Sergei is a journalist works for the Latvian radio based in Daugavpils. He is Russian speaker born in Daugavpils to Russian parents. His father was an aviation engineer during the Soviet Times.
Sergei describes Daugavpils as a multi cultural city and is exotic for many due to different language and ethnicity co-exist in one place. He notes, being situated closer to border, Latgale is understandably influenced by the Eastern neighbors, Belarus and Russia. After the war in Ukraine, he thinks that many, including the government, consider the Russian speakers in Latgale as a fifth column. The war also created a division among the local population, as those who are apolitical cannot support issues pertaining to the Russian speaking community. He also thinks, the Latvians government’s decision to remove the Soviet Era monuments is a mistake as it divides the community, especially in the Russian speaking areas. In addition the region’s economic strains and cross border cultural and economic relations influence the local population. According to Sergei, during the Crimean referendum the people in Daugavpils were split 50/50 and many took Russian passports in the last 10 years.