Integration monitor

Integration monitor is a daily Latvian press digest on ethnic minority and society integration issues. The Monitor reviews the biggest Latvian dailies: Diena, Latvijas Avize, Neatkariga (in Latvian language), Vesti Segodnya (in Russian language). In specific cases other information sources are used. Latvian Centre for Human Rights is not responsible for information published by the media.

Jan. 12, 2015

  • Vesti Segodnya interviews the head of the integration department of the Ministry of Culture Solvita Vevere on support to ethnic- cultural NGOs
  • Security Police will draw its attention to all Latvian residents taking part on both sides of the military conflict in Ukraine
  • Latvian National Bolshevik Ajo Benes joined the army of Lugansk People’s Republic

Vesti Segodnya interviews the head of the integration department of the Ministry of Culture Solvita Vevere on support to ethnic- cultural NGOs. According to Mrs Vevere, state allocates funding for support of different NGOs’ projects every year, but it does not grant funding for functioning of NGOs. In 2014 more funding was foreseen purposefully also for regional NGOs. In total, there are 240 ethnic-cultural NGOs in Latvia and 70 of those closely cooperate with the Ministry. Mrs Vevere says that due to the lack of funding and the lack of elaborate mechanism of support to ethnic organisations all NGOs complain about the lack of support.

The Security Police (SP) stated that it will draw its attention not only to Latvia’s residents taking part in the military action in Ukraine on the side of Eastern Ukrainian separatists but also on those Latvians who fight on the side of Ukraine. According to the SP, going to regions of military actions regardless of the nature of armed conflict and involvement in it endangers not only Latvia’s national security, but also European security interests. Vesti Segodnya

Vesti Segodnya reports that Latvian National Bolshevik Ajo Benes recently joined the army of so-called “Lugansk People’s Republic.” As reported, Ajo Benes took active part in the actions supporting reunion of Crimea and other Ukrainian regions with Russia in spring 2014 and positioned himself as a member of the Crimean “self defence” forces. However, after his deportation to Latvia from Ukrainian territory he was detained by Latvian police and the Security Police initiated criminal proceeding against him for calls to violent overthrow of Latvia’s state power and liquidation of Latvia’s state independence. Ajo Benes was released from the detention under restraining order not to leave Latvia. Despite that he left Latvia and travelled to Lugansk in December 2014. In an interview to the newspaper, Ajo Benes says that he was granted citizenship of the so-called Doneck People’s Republic. His escape from Latvia A.Benes calls „break away” from fascist captivity and believes that present government of Ukraine is also headed by fascists. Commenting the criminal proceeding in Latvia, A. Benes does not deny that he called for restoration of the USSR, but believes that he will win the proceeding. Vesti Segodnya


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