ABSTRACT

This chapter sheds light on Russian compatriot policy initiatives aimed at dividing Latvian society along ethnic and regional lines. Since 2008, the Russian authorities have paid special attention to Latgale – the Eastern region of Latvia bordering Russia. The University of St. Petersburg launched a programme with the aim of preserving Latgalian identity. Voices were heard inside Latvia calling for the development of Latgale’s culture as a separate branch of Latvian culture. At the same time, pro-Moscow political forces joined the campaign, but with the destructive aim of splitting Latvian society apart. However, Latgalian culture is an integral part of Latvian identity, meaning political influencers failed to create a real demand for separatism, and the Kremlin failed to divide Latvia by region.