Our Investigations

Health in Latvia

While Latvia is planning to introduce a more “just'' health care reform, which will leave thousands outside the health system, Re:Baltica's research shows that a more fair distribution of financing could improve public health already now. That's not happened for years because of opposition from a few doctors and a business lobby.

    The photographer and author of the story, Kaspars Goba, last summer and fall visited the admission unit of the Kuldiga hospital and a family doctor's practice in Rujiena in order to observe doctors and their patients daily. Please see the slides for photographs.

Cardiologist to the Court

Andrejs Ērglis, one of Latvia’s most famous doctors, is from a well known medical family and combines professional talent with personal charm. In his own words, he has raised Latvian interventional heart surgery to a world level. But how can a poor country with one of Europe’s lowest healthcare budgets also be among the world leaders in expensive heart operations using stents, the microscopic structures used to repair damaged arteries? And why, even though it spends so much on such procedures, does Latvia not also lead in reducing the number of premature deaths, with heart disease still the country’s main killer?

Obesity

Adults are worried that teenagers in Latvia are getting fatter and unhealthier, but at the same time allow the sale of harmful foods in schools. Banning these harmful products from schools would deprive private firms of a significant source of profits.

Latvia’s Unhealthy Healthcare System

Latvian government is working on one of the biggest healthcare reforms since the country gained its independence. Healthcare Minister Circene says it will be fairer to tax payers, fight the grey economy and bring more money into the healthcare system. But doctors and the Ombudsman argue that the change will not make people healthier and leave 100,000 uninsured.

Why Do They Eat in Soup Kitchens?

Although the number of extremely poor people in Riga has fallen since the worst point of the crisis in 2009, there is still a large number of Rigans in need of social support from local government: 63,000 people, equivalent to 9% of the city's population. Part of that number goes every day to soup kitchens that are either fully- or partly-paid-for by the municipal authorities. The recipients of these hot meals are mainly single pensioners and families on minimal incomes, according to both the statistics and students' observations.

Video map: Why do they eat in soup kitchens?

In January 2014 Latvian and U.S. students participated in a joint project at Riga's soup kitchens to try to understand for which groups in the Latvian capital the crisis remains far from over. These clips tell the stories of 31 Rigans.

A Summary of Police Contacts with Media in Latvia

There have been a number of encounters by the Latvian media with various law enforcement authorities or people using the criminal and civil law to attempt to repress, intimidate or silence reporters, editors and bloggers.

Let's Imprison Troublesome Journalists! An Estonian Example

The Estonian minister of justice pushed through a law that in theory permits the imprisonment of journalists who refuse to give up their sources, but the law has never been never used - so far.

To Reveal or Not to Reveal?

The law enforcement attack on the BNS news agency journalists took place 11 years after the Lithuanian Constitutional Court delivered its interpretation of when a journalist must disclose a source of information. But it seems that was still too little time for interpretation to be carried over to the law.

Is the case against 'Neo' a warning to Latvia’s whistleblowers?

Attempts to take an acclaimed Latvian whistleblower to court more than three years after he released embarrassing tax details of the country's elite are raising serious questions about due legal process in the Baltic state.

Our investigations

Health in Latvia

While Latvia is planning to introduce a more “just'' health care reform, which will leave thousands outside the health system, Re:Baltica's research shows that a more fair distribution of financing could improve public health already now. That's not happened for years because of opposition from a few doctors and a business lobby.

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The Other Side of Latvia's 'Success' Story

In January 2014 Latvian and U.S. students participated in a joint project at Riga's soup kitchens to try to understand for which groups in the Latvian capital the crisis remains far from over. These clips tell the stories of 31 Rigans. 

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Small Wages

Latvians are lazy and prefer to live off welfare benefits. To stay profitable, businesses must bring in workers from other countries. This is the rhetoric one frequently hears from Latvian politicians and businessmen. Re:Baltica undertook the task of clarifying why, given that the unemployment level is still high, businesses cannot find low-skilled workers. To understand the situation, Re:Baltica went out to work in a fish factory and a supermarket.

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Press Intimidation in the Baltic States

Lithuania’s Masked Ball, Media Freedom and Press Intimidation in the Baltic States.

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Baltic Drug Couriers

They travel abroad to earn easy money, but pay with something more valuable- their freedom. In some cases with their lives. Each year about 100 drug couriers from the Baltic states are arrested in foreign countries. This number doubled during the economic crisis. Why did they do this? And what do they think about, sitting in prisons thousands of kilometres from home?

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The Fall of Vladimir Antonov

In November 2011 two large Baltic banks collapsed - Latvijas Krājbanka and Snoras bank in Lithuania. It turned out that the owner of the banks, Russian millionaire Vladimir Antonov, gambled with depositor money to fuel his business ambitions and desire for a luxurious lifestyle. Re:Baltica investigated how Antonov pumped out the money from the banks, and why banking regulators didn’t notice what he was doing.

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Why can't the Baltics Cooperate?


Failed Liquid Gas Terminal Project

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Money from Russia

In 2007, President Vladimir Putin established the Russkiy Mir foundation. Designed to promote Russian culture abroad, the foundation prides itself on being open. But Re:Baltica found consistent lack of transparency in the foundation's activities in the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Russkiy Mir doesn’t disclose all organizations it funds and what amounts were granted to which organizations. Who got this funding and how was it used? Explore this first cross-border investigation in the Baltics to find out.

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Dirty money

Defrauded millions from Ukraine and bloody drug cartel´s money from Mexico were laundered through Latvian banks. Money was transferred using offshore companies led by Latvians. Local directors didn't even know that they became millionaires on paper.

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Important

Public lecture on press freedom: Lithuania’s Masked Ball

Is the case against 'Neo' a warning to Latvia’s whistleblowers?

Invitation to attend journalism training, Lithuania, 10-13 October 2013

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