Russia and the Baltics

One of America’s leading newspapers, The New York Times, is paying attention to the growing concerns a resurgent Russia poses to some observers in the Baltic countries. In a two-part video report, journalist Adam B. Ellick covers the influence Russia under Vladimir Putin has in the Baltics, and then looks at the “StalinWorld” statue park in Lithuania.

The videos are available in part 1 and part 2.

Ellick also has a text version of the story.

Thanks to Andris Grunde for alerting us to the coverage.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

2 thoughts on “Russia and the Baltics

  1. It is a sad commentary of what has been repeated throughout history. Soviet Russia has always covetted the Baltic nations for its ports,if for no other reason. But we have here tradition of aggresion and dominance towards the Baltic nations which must be stopped in some way. The motivation of the Soviets is irrational as they can surely afford some trade tarrifs or fees for using the Baltic ports. So they persist to aggesivly pursue the ocupation of these nations only to satisfy their feelings of posesion and ownership which was never rightfully theirs. As in the past the soviets never fullfill their promises so why would anyone trust them now. I Like the analogy of them being like drunken agressive bears who want to attack unprovoked. However Putin is not the only culprit in this senario. It is all the Russian people who are agreable to these actions. It would be prudent to export all the russians back to the land that they come from.

  2. The Russkies are behaving as they always have. They have, since the beginning of the 20th century, had six glasnosts and perestroikas where they have managed to siphon money from the naive West for purported economic reasons. In all cases, these glasnosts and perestroikas have vanished to be replaced by old-time totalitarianism and terror which is intended to silence all dissent. The monies given have been appropriated by oligarchs or used to upgrade Russia’s military might. Their view of their place in the world is predicated only on the ability of their military to intimidate or occupy territory illegally. The ice-free ports of Liepaja and Riga were Russia’s windows to the West. They covet entitlement to these ports and will do anything to regain them in spite of Western support for the Baltic States. The return by Russia to its old style of initiating provocations(ie: buzzing United States naval ships, USS Nimitz, agressive posturing toward the Baltic States, computer crashes in Estonia etc.) and adopting rhetoric famous during the “Cold War” period,(when did it really ever end?) is certainly only a snipet of worse activities to follow. They will do anything they can to prevent a missle defence shield from being established by the West in Poland and the Czech Republic. Writer Edmunds Rivza is absolutely correct when he states that the Russian people themselves, under Putin’s tutelage, are quite amenable to his aggressive stance.In fact, they take great pride in his KGB past and his ability to provoke the West. Russian people have always been of an imperialistic bent throughout Russia’s long history so that Western pundits and so-called sages should not be surprised by anything Russia chooses to do that is agressive or provocative.
    In addition to protecting ourselves from Al Quaeda type terrorists, Russia should not be counted out as a provacateur. It would be the right thing to do!

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