Should former Latvian KGB informers be exposed?

For the first time Latvia has published documents left in the country by the former Russian secret service, the KGB. Just before Christmas the national archive published documents that had been kept under wraps for over 25 years on a website set up specifically for this purpose. But the move has triggered mixed reactions from the press.

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Neatkarīgā (LV) /

No sympathy for informers

Neatkarīgā is strongly against showing compassion for the people now being exposed as informers:

“There are thousands of ordinary people who suffered from the reports of KGB informants. They were not allowed to get a car, or a long-awaited apartment, they were not allowed to travel abroad for work or to go to university. Not to mention those whose lives were torn apart. It is those who really suffered from informer reporting who deserve society's compassion and moral support. Instead we are trying to encourage sympathy for the ones who caused difficulties for others. What a twisted form of sympathy!”

Tvnet (LV) /

Vengefulness breeds poor advice

For Tvnet it is too soon to publish the KGB files, although a quarter of a century has passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“With his decision to publish this raw material, Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis is violating the rights of the citizens, just as the Bolsheviks did in the Soviet Union. He permitted and supported this move instead of allowing the academic research process to conclude productively and then publishing the results. One gets the impression that many people are only interested in settling old scores on a personal level. Instead people should be informed about what really happened.”