A few days ago, Russian propaganda began to actively disseminate the criminal statement of Andrejs Elksniņš, chairman of the Latvian City Council of Daugavpils, that allegedly “Crimea belongs to Russia,” which the major also refused to call the aggressor state.

This major’s statement, predictably, caused a sharp assessment by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Latvia, and already on November 8, Elksniņš admitted that for him, as the chairman of the Daugavpils City Council, the foreign policy course of Latvia is obligatory. The mayor also stated the existence of international documents reflecting the Ukrainian status of the occupied peninsula, thereby signing his earlier abuse of his powers with an incomprehensible purpose.

At the same time, it should be noted that the “Crimean statements” of Andrejs Elksniņš are clearly not an accidental “impromptu”, since they fit into the outline of a number of acts of this obviously pro-Russian “politician”. The fact is that Daugavpils is a small town with a predominantly Russian-speaking population, and the current mayor comes to power for the second time, flirting with the corresponding electorate.

It is noteworthy that the then City Duma deputy Elksniņš ran for the elections in 2021 from the Social Democratic Party “Consent”, which was distinguished by its “tolerance” towards the Russian Federation and once signed a cooperation agreement with “United Russia”, stating literally in the style of “united Russians” that Daugavpils “should be controlled by only one political force. Without partners. Without coalitions”.

Almost immediately after the election, Andrejs Elksniņš went to Moscow, where in October 2021 he took part in the “Russian Energy Week”, and the obvious “professional Russian” Alexei Vasiliev, “chairman of the Daugavpils branch of the Russian community of Latvia”, was appointed the first vice-mayor under him, later “noted” by opposition to the renaming of the Soviet names of the streets of the town.

In March 2022, Andrejs Elksniņš made a scandal due to the fact that the director of a music high school and a former deputy of the city council, Aivars Brok, raised the flag of Ukraine on the flagpole near the educational institution, where the city flag of Daugavpils had previously hung; then the mayor spoke out against the alleged “infringement on the dignity of the city”, for three days demanding “concessions” from Brok.

Later, Elksniņš publicly refused to raise the flag of Ukraine at the city hall, as many Latvian cities did, as a sign of support for the fight against Russian aggression. In July 2022, Andrejs Elksniņš defiantly attended, together with the same Vasiliev, a closed celebration at the “Latgola” Hotel at the invitation of the Consulate General of Belarus, despite the relevant recommendation of the Latvian Foreign Ministry to officials to ignore representatives of the Lukashenka regime as much as possible.

In October 2022, Elksniņš defiantly “protested the oval” against the demolition of the Soviet monument in the city, organizing the “last laying of flowers” at it. In addition, Russian propaganda periodically spins more and more Elksniņš’s statements about the alleged “collapse of Latvia without Russian gas”.

Thus, the above-described activities of Andrejs Elksniņš in Daugavpils, bordering Belarus, should objectively be of interest not only to Latvian diplomats, but also to other structures, regardless of his illegal and subsequently refuted “Crimean statements”.

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