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Russian Speakers in Post-Soviet LatviaDiscursive Identity Strategies$
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Ammon Cheskin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748697434

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748697434.001.0001

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The Russian Federation and Russian-Speaking Identity in Latvia

The Russian Federation and Russian-Speaking Identity in Latvia

(p.169) Chapter 8 The Russian Federation and Russian-Speaking Identity in Latvia
Russian Speakers in Post-Soviet Latvia

Ammon Cheskin

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the role of the Russian Federation, as a possible kin-state, in sponsoring and facilitating discursive identity strategies for Latvia’s Russian speakers. The chapter traces contemporary developments in Russia’s compatriot discourses and policies, and outlines how Russia has recently stepped up its efforts to politicise and mobilise ‘Russian compatriots’. It is argued that Russia has attempted to tie Russian culture with political preferences (a process referred to as ‘Rossiisification’).Following an analysis of Russian discursive strategies, attention is turned to Latvia’s two main ‘Russian’ parties and how they have responded to these developments, especially in light of the Ukraine crisis of 2014. Analysis of the political discourses of these parties shows how contemporary Russian-speaking discourse in Latvia continues to represent a synthesised position between Latvian and Russian discourses.

Keywords:   Russia, Compatriot policy, Rossiisification, Russification, Culture, Russian Culture, Ukraine crisis, Kin-state, Russian Federation

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