Stephen F. Cohen, NYU, Princeton University, EastWestAccord.com.
"Putin calls for improved relations with US in Fourth of July message" hill.cm/jUu7zeK pic.twitter.com/XILZllg2ES
“…The museum, one of the main historical institutions in Latvia, is sometimes a direct target of aggression. Nagels said his building had to be evacuated on May 9, Russia’s Victory Day, after receiving a bomb threat.
“To activists on the other side of the Latvian-Russian divide, however, the Latvian attitudes toward the past are part of a broader campaign to marginalize the Russian-speakers who remain in the country, about a third of Latvia’s 2 million residents. Because Latvian citizenship requires a language test, many of the Russian-speakers are not citizens. The high point of tensions comes every year on May 9, the celebration of the Nazi defeat.
“The answer is always the same: You’re serving Putin if you’re celebrating,” said Elizabete Krivcova, an ethnic Russian rights campaigner who organized a rally tied to Victory Day this year.
“There is a basic Russophobia,” she said. “It’s very similar to undemocratic developments in Russia.”
“Krivcova said that many Russian-speakers in Latvia acknowledge that the Soviet Union took over Latvia at gunpoint — but she said that using the word “occupation,” in many of their minds, could lead to being stripped of their rights….”