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The following item will appear in Issue No. . 6 of EIR Strategic Alert Service.

An operation against Tatjana Zdanoka, a Latvian member of the European Parliament, has been launched, with Latvian authorities and the EP investigating whether Zdanoka is allegedly a Russian agent. The investigation has been prompted by an article published by The Insider, an anti-Putin website connected to Bellingcat, which Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has characterized as a “witch-hunt.”

Ms. Zdanoka is co-chairman of the Latvian Russian Union, a political party that fights for the rights of the large Russian minority in Latvia, 25% of the population. In recent times, she has exposed the increasing discrimination and repression of the Russian minority. In July 2023, she gave a presentation at the July 8-9 Strasbourg, France conference of the Schiller Institute showing how the government-led Russophobia goes so far as to target Russian classical authors, such as Alexander Pushkin. The discrimination against the Russian-speaking minority in Latvia resembles that by the Banderista regime in Kiev after the 2014 Maidan coup.

The allegation raised by The Insider, based on poor evidence, is that Zdanoka has worked for the FSB, reporting to two case officers: Dmitry Gladey and Sergei Beltyukov. Asked by The Insider, Zdanoka said she had only working relationships in her role as an MEP with Gladey, who was chairman of the International Institute for Monitoring the Development of Democracy. She does not know anyone named Beltyukov. With a remarkable wit, she added: “I can testify that the only people with whom I have sat at the same table, and with the certain knowledge that they are/were Russian FSB officers, are Vladimir Putin and Sergei Naryshkin,” the latter being the current director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

“Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has slammed media allegations that Tatjana Zdanoka, a European Parliament member from Latvia, has been working for Russian special services as a ‘witch-hunt’ resembling 1950s McCarthyism in the United States,” TASS reported Jan. 30. “This is a witch-hunt,” Peskov stressed. “Do you remember McCarthyism in the United States—how many people were arrested and imprisoned. This is the same.”

“We vehemently condemn this. Obviously, it has nothing to do with the so-called ideals of democracy as it is now interpreted in Europe,” he added.

Ms. Zdanoka posted on Facebook a statement entitled “You Will Not Be Able To Scare Me,” saying that the rush with which The Insider published its attack could be explained by an event she will be holding next Wednesday, Feb. 7, in commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust and on the new danger of fascism in Europe.

Her representative, Zhanna Karelina, told the Latvian news portal Delfi Jan. 30 that Ždanoka was currently consulting lawyers over the possibility of suing the four news outlets.