г.
  • Red Army soldiers together with Nazis at joint parade in Poland occupied by them, Brest-Litovsk 1939.

9th-poland11

  • Красноармейцы и фашисты – друзья в оккупированной Польше, Брест-Литовск 1939 г.
  • Red Army soldiers and Nazis are friends in Poland occupied by them, Brest-Litovsk 1939.

9th-helsinki1

  • Советская бомбардировка Хельсинки, 1939 г.
  • Soviet bombing of Helsinki, 1939

9th-katyn

  • Поляк, убитый Советами в Катыни, 1940 г.
  • Polish victim of Soviets in Katyn, 1940.

9th-maslenki

  • Латвийский пограничник убитый красноармейцами в июне 1940 г.
  • Latvian border guard killed by Red Army soldiers in June 1940.

9th-latvia2

  • Оккупация Латвии Красной Армией в 1940 г.
  • Occupation of Latvia by Red Army in 1940.

9th-latvia13

  • Жители Латвии убитые Советами, 1941 г.
  • People of Latvia murdered by Soviets, 1941.

9th-latvia-21

  • Советская депортация жителей Латвии, 1941 г.
  • Soviet deportation of people of Latvia, 1941.

9th-finland

  • Финские дети убитые советскими партизанами, 1944 г.
  • Finnish children killed by Soviet partisans, 1944.

9th-prussia

  • Жертвы красноармейцев, Восточная Пруссия, 1944 г.
  • Victims of Red Army soldiers, Eastern Prussia, 1944.

9th-prussia1

  • Жертва красноармейцев – насильников, Восточная Пруссия, 1944 г.
  • Rape victim of Read Army soldiers, Eastern Prussia, 1944.

9th-bicycle

  • Красноармеец – мародер, Берлин 1945 г.
  • Red Army marauder, Berlin 1945.

9th-stalinism

  • Установление тоталитарного сталинизма в Восточной Европе
  • Installation of totalitarian Stalinist rule over Eastern Europe
Posted by: russkieland | September 26, 2008

Wrong Cup Of Coffee

In accordance to the local media, on 28th August, in café “Coffee Nation”, served by Russian-speaking staff, at the Riga Airport, Latvia, a Latvian who was about to board an airplane on his way to see Madonna’s concert live in Berlin, had been denied proper service and received ethnically motivated insults from Russian speaking barmaids after he had asked to be served in Latvian, the official language of the country.

He was told by the female stuff in Russian, that their café is located in transit zone so laws of the country are not in force there (which is not correct), in particular addressing the law which obliges companies to serve clients in the official state language if they require so. Instead he was intentionally served in Russian, with one of the staff members reportedly switching to Russian on purpose to provoke the client. Amongst other things the client got charged for goods he had not ordered, the mistake, which was explained by poor language skills of the person serving him and corrected afterwards. He also claims he was served in intentionally rude manner.

After insisting that he wants to receive decent service which he is entitled to, he finally was called a “Fascist”. At this point the fellow got extremely upset and poured (unintentionally, he says) his coffee at the lady serving him.

Russian TV broadcast of the tape from security camera, which company management is referring to in defense of their position, lacks sound and actually does not contain any scene which could be clearly identified as client attacking barmaid with a hot coffee, despite all the claims of Russian media to the contrary.

After the incident, the client was apprehended by police and had to pay penalty for misbehavior (also missed the plain and lost the ticket). Russian management of the company denies any wrongdoing by the staff and has expressed no regret, instead publicly suggesting that the client is a “lunatic”. The barmaid is not available for comments because of sudden onset of unspecified illness. State Language inspectorate has carried out inspection at the café and, after finding numerous violations of the law, has fined the company.

Latvia has certain problems with integration of Russian speaking people who entered Latvia in large numbers from USSR after WWII, after Latvia was occupied by Stalinist Soviet Union first in 1940 and then again in 1944. Typical problems include refusal to learn and use local language, Russian chauvinist sentiment and clinging to the Stalinist vision of the history and the world.

Here we publish some of the parody cartoons we have received on this topic mocking company logo. If you have any ideas or another picture on the subject, please send them to us: russkieland_a_gmail.com.

Wrong Coffee - Blunder

Wrong Coffee - Blunder

Wrong Coffee - Learn Albanian

Wrong Coffee - Learn Albanian

Posted by: russkieland | September 25, 2008

Neo-Soviet Russian Eagle

Neo-Soviet Russian eagle

Neo-Soviet Russian eagle

Suggested symbol for the modern day authoritarian “Putinist” Russia, which, as Russian propaganda puts it, is “standing up from its knees”, while to everybody else it seems like a poor remake of the Third Reich.

Meaning of the symbols:

  • Imperial eagle – imperial ambitions.
  • Red Star and Hammer & Sickle – Soviet legacy and Soviet revanchism.
  • Swastika – numerous similarities with Nazi regime.

Design based on vector images available from commons.wikimedia.org :

  1. Coat_of_arms_of_the_Soviet_Union.svg
  2. Coat_of_Arms_of_the_Russian_Federation.svg
  3. Reichsadler.svg
Posted by: russkieland | September 9, 2008

USA on Russian plans for Caribbean

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack mocked Russia’s plans to send a naval squadron for joint military exercises with Venezuela. If Russia really intends to send ships to the Caribbean, Mr. McCormack said, “then they found a few ships that can make it that far.”

The Washington Times, 2008-09-09 (viewed 2008-09-09),
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/sep/09/caribbean-naval-exercises-set/

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