“Non-citizenship” is a special status that was given to those Latvians whose families came to the country during the Soviet occupation. They are neither citizens, nor foreigners, nor stateless persons — they are something in between. Non-citizens are not allowed to vote, run for office, nor serve in the military, among other things. Every tenth Latvian is a non-citizen.

Photo by Kaspars Upmanis on Unsplash

June 17, 1940, is the day when the Soviet Union occupied Latvia. After attacking the border guards two days earlier, the Soviet troops marched into the country, occupying bridges, the post, the telegraph, and the broadcasting offices. Three days earlier, Paris…

What the European Union can do to help the people of Belarus without triggering Putin.

Photo by Ang on Unsplash

Belarus, “Europe’s last dictatorship”, has earned its title due to its unchangeable commander in chief, Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for more than 26 years now, remaining the first, and the only president of modern Belarus. Human rights violations, restrictions of the citizens’ freedoms, and repression of the dissenters have become the ill-fated traits of Belarus under Lukashenko’s rule. Recent sociological research shows that only one-quarter of urban dwellers now see Lukashenko as their president (Astapenia, 2020).

The largest anti-government protests in the…

Why there is still a dictatorship in the middle of Europe and what we can do about it.

Photo by Jana Shnipelson on Unsplash

Belarus is commonly referred to as “Europe’s last dictatorship” among scholars, as Alexander Lukashenko has served as the first and only president of Belarus for more than 26 years now (Liabedzka, 2008; Marples, 2005). Freedom House describes Belarus as “an authoritarian police state in which elections are openly rigged and civil liberties are curtailed” (Freedom House, 2020).

During the currently ongoing state-wide protests against the Belarusian government which started in May 2020, tens of thousands have been detained, at least 1406 were…

A review of the elements shaping foreign news coverage at the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the United States.

Photo by Joey Zanotti on Flickr

Los Angeles Times (afterwards referred to as “the Times”) is a privately-owned daily newspaper, and an online digital outlet based in California, founded in 1881 (Los Angeles Times, 2012). The Times has the fifth-biggest circulation and is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the United States; it is the largest American newspaper not headquartered on the East Coast (Cision, 2019; Los Angeles Times, 2021).

In this report, I am going to review the factors that influence international news reporting at the…

Navalny remains in a medically induced coma since August 20

Alexei Navalny had become the most prominent face of Russian opposition in the last decade — his Anti-Corruption Foundation’s (FBK) investigations gain millions of views and anti-government meetings gather tens of thousands.

The loudest Vladimir Putin’s critic has been in a coma for almost two weeks now. The Charité Hospital, at which Navalny is being treated, has issued a statement indicating that he was, indeed, poisoned.

It is almost certain that Putin was aware of the upcoming poisoning.

This investigative piece, published by Proekt Media a few days ago, uncovers the meticulous surveillance system developed by the Russian Federal Security Service to keep track of every step Navalny makes.

This article, published…

After the Foreign Affairs Ministers’ conference on August 14, the EU rejected the results of Belarus presidential elections and announced personal sanctions for “those responsible for violence and falsification”.

The response comes after 5 days of protests and violence sparked by the elections that were “neither free nor fair”, as the EU itself describes them.

With more than 6,000 people detained and two dead, the response seems too little too late. But even that is better than no response at all, as some political experts forecasted.

Protests have been met with brutal violence from OMON (Special Purpose Police Unit)

Still, there are many more steps to be taken in order to help the…

There is about to be a genocide in Europe. The world needs to act now.

Center of Minsk on the night after the official election results were announced

This election year, everything changed in Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko, a dictator who’s been in power for 26 years has been faced with opposition from three real candidates — an unprecedented political activity for Belarus.

Two of them were thrown in prison, the third had to flee the country.

But there was a glimpse of hope — one of the candidates’ wife — Svetlana Tikhanovskaya — who decided to run for president in place of her imprisoned husband.

Daugavpils is the city with the least confirmed coronavirus cases (per 100,000 people) in Latvia, despite being the second most-populated. What may be the reason for the city’s successful fight against the virus? Did its citizens do something special that we can all learn from? First, a bit of statistics.

Daugavpils is an 82,000-people city on the south-east of Latvia. Just like the rest of the world, its life was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Albeit in comparison with the rest of the world, things could have been way worse.

As of April 19, there are 8 confirmed cases in…

‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ premiered and competed at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival for the U.S. Dramatic Competition Grand Jury Prize, where it won a Special Jury Award for Neo-Realism. It was also selected to compete for the Golden Bear in the main competition section at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize (the second most prestigious prize at the festival).

Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) says as many words throughout ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ as there are in a Tarantino dialogue. This does not make her character look less real than Beatrix Kiddo. Just like the ‘Kill Bill’ protagonist, the 17-year-old Pennsylvanian who suddenly finds out she is pregnant, has a clear goal in mind and is ought to go through hell to achieve it.

Autumn gets catcalled off the stage of a high school talent show in the first scene of the movie. She gets neglected by her stepfather in the second one. Autumn only has two friends: her cousin Skylar…

Dota 2 The International 2014 playoffs, held at KeyArena in Seattle, WA.

Almost all of the world stadiums are either empty or used as hospitals right now (except Belarus, the leader of which sees COVID-19 as ‘another psychosis’ rather than a real threat).

However, there is one branch of sport that is still carrying-out its competition, in almost the same way as it would in the pre-virus times — esports.

The pandemic did affect esports, with all the upcoming live events being cancelled. Among them: the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) and the Overwatch League, which were ran in the format of regular leagues, similar to those of the NHL or…

Nikita Shurkhovetsky

Journalist. Activist. From Latvia. Graduate of City, University of London ‘21.

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