Latvia's paramilitary family values

The Baltiic Center for Investigative Journalism, Re:Baltica, has published a new report revealing the questionable activities of a Latvian-based organization that sees its self as a self-appointed moral guardian for the nation's youth.

The investigation, titled The Rise Of Latvia's Moral Guardians focuses on the "Dzimta" (Kin) organization and other NGOs, which encourages quasi-military training methods as a means of defending what it says are traditional family values against decadent tendencies from the West.

Examination reveals the aims of these apparently apolitical organizations tally in many respects with the ideology promoted by pro-Kremlin Russian nationalist groups as well as hardline conservative and religious groups elsewhere, including the United States. 

"Three parent movement organisations have been formed in Latvia since 2013. They are "Kin", "Let's Protect Our Children" and "Our Children." The "traditional values", it turned out, is one issue that can unite ethnically-divided Latvia, where about 26 percent are ethnic Russians and even more people use Russian as their native language. Together, the three organisations lobby for changes in the laws to prohibit the "propaganda" of homosexuality, oppose adoption by foreign families, and fight against excessive power of the nation's social services," writes Re: Baltica.

Another organization, 'Let's Protect Our Children' has strong ties to Vladimir Linderman, a notorious figure who was largely responsible for a signature collection drive that attempted to make Russian a second state language and who more recently has been seen waving a flag in support of Russia-backed rebels in Eastern Ukraine.

Yet Linderman's organization also attracts support from a former politician with the ruling center-right Unity party, Andris Dedzis, Re:Baltica writes.

The full report, part of a series on NGOs in Latvia that may have hidden geopolitical agendas, can be read at the Re:Baltica website HERE

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