Strategic Alignment: Latvian Media Narratives on Russia in the Context of Post-Maidan Ukraine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ukraine and its integration in the Euro-Atlantic structures has been an undisputed priority of Latvia’s foreign policy for years. We argue that Russia has been an important part of Latvia’s strategic narrative to ensure both domestic and international support to Ukraine’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures, especially after the 2013 Euromaidan events. Inspired by theoretical frameworks of strategic narrative and cascading activation framing models, we explore Latvia’s official narrative on Russia vis-à-vis post-Maidan Ukraine as projected by the most popular Latvian-speaking digital news platforms in the country. Engaging with a concept of narrative alignment, we analyse how Latvian digital media outlets communicate and shape political narratives in their representation of Russia and Ukraine. We discover that narratives projected by media feature a highly negative emotive evaluation of Russia in Ukraine-related news stories aligning in this aspect with Latvia’s official narrative. However, we also observe a fragmented alignment of political and media narratives, as media often depict Ukraine as a negative actor too in contrast to the official narrative. By exploring alignment among political and media narratives we contribute to the emerging body of scholarly literature that evaluates the supporting role of narratives and perceptions in agenda-setting in international relations and foreign policy-making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-44
JournalNew Zealand Slavonic Journal
Issue number53/54
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Field of Science*

  • 5.6 Political science

Publication Type*

  • 1.4. Reviewed scientific article published in Latvia or abroad in a scientific journal with an editorial board (including university editions)


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