Putin fired a test shot; Who is the next target?
One statement of the President of Russia led the media to conclude that it was a test bullet and that it is known who Vladimir Putin's next target is.Source: B92
It is a statement Putin made during the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights organized by the Kremlin, which focused on Latvia's policy regarding the Russian-speaking minority.
Newsweek states that Latvia is one of three NATO and European Union members that share a border with mainland Russia.
It is also recalled that Latvia has previously faced backlash for passing laws that UN experts considered discriminatory against the country's minority ethnic groups, primarily Russians, including efforts to make Latvian the only language used in schools by 2025.
In May, Reuters reported that dozens of Russian citizens living in Latvia were ordered to take a basic Latvian language test to prove their "loyalty" to the Riga government in light of the war in Ukraine. "I don't think happiness will come to those who implement such a policy," Putin said at a session of the presidential council on Monday.
The RBC Ukraine portal stated that Putin was referring to policies in Latvia and other Baltic countries that the Kremlin claims are based on Russophobia or anti-Russian sentiment. According to the Riga database, as of 2023, roughly 24 percent of Latvia's population is part of the Russian minority.
"If they lead such a policy towards people who wanted to live in that country, work there, create something good for that country, and treat them in such a 'pig-like' way, then, after all, they will face such "pig-like" behavior in their country," added Putin.
But what is symptomatic is that, before launching his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Putin repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that Kyiv was persecuting ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking citizens.