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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Janis Kuzins: the Hostility to Russian translates into a small squealing

“For me, the memory of the Victory – not an empty phrase. Especially against the background of many of our politicians that the Victory Day is supposedly not Latvian holiday. Like hundreds of thousands of Latvians fought in the red army,” – said in an interview with the newspaper OPINION of the Latvian public figure Janis Kuzins, fined for attempting to carry out the action “Immortal regiment”.

On Wednesday it became known that the court of the Latvian city of Jurmala has fined the organizer of the commemorative action “Immortal regiment” Janis Kuzins and told him not to organize any public events during the year.

“Found fault with the fact that the participants of the campaign leaflets were printed in Russian. Supposedly this is illegal advertising”

According to Cousins, the court decision was made on March 17. The city authorities accused the activist of the illegal advertising, pridralis to spread in the past year, the participants of the promotion leaflets and booklets in the Russian language.

Against this background, every year in Latvia held a procession of supporters of legionaries SS which Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called a disgrace for the EU and NATO.

VIEW newspaper managed to contact the organizer of the “Immortal regiment” in Jurmala, head of the party “the independent Latvia” Janis Quinsam to talk about his litigation with the city of Jurmala, neo-Nazism in Latvia and the situation of Russian-speaking population.

VIEW: Janis, why did you decide to support the action “Immortal regiment”? What this action did not like the Latvian authorities?

Janis Kuzins: for the past fifteen years, we organize a festive event on may 9. For me is very important. One of my grandfather, a Latvian, participated in the great Patriotic war, he volunteered for the Red army, the other sitting in a concentration camp in Salaspils.

For me, the memory of the Victory – not an empty phrase. Especially against the background that many of our politicians say that the Victory Day is supposedly not Latvian holiday. Like hundreds of thousands of Latvians fought in the red army, and the other, is also a significant part of Latvians are not sitting in concentration camps along with Russians and Jews. Last year in his hometown, where I previously was a member of local government, I decided to organize the action “Immortal regiment”.

I was supported by Russian society and the parishioners of the Orthodox Church. There were a lot of people. However, had to gather on the outskirts of the city, where is the common cemetery.

The town Council has reacted very harshly, find fault with the fact that the protesters themselves printed leaflets and distributed booklets in the Russian language. Supposedly this is illegal advertising. It turns out, the people themselves, on their own initiative, distributed booklets and leaflets, and I am guilty.

The decision of the Duma I challenged in Jurmala district court, the court sent its decision to the Council, those to cancel the fine imposed did not, on the contrary, again appealed to the court. The same judge reached the verdict that I did. Now I, in addition to the penalty, deprived of civil rights to organize events during the year. And if I commit any administrative offense, for example, violate traffic regulations, I, as a recidivist, be punished harder. That decision I appeal in the district court.

But generally the situation when one and the same judge makes a completely different decision, I think it’s insanity.

OPINION: March 16, in Latvia day of memory of legionaries. Your attitude to this? Now it’s more just a nod to history or a political event?

J. K.: It’s definitely a politicized event. If it was just a tribute to the history, the streets would not go ex-Nazi legionaries. Sad that this politicized the event involved more and more people.

The mayor of Riga nil Ushakov says that this year’s procession on the day of a Legionnaire was less mass than usual, but I didn’t notice it. Especially many of the Nazis among the Latvian youth, many do not hesitate to wear paraphernalia with swastikas. The authorities say that it is a national “holiday of Latvians”. And then there forgot Bandera, Lithuanian, Estonian, Polish Nazis?

Janis Kuzins

(photo: video still)

The day of the foreigner in Latvia – it is in fact a celebration of the solidarity of the Nazi executioners and their neo-grandchildren. Another thing is that the government plainly does not say. Together with the German anti-fascists we have protested outside the German Embassy demanding the leadership of the EU and Germany to impose sanctions against our politicians who participated in the procession of legionaries.

OPINION: it Turns out that in Latvia the growing popularity of neo-Nazism among young people?

J. K.: unfortunately, due to propaganda of a growing number of besotted media of young people. I work on the radio, trying to convey to the people the historical truth, however, our radio PIK 100 FM already repeatedly closed.

And the scale we can’t compete with the propaganda of neo-Nazism, which comes from both state media and the channels that belong to the West, in particular the Swedish and American funds.

LOOK: at home is there hostility between Russian speakers and Latvians? Or is it just policy?

J. K. State and city officials say that between Russians and Latvians in Latvia had established a good relationship. However, in real life things are not so rosy.

“In the case of the appearance of the street with St. George’s ribbon, you immediately squeal “where necessary”

For example, in the case of the appearance of the street with a Russian flag or St. George’s ribbon on you immediately tell “where necessary” compassionate compatriots. To recall last year’s incident where the Deputy of the Riga city Council jānis Feldmanis was dissatisfied with St. George’s ribbon on the personal car of police officer.

Our organization “the independent Latvia” forbidden to give to the citizens the ribbons. Supposedly they offend the feelings of the Latvians. Draco did not get it, but at the level of small squealing dislike Latvians to Russian-speaking is.

OPINION: once there is a increase of NATO troops in the country?

J. K.: there are only isolated instances of conflict between NATO forces and the local population. Remember the resonant case in Riga “McDonald’s”, hyped in the British media, the brawl in Ventspils. People living near NATO bases, now watching with interest as the soldiers go for groceries in supermarket tanks.

OPINION: are you Going to move from purely social activities to political?

J. K.: Our movement “For Latvia’s independence” among the group of European left-wing parties, along with the Greek SYRIZA and the German Die Linke – the “Left”.

We favor the exit of Latvia from the NATO, refusal of making our products uncompetitive in the Euro. In addition, we are supporters of removing disadvantageous to our country of anti-Russian sanctions. Also, our organization was one of the first speakers against the closure of Russian schools in Latvia.

Now the situation with the rights Russian-speaking minority in Latvia is far from ideal. Close Russian schools, Russian-language signs with street names, even the question.

In addition, despite promises of the authorities, and have not renamed the street of Dzhokhar Dudayev in Riga, even though the Chechen Diaspora is not against the renaming. Although, I note that the mayor of Riga nil Ushakov himself Russian, but since his arrival the position of Russian in Riga has not improved. I personally appealed to the constitutional court of Latvia with a request to provide non-citizens to vote in municipal elections. But they said not yet ready to consider this issue.

With regard to the transition from social activities to political, at the moment we are conducting a massive restart of our organization, transformed it into a party and start from scratch. Will try to go into power.


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