Russian-speakers in Latvia

Russian-speakers comprise a substantial portion of Latvia's population, and the issues related to their integration into Latvian society have persisted for the past three decades, gaining more prominence due to regional geopolitical shifts.

Russian-speakers in Latvia have been a group that has directly influenced many facets of internal and external policy. From integration policy to EU- and NATO-accession processes, from language policy to citizenship regulation, from education policy to bilateral and regional geopolitical conundrums, the presence of a sizeable Russian-speaking population has also presented Latvia’s policy makers with a difficult list of choices, some made only as a result of international pressure. Moreover, language use has been a central aspect in societal and political divisions. This overview seeks to cast a light on who are – and who are not – Russian-speakers in Latvia.

Read the general analysis on Russian speakers in Latvia (by Agnese Lāce, 2023)


Two months after the beginning of the war, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung together with the Latvian survey institute SKDS conducted the first representative and in-depth survey of the Latvian population with a focus on the Russian-speaking minority. The main reason was to find out whether the war had had a major impact on the relations between the Latvian majority and the Russian-speaking minority.

UNDER PRESSURE An Analysis of the Russian-Speaking Minority in Latvia

Smiliarly, one year after the beginning of the war, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung together with the Estonian survey institute Turu-uuringute AS conducted this representative and in-depth survey of the Estonian population with a focus on the Russian-speaking minority. The main reason was to find out whether the war had had a major impact on relations between the Estonian majority and the Russian-speaking minority.

FEELING CORNERED An Analysis of the Russian-Speaking Minority in Estonia

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung 
Baltic States

Latvia Office
Dzirnavu iela 37-64 
LV 1010 Riga

Estonia Office
Pärnu mnt. 27-13
10141 Tallinn

Lithuania Office
A. Jakšto g. 6a/8-34
LT-01105 Vilnius

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