And while she conceded that Russia could continue its campaign of subversion, she insisted that in Latvia, “Putin’s influence on ethnic Russians is limited.”
That may all be true, but it may not be sufficient. On the one hand, most ethnic Russians in Ukraine opposed Moscow’s intervention, but that opposition did not block Russia from using a minority within a minority to advance its aims. As the ongoing violence in Ukraine shows, armed minorities can play a serious, even decisive role against more passive majorities.
Does Putin Plan to Test NATO in Latvia? | The Interpreter
The number of such questions which Putin would certainly have found inconvenient could be multiplied at will, Andrey Bilzhko, a Ukrainian journalist, says, but they all point to an even more immediate one: “Why should [ethnic] Russians who are living in the east of Ukraine, who were born there, and who studied there not love their native Ukraine?”
If things are as bad for such people as Moscow insists, why, Blizhko continues, haven’t they left yet or why aren’t they leaving now? Who is it that supposedly is prohibiting them from speaking Russian? “Why precisely now is there such a desire to go to Russia,” while before February 2014, there wasn’t?
Five Inconvenient Questions Putin Wasn’t Asked | The Interpreter