ABSTRACT

The presence of the Russian media in Latvia is the strongest tool of sharp power, which over many years has encountered no obstacles to swaying part of the Russian-speaking population of Latvia in favour of the Kremlin’s foreign policy. The typical mark of sharp power – asymmetry – is clearly manifested in the presence of numerous Kremlin-controlled media in Latvia’s information space. Vice versa, Latvian media do not have anything that comes close to the opportunities that Russian media enjoy in Latvia. For many years running, four of the ten most popular TV channels in Latvia have been channels controlled by the Kremlin. This has had an impact on the support of part of the Russian speaking population of Latvia for Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Russian media news and political discussion shows contribute to the diasporization of ethnic Russians in Latvia and the building of political connections to Moscow. This is not only a burden on democracy, but also a factor increasing national security risks.