The odious Ernests Rieksts keeps lying about Latvia

(Source: State police)

Karlis Arajs, Delfi national news editor.

Published on: 29th of September, 2023.

Fact check: The odious Ernests Rieksts keeps lying about Latvia


Odious businessman Ernests Rieksts, who recently came under scrutiny from Latvian State Security Service, continues to actively share disinformation. On Friday (29th of September) he published an eight minutes long video, in which he managed to include multiple statements that are not factual. “Delfi” analyzes his statements and compares them to actual facts. 

In the video titled “I hope the Russian army enters Latvia” Rieksts actively furthers the “failed state” narrative that is often used by the Kremlin.

First of all Rieksts alleges that Latvia already has been “conquered”. He also states that Latvia has the highest rates of HIV and suicides. He does not however specify whether he means that in the context of Europe or the world.

It must be noted that Latvia in fact is one of the countries with high rates of HIV – about 0,7% of Latvians are infected with the disease. However Russia, which Rieksts seems to favor, has a much higher rate of infection – 1,5% of its population has this disease. In the context of the world Latvia ranks in 57th place, while Russia is 33rd. [1]

As for suicides Lithuania and Russia are ahead of Latvia. In Latvia there are 20,1 suicides per 100 000 people, while in Russia this number is 25,1, but in Lithuania – 26,1. [2]

Rieksts also claims that Latvia has the highest number of murders, according to “official tables”. He is once again lying. Highest murder rate in the world is in Jamaica where there are 52,1 murders per 100 000 people.

However in Europe the highest murder rate is in Russia, where there are 6,8 murders per 100 000 people, while in Latvia this number in 2021 was three. [3]

Rieksts also alleges that Latvia has the worst education system. This allegation is hard to fact check, but using OECD research, it can be concluded that Latvian education system is average. Full research paper can be found here.

It must be noted that Rieksts has a large following across multiple Telegram and TikTok accounts.




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