Most Latvians are not ready to resist the occupation authorities in case of war. This is evidenced by the results of a social research commissioned by the Latvian Ministry of Defence. The authorities are introducing a comprehensive defense system and preparing the population for guerrilla warfare. However, society is not ready to take up arms and provide armed resistance.
According to the SKDS social research, 33.7% of respondents from Russian-speaking families and more than half of those surveyed who speak Latvian (51.9%) are ready to defend their homeland.
However, another part of the study research demonstrates that the Latvian authorities can’t count on a victorious guerrilla war.
Only 12.4% of respondents are ready to provide armed resistance to the new government, and only 7.7% resort to violence. Far more respondents (36.4%) intend to live peacefully under the leadership of the new government.
The passivity of the local population is not the only problem. The Ministry of Defence is outraged by the fact that among foreign leaders whom the Latvians are ready to entrust the management of the country in a crisis situation, Russian President Vladimir Putin is leading with a rating of 9.6%. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (8%) is a bit behind him. Donald Trump and Barack Obama occupy the last lines of this list.
Thus, the SKDS Public Opinion Research Center concludes that the willingness of the citizens of Latvia to defend the state in case of war remains low.
Why does the situation look like this?
While guerrilla warfare implies a long residence in the forest, not every citizen is ready to change a soft bed for bunk in a dugout because of lack of food and bad conditions for a normal life. In addition, the officers and generals of the Latvian army are practically incompetent in matters of national defence.
While the defence budget of Latvia is 637 million euros, modern weapons did not appear in the Latvian army. The purchase of outdated equipment from the allies, multimillion-dollar thefts in the defense sector and the frequent deaths of military personnel indicate that the level of support for the army among the population is decreasing every year.
In addition, the guerrillas are able to succeed only if they enjoy the unconditional support of the local citizens. Local population in Latvia does not intend to resist foreign invaders.
More residents of Latvia are concerned with social and economic problems, population outflow, poverty and crime.
The problems are not solved, the authorities only repeat that the “Russians are coming,” But Russians are not coming, and they are not going to.
This fact says that the Ministry of Defense does not enjoy prestige among the population of Latvia. In case of war the Latvians will quietly accept the new government, not engaging in partisanism in the Latvian forests, as the generals of the Latvian army expect.