Tag Archives: Russian

Latvia Decides Putin Is Weaponizing Names – Bans Russian Names for New Babies

If the world has a problem with Russia weaponizing everything, then the Balts have another one in addition: banning everything Russian. Be it the Russian language, Russian TV, or the refusal to medically treat a disabled girl because she didn't understand Latvian. Now the Balts have another brilliant idea — just ban Russian names entirely


As reported by the News agency Sputnik, the Latvian Ministry of Justice has issued a legislative proposal, prescribing Latvian citizens to give their children Lativan first and last names only. According to the law, first and last names are to be officially banned, if they do not meet the requirements of the Latvian language or cause obstacles to the child's integration in Latvian society. The Russian minority group, 40% of the total population, is offended by such an intolerance towards their native language and cultural identity.

Thus, if parents decide to dub their child, for instance, Myron, Kyrill or Gavriil, these names are not going to be registered. This is regarded by the government as an acceptable measure, despite being an obvious violation of human rights.

Xenia Vitola, chief of the Public relations department of the Latvian Ministry of Justice, explains, that a name can be declined, only if it does not respond the requirements of the Latvian Language and causes obstacles to the child's further integration in Latvian society.

Today all male names in Latvia, that end with a consonant, get an additional “s” at the end: thus, Myron becomes Myrons, Rouslan – Rouslans and Sergey – Sergeys.

Such a legislative proposal is violating the international law, including the international pact on civil and political rights, since it guarantees the right of freely choosing or changing ones name, told Rouslan Pankratov, chief of the Human rights organization “Give us back our names!” and delegate of the Riga city council, in an interview with Sputnik Latvia.


Due to shortage of translation staff we’ve made a translation of the remaining part of the article via Google Translate. We apologize for the inconvenience.

You may also be interested in the article, published at Sputnik, since it covers some more information on the subject.


“It's surprising, how the Ministry of Justice disregards the international demands and norms”, says the delegate and reminds, that the United Nations Human Rights Committee has already condemned Latvia for severe human rights violations before, back on October 28th, 2010. The UN body stated, that, according to Article 5 Part 4 of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the change of the first or last name in official documents is an invasion of privacy, if carried out without commitment of the person concerned.

The total population of Latvia makes two million people, about 40% of them are Russian. Nevertheless, there's only one official language in the Baltic republic: Latvian.

The Center for Latvian official language calls up to the citizens to speak Latvian.

“The law on the official language does not include use of language in unofficial communication. However, if the conversation is overheard by other people, such as passengers, visitors to offices and authorities, buyers in shops, etc., then this conversation is to be considered an official one”, explains the Center for Latvian official language.

Moreover, officials should not authorize local media to give interviews in foreign languages, Russian in particular.

It is said, that “officials from the government should exclusively speak Latvian during interviews, especially for media sources, that are registered in Latvia. This is the way of paying due respect to the state and the official language”.

It has also been reported, that a list of “forbidden” family names had been published in Latvia's neighbourstate Estonia, includeding Russian surnames, such as Alexeyev, Antonov, Baranov, Bogdanov, Vorobyov, Vasilyev, Dmitriev, Fedorov, Frolov, Gavrilov, Yefimov, Zaitsev, Karpov, Koslow, Lebedev, Makarov, Maximov, Nikolayev, Novikov, Orlov, Popov, Romanov, Semyonov, Sokolow, Timofeyev, Tsvetkov.


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Russian Official: Time for Russia to Fight Back in the Info War

For ten years Russia has been living in the context of a “hybrid war”, plotted by the US and its allies, says the head of the Russian Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin. He emphasized that this war is being waged on the levels of politics, economics and media, as well as on the level of law. Recent years have shown, that this approach has reached a qualitatively new phase of open confrontation. Therefore, Russia needs a “tough and symmetrical response” on it.

Furthermore, Bastrykin also accuses the West of putting Russia under pressure through so called “currency wars”. He believes the US crushed the national currencies of emerging markets by manipulating the dollar. To protect oneself from such impacts one should tighten the controls over the cross-border movements of the capital.

Alexader Bastrykin also points out the rise of expenses in the US program for development of democracy in Russia’s neighbouring states. He is certain, that “informational and ideological weapons” are going to be used to incite anti-Russian moods, are being employed to similar effect.

The Chief of the Russian Investigative Committee stated that before the parliamentary elections on September 18th Russia should create effective countermeasures against the media war:

„It is high time to oppose this informational war. We need a tough, adequate and symmetrical answer. This is going to be extremely relevent in the context of the forthcoming elections and in the background of possible activities that will be aimed at destablizing the political balance of power”.

Aside from media campaigns, in the opinion of Bastrykin, now even international law is being used as an instrument of “hybrid war” against Russia more and more frequently. As an example he cites the Dutch investigation of the MH17-crash in Donbass, the judgements of the “YUKOS”-case (Russian oil and gas company), the former FSB-employee (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation) Alexander Litvinenko, as well as the judgements against Russian citizens Victor Bout and Constantine Yaroshenko, imprisoned in the US:

“Unfortunately, international law and justice more and more often is becoming a weapon in this war. Illustrative examples are the resolutions in the “YUKOS”-case, the case of the murdered former FSB-employee Alexander Litvinenko, the report of the Dutch Security Council on the causes of the Malaysian Boeing MH17-crash, the FBI-verifications of Russian and Qatar claims to conduct the football world cup 2018 and 2022 in their countries, and also the abduction and transportation to the USA of our citizens Victor Bout and Constantine Yaroshenko who have been condemned to long prison terms”.


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US blasts Russian "indiscriminate attacks" in Syria

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Barbarians at the Gate: US Conducts Provocative Military Exercises with Georgia Near Russian Border

The article originally appeared at RT Deutsch. Translated for RI by Anita Zalaldinova


The United States and Georgia have started a two-week military exercise in the southern Caucasus Republic on Monday. For Russia the presence of US troops a few kilometres from its border is a provocation, just as a US promise of the NATO membership to Georgia. Some 600 US and Georgian soldiers are participating in the exercise, for which the US redeployed the whole motor brigade and 14 M2 Bradley IFV tanks from its base in Bulgaria.

“That’s a big step within the framework of training and cooperation of our armies,” Brigadier General Mark Loeben, director of the United States European Command Centre for Military Exercises the, said to the journalists.

With US backing Georgia strives for years for the membership in the Western military alliance NATO. However, this is strongly opposed by Russia. Russia considers the US international pretensions to be regarded as controlling power, immediately at its own doorstep, as a threat to national security. As recently as in 2008 the Russian army had to intervene into the conflict, forced by weeks of repressive behaviour of Georgian military against national minorities. Russia also supports political independence of the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which led to conflicts with the Georgian government in Tbilisi.

Since then the bilateral relations, given increasingly closer ties of Tbilisi with NATO and the recent experience in Ukraine, are tense in the South Caucasus.

The joint manoeuvres take place around the Vaziani military base near Tbilisi, which had long been a Russian airbase.

The Georgian Defence Minister Tina Khidascheli obviously soothingly told that Georgia is “not forearming for a war against anybody,” adding:

“This is directed against no one. We are preparing for peace. That is also the reason why we need a strong Georgian army.”

Russia, which in response to numerous exercises of NATO in Europe and recently in the Baltic will hold its own naval manoeuvres with China, has so far not commented on the NATO exercises in Georgia.

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