Buses in Riga do not have segregated seats for Russians
A Facebook post misinforms about the alleged segregationist policy of Riga’s public transport company. It falsely claims that Russian-speaking passengers are required to sit in the back of the bus. The transport company “Rīgas satiksme” (Riga Transport) has denied this claim. Latvia’s state news agency LETA reported that police have launched an investigation into alleged stickers on public transport in Riga
A Facebook post falsely claims that public transport company buses in Riga, the capital of Latvia, have set a rule that Russian-speaking passengers are not allowed to sit with others. In addition to the post, which has been shared 26 times and has over 90 impressions, a photo of the alleged sticker from the bus with such instructions has been shared. Written in Latvian and Russian, Russian-speaking passengers are asked to head to the back of the bus.
“DISGUSTING SEGREGATION in Latvia, SUPPORTED BY, of course, the EU!”
#Latvia Russian-speaking passengers must sit in the back of the bus,” the FB post reads.
One of the comments compared this move to apartheid in the United States in the last century, when African-Americans had special seats in public transportation:
Just like 70 years ago in the United States and England black people, Chinese and Indians were only allowed to sit in the back of the bus, in the church, public institutions and banks, courts or in school. It’s a shame how narrow-minded some people are.
However, this is not true and the Facebook post is spreading falsehoods. The announcement about the segregation policy of “Rīgas satiksme” (Riga Transport) was first published by a Twitter user during the weekend (September 17-18) and then deleted it. According to the Latvian Russian-language portal “Postimees”, “on this profile, you can find other fake news, as well as posts glorifying the Kremlin regime.”
The transport company denied the claim of the alleged rules in public transport in Riga.
This is not true. Already on Saturday evening, our employees checked the buses entering the parking lot and the depot. Such information was not found in any means of transport, Rīgas satiksme reported on Twitter.
Tā nav patiesība. Jau sestdien vakarā, mūsu darbinieki pārbaudīja tranportu, kas iebrauc parkā un depo. Nevienā transportā šāda informācija netika atrasta.
— Rīgas satiksme (@Rigassatiksme_) September 19, 2022
The post also triggered a police investigation, reports Latvia’s state news agency, “LETA”.
The state police has launched an investigation into alleged inscriptions in public transport in Riga, according to which Russian-speaking passengers are provided seats only at the back of the bus, LETA news agency has learned from the police, other Latvian media also share the news.
Thanks to social networks, the fake news spread quickly and reached Macedonian Facebook users from Latvia.
Baltic Latvia has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and borders Russia, which has been at war with its neighbor Ukraine for six months. In Latvia, which is also called the “migrant country”, the Latvian population dominates with 59.6 percent, while Russians are the second largest ethnic group and make up 27.57 percent of the total population. Belarusians make up a little more than 3 percent, and Ukrainians – up to 3 percent of all residents. The ethnic composition of the country includes a small group of Lithuanians and Poles, i.e. 1.33 percent and 2.37 percent, and the rest of the population consist of Jews, Greeks, Kazakhs and Romanians.