The Perils of Defence in an Information War: Media, Minorities and the Threat Next Door

Sergejs Kruks (Coresponding Author), Ilva Skulte

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Disinformation spread by Russian Federation television channels to Latvia’s ethnic minority audiences became an especially challenging problem after the occupation of Crimea in 2014. In the Latvian political agenda, the issue was reduced to seeking legal arguments justifying the ban of Russia’s broadcasts on domestic cable networks and via the internet to protect the Russian-speaking population from propaganda. Public opinion polls, however, did not consider Russia’s transborder communication a critical issue. Media content analyses reveal the absence of feedback communication: Lay people and their problems are underrepresented in leading media. Moreover, reference to “Kremlin propaganda” was instrumentalized as a populist argument discrediting political opponents and critics of government policies. On the one hand, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 proved the significance of the propaganda concerns following 2014. On the other hand, little was done to establish top-down and bottom-up communication channels with the Russian-speaking population identified as vulnerable to Kremlin propaganda.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Wars in the Baltic States
Subtitle of host publicationRussia’s Long Shadow
EditorsJanis Chakars, Indra Ekmanis
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-99987-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-99986-5
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePalgrave Macmillan Series in International Political Communication
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2945-6118
ISSN (Electronic)2945-6126

Field of Science*

  • 5.8 Media and Communication

Publication Type*

  • 3.1. Articles or chapters in proceedings/scientific books indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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