Fear and Suspicion Stalk Russian Speakers in Latvia

By John Mercury December 19, 2023

The Russian-speaking widow was born in Latvia 63 years ago, when it was still a part of the Soviet Union, got married there and raised a family. She has never lived anywhere else.

So it came as a nasty surprise this fall when she received a curt official letter saying she had lost her rights to residency, a state pension and medical care. “You must leave the territory of the Republic of Latvia by Nov. 30, 2023,” she was informed.

With nowhere to go, the widow, Nina Marcinkevica, who has heart and lung problems and high blood pressure, said she collapsed from shock and spent the next three days in bed weeping.

Ms. Marcinkevica’s home in the mostly Russian-speaking city of Daugavpils, in eastern Latvia, is more than 600 miles from the front line in Ukraine and entirely peaceful.


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