View Full Version : Russian Bronze Statue in Estonia

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01-25-2007, 08:24 AM
Jan 25, 2007, TBT staff
On Wednesday, the upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, passed a resolution asking Estonia to halt its plans to remove a Soviet-Era Red Army monument in Tallinn. “The Federation Council is highly concerned over the adoption of the law on the protection of war graves in Estonia,” the Russian news agency Interfax quoted the document as saying.

This was a major accomplishment for Estonia's new government. The general population was up in arms over the annual tradition of flowering the monument. Dressed in former USSR military uniforms and parading in the general area with Russian flags, as if the Russians still think of themselves as Estonia's liberators. Pretty bold using the name liberator to an army which, after driving the Germans out, stayed on to loot, rape and commit grave crimes against Estonians.

These Russians are actually Estonian citizens (according to their passports that is), who most of the time enjoy their lifestyle in Estonia. Must be that, cause they don't seem to want to return to the Motherland :eek: )

The leader of the Nashi (Russian) movement, Vasily Yakemenko, told the media present that if the bronze statue of a Soviet soldier in Tallinn is removed, then Nashi activists will start going to Estonia and take turns standing guard on the monument's former site garbed in military uniform.

While the Russian Federation Council claimed that tearing the statue down would create more divisions in society, the Estonian Prime Minister defended the decision and said just the opposite.

“What respect are we talking about if crowds keep treading on the grave, hold rallies, drink vodka or wait for a trolleybus there? This goes against Estonians' idea of the place of eternal rest of the dead,” he said.

The prime minister added that the bronze statue of a Soviet soldier at Tonismagi in Tallinn has become a monument which is dividing the nation instead of uniting and consolidating it.

01-25-2007, 10:16 AM
Stan Reber says:

"These Russians are actually Estonian citizens (according to their passports that is), who most of the time enjoy their lifestyle in Estonia. Must be that, cause they don't seem to want to return to the Motherland "

Stan, you must not forget the backround of most of those people. Most of them arrived to Estonian territory after USSR troops chased away German troops and started their own occupation. At first those Russians manned security organisations posts (read state terror organisations), but later came labour migrants to man that huge industrial complex, which was initiated from central planners from Moscow. One of the reasons for that migration was fact that thousands of Estonians were sent (mainly elite who survived first deportation in 1940 to Siberia and deadly II WW) to Siberian camps. All of the identy of those migrants was built around the II WW tiumph. Most of them have no idea about real history of Estonia (and I suppose that they really don't care. Despite that they live mainly in Russian propaganda room, because a lot of them watch only Russian TV programs due to fact that their Estonian language skills are too weak to follow Estonian TV channels). Statue of Soviet unkonown soldier in Tõnismäe is symbol for their being here. This is like changing paradigma. This has always been hard. The other problem is connected with the fact that modern Russia is bulding it new ideology. Part of it rests on fight against Nazi Germany. Statue of un-known soldier is part of this narrative building.

Here is quite objective story from Moscow Times.


01-25-2007, 10:45 AM
Hey Kaur !
Did you know that your Cousel ID is actually an Estonian Male's first name ?

In April of this year I will celebrate my 12th year of living and working in Estonia. Not some US Embassy employee hiding behind the "magic forcefield" of the Embassy walls, but right there with everybody. 5 years in the Ministry of Defense and in April, 5 years with the Rescue Services Special Demining Center and Northern Bomb Group.

That said, I can tell you that you will never convince Estonians that anything good will come out of this.

Yes, I am well aware of Estonia's history and Russia's use of "labor Migrants" to offset those Estonians sent to Siberia. I worked right along side of a man at the MOD, now in his early 80s. He was one of those sent to siberia. He cannot for a second explain what happened without breaking into emotional tears and has to sit down.

That's but one of how many ?

This is why I concur with sending that bronze thing back home. The Russian government may need to rethink the situation, before the Estonian public does the dirty deed themselves. Cheap economic threats by the Russians won't work, they depend on Estonia and the trade from Russia is less than 10 percent, thus nothing more than words and indeed a cheap threat.

Lastly, regarding the inability to learn Estonian after 50 years, is just Bravo Sierra. I learned Estonian in 13 weeks in Arlington. I have taken and passed the Estonian Living and Working Permit exam 7 times.

Regards, Stan

01-25-2007, 12:19 PM
that migration was fact that thousands of Estonians were sent (mainly elite who survived first deportation in 1940 to Siberia and deadly II WW) to Siberian camps.

Hi Kaur,
I neglected to mention that my 80-year old friend at the MOD taught high school history and his brother (who later died there), was an actor.

They were then among the "elite" souls from Estonia ?

Lastly, regarding the inability to learn Estonian after 50 years, is just Bravo Sierra. I learned Estonian in 13 weeks in Arlington. I have taken and passed the Estonian Living and Working Permit exam 7 times.

Just to preclude an obvious question to my previous paragraph, Estonia back in the mid-90's would only issue one-year work/living permits to foreigners. Then in 2003, I was given a 5-year permit and no longer have to take a high school-level language and cultural exam :D

Regards, Stan

Regards, Stan

01-25-2007, 12:24 PM
Stan, I'm Estonian and living in Tallinn. I was just trying to give little deeper backround to your topic that other forum members could understand this problem better. We, as Estonians, and parlamentarians who represent our thoughts, want do this statue removal in civilized way. Enough is enough (especially after Russia started to use this monument in their propaganda offencive) and it's time to take this statue to cemetery where people can bring flowers. At present time it's just symbol of occupation (in the center of our capital) for over 70% of people (this is the percentage of Estonians in Estonia) and real soruce of misunderstanding between ethnic groups. I know a lot of Russians who understand things the same way as we do. The problem is that a lot of them still see things opposite way, which means via Soviet (now Russian) propaganda prisma. There are several reasons. First, Russian TV ja radio, whisch is real PSYOPS maschine. Second, history lessons in Estonian Russian secondary schools (Russia is trying to give them even history books published in Russia).Third, Russian grandparents who tell to their grandchildren their version of history (hallelujah to Soviet Union) etc.

There are elections coming in March in Estonia. In Estonia, there are couple Russian parties. The fact is that they have not won seats in Estonian parliament. To get those seats they had to find painful issues to give new breathing to their institutions. As we know 1 issue parties are not very succsessful in long term and i hope that this rule is valid also here.

PS. My grandfather was police officer in independent Estonian Republic, before II WW. He was taken to Siberia in 1940 in animal carriage. He was there over 10 years and came back. Relatives say that he was never the same man.

01-25-2007, 12:31 PM
It depends how to define elite. If we define it as a class, who as potential to resist and organise insurgency to occupying power, then elite is very large portion of people. I defined elite this way. Among other geographical parts in Soviet Union, occupying force had it's counter-insurgency campaign also in Estonia. One of the solutions was also deportation of people who could resist.

01-25-2007, 12:43 PM
Tervist Kaur !
Ei tea miks, aga ma ju arvansingi, et olete Eestlane :cool:

A slightly refreshing approach. I am often used as a perfect example of integration. But then, I take my life and job seriously and my collegues at work expect me to pull my own weight, even if it means in another language and culture.

Regards, Stan

01-28-2007, 12:25 PM

On a television near you.

This week, Estonia’s parliament deliberates a draft law which would allow penal measures to be applied when symbols of the Soviet Union, Communist Party, and Hitler-era Germany are used knowingly to disturb public order. The Russians, obviously, are not pleased, since the law would seem to enable the immediate removal of The Bronze Soldier monument.

This otta be good ! It will also be a problem; Estonia's 3 chapters of skinheads will have to do something with all those tattoos (from head-to-toe), clothing embellished with "ESTLAND" (Former German military embroidered sleeve emblems from the "era" in question and SS (Super Stock of course).

According to the Russian newspaper, Kommersant, Russian President Vladimir Putin, when meeting the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, remarked: “Aah, Estonia! Estonia wants to win a seat in the front row and gain some sort of advantages on that basis.” Putin reminded Merkel of the German government’s decision to remove the monument of the liberator from Berlin’s Treptow Park, a decision which was not carried out.

Does this mean we have to wait for Germany to go (move bronze) first ?

Regards, Stan

01-29-2007, 07:48 AM
Comment by Jamestown 26.01.2007.


01-29-2007, 08:08 AM
The analogy is inapposite, however, on at least two counts. Germany, a country defeated in war, has accepted this particular symbol of one of the victorious powers in the country’s capital. Estonia, however, did not take part in any war, being simply occupied by two powers successively, the second occupation lasting almost half-century. Second, the notion that Germany’s defeat actually liberated the country from totalitarianism is a notion accepted and internalized by German society, whereas the Soviet occupation -- of which the Soviet Soldier’s Tallinn monument is the conspicuous symbol -- cemented totalitarian rule over Estonia and her Baltic neighbors.

(BNS, Interfax, January 17 through 25; see EDM, January 11)

Hommikust !
Kaur, Thanks for the link. Good detailed information and exposes the typical Russian view. Funny, Vasily Yakimenko threatens to send 300 of "these upstanding Russians" to guard the bronze wonder. He should have done that earlier in the year, then we could have used the police and fences in other parts of Estonia where they were more needed.

Regards, Stan

01-29-2007, 09:23 AM
Tere, Stan!

It's interesting that Russian side is not understanding the issue correctly and overreacting because of that. They think that Estonian side is trying to destroy the statue. No, Estonian the side is talking about moving the statue to the appropriate site, for example military cemetary.

Treptow park with it's Soviet memorial is not located in the middle of Berlin and Jamestown commentary said correctly that there is no analogy between Germany and Russia, concerning history.

Here is my extreme analogy. Soviet soldiers statue in the centre of Estonia's capital, it's like leaving Saddam's statue standing in Sadr city and saying that Saddam's tribe has right to come there to mourn. How does this sound?

01-29-2007, 03:23 PM
Tere Kaur !
Well, we know what happened to Sadam's statue (an M88 crew assisted the removal), and if we wait much longer, the Estonian public will do the same, or maybe even worse.

Have you been to Narva lately ? (The city of Narva is an Estonian/Russian border town complete with old fortresses, cannons and the like).

Somebody put lenin's statue in the farthest eastern corner of the Estonian fortress with his hand high pointing to Russia. In the corner like a bad child in kindergarten !

I had Navy and Army deminers with me, asking about Lenin's location as if he was supposed to be in the corner.

I couldn't answer because I was laughing too much (had few Saku brews as well :D )

regards, Stan

02-02-2007, 01:37 PM
Jan 30, 2007, By TBT staff

Russian foreign minister opposes sanctions against Estonia

TALLINN - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he is against imposing sanctions against Estonia in response to plans to relocate the Soviet Bronze Soldier monument.
"Our reaction must be robust and firm, and be aimed at mobilizing public opinion and the political position of European countries in the first place, in order to not permit this kind of blasphemous attitude toward the memory of those who fought against fascism," Interfax news agency quoted the Russian minister as saying.
"However, I would not resort to reacting with sanctions. We are not dependent on Estonia to any such degree as to fear sanctions. Simply we need to put our actions into correlation with the position of those constructive, sensible forces that exist in Estonia," Lavrov said.

This sounds somewhat strange for us here at ground zero, being they had just threatened sanctions and now a reversal ?

Regards, Stan

02-08-2007, 09:43 AM
Feb 07, 2007 By TBT staff

MOSCOW - Sergei Ivanov, Russia’s deputy prime minister and minister of defense, on Wednesday repeated his criticism of the possibility that Estonia would relocate the Bronze Soldier monument.
“We called things by their right names. I, for instance, called it state vandalism,” Ivanov was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying after a meeting by the State Duma (Russia’s lower chamber of parliament).
Ivanov argued that political posturing ahead of certain internal political events, a vague reference to the upcoming national elections in March, lay behind Estonian authorities’ decision.

Putin: Return buried soldiers to Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for the remains of fallen Soviet fighters buried under Tallinn’s Bronze Soldier monument to be returned to Russian soil. “If it comes to the demolition of the monument and the reburial of our soldiers’ sacred remains, we are ready to propose to the present Estonian leadership to rebury them in the territory of the Russian Federation,” Putin told the Interfax news agency.

Putin’s comments are a tad premature. The Estonian government is still divided on the issue (The Center Party votes to keep the Bronze thing, while the opposition parties and Reformists (lead coalition partner) want it gone. Parliament passed laws permitting the relocation, but no decision to act on those laws has been made.

Hmmm, who cleans the bird droppings ?

Putin would later point out:

“In many states of Europe, the monuments to Soviet soldiers are not simply standing, they are even, I’m ashamed to say, looked after better than we do it in Russia,” Putin said.

02-19-2007, 02:40 PM
Mari-Ann Kelam comments on the recent and current controversy surrounding the removal of the Soviet war monument in the Estonian capital, Tallinn:

Sunday, 18 February 2007

So often the media emphasis is on what Estonia is or is not doing with the Soviet victory symbol. The focus should be on Russia and its behaviour in this situation. With its vacillating the current Estonian coalition government (Reform, Center and People’s parties) has not handled the problem at all well. But when you really think about it, why should a huge country like Russia raise such a protest, threaten a small neighboring sovereign nation to retain one Soviet statue, a reminder of 50 years of occupation?

Absurd on the face of it, but this shows clearly how today’s Russia is still very much living in and glorifying its Soviet past. Putin’s Cold War style speech in Munich just confirms the situation.

02-22-2007, 09:41 AM
Interview with Estonian president.


02-22-2007, 11:07 AM
Thanks Kaur !
I like Ilves, he will make some significant changes in Estonia.

02-24-2007, 03:45 PM
Looks like he's staying in Estonia :mad:

Feb 21, 2007
By Joel Alas

TALLINN - Toomas Hendrik Ilves was forced to make his first major decision as president when he last week vetoed a bill that would have forced the removal of the Bronze Soldier monument. The decision was considered inevitable – the bill that sought the statue’s removal was deemed unconstitutional. Its passage through parliament was read only as a populist play ahead of an increasingly divisive election.

03-10-2007, 09:24 AM
Reformists pull off surprise victory, consider dumping Centrists
Mar 07, 2007
By Joel Alas

The result may finalize one of the most contentious issues in Estonia – the Bronze Soldier monument. The election was seen on one level as a referendum on the Bronze Soldier. While Reform and IRL were outspoken in their desire to see the Soviet statue removed, the Center Party was adamant that it should stay.
Pettai said if Reform and IRL form a government, the fate of the soldier was sealed.
“They were clearly keen on removing it. If they are in power, we could see bulldozers moving in,” Pettai said.

03-25-2007, 05:08 PM
It may truely be on its way home following a Russia vs Estonia football match.

Sadly, Estonia lost 2 nill :(

Estonian prime minister says relocation of Soldier Liberator monument to begin soon :D


TALLINN - Preparations for the relocation of the monument to the Soldier-Liberator in Tallinn are under way in Estonia, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said on Thursday.

"The commission for military burials has made its proposals, preparations are under way," Ansip said.

He noted that the parties to be included in his future coalition government have not discussed the issue. "This is not a subject for coalition talks," he said.

03-28-2007, 07:54 PM
A group of radical Estonian nationalists attempted to lay a wreath of barbed wire to the monument of Soviet Warrior the Liberator in Tallinn. The slogan written on the ribbons attached to the wreath said : “To the murderer of the Estonian nation.”

The defenders of the monument who were informed about the imminent provocation gathered near the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn to express their own protest. They formed a live chain near the monument. The police later encircled the people to prevent a possible outbreak of violence.

The Estonian nationalists decided to conduct an action of sacrilege to mark the anniversary of the deportation of Estonians, which Soviet leader Joseph Stalin signed on March 25, 1949.

More here

03-28-2007, 07:57 PM
Just a little history !


Russians think that Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians are arrogant, that their countries are malicious gnomes with an all-but-Nazi ideology, and that they hate Russia and treat Russian-speaking residents of their countries as second-class people. To be honest, Russians dislike the Balts for three reasons :

To start with, they were the first to leave the Soviet Union - how ungrateful !

Second, these pro-Western countries rushed into the EU and NATO - joined our enemies !

Third, they make claims on our territory or demand compensation for what they call "the Soviet occupation."

Discontent with the status of local Russians and other grievances are rooted in these causes. There are ex-Soviet countries where Russians are really having a hard time, but Moscow does not want to mess with dictatorships. It is much safer to lash out at the three Baltic democracies.

Our protests against SS veterans' rallies or SS monuments in the Baltics are also affected in many respects. In Russia, people freely march under overtly Nazi slogans, and Nazi literature is sold in the open, but society does not worry too much about this.

Moscow's traditionally high-handed attitude to small European countries and its habit of resolving all issues only with its big partners - America, Germany or France - is a source of rightful irritation in the Baltic nations. Russian policy towards them is hardly dexterous. What has our diplomacy done to build new relations with them ? Incidentally, when transport links with Kaliningrad turned into a big problem, Moscow desperately needed good relations with Lithuania, but there were none to be had.

03-31-2007, 01:37 PM
Work to dismantle soldier monument to be continued in Tallinn

Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said that the remains of Soviet soldiers could be removed from a common grave in downtown Tallinn and reburied, and that the monument to the Liberator Soldier could be relocated by May 9.

"The new government, to assume duties soon, will continue the work to pull down the Bronze Soldier," Ansip told the press on Wednesday.

The outgoing government has formed a commission for military graves which has made proposals. "Preparations for reburial are under way and this work will be continued," he said.

Ansip announced that a place is being prepared at Tallinn's military cemetery where the remains will be buried and the Bronze Soldier placed.

04-05-2007, 06:35 PM
Apr 04, 2007
TBT staff

Sergei Ivanov, the first deputy prime minister of Russia, on tuesday appealed to Russians at a WWII veterans meeting to refrain from buying Estonian goods and from travelling to Estonia. Ivanov said that the Estonian authorities' plans to remove the Red Army monument – known as the Bronze Soldier – from Tonismagi in central Tallinn was an act of vandalism which “will not pass without leaving a trace on Estonian-Russian relations.”
He then urged the members of the meeting to refrain from buying Estonian goods, which he said Russians were buying eagerly, or from travelling to Estonia on holidays. Ivanov also said that the construction of the Ust-Luga port in the Leningrad region should be sped up in order to cut the profits of Estonian ports.
Andrei Denisov, the first deputy foreign minister of Russia, said that while Moscow is not planning to take any official measures of pressure against Estonia, it is not satisfied with the present situation of Russian-Estonian relations.

04-06-2007, 01:24 PM
No measures against Estonia over monument

Sure wish these Russkies would figure out what they want to do with the Broze dude !

The Estonian police no longer guard it, and the drunk youth certainly add a new dimension. Nice touch, empty vodka bottles and cigarette butts liter the grass every Friday and Saturday. That's kinda sorta honor...right ?

MOSCOW -- Russia is not going to take any economic measures against Estonia over the situation regarding the monument to the Liberator Soldier in Tallinn, Andrei Denisov, the Russian first deputy foreign minister, said on Tuesday. “No measures against Estonia are considered,” he said.

Denisov said the statement by First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Ivanov on this subject on Tuesday “was an emotional statement.”

Ivanov said at the meeting with Russian veterans that the actions of the Estonian authorities regarding the monument to the Liberator Solder in Tallinn “cannot but affect Russian-Estonian relations.” “The construction of (of a port) in Ust-Luga of the Leningrad region should be completed prompter so as not to augment the budget of Estonia in the ports of which 85 percent of the cargoes are Russian,” the first deputy premier said.

“Civil society should manifest its stand, too,” Ivanov said. “Many products manufactured in Estonia, including sour milk products, are sold in north west Russia. People can keep from buying them and thus express their attitude to the policy of the Estonian authorities,” he said.

“I don’t call for a boycott,” Ivanov said. “This is not a matter of our state sanctions. This is a civil stand. Don’t buy Estonian. Don’t vacation in Estonia. Vacation in our Kaliningrad,” the first deputy premier said.

04-12-2007, 07:55 PM
Juri Liim had been arrested for holding the Estonian Colors last year. Imagine that ! Now it's his turn at the helm. I say "good on ya Juri !" The Russians normally hold their annual 'vodka' contests with 'Red' flags this day. Too bad folks, the party is over :D

Apr 11, 2007
from wire reports

In the latest on the controversy surrounding the Tonismagi monument – also known as the Bronze Soldier – an organization aimed at bringing together WWII veterans who fought with the Soviet Union has asked the authorities to ban a public event that Juri Liim, a nationalist activist, is planning to stage on May 9 at the site.
A letter by the association of veterans' organizations with the request to ban the nationalist event was sent to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Interior Minister Juri Pihl.
The letter signed by Karl Velts, vice chairman of the association, says that gatherings at the monument used to go peacefully until "right-wing radicals started to stage provocations."
The monument grounds usually serve as venue for a large gathering of members of the Russian-speaking community on May 9.

04-18-2007, 09:21 AM
More on the bronze soldier. Must be a burning issue with Russians to receive a Presidential explanation.

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is for a dialogue with Russia on the shifting of the monument to the Soviet Liberator Soldier in Tallinn.

“I’d prefer that a solution of this question would include a dialogue with the Russian side. But there was virtually no dialogue, and, therefore, if an approach changes, we can discuss this question,” he emphasized, replying to questions by readers of BBC and the Russian Rambler Internet portal.

Ilves noted at the same time that “if the Estonian government decides to do something in the country’s territory, it has the right to do so, as Russia has the right to decide what it can do in its territory”.

More here:

04-18-2007, 07:49 PM
The controversy surrounding the red army monument in Tallinn contributes to poor Russian-Estonian relations
Apr 18, 2007
Staff and wire reports
Russia, Estonia, and the EU: the saga of the bronze soldier continues...

With buldozers in place and the praised 9 May celebration closing, Estonia intends for this era to end on a high note. I hope so too. I have to drive past that intersection each day. Be a true shame to close it, my favorite waterin hole is near by :)

Relations between Russia, Estonia and the EU have been on the rocks lately, due in large part to the bronze statue controversy.

A series of recent statements and planned events by both Estonia and Russian authorities have highlighted this rift. Igor Ivanov, Russian secretary of the Security Council, said on April 18 that Russia plans to try to keep the spotlight on the bronze soldier – a red army monument in downtown Tallinn – which he said signifies the glorification of Nazism in Estonia. Ivanov said that they were prepared to use the wide variety of means at their disposal to accomplish this, including “all legal norms and mechanisms arising from our common membership in one or another intenational organization.”
“I don't think the arsenal we have at our disposal is limited,” Ivanov said. “We shall carry on this work in various international organizations and on the bilateral level.”

The Russian community in Tallinn has been galvanized into action by the bronze soldier row. Veterans of the Soviet army are planning a flower laying ceremony on May 9 to commemorate their fellow soldiers. Meanwhile, members of Nochnoi Dozor (Night Watch), a informal group of mostly young Russian-speakers set up to defend a Red Army monument in downtown Tallinn, are going to Strasbourg to stage a picket in defense of the monument.

Estonian MEP Tunne Kelam expressed concern with Russia’s trends away from European values. “Repeated expressions of concern about the reversal of democratic development (in Russia) make no impact if they do not carry the EU's clear message that we cannot proceed with certain issues if other questions remain without an answer,” he said.

Mart Laar, chairman of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction of Estonian parliament, said on April 18 that the long entertained hope that Russia would in time develop into a law-governed state has been foiled. He said that Russia is trying to use Europe’s lack of solidarity to play member states against one another.
The president of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, also thought that this was a large issue with Russia, arguing that best and most tangible remedy for Russia-related apprehensions is the EU's rallying for a common and solidaristic policy.

Meanwhile, in an effort to help improve relations, Estonian Interior Minister Juri Pihl will take part in a meeting to be held in Luxembourg on Thursday and Friday is to make a decision on the EU-Russian readmission treaty and easing of the issuance of short-term visas.

04-21-2007, 08:39 AM
Apr 20, 2007
From wire reports
In cooperation with BNS

Yesterday evening the intersection was being fenced off with more than 20 police officers performing foot patrols into the night (about 5 times more than normal, especially for a single intersection).

Hope they get this done before the 9th of May, or there will be some very interesting rallies to watch :wry:

Estonia's Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo has sent the Tallinn city government notification of the start of excavation and identification works on the site of the controversial Bronze Soldier monument at Tonismagi in downtown Tallinn.

The purpose of the planned excavation is to establish the number and identity of persons who are assumed to lie buried on the site, the governmental press service said.

The Estonian government plans to move the monument to a nearby military cemetery, a plan which has drawn fire from veterans groups as well as from Russia, which continually berates Estonia over the issue. No firm date has been set for the move.

Aaviksoo later briefed members of the Cabinet on preparations for works to be carried out on the site pursuant to the War Graves Protection Act, and the government assigned tasks to state institutions to ensure that the work is carried out in an appropriate manner and in keeping with all international norms.

Members of the government agreed that the Interior Ministry will secure public order in the area during the excavation. The ministry's task is also to rearrange traffic if necessary.

The late 1940s Red Army monument, locally known as the Bronze Soldier, commemorates Soviet soldiers who died in World War II and has traditionally been a rallying point each May 9 for veterans celebrating the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany. Because the Red Army’s invasion of Estonia at the end of the war and decades of Soviet occupation and repression, however, many Estonians find the monument offensive.

The monument has been a source of tension since last May 9, when police prevented a group of Estonian nationalists from demonstrating at the site, where a veterans’ rally was already taking place.

The Tallinn city government has taken legal action to prevent the excavations. However, the administrative court did not accept the city's complaint as it was deficient. The court also rejected a repeat application for initial legal protection filed by the city government last Wednesday to stop the works from going ahead.

The previous defense minister, Jurgen Ligi, decided shortly before leaving office to start excavations at Tonismagi to remove the remains of Red Army soldiers believed to be buried there to a more suitable place as recommended by the War Graves Commission, a body set up at the Defense Ministry. He said the works to dig out war graves and identify the remains would start in April.

Meanwhile Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said at a news conference in Madrid on Wednesday that the plan to relocate the monument cannot be described other than as "blasphemous and an insult to the memory of those who freed Europe from Nazism," Russian news agency Interfax reports.

A poll taken April 13 - 16 showed that more than half inhabitants of Russia, 59 percent, believe the removal of the monument is discriminatory and provokes further tension in Estonian-Russian relations, the Russian news agency Interfax reported.

At the same time 20 percent of the polled said both parties to the row over the monument should behave in a more restrained and wiser manner.

04-26-2007, 08:42 AM
According to multiple reports, the Estonian government will spend up to $125,000 for every 24-hour period in order to maintain order surrounding the bronze soldier.

Following reports of telephonic messaging offering Estonia’s Russian youth $6.50 an hour to guard against the monument’s removal, police officers from all across the country have been called back from leave and ordered to the capital.

At 0430 this morning, law enforcement barricades were erected and archeologists set up their equipment to commence digging.

04-26-2007, 11:05 AM
Here are 2 reports about German and Soviet occupations in Estonia. If you read those, then you understand that Estonia is victim of both regimes. That's why it is very disturbing for Estonians to understand that Nazis are bad and Soviets are good. Russia occupied us until 1994, when last soldiers left bases. Until 1991. when Estonia became independent Soviet repression machine worked in full gear. Russia is trying to built it's identity on Soviet traditions and big victories and that's why it is very painful for them to see us making our own decisions. I added also pictures about their own reburial in Himki district in Moscow. ... and there were no problems. This is exactly the same thing in Tallinn, that our government intends relocate monument to cemetary.




About Himki.


04-26-2007, 02:37 PM
Thanks for the links Kaur !

I have but one thing to add at this point regarding Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's last and recent threat:

There will be "severe consequences" for moving the monument to a cemetery.

I have to wonder, will such consequences include the rape and mutilation of women, the mass execution of Estonian leaders, and carting President Ilves off for a lengthy stay in Tver? Or just a boycott of Estonian Sour Cream ?

Stay tuned.


Is Lavrov representing the Russian Federation or the Russian Mafia? Protesting is one thing, but "threatening consequences" is quite another -- bullying a sovereign country which also happens to be a member of NATO.

04-27-2007, 08:58 AM
For those who viewed this thread from time-to-time, this will be my last one.

The controversial Bronze Soldier monument was removed this morning at about 0400 following an Estonian government emergency meeting in the interests of national security after a night of heavy rioting.

One man was killed; over 50 reported injuries and over 300 arrests.

Violence broke out yesterday evening after skirmishes between police and several hundred Russian-speaking youths, gathered throughout the day and early evening to protest what was only to be exploratory excavation work. The rioters (mainly teenagers in their 20's), after being pushed back from the monument onto side streets, smashed nearly every ground floor window and some 2nd and 3rd story windows in the first city block leading to the monument's site.

Based on reports that many of those who participated in disturbances were drinking, Tallinn authorities have banned the sale of alcohol beginning today at 1400 until the morning of May 2nd.

We were on duty last night, performing typical EOD response calls and couldn't comprehend the destruction and violence along a major BLVD taking place. As we came up behind one of the local fire company trucks and fire investigator's Subaru, a hail of stones and various other projectiles hit the fire truck and the driver brought the beast to a dead halt. The road now nearly blocked and almost nowhere to go, we cranked our Patrol into high gear over the curbs and hauled ass. The fire truck decided to follow us!

I realize that this crowd was predominately Russian and very drunk, but our vehicles are red and white (Police vehicles are blue), with 'Rescue Services' and '112' all over the vehicle (police emergency is 110).

As one firefighter said to me, “I’ve been rescuing these Russians from burning buildings for years, and this is the thanks I get”.

There are over 15 videos on you tube, but this one shows the beginning and subsequent lootings.

Footage from "Bronze Soldier" Riot 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBeKUgFI13s)

04-27-2007, 11:04 AM
I'd like to add to Stan's post that 1 victim was not result of riot police job, but victim of stabbing among two persons with Slavic names.

04-27-2007, 12:53 PM
Drunk Russians! No! What is the world coming to!? Glad to hear you didn't have to grapple with any of the Bolsheviks on hand.

04-27-2007, 01:31 PM
Hey Goesh !
We had sidearms, but were already instructed to leave, not shoot. A damn shame if you ask me. I'll go to the range this weekend as promised and use my imagination :wry:

A little more from the Estonian MFA. Well put, Mr. Minister !

Originating from the situation in Tallinn and acting based on the “Protection of War Graves Act” §8 article 2, the Estonian Government has decided to immediately remove the Tõnismäe grave marker (Bronze Soldier).

The objective of the government’s decision is to avert further brutal acts of public violence, which are realistic threats to the health and property of citizens. The decision to immediately remove the Bronze Soldier was made to ensure that it cannot be used in the future as a reason or cause for extensive and dangerous rioting.

Yesterday’s rioters found the police presence and the assembly of people to be a good reason to act destructively.

The rioters showed clearly that their real goal was to riot, destroy, break and loot.

These actions confirm that they have nothing to do with respecting and protecting the memories of those who fell during World War II.

Meanwhile, the Russians are considering -- and probably will -- sever diplomatic relations with Estonia.

04-27-2007, 03:11 PM
What a load of malarkey !

The entire monument is hiden and still in one piece.

The Russian propaganda machine is alive and funtioning.

"The Bronze Soldier has been cut up into separate pieces and taken out of the city center. Currently it is under police protection. Information about its whereabouts is not being released," the press service said. The press service declined to say whether the monument will ever be restored. "I cannot answer this question," the spokesman said.

More here... (http://en.rian.ru/world/20070427/64546318.html)

and CNN as well.. (http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/04/27/soviet.statue.reut/index.html)

04-28-2007, 10:19 AM
Estonia’s capital was calm this morning after a second night of rioting.

Reports are approx. 60 injured, 47 hospitalized and 600 detained.

Groups of ethnic Russian teens roamed the streets battling with police and looting shops for a second night.

Yesterday evening rioting also started in the northeastern town of Jõhvi. An Estonian radio correspondent said that a crowd of about 200 gathered in the Center Square at around 2200 and within the next hour rampaging had gained full force. In true Russian form, smashing windows at two different shopping centers and traffic signs pulled out of the ground, one of which was thrown into a window of a local bank office. By 2400, Estonian TV reported police had subdued the rioting in Jõhvi.

A New Twist
Police began an early counter attack and now armed with 12-ga. shotguns moved into a proactive role pushing the rioters well outside of previous perimeters. Local Estonians bearing their own flags joined police and clashed with Russians, bring the tempo up a notch...as well as a good warm and fuzzy patriotic feeling :D

The Estonian media also began doing their part by publishing pictures of looters asking for residents to assist police in identifying suspects. In the last 3 hours more than 40 have been picked up and cross-referenced with footage.

Russian authorities strongly criticized the monument’s relocation as pro-Nazi in public statements. Estonia continues to support the relocation because the monument has become a focal point of extremist activity for nationals, and its presence glorifies a repressive Stalin regime that the Russian Army brought with it.

04-28-2007, 06:25 PM
Jamestow writes:

Some 1,500 people, mostly local Russians, some of them mobilized by the Nochnoy Dozor (Night Watch) red-brown group, had gathered around the Bronze Soldier in the pre-midnight hours. Some tried unsuccessfully to break through police lines, while most of them rampaged on shopping and residential streets downtown. The rioting received a second wind after the looting of liquor from bars on Tatari Street. Scores were injured, many of them by glass from vandalized shops. One death was reported in a stabbing incident. Thirteen policemen received injuries requiring hospitalization. Some 300 rioters were arrested throughout the night.

Clearly, Moscow calculated that “anti-fascist” protests in Estonia would fit well into Russia’s overall political campaign against the Baltic states on the international level as well as in Russia itself. However, the spree of drunken vandalism that actually ensued in Tallinn will not easily be ennobled by Moscow as “political protest.”


So it seems the government of Estonia is "inhuman" because it dares to disagree with Russia. Perhaps that means it should be "exterminated" like an infestation? Break diplomatic relations? Mironov is the same person who is calling for appointing Vladimir Putin an indefinite rule as dictators, the same one who stood by watching trainees use Alexander Litvinenko's photograph for target practice. Who are the Russians kidding? Estonia is a part of NATO and the EU. Attacking Estonia is attacking NATO and the EU -- and, come to think of it, Putin just announced a pullout from a major security treaty in Europe. Maybe war is just what Russia wants?


04-30-2007, 06:29 PM
After nearly 3 full days of rioting and looting, our little town is on its way back to normal, the bronze soldier relocated (just behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) and a Russian Duma delegation visiting.

Suprisingly enough, Estonia is still taking hits from Europe over the recent decisions and aftermath:

Leading article: Don't let Russia bully the Baltics (http://comment.independent.co.uk/leading_articles/article2496635.ece)

We have had the strange spectacle of the EU nodding with apparent respect as Vladimir Putin's ministers lecture Estonia on civil rights. This is hypocrisy on a grand scale, given Russia's treatment of its unhappy Chechens and its rough handling of recent anti-government protests in Moscow and St Petersburg.

This is the proverbial road to hell paved with good intentions. Indulging Russia's imperial attitudes towards the Baltic states, which it invaded in 1940 and ruled harshly for the next half-century, is not going to get us anywhere. We merely are feeding Moscow's appetite to re-establish influence over those former Soviet republics that it revealingly refers to as the "near abroad".

05-01-2007, 09:05 PM
This thread has been getting a lot of attention (visitors) from Estonia via this link - Postimees.ee (http://riigikogu.postimees.ee/online/riigikogu2007/blog.php?ID=1336). Translation anyone?

05-02-2007, 10:18 AM
SWJED, this is Estonian's daily newspaper "Postimees" blog and author of this short story is former Estonian prime minister Mart Laar. He says that it's time for Estonians (and non-Estonians like Stan) to say in international forums what is going on here. He mentions this forum with link, Stan's and my name. He says that Estonia is under Russian porpaganda offence and situation is similar to 1940 when Soviet Union sent their delegation to orchestrate so called revolution here and this time among Russian speaking population. Russian Duma delegation visited Estonia Monday and Tuesday and according to plan they leave today. Estonian officials gave them overview about events in Estonia during last week riots and according to delegation they got very good overview - they found out that statue is in one pieace, riots were handled correctly, human rights were not violated. The last point was most imoprtant for them, because they got complaints about bad handling and detention (people were held in huge storage hose for 3-6 hours to id them) from Russian and Russian-speaking people. During last meeting they got good explanations form mr. Allar Jõks, Chancellor of Justice, that according to law in special emergency cases people can be handled this way. He said that for this short time the conditions were very ok. He said that if you can't give me any evidences then we can't talk about violations anymore. Russians couldn't produce evidences there. Jõks added that all compalints are welcome and his team will handle them according to law. Russian delegation seemed pleased. There is one more aspect. Some sources claim that delegation met privatly with Edgar Savisaar, who is leader Central party and whose voters are mostly elders and Russian speaking people. He is not in coalition which decided to remove statute. He is head of Tallinn, Estonian capital, where statue is located. His party is in opposition and it is workind against coalition and his statements may become source of inter-ethnic conflict. Estonians have gathered already over 70 000 signatures that he steps back. This is situation in Estonia. Different situation is in Moscow where our embassy is under siege by Russian youth movements that are usually guided by Kremlin and especially Surkov. I suppose personally that Russia is using internationally piecemail stratey (according to Beaufre) to step-by-step devide our allies and destroy our internal stabilty.

Here is one new article by Jamestown.

Russia’s state-controlled television channels misleadingly claimed that the monument had been “cut to pieces,” whereas it is actually being transferred intact to a military cemetery on the outskirts of Tallinn. The Russian channels reported very little about the vandalism and drunkenness. Instead, they blamed Estonian police for “brutality,” characterized the gangs as “Russian school pupils,” “monument defenders,” and “anti-fascists,” and ran archival footage of Soviet-era festivities around the monument. Russian TV generalized that “British MPs” disapproved of Estonia, only to produce the eccentric leftist George Galloway expressing that view.


Article by Moscow Times "Rhetoric Only Outdone by The Hypocrisy"


I hope that Stan, with his fluent English will and couple words and comments.

PS. One of the most voiceful members of Russian delegation who critisized Estonia about human rights was mr Slutski, member of Shirinovski party, whose good firend is Chechnya's Kadõrov. Here is story how Slutski gave present to Kadõrov's zoo.


Here is Mart Laar's blog in English with his explanation why Russia likes Soviet occupation monuments?


05-02-2007, 10:25 AM

Much appreciated.


05-02-2007, 10:48 AM
In my previous post I just dug into details and forgot most imortant thing. Before departure from Moscow, head of Russian delegation (ex FSB general), made statement that Estonian people should get rid of this kind of government that made such bad decision to relocate statue. After 2 day visit they hadn't changed their point. They just added that this is their personal opinion. They started with this statement to influence Estonian internal political processes and contiuned this during all their visit (in 2 press conferences and telephone interviews) and i think they will contiue this back in Russia despite all explanations about events and reasons of action by Estonian authorities. Who is the person they would like to be new prime minister? This is Edgar Savisaar I mentioned in previous post. Estonia got new parliament in the beginning of March and it was bitter thing for Savisaar to be left out of government despite fact that his party was second in the list of resluts. During election campaign, Russian Jedinaja Rossija party members suggested to elect for Savisaar in public ads and Russian-speaking people did this. That time peaceful plan didn't work out and seems that Duma delegation visit is new try by Russia to boost Savisaar's career.

05-02-2007, 11:17 AM
Sorry for the delays. I had tried to take some much needed leave, and got called back.

The blog's author, Mart Laar, now a leader in one of the strongest right wing fractions (Res Publica - The Republic) struck comparisons with the 1940's occupation and today's current problems. I'll post those separately herein.

Regarding the SWJ, Mart opined "Thanks to the Prime Minister for standing up for us in our hour of need, and thanks to people like Kaur and Sten (sic) in getting Estonia's word out via forums such as the SWC. You could say 'kudos' :)

Res Publica holds 5 ministry positions and boasts members such as the former Chief of Defense, Gold-Medal Olympic winners, and staunch right wingers. In a word, backed by the people.

More to follow...Translating mucho text :cool:

05-02-2007, 11:52 AM
That’s an easy one…because Russia is attacking Estonia.

The Bronze Soldier and the rioting/vandalism in Tallinn were and still are Estonia’s domestic matters. But Russia’s coordinated actions against Estonia are an EU problem. EU-Russia relations have entered a very complicated phase, while Estonia witnesses Virtual, Psychological and Real attacks.

Various LE CI reports indicate that before the riots, representatives of the Russian Embassy met with the principle ‘riot’ organizers in Tallinn and other Estonian cities. Said meetings took place “in the strangest of places such as Tallinn’s Botanical Gardens”.

It has also been established that cyber terrorist attacks took place against Estonian governmental institutional websites (to include the President’s Office). Links were discovered from IP addresses of “concrete computers and by concrete individuals from Russian government organs”.

The Russian State Duma (Senate) delegation visited Estonia through the intermediation of the EU’s Presidency this past week. Upon arrival, they demanded the resignation of the government and refused to cooperate or enter into dialogue with Estonian officials.

The Foreign Minister openly stated to the press “I affirm to you that we have sufficient material to prove our accusations. This clearly shows that the future of people of Russian-decent in Estonia is merely being used for a rhetorical pretext, and our compatriots are being used for greater political gains.”

05-02-2007, 12:14 PM
In a conference room where riot control gas was unsed (http://www.mfa.ee/eng/kat_138/8426.html)

Estonian Ambassador to the Russian Federation Marina Kaljurand was attacked at a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday, 2 May.

Ambassador Marina Kaljurand broke through the cordon of hooligans circling the Embassy to give a press conference at the offices of “Argumentõ i Faktõ”. The Ambassador was attacked in the press conference room and gas was used. Rioting youths also attacked the Ambassador’s car that was waiting outside. The youths proceeded to brutally tear off the car’s Estonian flag.

Physical attacks on the Estonian Republic’s diplomatic representative are unprecedented and absolutely unjustifiable. These attacks call for immediate actions from the international community.

The events clearly show that Russian authorities are blatantly violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

"The direct links of hostile Russian youth organizations like Nashi and Molodaja Gvardija to the Kremlin are well known. Just as well known is the fact that persons holding the Estonian Embassy under siege are being paid 550 to 1,000 Roubles per day by the Kremlin."

"On Thursday, I will make a proposal to the Estonian Government as to which measures Estonia believes that the EU should apply to Russia. These measures have to influence Russia, so that it ends the attacks and its interference in Estonia's internal matters. Remind Russia of its obligations under the Vienna Convention regarding Diplomatic Relations. "

05-02-2007, 12:32 PM
Some indeed do remember !

If you need any further confirmation of this story, please contact the
Tallinn city archives and we will provide you with all the details.

While the Russian government today complains about the removal of the bronze soldier and the fact that 13 dead soviet soldiers are being moved to a military cemetery for a proper burial; they should first apologise for destroying one of the largest cemeteries in Tallinn in 1945-50.

Here is a forgotten story about the Soviet destruction of one of the
largest cemeteries in Tallinn in 1945-50.

In the Kopli area of Tallinn there used to be a very large Baltic German cemetery. This cemetery was created in the late 18th century when Catherine the Great of Russia decreed (for health reasons such as outbreaks of the plague) that people could no longer be buried in churches. The cemetery was called Ziegelskoppel and the first burials started around 1780 and the cemetery stood in Kopli until 1945. After the 2nd Russian occupation between 1945-1950 the Russian army declared the suburb of Kopli a military zone. Although there were no German soldiers buried there but only German families that had lived in Estonia for hundreds of years the Russian army destroyed the ENTIRE cemetery which at that point contained more than 10,000 graves and tombstones.

The gravestones were all taken away used to build wall and roads in Tallinn. Many coffins were opened and jewellery was removed from the dead bodies (some which had been dead for over a hundred years). No bodies were transferred to another location, no graves were set up elsewhere. The entire area was converted to a public park with no mention of the destroyed cemetery.

05-02-2007, 04:11 PM
Jamestown continues protection of Estonia.

Kovalyov and the delegation’s second-in-command, Leonid Slutsky --- first vice-chairman of the Duma’s International Affairs Committee --- publicly demanded the return of the Red Army monument to downtown Tallinn, the resignation of Estonia’s government, and a criminal investigation into the “repression” of rioters, whom the delegation leaders characterized as “anti-fascists.” They voiced these demands through the mass media while boarding the plane in Moscow for Tallinn and again during their meeting with Russian journalists in the Russian embassy in Tallinn. The demand for government change reminded Estonians of Moscow’s proconsuls unseating and installing Baltic governments in the past. Kovalyov and Slutsky replied dialectically that it was Estonia’s right to form a government and their right to call for the government to be changed.

General (ret.) Kovalyov is identified as the head of the FSB from 1996 to 1998, the immediate predecessor to Vladimir Putin in that post.

In Moscow, the Estonian embassy is under siege continuously since April 27 by some 200 activists of the Kremlin-sponsored youth organizations Nashi and Molodaya Gvardiya (“Ours” and “Young Guard”) as well as the youth branch of the United Russia party of power. The siege began one day after Estonian President Toomas Ilves stayed at the embassy while attending Boris Yeltsin’s funeral in Moscow. The police are allowing those activists to daub the embassy’s outer walls with paint and hostile slogans, play loud Soviet military music 24 hours a day, and control or interdict the entry of visitors. The embassy staff is locked inside amid threats against their safety. On May 1, a protester tore off the Estonian flag from the embassy’s nine meter high flagpole (embassy staff managed to hoist another flag). The Kremlin-appointed “Nashi” leader Vasily Yakemenko is taking time off from the Estonian embassy siege to appear on Channel One and other TV programs.
Since April 30, picket leaders are publicly threatening to “dismantle” the Estonian embassy building and urging the Russian public via mass media to join in the “dismantling.”


Purpose of strategy is to brake the will of opponent and make him agree with our demands. Our opponent Russia is using different methods to break our will. These are non-mllitary, but the situation may be described as war in a peacetime.

The Kremlin’s assault on Estonia is intensifying on four levels of varying sophistication. These include: cyber attacks from within Russia’s Presidential Administration against the Estonian presidency’s and government’s electronic communications; political demands, backed by economic sanctions threats, to change the Estonian government; siege laid by Kremlin-created organizations to the Estonian Embassy in Moscow; and instigatory coverage of the April 27-29 violent riots of Russian youth in Tallinn by Russia’s state television.


05-02-2007, 04:42 PM
Russian disruption in the delivery of oil products (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/02/AR2007050200898.html)

Russian state railways said planned maintenance on the railway link could lead to disruption in the delivery of oil products. Russia has in the past been accused of using its energy resources as a political weapon against its neighbors.

"We haven't imposed any economic sanctions against Estonia and have no plans to do so. But from May 1, we plan repair works. We therefore plan to change the delivery schedule," said a spokeswoman for Russian state railways.

05-02-2007, 04:49 PM
Members of pro-Kremlin youth movement (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2007/05/02/PH2007050200683.html) Nashi block an entrance to a Moscow newspaper building in order not to let Estonian Ambassador Marina Kaljurand leave on Wednesday, May 2, 2007.

MOSCOW -- Young Russians staged raucous protests in Moscow on Wednesday to denounce neighboring Estonia for removing a Soviet war memorial from its capital, and the Estonian ambassador said pro-Kremlin activists tried to attack her as she arrived at a news conference.

Sweden said its ambassador also was assaulted as he left the Estonian Embassy after a meeting Wednesday, saying protesters surrounding the compound kicked his car and tore off a Swedish flag.

05-02-2007, 05:19 PM
Well said, President Ilves !

We can Agree Upon a Common Future (http://www.valitsus.ee/brf/?id=283189)

I turn to Russia, Estonia’s neighbour, with a clear message – try to remain civilised! It is not customary in Europe to demand the resignation of the democratically elected government of another sovereign country. It is not customary in Europe to use computers belonging to public institutions for cyber-attacks against another country’s public institutions. In Europe, as well as in the rest of the civilised world, it is not considered possible to violate the Vienna Convention when an embassy of a small enough country is concerned.

It is customary in Europe that differences, which do now and then occur between states, are solved by diplomats and politicians, not on the streets or by computer attacks. Those are the ways of other countries, somewhere else, not in Europe.

05-02-2007, 05:38 PM
Stan - if we see any apartment buildings getting blown up (http://www.sais-jhu.edu/programs/res/papers/Satter_edited_final.pdf)in Russia in the next few months, I'd suggest getting the heck out of Dodge! :eek:

05-02-2007, 07:23 PM
Thanks, Tequila !
It wasn't too long ago when the Russians said Estonian female 'freedom fighters' were at work in Chechnya. "Blonde with blue eyes, and sniper-like marksmanship" in the Russian press. I will have to find the article ;)

On the other hand, our EOD responses lately to 'suspect articles' has tripled.
The last idiot was detained when the LE found a WWII hand grenade in the rioter's pocket. No explosive content, but great for parties !

One never knows what to bring to these sort of events. Come prepared and bring the cold brews :D

05-03-2007, 06:33 AM
Russia continues on its crazed neo-Soviet path to once again alienate the entire world. The Associated Press reports that the Kremlin has no problem allowing violent protests, as long as you are pro-Kremlin. If you are Other Russia doing this stuff, you meet 10,000 stormtroopers.


05-04-2007, 08:15 AM
This is 3. try to post my mail. SWC is one of the few international pages that I can access at the moment. I don't know the reason why i can access this one. I do know that there is unbelivable huge cyber attack against Estonian internet service providers.

To moderators. Last night I had couple beers wiht Stan and he said that there was misunderstaning among you about this topic. You doubted that this is not topic for SWC. I'll try to explain you my oppinon why this topic should belong here. Term "Small war" contains word "war" which means that there must be armed componend among insurgents to qualify political struggle as small war. In a sad way I can't attatch links from Rand and other prominent sites to illustrate my reasoning. During Vietnam war communists infiltrated across borders to make propaganda and change mind of peasants in villages. After brain wash those peasants were recruited as armed guerillas to fight govenment forces. Here the propaganda is done via Russian TV, radio, internet etc. Russian-speaking people are here brainwashed according to the info they recieve form Russia. Estonia's problem is that there are too few news services that can provide online info about events here. If Russian-speaking people in Estonia can't find non-violent political ways to express their oppinion there is threat that they can start acting violently. This happened already last week and at present time there is big effort to expalin to people what happened really. Today there was issued special Russian newspaper (100 000 numbers were printed. Normally dailys are much smaller). You can calm down moderates, but extremists are really crazy. Here is not Vietnam and communists are not spreading their word. We have here Russia which is spreading their word. Russian officials make no efforts to calm down the situation and make verbal offences against Estonia. In the end for us there is no difference because there is fight of different narratives. There was siege fo Estonian embassy in Moscow that lasted 1 week. For some commentators this reminded siege of US embassy in Tehran in 1979. Estonian russians are proxy for Russia.

If you have red Rand's "Networks and net-wars" then you can find similar things now in and around Estonia. Estonia would be nice case study for next edition.

Here are economical sanctions in progress, but I have no time to write about those.

Damn, I still can't read BBC!!!

05-04-2007, 09:30 AM
A lot of us were beginning to wonder, if membership in the EU and NATO was nothing more than swimming pool rights and cocktails at 7.

I'm relieved to see the USA and now NATO step up to the plate !

NATO is deeply concerned (http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2007/p07-044e.html) by threats to the physical safety of Estonian diplomatic staff, including the Ambassador, in Moscow, as well as intimidation at the Estonian Embassy. These actions are unacceptable, and must be stopped immediately; tensions over the Soviet war memorial and graves in Estonia must be resolved diplomatically between the two countries. NATO urges the Russian authorities to implement their obligations under the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

West Takes Estonia Personally (http://www.kommersant.com/p763429/r_545/Estonia/) The West showed on Thursday it will not leave Tallinn alone in its current conflict with Moscow. The U.S., NATO, and the EU chairing state -- Germany -- stood up for Estonia, demanding that Russia stop “the inadmissible acts of violence near that country’s embassy”.

The Norweigian press ran and printed the IP links from Russia here (http://www.vg.no/pub/vgart.hbs?artid=184703).

We're also having real bad connections and attacks via the Interior Ministry servers. I also understand that Postimees and Päevaleht are taking serious hits.

05-04-2007, 10:33 AM
Yes, yes, yes, my internet is back and working!!!

Here are Economist comments about events in Estonia and international arena.


About cyber attack. IT-specialists says that the wave of attacs against Estonian servers was job of amateurs. There are some kind of programs that you can download from internet, then you can enter the website adress you want to disrupt and then you must only push "enter". It's good to now that FAPSI is not working on this, yet :)

05-04-2007, 11:29 AM
If Tallinn builds a department store or eases the flow of traffic, then this will be OK with the Russian Government, right ? :D

Despite decrying "the desecration" of the Soviet memorial in Tallinn (which in reality has been moved to a military cemetery where it will be formally reopened with full military honors next week), local authorities in Moscow just two weeks ago had razed a monument and moved the graves of six heroes of the Soviet Union who had died defending Moscow in 1941. The reason? Their burial site stood in the way of a planned office facility. Similarly unnoticed was the action by city authorities in Stavropol to destroy a similar World War II monument about 18 months ago, in order to ease the flow of traffic.

Selective as it may be (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1616943,00.html), the protestors' action in defense of the the memory of the millions of Soviet soldiers and citizens who died fighting the Nazis from 1941-1945 may be part of a wider campaign to fan nationalist hysteria in Russia ahead of December's parliamentary and the presidential elections scheduled for next march. Just as in Soviet times, there's nothing like the specter of an external enemy to keep up "the unassailable unity of the party and the people."

05-04-2007, 12:07 PM
To moderators. Last night I had couple beers wiht Stan and he said that there was misunderstaning among you about this topic. You doubted that this is not topic for SWC. I'll try to explain you my oppinon why this topic should belong here...

No Kaur, that is not how it was. We asked that certain topics be posted to certain threads - that is all. I'd prefer not to rehash all that on the board.


05-04-2007, 01:08 PM
SWJED, let's say that this was another misunderstanding. I hope that this thread will calm down and history will evaluate this tense week as Russia's failed attempt to harrass it's small neighbour. But I consider this to be my duty to inform the Council again about alarming eventsin in this corner of the world if threat level rises again. I can forecast this already now. In the end of this year there will come Duma elections in Russia and in the beginning of next year presidental elections. Russian Duma members and Ivanov will not forget Bronze Statue.

05-04-2007, 01:52 PM
Hi Kaur,

I suspect that you are right that the level of tension will be kept fairly high. Personally, I think that what we are seeing now in Estonia, thanks to what you and Stan are reporting, is one scenario for the beginning of a war - which may or may not be "small".

In a lot of ways, what is going on over there is on the boundary - it's not a "war" and it's not "peace". Getting the news of what is going on out is crucial but, at the same time, figuring out the strategies involved is also crucial. I think we can all learn a lot about destabilization / stabilization strategies from Estonia.

A good case in point is the script kiddies cyber attack - am I right in assuming it was a Denial Of Service (DOS) attack? If so, the scripts for that type of attack are readily available to any 10 year old - you don't even have to go to the dark net to get them :wry:. The question now is how are the service providers (and government) responding? What sort of IO campaign is Estonia going to put together for the international community? What sort of help are they asking for from NATO and the EU?


05-04-2007, 05:37 PM
From Today's RCP

To Die For Tallinn
By Patrick Buchanan

All week, young toughs in Moscow have besieged the Estonian embassy to harass Ambassador Marina Kaljurand. Her bodyguards had to use a mace-like spray to drive back the thugs, who call Estonia a "fascist country." Estonian diplomats and their families are being pulled out of Moscow and sent home.

Relations between the countries are about to rupture, if the Kremlin does not reign in the bully-boys.

Behind this nasty quarrel is the decision by Estonia to move the giant statue of a Red Army soldier, and the remains of Soviet soldiers, from the center of its capital, Tallinn, to a military cemetery. In Tallinn, patriots and nationalists have clashed with citizens of Russian ancestry over the perceived insult to Mother Russia and the "liberators" of Estonia from the Nazis.


Why should this issue be of interest to America?

If President Putin decide the Estonians need a lesson, and sends troops to teach it, the United States, under NATO, would have to treat Russian intervention in Estonia as an attack upon the United States, and declare war on behalf of Estonia.

More... (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/05/to_die_for_tallinn.html)

Kaur, this is the type of thing I was talking about; at least in part. Getting Estonia's "message" out is crucial as is the use of information shaping operations to avoid destabilizations.


05-04-2007, 06:11 PM
It’s probably obvious that Kaur and I are somewhat fixated on the current situation in Estonia regarding the Bronze Soldier, and more importantly the recent riots. These are not new events by any stretch of the imagination, but they are the largest we’ve experienced and lets face it, we do live and work here !

As I reflect on the last 12 years in this region, and my studies about Estonia’s relations with Russia, I have made the following conclusions.

Estonia is the only state that ever stood militarily against Russia and defeated their enemies without any assistance from the West. They will not cave in this time either !

IMO, the riots in Tallinn follow a distinct pattern. I offer The Kremlin orchestrates these with the full knowledge of the President, if not his very own direct orders. Putin is getting worse with each passing day and his agenda seems to be the destabilization of ‘his’ former Republics (I dare say, with Hitler-like methods, all the while Europe plays its same old appeasement game so well demonstrated long ago by fine Europeans prior to WWII).

The Kremlin IMHO plans to emerge as the one who saved the honor of those ethnic-Russian minorities left behind (and obviously, to act when the time is right). The imposition of import bans on the former republics, all the while scheming up implausible excuses for not delivering oil and gas. These are excuses designed for domestic consumption. In a sense, The Kremlin has very good reasons to believe such malarkey…much like before, the West abandoned the Baltic States in their hour of need.

I doubt the USA and NATO will stand for this dog-n-pony show much longer, but will the EU step in? Or, will Estonia be sacrificed in exchange for oil and promised gas pipelines (that, BTW have to run through Estonian waters)?

Is Putin grooming a new and very young Russian, as was recently demonstrated in front of the Estonian Embassy by this nationalistic young ‘guard’ in Moscow. I believe they were nothing more than paid hooligans, exactly like the ethnic-Russians in Estonia during the riots and looting.

Estonians tell me the demonstrators in The Ukraine are on the Russian payroll. No violence there yet, perhaps the risk is not high enough like in Estonia.

Putin has precious little time before Duma and Presidential elections. Are we in for a major showdown and the establishment of the New Russian Empire ?

05-04-2007, 06:43 PM
Marc, I am very glad to see the Canadians are joining our party :)

Hon. Bryon Wilfert (Richmond Hill, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, we know a lot more, given the Ottawa convention as a good example.

Tensions between these countries are escalating. The Estonian ambassador was roughed up in Moscow this week. This is a serious issue. If the government is committed to having Canada play a role in international affairs, and so far the track record has not been promising, we need to take action immediately.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs take control in his department, take action, and support Estonia against Russian intimidation as other NATO countries have already done?

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC):
By all means, Mr. Speaker, we stand very strongly with the people of Estonia in any kind of intimidation from Russia or any other country.

I would have the member opposite know that I spoke directly to the Estonian foreign minister when we attended NATO meetings. We are very aware of the world as it unfolds in terms of these tensions. We work directly with our allies. We work directly to promote democracy, democratic practices and the promotion of human rights.

Jeez, I love the way they talk in Canada :cool:

05-04-2007, 06:53 PM
SWJED, let's say that this was another misunderstanding. I hope that this thread will calm down and history will evaluate this tense week as Russia's failed attempt to harrass it's small neighbour. But I consider this to be my duty to inform the Council again about alarming eventsin in this corner of the world if threat level rises again. I can forecast this already now. In the end of this year there will come Duma elections in Russia and in the beginning of next year presidental elections. Russian Duma members and Ivanov will not forget Bronze Statue.

We love this thread - don't make an issue where there isn't one... You have free reign on this thread. Drop it - both of you.

Steve Blair
05-04-2007, 07:22 PM
Agreed. This is a good discussion...just keep it friendly and open and we'll be good.:)

05-04-2007, 07:33 PM
I willing concur, and will not allow Kaur to drink more than two pints at any given time in a two-hour period on any Thursday...ever :D

05-04-2007, 08:30 PM
Following the singular death of a Russian citizen (20 year old Dmitri Ganin) in Tallinn during the riots and upheaval, Russian Officials have called for an urgent investigation (http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/0/28.html?menu=1&id_issue=11726845).

Meanwhile Dmitri's mother, having just buried her son told Nikolai Bondarenko, Russian Counselor in the Estonia City of Narva "don't use my son's name for your own interests".

More here if you read Estonian ! (http://www.sloleht.ee/index.aspx?id=228069)

And, for those who don't speak Estonian yet, here's a translation:

Yesterday (03 May), 20 year-old Russian citizen Dmitri Ganin was buried at the Mustvee cemetery. The Russian Counsel, members of the Öise Color Guard and Russian TV were also in attendance.

The young man died on the operating table early morning on 27th of April at the Mustamäe hospital, after being stabbed on the evening of the 26th during riots and looting in Tallinn.

According to reports from the Estonian Prosecutor’s office, items stolen from stores during the riots and looting were found in Dmitri’s possession. His involvement in the looting is clearly recorded from store video cameras. Other items found in his possession link Dmitri to the destruction and looting of a kiosk around the corner from Freedom Square.

Nevertheless, there were hundreds of locals in attendance at the cemetery. Dmitri’s friends, school mates and teachers, Russian Counsel Nikolai Bondarenko, members of the Öise Color Guard and 10’s of Russian TV journalist.

Dmitri’s mother called the politicians to the side.

Marianne Tarelkina, former director of the Mustvee gymnasium said the funeral was heart-felt and peaceful. Marianne was of Dmitri’s teachers when she taught Estonian language at the Russian gymnasium. Among the grieving congregation were both young and old Estonians and Russians. In Marianne’s opinion, the Russian journalists were unable to get interviews from Dmitri’s friends or acquaintances. Dmitri’s schoolmates sent the journalist away without responding. The young were also reluctant to speak with Estonian journalists. “Perfect strangers were telling me that all those reporters and TV cameras on added confusion to the funeral.”

Estonian TV3’s "News at Seven" however caught an interview with a Russian journalist and one of Dmitri’s former work colleagues. “That man there lied” telling the Russian journalist that Estonian police began the bottle and stone throwing by throwing the ‘first punches’.

Mustvee’s town Mayor spoke about the town’s people and their demeanor in front of the media. There’s both disappointment in and fear of peace officers following previous reports of children and women being subjected to unprovoked beatings.

However, Dmitri’s mother applauded Marianne Tarelkina’s demeanor.

The Russian Counselor gave his speech and fortunately did not stray into politics. With that, Dmitri’s mother thanked the town’s people and those who supported her. She continued that her son was a local, he had Estonian and Russian friends, and she requested not to use my her son's name for their own interests.

One of Dmitri’s 8th grade class teachers wrote “I was standing just behind the Russian Counselor at the time. I saw how he twisted his neck and shook his head around. Thereafter he departed the town of Mustvee”.

Just like Jeltsin’s funeral

Another teacher addressed the congregation regarding conversations she had with Dmitri’s classmates. “I spoke to Dmitri’s classmates and we concluded, that if Dmitri had known how much ‘crap’ his red passport and Russian citizenship would later cause him, he would never have wanted a passport at 16 years of age (much like most of his classmates then).” The director opined, “Dmitri would have certainly waited for his Estonian citizenship.”

Jaan Rajuküla, Mustvee’s Russian gymnasium Director spoke about Dmitri’s local burial being customary of the Orthodox religion. “Beginning Dmitri’s final trip starting at the holy church and ending with a send of by Dmitri’s classmates to his final resting place. There, a clergyman speaks and the process ends placing the casket is brought into the cemetery where once more a clergyman speaks. The congregation could be several kilometers long, but until such time as all are present, the casket will not enter the cemetery grounds. That is correct and customary.”

"Much like Jeltsin’s funeral, few were missing before the casket entered the cemetery. The Öise Color Guards, Russian State representatives, and an awful lot of journalists were present. Jeltsin’s burial and ceremony were beautiful and absent of political speeches” Rahuküla commented.

He also emphasized that there was no division of people here. “Who’s an Estonian or Russian; both got along at Dmitri’s send off. Dmitri grew up here just like everyone else did”, he added.

05-04-2007, 08:33 PM
More here if you read Estonian ! (http://www.sloleht.ee/index.aspx?id=228069)

And that, my friend, is part of the problem - not many people do read Estonian :wry:. That type of quote needs to be spread in English just because that's what most people can read.


05-05-2007, 12:06 PM
Hi Stan,

Thanks for the detailed post, Kaur !

Ditto - thanks, Kaur. It's really good to have specifics. If more is discovered about the attacks, can you post it here?

Hi Marc ! I translated the questionable link from last night and pasted it on the post. Sorry 'bout that ! You know, there are approx. 15,000 Estonians in Canada. Would it be fair to say you don't know any of them ? :eek:

Yeah, I do know a few, but they live quite a ways away from here ad I don't talk with them that often :wry:. Besides that, the effect is much greater if there is an English version posted here than if I just get a friend to translate it for me (also, the cost in beer!!!!!).

The Ministry gurus and some local providers commented that DDoS attacks are very easy to employ, but not that easy to nail down. The perpetrators often find links to regenerate disruptions and these are taken out or blocked one at a time. Most of our Ministry servers have merely created blanket blocking of outside connections until such time as they can get a handle on the disruptions. Last night, I couldn't get the SWJ site back, but most of the Estonian sites came up quickly.

Yeah, these attacks are the RPGs of the cyber-world - simple, easy, and readily available on the market.

We would all like to think that recent US and NATO grievances were key to halting disturbances in front of Estonia's Embassy in Moscow and I think Kaur hit it on the head, we can't simply slap them without a means of saving face. Sounds very African or tribal, but that always seems to be the case. Ambassador Kaljulaid's departure allowed them that face saving and gave them a way out. Well, that's what they say :wry:

Doesn't it just! Still and all, it's better to offer them a face saving opportunity than to do a full court press.

With the exception of the Prime Minister calling on the EU to speak, I don't know that Estonia openly asked for much assistance. The calls from NATO and the USA to Estonia's President and Prime Minister expressing support were key. The other former east bloc countries certainly played a role, but they don't have the 'bang' like NATO, the US Senate and Canada's Parliament.

Hmmm. I would strongly urge the Estonian Government to request assistance from one of the cyber terrorism teams; maybe the FBIs one, but the EU has a fairly good one to I believe. Just blocking all external server access is the equivalent of retreating back into castles - it cuts your lines of communication to the general populace.

On the whole, I would guess that Estonia (and Latvia and Lithuania) has a rather large reserve of good will in North America and the EU. If nothing else, there are fairly sizable diasporic populations outside the country that could easily be mobilized to support the "homeland". The trick is to mobilize them in a manner that gives them both press access and political clout without having to call in major political markers.


ps. I'm off for the rest of the day singing - rehearsals then an audition, so I won't check in again until 7 or so tonight

05-05-2007, 11:38 PM
Hi Marc !
Hope your singing went well !

Hmmm. I would strongly urge the Estonian Government to request assistance from one of the cyber terrorism teams; maybe the FBI’s one, but the EU has a fairly good one to I believe. Just blocking all external server access is the equivalent of retreating back into castles - it cuts your lines of communication to the general populace.

I work with the Legal Attaché at the US Embassy quite a bit and will ring him up. Thanks, sounds like a reasonable idea. Now the hard sell…Estonia doesn’t do a lot of direct requesting. The last 4 or 5 years of FBI training here has concentrated on WMD. Anymore, it seems that our problems have to match those currently on the ‘top 10 lists’ if we want quick attention. On the other hand, civil wars usually draw attention :wry:

On the whole, I would guess that Estonia (and Latvia and Lithuania) has a rather large reserve of good will in North America and the EU. If nothing else, there are fairly sizable diasporic populations outside the country that could easily be mobilized to support the "homeland". The trick is to mobilize them in a manner that gives them both press access and political clout without having to call in major political markers.

In my ‘Europe’ post entitled “Three years on: the Baltic States and NATO” the article covered agreements between NATO and the Baltic States. Although they were celebrating the 3-year mark, we’ve seen remarkable cooperation in the form of NATO ‘Air Policing Missions’ by European countries controlling Baltic air space, cooperation with military fleets (particularly in the field of mine clearing), and international training of special operations units to fight terrorism. Still noteworthy, all three Baltic States continue to participate/support coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

There are indeed large pockets of migrated Estonians in Australia, Canada and the USA. Estonians in the States were quick to support their fellow countrymen and locally posted potential US Government Officials and how to contact them. Congressman John Shimkus (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2007/may/84181.htm) (R, Illinois-19) was the first to publicly speak in support of Estonia.

Estonia’s President put a good spin on this situation recently: (http://www.president.ee/en/duties/speeches.php?gid=88447)

How to manage with this complicated past? The recipe could be simple: everyone has the right to celebrate their victories and commemorate their losses. Oswald Spengler said there is poetry to history. Currently we see how history, or rather the understanding of the past, is dividing the people living in Estonia, just like trenches and anti-tank defenses.

The Estonian nation, which lost thousands of sons and daughters in the wars and repressions of the 20th century, understands what the victory in the Great Fatherland War means to the Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian people. However, if instead of commemorating the fallen on the 9th of May, people instead celebrate Estonia's occupation, and in doing so deny the suffering of the Estonian nation, then this we cannot tolerate.

He has good reasons for saying that. It appears Russia's upper house voted unanimously this past Friday to retain a Red Army banner for ceremonies like Victory parades (http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070504/64887592.html). This is exactly what caused our problems nearly a year ago today. Wandering - aimlessly I might add – around the capital with Russian Army uniforms on while waving the ‘Hammer and Sickle’.

The bill is yet to be signed into law by Putin, who brought back the Soviet-era red star as the Russian military's emblem in 2002, soothing those nostalgic about their Communist past and alarming others fearing the return of reprisals. The parliament had earlier reinstated the Soviet anthem with new lyrics on Putin's initiative.

Regards, Stan

05-06-2007, 12:23 PM
Estonian Border Guard have turned many of these upstanding individuals away in the last two weeks, so seems only fitting to come in from the South. Too bad, looks like they'll be late for May 9th in Estonia :D

May 06, 2007
From wire reports (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/17824/)

Latvian border guards detained two Russian nationals early today for crossing the Latvian-Russian border illegally, BNS reported on May 4.

Latvian State Border Guard chief Gunars Dabolins told BNS that the detained Russians, aged 37 and 22, are residents of Moscow and both have higher education. In Dabolins' words, they did not hide their membership in Russia's National Bolshevik organization.

05-06-2007, 12:39 PM
Well, so much for allowing a 'face saving' way out :D

Bush backs Estonia in Russian dispute (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18495755/)

Estonia will not apologise to Moscow for the removal of a Soviet war memorial, the Baltic state's president said on Friday as the US supported his stand.

President George W Bush invited Toomas Hendrik Ilves to the White House in a show of solidarity in which Nato and the European Union have urged Russia to stop intimidating its tiny neighbour.

05-07-2007, 03:26 PM
As life returns to normal in the Estonian capital (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/17826/) more than a week after riots hit the city center, the largest immediate concern among residents is whether fresh unrest will come on the 9th of May, the day Russians traditionally celebrate the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II.

The Russian Foreign Ministry already summoned ambassadors from Germany, Portugal and the EU to criticize the EU for failure to react to removal of the Soviet Army monument in Estonia. A tad strange for me (as an American) to even comprehend - I had no idea 'monument relocation' was governed by the EU :rolleyes:

The local and national police appear confident, now backed by security companys, military forces and locals who previously attended a "neighborhood watch" course.

In an address to the public on May 6, Estonian police chief Raivo Aeg said that the police would continue to operate at a higher degree of readiness in the coming days.

"I wish to assure you that the police are fully ready to maintain public order in the new week," Aeg said. "All Estonian law enforcement bodies will jointly work to anticipate provocations and ensure a peaceful atmosphere. Instructions have been given to the police not to let themselves be provoked but to fix all violations."

The Viru detached infantry battalion based in the northeast Estonian regional capital Johvi, a city which also saw rioting on April 27, has stepped up its readiness in the run-up to the period around May 9 when further unrest was possible, the Eesti Paevaleht daily reported.

As of 1400 today, no more alcohol will be sold in shops through the evening of the 9th. Most of the previous rioters and looters were reportedly drunk during the previous disturbances.

So, will they go at it again sober :eek:

05-07-2007, 09:58 PM
You see, the Soviets set Estonian clocks to Moscow time when they reconquered this small land in 1944. (http://palun.blogspot.com/)

That is, in Helsinki it was 11:43 pm when the Germans surrendered to the Soviets, but in Tallinn it was officially 12:43 am.

However, since most would agree that the sun reaches Tallinn and Helsinki before it reaches Moscow, you can surmise that the Estonians prefer to celebrate this event now at the proper time on May 8, rather than May 9. You could call it revisionism.

Or you could just say that the timing of the commemoration is reality-based, as opposed to ideology-based.

Either way, Estonia now celebrates the "end of the war" -- which dragged on into the 1950s in Estonia -- on May 8, not May 9.

Since the end of the Second World War, the USSR, and its successor countries, especially Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, have celebrated Victory Day on May 9. Although the Germans surrendered to the Soviets on May 8 in Berlin, it was already early in the morning (12:43 am) in Moscow. And so, due to this time difference, those who celebrate the Soviet victory celebrate on May 9, not May 8.

05-08-2007, 11:17 AM
The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 8, 2007; 5:47 AM (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/08/AR2007050800288.html)

Probably the right thing to have done and even a nice gesture, but the Russian's don't seem all that impressed. Perhaps they still feel that Victory Day is on the 9th :wry:

TALLINN, Estonia -- Estonian government ministers laid flowers at a disputed Soviet statue on Tuesday to commemorate the Allied victory in World War II, the first time the Baltic state has made such a gesture since gaining independence 16 years ago.

The Swedish ambassador to Estonia Dag Hartelius laid a wreath on behalf of the Western diplomatic corps. Russian Ambassador Nikolai Uspensky refused to take part in the ceremony.

Just yesterday Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov expressed Russian regrets NATO, EU connivance at attempts to rewrite history (http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070507/65008645.html)

Russia rejects some countries' attempts to rewrite history, Russia's foreign minister said Monday.

Addressing a wreath-laying ceremony for diplomats who perished in WWII, Sergei Lavrov said that the memory of the Victory was sacred, and that all officials at the Russian Foreign Ministry were responsible for thwarting attempts to scoff at history.

"Unfortunately, some organizations, such as NATO and the EU are conniving at such attempts [to rewrite history]," Lavrov said.

Russia's ambassador to the OSCE said grave human rights violations in Estonia resulted from the EU and NATO's indifference and tacit consent.

05-08-2007, 06:43 PM
We've often wondered, was there any truth to this myth (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/06/AR2007050600924.html). Looks like perhaps there was :)

In 1994, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his Estonian counterpart, the polymath Lennart Meri, chummily drank together in a Kremlin chamber as their foreign ministers labored nearby to complete a historic treaty to withdraw all Russian troops from the tiny Baltic state.

When it was time to celebrate the finished draft, Yeltsin mocked his own foreign minister, Andrei Kozyrev, for his weak drinking skills -- "Bring the boy some ice cream," he roared to an attendant -- but approved the agreement. That may have been the high-water mark of Russia's willingness to face its imperialist history and allow its neighbors to live in peace.

Yeltsin, for all his drinking and Siberian gruffness, had at least glimmers of understanding that Russia could become a greater country by withdrawing unwanted troops than by imposing them. Putin, clean-cut and fit, seems the more modern man. But his troops remain in parts of neighboring Georgia and Moldova, and no decisive Kremlin summits to solve those problems, with vodka or ice cream, seem likely anytime soon.

Much more at the link !

05-09-2007, 03:22 PM
A reader from Canada sent me this regarding Putin and a tad bit of history (http://publicoffender.livejournal.com/755.html).

Pretty strange stuff, but perhaps not too far off the mark if you have plans for future employment in the Kremlin :wry:

Hi Marc !
I'm working on your answer, but the Delta Sierra is in jail and I have serious doubts, he'll entertain my request for an interview :mad:

Regards, Stan

05-09-2007, 09:57 PM
Hi Stan,

A reader from Canada sent me this regarding Putin and a tad bit of history (http://publicoffender.livejournal.com/755.html).

Pretty strange stuff, but perhaps not too far off the mark if you have plans for future employment in the Kremlin :wry:

I'm getting flashbacks to German stuff from circa 1937 or so... Thanks for posting the link Stan!

Hi Marc !
I'm working on your answer, but the Delta Sierra is in jail and I have serious doubts, he'll entertain my request for an interview :mad:

Probably not, but I'm sure stuff will come out about him :D.


05-10-2007, 05:50 PM
The passion that erupted in this storybook capital city and on the streets of Moscow in the past two weeks because of divided understanding of a shared history left Igor Britikovski cold.

The 23-year-old ethnic Russian, who is an Estonian citizen, had never visited the bronze statue of a Soviet Red Army soldier whose relocation from central Tallinn to a military cemetery on April 26 sparked riots by ethnic Russians (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/08/AR2007050801935.html) here and a siege of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow.

"My parents are Russian, we have Russian traditions, but Estonia is my home," said Britikovski, who speaks fluent Estonian. "I can work with Russians, but work in Russia, live in Russia? Hardly. I don't feel any discrimination here."

But others continue to feel like outsiders. "They let us live here, but with major obstacles," said Larisa Neshadimova, an activist with the group Night Watch, which held vigils at the statue to prevent its being defaced by Estonian nationalists. "When I supported independence for Estonia, I didn't think there would be so much discrimination."

Indeed heart-felt and above all, honest.

Having had to adjust to legal living and working permits in Estonia more than a decade ago, I understand just how difficult it is, but I don't agree herein.

"To be honest, there's nothing bad about the relocation, a military cemetery is a better place," said Igor Reino, 36, a Russian speaker with an Estonian father who laid flowers at the statue with his daughter. "I just wished they had waited until after May 9 to move it. That would have been more civilized." Russia celebrates the World War II victory on May 9.

Modestly larger than life with its head bowed in grief, the bronze statue of a Red Army soldier, created 60 years ago by an Estonian sculptor using an Estonian model, seemed an unlikely catalyst for the anger it has inflamed.

There's a lot of room for debate regarding the timing of this move. I have my mere doubts that the movement, regardless of the date would have made much difference with public opinion.

But Vovrenko's daughter, a doctor, and his granddaughter, a high school student, both speak fluent Estonian as well as Russian, he said. "Life will be much easier for my granddaughter," he said, noting that she also is learning German.

Well said and done. Most of the unpopular discussion regarding ethnic Russians among Estonians is, their lack of desire or attempt to even try the Estonian language. I would tend to agree.

A little effort is in order...on both sides.

05-11-2007, 07:13 AM
Professor Steven Blank, The US Army War College, writes so:

I fully believe that it was a misconceived Estonian idea to remove the statue from its place and that it represents an unnecessary affront to Russia. But the actual scenario of events here is not as Vladimir portrayed it. He omits the violent demonstrations in Tallinn that led to the immediate removal of the statute and the fact that they were generally believed to be orchestrated and organized from outside Estonia. Similarly the reaction of Nashi which functions, truth be told, as a kind of Putin jugend or new komsomol, was clearly organized by the Russian government. Furthermore this episode has a long history behind it. Russia wants to portray itself as being again the aggrieved party that is regularly insulted and injured by the West which has no regard for its interests. But that argument does not stand up to scrutiny. It is very clear that Russia and Estonia have had bad relations for a long time because politicians on both sides gain from exploiting tensions. But it also true that Moscow has tried regularly to pressure and intimidate all of the Baltic states and restrict their freedom of action and politics or to subvert them from within. Russia still refuses to accept its role in the Baltic after 1939, preferring to focus exclusively on the liberation of the area from the Nazis in 1944-45, but not on its unending series of crimes that were committed by the Soviet government. Its press still publishes justifications for the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact or for the take over of the Baltic states, all this betraying a larger failure to come to terms with its history.
The larger contrast and comparison with Germany and Japan is telling. The FRG has openly and repeatedly announced the responsibility of its predecessors for their crimes and that it acknowledges that Germany is forever burdened by those crimes. As a result Germany is not feared and is fully integrated into Europe. Japan, on the other hand refuses to come clean about its crimes in the 1931-45 period and as a result is still regarded with suspicion across Asia. The Putin regime, eager to whitewash the NKVD, KGB and crimes of the Stalin era, still cannot bring itself to open up the archives and tell the truth. Until it or following regimes do so, Russia will be regarded by all of Europe with suspicion and at home it will not be able to overcome the shackles of Leninism and Stalinism. While Estonia may have acted provocatively or in misconceived way, until Russia comes to terms with its past its future will always remain under a shadow.

05-11-2007, 08:06 AM
I'd like to add here link to new publication issued by Nashi movement. This movement put Estonian embassy under siege in Moscow. Take look at the sponsors list in the end. No comments!


05-11-2007, 02:33 PM
Kaur, Welcome back (from whereever !),
An excellent article and read from the Doctor. But I can't find the link at the War College.

Could you get it again ? He's published a number of good articles on Russia, but this one's not there (or I'm brain dead...it is Friday afterall)

05-11-2007, 02:51 PM
In Pskov, Russia the Estonian consulate was fired upon with a hunting rifle (http://postimees.ee/110507/esileht/siseuudised/260001.php)

For those of you that have yet to complete your Estonian language classes, the following free translation is provided herein :wry:

The Pskov office of Estonia's head consulate in St. Petersburg was likely hit with a hunting rifle in the early morning hours this Thursday.

According to anonymous law enforcement sources, the agency reported that the bullet hit the window, leaving a bullet hole and then ricocheted against a wall. A flattened bullet from a hunting rifle has been found.

Deputy prosecutor of the city of Pskov, Nikolai Konov stated that the window had indeed been broken and a police report filed. Still, according to Konov, it is too early to tell what caused the damage. He added, that as soon as a report was received, law enforcement officials were dispatched to the scene.

Konov assured that the Prosecutor's office has subpoenaed all materials involving the case.

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told BNS that the window had been damaged, and did not specify the method.

The MFA expressed concern on Thursday over the attack.

The Estonian MFA demanded that the Russian authorities immediately take steps to guarantee the security of the Pskov office located in St. Petersburg.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet stated that the continuing attacks against Estonia's diplomatic representations in Russia is unacceptable. (http://www.mfa.ee/eng/kat_138/8464.html)

The caption below (Estonia in the EU's pocket) reads: Well, can we now talk man to man ?!

05-11-2007, 03:02 PM
With relative calm restored and the cyber attacks under more control, the never-ending jokes and good photography from Estonians are circulating.

Today's mail included this one regarding the visual differences between just chillin' or just hanging around. Those face down, well, they're chillin' :D

05-13-2007, 07:17 PM
We are in the EU (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6645789.stm) and Nato and it is now not possible to influence Estonia by force.

In his third and final report from Estonia, the BBC News website's Patrick Jackson finds two sharply contrasting views of the Soviet statue dispute within the main party of the governing coalition.

Tallinn's violent scenes over the relocation of a Soviet war memorial last month must have come out of the blue for many in the outside world.

Surely Estonia, independent of Moscow for 16 years and a proud EU and Nato member, had become just another stable, settled, picturesque small state in northern Europe?

Depending on who you ask, the unrest was stoked either by a resurgent Moscow, seeking to reassert its influence through the large ethnic Russian minority, or by a section of Tallinn's political elite, using the Soviet legacy to win elections.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet points the finger very clearly at Russia.

Unfortunately, Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov doesn't quite see it that way:

Lavrov letter slams EU over Estonia (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/17865/)

In a letter of complaint to member countries of the European Union, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed indignation at solidarity within the European Union (EU) and demanded Estonia's punishment, it appears from the letter published in the daily Eesti Paevaleht.

The minister expressed indignation because many Western countries supported Estonia and tolerated activity of the government at relocation of the monument.

"The Western countries give their tacit approval to the fact that by equaling the heroism of soldier-liberators and the crimes of Nazis and their henchmen, Estonian authorities were attempting to rewrite history and reinterpret the role of the anti-Hitler coalition in the victory over fascism in World War Two,” the letter said.

“Soldier liberator” is the term being used for the Bronze Soldier monument by Russia’s officialdom and media of late. The Baltic Times has not seen the term used historically in connection with the monument.

05-14-2007, 03:35 PM
Hi Stan,

Thanks for the post! It's always fascinating to look at how hese types of things are patterned. Honestly, I don't think AQ is doing this, but...


05-18-2007, 08:40 PM
"Boris Berezovsky argues that conflict between Russia and Estonia is more then a spat between Russia and one of its former satellites. Berezovsky believes the cause of the conflict emanates from the unresolved issues of modern Russia. Denial by the Kremlin, and by President Vladimir Putin, of the Soviet regime's criminal nature prevents then getting on the program. If they could make this first step, there would be only eleven left (http://www.baltlantis.com/?id=10767):"

1. Admit you are powerless
2. Believe that a power greater than you can restore your sanity
3. Make a decision to turn your will and our lives over to the care of a greater power
4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself and your people
5. Admit to yourself and all human beings the exact nature of your wrongs
6. Remove all these defects from your culture
7. Humbly asked other countries to remove their cultural shortcomings
8. Make a list of the countries you have harmed and become willing to make amends to them all
9. Make direct amends to such countries wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
10. Continued to take a national inventory of where you went wrong and promptly admit it
11. Meditate to improve your conscious contact with other countries and for the power to carry it out
12. Have a cultural awakening as a part of these steps and carry this message to other compulsive imperialistic nations

05-19-2007, 02:34 PM
So little Estonia was used as a ruse to distract from silencing even more Kremlin critics? That Putin is a sly one.

Got this from an Estonian site the other day.

That's a Ukrainian famine victim, Stalin and Lavrenti Beria.

05-22-2007, 11:35 AM
Thanks for post, SWJED !

The St. Petersburg Times finally has a good article:
Seven Journalists Quit Jobs in Protest (http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=21710)

MOSCOW — Seven journalists have resigned from Russian News Service after new management censored their reports about a Dissenters’ March and a dispute with Estonia, among other things, several of the journalists said Friday.

Khan said management had accused him of siding with Estonia in his coverage of protests held by the pro-Kremlin Nashi youth group outside the country’s Moscow embassy in late April and early May.

Khan also said management had refused to air his reports about a World War II monument being relocated in Khimki, a town on Moscow’s northern outskirts, and an opposition Dissenters’ March broken up by riot police in Moscow in April.

“I realized that I would cease to exist as a professional [journalist] if I stayed,” Khan said by telephone.

05-22-2007, 12:06 PM
War monument dispute escalates into boycott (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.boycott21may21,0,3219632.story?coll=bal-home-headlines)

MOSCOW // More than a half-dozen types of cheese disappeared from behind deli counters. Small bottles of chili powder, garlic seasoning and lemon pepper - indeed, every spice with the blue Santa Maria label - vanished from supermarket shelves. Old Tallinn liqueur, a sweet staple in a punchy cocktail called the hammer and sickle, suddenly was harder to come by.

The word had come down from on high: Estonian products are no longer welcome in Russia.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov urged businesses and consumers to shun Estonian goods and sever all ties with enterprises - even cultural ones - across the border. Within days, some of the largest grocery chains in the Russian capital had yanked hundreds of products and stuck signs in their windows saying they wouldn't sell Estonian.

05-23-2007, 01:47 PM
Has anyone been tracking escalations in other areas? Are we seeing hold ups at the border? Increased muggings of Estonians in Russian or (my guess) Russians in Estonia? You know, this is following a script that Lenin wrote and was copy edited by Trotsky :wry:.


05-23-2007, 06:06 PM
Hi Marc,
Unfortunately only one deportation (http://www.axisglobe.com/news.asp?news=11070) from Estonia :mad:

There is however news that Russia has again permitted large vehicle traffic to transit Estonia. Word has it there were no other neighboring countries Russia could use to bypass Estonia. They obviously forgot the geographical importance of Estonia over the last say 800 years :eek:

I'll keep looking !

Regards, Stan

05-23-2007, 07:24 PM
Hi Stan,

Cool, thanks. I have a gut guess that you will start seeing actions taken in Russia against Estonians being treated as "understandable" (e.g. muggings, vandalism, etc.). The NAZIs used a similar tactic in 1931-32, and the courts supported it. There will also probably be exaggerations of "reprisals" against the ethnic Russian population in Estonia. One thing the Estonians may consider is to try and mobilize some of the ethnic Russians to start an IO campaign against Putin's actions and propaganda - possibly in Russian forums.


05-23-2007, 08:50 PM
Jeez, Marc, that should be a good one to watch from say...250 meters :wry:

One of my favorite blogs, Itching for Eestimaa (http://palun.blogspot.com/):

Scroll down to '4 AM at Heathrow Airport'

Like Russian policy in the past, and as the perfect metaphor of the Internet attacks provides, they intend to attack their target by overwhelming it with force and/or by sowing instability with the clear, logical goal of instating its control within the mask of chaos. Imagine a poison that works by making the individual appear to suffer from food poisoning, then reveals its true identity by the time that it is too late. That, my friends, is Russian foreign policy.

But how does a small nation counter that policy and how, in particular, can Estonia survive when the Kremlin is allegedly regaining power? I have been pondering this, and I think that it is important now that Estonia defines its goals with regards to this cynical power in Russia and acts consistently according to those redefined goals. Some of you may not like what I am about to say, but they are thoughts, and thoughts that need airing.

1. It is time to accept the Russian government for what it is.
2. It's time to dig in for a propaganda war.
3. It's time to renew the commitments to pan-Scandinavianism and pan-Europeanism.
4. Reject Conflict, Embrace Progress.

05-24-2007, 06:31 AM
Economist columnist Edward Lucas writes in his article "Back to the Cold War -Putin's Russia threat to Britain" this way:

Last month, Estonia's government decided to move a Soviet war memorial in the centre of the capital, Tallinn, to a nearby military cemetery.
That prompted demonstrations by local Russians, egged on by the Kremlin's spies and provocateurs, which soon turned into riots and looting.
In the chocolate-box streets of medieval Tallinn, familiar to many British holidaymakers as one of the friendliest and most charming capitals of Europe, drunken Russian hooligans emptied shops and burnt cars, chanting "It's all ours" and "Soviet Union for ever".
In Moscow, thugs blockaded and attacked the Estonian embassy - a flagrant breach of the Vienna convention. When the Swedish ambassador visited, they tried to turn over his car.
But that was only a taste of the havoc to be wreaked in cyberspace. Estonia's most vital computers experienced a cyber-attack on a scale and ferocity unknown in the history of the internet.
Techniques normally employed by cyber-criminals, such as huge remote-controlled networks of hijacked computers, were used to cripple vital public services, paralyse the banking system and cut off the government's websites from the outside world.

By cutting Estonia off from the world, the Kremlin's propagandists could freely peddle their poisonous lies about a "fascist revival" in this peaceful, prosperous and democratic country.


05-25-2007, 02:47 PM
Nothing seems to make President Vladimir Putin (http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2007/05/25/006.html) angrier these days than Estonia.

During a joint news conference with European Union leaders in Samara on Friday, Putin twice diverged from the question he was asked to return to the issue of Estonia. Both times he talked about the stabbing death of an ethnic Russian during rioting last month over Estonia's decision to move the Bronze Soldier war memorial out of central Tallinn.

Putin did not focus on the stabbing, which may well have been the work of other ethnic Russians. Instead, he complained that the protester had received no medical help and been allowed to bleed to death on the street. "This constitutes a willful crime, and we demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice," Putin said.

Putin seems to have taken personally Estonia's decision to move the memorial to fallen Red Army soldiers. This may be because he sees it not only as an affront to his country but as an affront to the memory of his father. As Putin once told it, his father was betrayed by Estonians during the war.

Before he was first elected in 2000, Putin gave a series of interviews to three Russian journalists for a book called "First Person." In the first chapter, he talks about his father. During the war, he was in an NKVD sabotage battalion operating behind German lines and was sent as part of a group of 28 people to carry out an operation in Estonian territory. They succeeded in blowing up a supply train and were able to hide in the woods, but eventually they ran out of food and turned to the local population. Estonians brought them food but then gave them up to the Germans. Only four people in the group survived, including Putin's father, who hid in a bog, breathing through a reed, to escape detection by Nazi soldiers who were searching for them with dogs.

Much more at the link

05-25-2007, 03:03 PM
Nothing seems to make President Vladimir Putin (http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2007/05/25/006.html) angrier these days than Estonia.

Much more at the link

I just love his "logic" in saying that it couldn't be an occupation because Germany gave it to the Soviets :wry:. It is comforting, quoth he is in slightly sarcastic voice, for me to know how much value Putin places on history and how he recognizes the acts of his political progenitors - Stalin and Hitler :cool:.


05-25-2007, 03:46 PM
Hi Marc !

He actually has Estonia a tad concerned.

Although somebody should remind Putin that in the Spring of 88 or 89, Gorbachev cancelled history exams around the country because the history books being used were so inaccurate :eek:

Aah, no worries this week mate, the HMS Illustrious is in Tallinn's harbor :D

Steve Blair
05-25-2007, 05:16 PM
Nice picture, stan!

And it's funny sometimes how things seem to repeat themselves in Europe every 50 years or so. Must be something about old habits.....:wry:

05-25-2007, 09:15 PM
Thanks, Steve. It's a real small harbor, so getting a good shot is pretty easy.

New Subject: (http://www.baltlantis.com/?id=10958)

Estonian police are looking for a U.S. citizen who is believed to have a video of the incident during the April Tallinn riots where Russian Dmitri Ganin was fatally stabbed. Police do not have a name for the person and believe he is no longer in the country.

Another U.S. citizen identified only as "Valerie" is also known to have filmed the riots but is not thought to have been present during the murder. "Valerie" is further identified as a U.S. Fullbright Scholar who was or is visiting Estonia.

05-28-2007, 10:32 AM
Talking of Nazi's and riots,


Quite worrying in Russia at the moment, plus the fact that it was most likely a Russian agent who carried out the first case of nuclear terrorism in Britain against Litvinenko, (Andrei Lugovoi is now wanted by British Police but it is highly doubtful that Russia will extradite him. Although if they put an Interpol arrest warrant out for him it would severely restrict his ability to travel).

Looking at this case in Estonia and other various actions it seems that Russia is once more wanting to flex it's muscles somewhat.

BTW, didn't Putin give a toast to Stalin saying he was a great man some years back?

05-28-2007, 12:44 PM
Thanks, TC. For some reason this story doesn't surprise my Estonian counterparts. Probably a bit used to just about anything coming from the Kremlin these days.

As I recall Putin's toast to Stalin took place in late 2000.

The Estonian press tends to beat up Putin as often as possible. Last week's article reminded readers to keep in mind, that Putin is first and foremost a loyal son of the "Yeltsin family". However, this family of military and other 'special services' are nothing more than henchmen engaged in exacting quid pro quo. The article concludes that all of Putin’s past, present and future dealings must be viewed in this light, or you'll be lost trying to figure him out.

Regards, Stan

Talking of Nazi's and riots,


Quite worrying in Russia at the moment, plus the fact that it was most likely a Russian agent who carried out the first case of nuclear terrorism in Britain against Litvinenko, (Andrei Lugovoi is now wanted by British Police but it is highly doubtful that Russia will extradite him. Although if they put an Interpol arrest warrant out for him it would severely restrict his ability to travel).

Looking at this case in Estonia and other various actions it seems that Russia is once more wanting to flex it's muscles somewhat.

BTW, didn't Putin give a toast to Stalin saying he was a great man some years back?

05-28-2007, 02:44 PM
"The European Parliament on Thursday passed a resolution expressing support to the Estonian government and firm solidarity with Estonia (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/17952/) in its row with Russia."

The deputies said they regard as unacceptable Russian authorities' attempts to interfere into Estonia's internal affairs and appealed to Russia to observe the Vienna Convention without any exceptions. The deputies condemned Russian authorities' unpolished and openly hostile language and attempts to use economic pressure on Estonia as a foreign policy instrument.

The deputies said they were disturbed by the inadequate protection of the Estonian embassy in Moscow by the Russian authorities and physical attacks by Nashi demonstrators against the Estonian ambassador.

The resolution states that the Russian authorities' hostile language with respect to Estonia is in sharp contrast with the principles of international conduct and affects EU-Russian relations as a whole.

The members of parliament appealed to the Russian government to hold an open an unprejudiced dialog with Central and East European countries on the history of the 20th century and crimes against humanity, including crimes against humanity committed by totalitarian Communism.

The resolution garnered 460 votes in favor and 31 against, with 38 abstentions, the press service of the European parliament told BNS.

Much more at the link

05-28-2007, 06:53 PM
Thanks for replying Stan, I do seem to recall a paper that I read some years ago about a possible Sino-Russian/Iranian axis developing against the new European/NATO members who were previously Warsaw Pact countries, Ill rummage about and try to find it.

Column from last Economist "Cyberwarfare update."


In addition, may I ask any of the other members of this board, but is this the first time such a massive cyber attack has been launched by a nation state against another state or are their other examples of this ilk?



05-28-2007, 08:07 PM
Thanks for replying Stan, I do seem to recall a paper that I read some years ago about a possible Sino-Russian/Iranian axis developing against the new European/NATO members who were previously Warsaw Pact countries, Ill rummage about and try to find it.

In addition, may I ask any of the other members of this board, but is this the first time such a massive cyber attack has been launched by a nation state against another state or are their other examples of this ilk?



TC, I'm no historian, but recall reading about "The long good bye" between Russia and Iraq. Nowadays a quick deal or two for nuclear fuel with Iran ?

Just a week ago most Estonian's were laughing at the deal gone sour "Russia nuclear delay angers Iran". (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6446163.stm) Even Iran can't conclude a deal with Putin :D

Russian state-owned firm Atomstroiexport announced on Monday that a shipment of nuclear fuel would not be delivered as scheduled in March because of delays in payment by Iran.

The company also said the launch of the reactor, due in September, would be put back two months to November because of the dispute over financing.

The NATO dudes that were here told the MOI they had never seen an attack of this magnitud before. Was this the largest ? The Guardian's sources think so ! (http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,2081438,00.html)

A three-week wave of massive cyber-attacks on the small Baltic country of Estonia, the first known incidence of such an assault on a state, is causing alarm across the western alliance, with Nato urgently examining the offensive and its implications.

05-29-2007, 10:12 AM
SWJED, Thanks for the post !
Seems all the US newspapers are jumping on the bandwagon. We even made the 'Drudge Report' (not that I consider that a compliment, and it only links to the International Herald Tribune).

TALLINN, May 28 (RIA Novosti) (http://en.rian.ru/world/20070528/66208912.html)

The Estonian Citizenship and Migration Department has imposed a permanent ban on 398 visitors, and a temporary ban on 1,615 potential comers, a department spokesperson said Monday.

Anne-Maarja Olei said the ban mostly covered Russians, Ukrainians and Armenians, some of whom could pose a threat to Estonian sovereignty. Foreigners who have been arrested by the police over public order violations were also put on the black list.

The Estonian Citizenship and Migration Department said 11 people, including three Russians, were extradited from Estonia in April.

Relations between Estonia and Russia have been marred since the scandal around the removal of a Soviet-era memorial from central Tallinn shortly before VE Day celebrations. The removal sparked violent protests from the ex-Soviet republic's ethnic Russian minority. One person was killed and several dozen injured in clashes with police April 27. Moscow issued strong protests, with some parliamentarians calling for cutting diplomatic ties with Tallinn.

06-05-2007, 02:42 PM
According to recent AP wire reports, subsequent to Konstantin Goloskokov's claim that he was behind one of the cyber attacks against Estonia's internet last month, the European Union and U.S. has banned the Nashi youth movement leader from entering their territories.

Goloskokov thought there would be no legal repercussions from his actions because Transnistri would would not prosecute him.

Well, think again :D

06-11-2007, 05:37 AM
Resolution expresses support for Estonia amid tension with Moscow (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/06/06/america/NA-GEN-US-Estonia-Russia.php)

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution supporting Estonia amid tension with Russia since the removal in April of a monument commemorating a Red Army victory in World War II.

The resolution, which passed 412-0, expressed solidarity with Estonia and condemned violence in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and Moscow.

Speaking on the House floor ahead of the vote, Democratic Rep. Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs committee, was more blunt.

"Today, we in Congress join our friends in Europe in expressing our strong disapproval of the unjustified and unacceptable Russian attacks against Estonia," he said.

06-13-2007, 02:29 PM
Today construction of the lime stone wall started at the Garrison cemetery in Tallinn. The lime stone wall will be situated behind the bronze monument (http://www.mod.gov.ee/?op=news&id=1212) that was placed to the cemetery on April, 30.

The constructed wall will be adjusted to the Garrison cemetery in the best possible way, taking into account the surrounding environment, the lime stone masonry surrounding the site of the area and the high furbishing. The War Graves Committee reached the decision at their meeting on May, 18.

The digging of a trench at the grave site, accompanied by the casting of a reinforced concrete slab foundation and the construction of a concrete block structure on armour netting, covered with axed slab, is required for the building of the grave marker. As requested by construction experts, the bronze monument will be fitted onto a specially prepared temporary foundation, located on the adjacent ground.

As the foundation will be built on fine sand, geologists will take soil samples before the commencement of works to determine which layers of soil will remain under the foundation of the wall and the depth of the load-bearing layer of soil.

The trench will be cut down to the load-bearing layer of soil; excessive soil from the trench will be removed. All the safety requirements will be observed at the site.

The site where the technical equipment is in use will be enclosed by a 2 m high mesh fence, extending to 300 metres, for the period of construction works.

The work is due for completion in the second half of June.

06-19-2007, 09:26 AM
The United States told Russia Thursday not to threaten the former Soviet Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with attacks and sanctions but to discuss differences in a "civilized" way.

During a Reception Marking the 85th Anniversary of U.S.-Baltic State Relations (http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/86551.htm)

Although Russia denies it slapped sanctions after an April row over a Soviet war memorial, trade between the two neighbors fell sharply and the small Baltic state felt the pinch.

Moscow has generally been unhappy with its democratic neighbors Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania after they joined NATO in 2004.

"Their democratic ideals and their democratic success is not a threat to anyone least of all their great neighbor Russia," said Fried, who is in charge of European and Eurasian affairs in the State Department.

"The Russians sometimes say that we are trying to surround them, encircle them but is it not in the best interest of Russia to be, quote, surrounded by peaceful, prospering democracies."

"Doesn't Russian history suggest that threats from the West do not come from democracies but dictatorships and nationalistic dictatorships?" Fried asked.

06-22-2007, 06:50 AM

Russia's prosecutor general's office has launched an investigation into the activities of the pro-Kremlin youth organizations Nashi and Young Guard after complaints that the groups' recent protests promoted extremism and interethnic discord. A leader from the liberal Yabloko party's youth wing appealed to the prosecutor's office, claiming that a prolonged anti-Estonian campaign by the youth groups violated Russia's extremism law. The two groups "practically laid siege" to Estonia's embassy in Moscow and attempted to seal off the countries' shared border following the relocation of a World War II-era Soviet monument in Tallinn, the Estonian capital, the newspaper wrote.

07-02-2007, 08:03 AM
"TALLINN – A pro-Russian pressure group (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/18160/) says it intends to identify and “punish” police officers on duty during the recent Bronze Soldier disturbances."

Members of the Night Vigil, a group consisting mainly of Russian-speaking young people set up to defend the Soviet-era war memorial in Tallinn, say they are trying to obtain a computer program that could single out police officers in video footage of the riots.

Night Vigil member Yuri Zhuravlyov told the Russian-language daily MK Estonia: "Our aim is to help restore justice. We want the culprits to be punished."

Zhuravlyov himself was one of the protestors detained on the night of April 27 and claims that he witnessd police brutality.

The activist did not rule out the possibility of turning to Russia’s law enforcement bodies for technical assistance.

However, an unnamed source told the Postimees daily that Night Vigil's real aim goes far beyond collecting credible evidence and starting legal action against police officers.

“Night Vigil can't live with the knowledge that many Russian-speaking officers stood in the ranks of the police,” said the source, who further suggested the organization's plan is to identify ethnically Russian police and then post their names and pictures on the Internet.

Security police superintendent Irina Mikson said the security police is aware of the Night Vigil plans. She added that Night Vigil, together with the Human Rights Information Center that is collecting complaints about police violence during the April disturbances, are working in Russia’s interests.

According to the security police yearbook for 2004, the Tallinn-based HRIC is indirectly guided by the Russian embassy and financed by Russia.

07-05-2007, 07:09 AM
The storm of protest a few weeks ago seemed a long time ago at this somber ceremony (http://www.sloleht.ee/index.aspx?id=236716).

Eight coffins containing the remains of Soviet soldiers exhumed at the former Bronze Soldier's memorial (now referred to as the bronze grave marker) have been reburied at the Defense Forces Cemetery.

Minister of Defense Jaak Aaviksoo made a statement for the media. “Today, the remains of eight Red Army soldiers have finally been laid to rest. We truly hope that this will be their last resting place. We are relieved that their remains will no longer be exploited against the sovereign Republic of Estonia. We have fulfilled our obligation and have provided a final resting place for the soldiers.”

The diplomatic corps, various defense attachés, representatives of veterans' organizations, the war graves maintenance association, the War Graves Committee and the Estonian Red Cross also attended the ceremony.

In continuation of their passive-agressive stance on all things Estonian, no representative of the Russian embassy or government attended. The Russian ambassador and members of the Estonian associations of Soviet war veterans will organize their own memorial service in the coming days.

A plaque was placed at the gravesite with the identified names of the deceased inscribed in the Cyrillic alphabet, and the exact location of each grave is indicated on a map.

07-13-2007, 01:31 PM
This billboard in St. Petersburg, Russia makes it quite clear how Russians feel about Estonia lately. This is a travel agency advertisement and the billboard offers no trips to Estonia, but offers "friendly prices to other destinations."

07-30-2007, 07:18 AM
An interesting turn of events for the Baltic States following the Tallinn riots and Russian threats.

Estonian veterans (http://www.postimees.ee/galerii/index.php?picture=22297) of Waffen SS legions and "Forest Brothers" met this past weekend for the 15th time, where authorities told them that the State counts on them when building up national consciousness and defending the homeland.

Approx. 300 veterans of Estonia's 20th Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS and other Wehrmacht units including a few Waffen SS veterans from Austria and Norway gathered near Vaivara’s Sinimäe, the site of a major battle between Nazi and Soviet Armys in summer of 44.

Estonian Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo greeted the participants in absentee and called upon them to defend the homeland from enemies both at home and abroad. The Minister also stated that Estonia needs them right now, referring to the recent riots triggered by relocating the Red Army's bronze statue from downtown Tallinn to a military cemetery.

Some great photos at the link !

07-30-2007, 08:00 AM
Wow. That sort of Nazi love makes me abandon any positive thoughts of Estonia I've had previously, for sure. The Estonians would be better off not publicizing this side of their nationalism in the West.

07-30-2007, 08:47 AM
Stan, thanks for post and tequila reacts like normal foreigner. If you tell someone SS, then it is automatically bad, bad, bad. Why Estonians joined German troops? Little explanation by Wikipedia.

Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union in June 1940, [5] [6] after Stalin gained Hitler's agreement to divide Eastern Europe into "spheres of special interest" according to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocol. [7] [8] On September 24, 1939, warships of the Red Navy appeared off Estonian ports and Soviet bombers began a threatening patrol over Tallinn and the nearby countryside.[9] The Estonian government was forced to give their assent to an agreement which allowed the USSR to establish military bases and station 25,000 troops on Estonian soil for "mutual defence".

Subsequently, the country was occupied by Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1944. Although initially the Germans were perceived as liberators from the USSR and its repressions by most Estonians in hope for restoration of the countries independence, it was soon realized that they were but another occupying power. Germans pillaged the country for the war effort and unleashed the Holocaust Estonia was incorporated into the German province of Ostland. That made many Estonians not willing to side with the Nazis join the Finnish army to fight against the Soviet Union. Finnish Infantry Regiment 200 AKA (Estonian: soomepoisid) was formed out of Estonian volunteers in Finland. Many Estonians were recruited in to the German armed forces (including Waffen-SS), the majority did so only in 1944 when the threat of a new invasion of Estonia by the Red Army had become imminent and it was clear that Germany would not win the war.[25] -


Estonian joined German units as last attempt to avoid occupation by Soviet troops second time in 5 years.

Stan, there were 2 gatherings at the same time.
"Vabadusvõitlejate XV kokkutulekult Toilas ja Eesti Relvagrenaderide diviisi veteranide kokkutulekult Sinimägedes."

07-30-2007, 08:56 AM
If you tell someone SS, then it is automatically bad, bad, bad.

Yes, pretty much.

To me the only proper response upon seeing German soldiers looting my country and murdering my countrymen would be to start killing German soldiers, not join their most murderous units.

07-30-2007, 09:14 AM
It's sad fact that for Estonians there were no options to join western resistance organisations to resist German and Soviet (like France and other European countires had). So, after seeing Germans retreating and after experience of Soviet occupation in 1940-41, there was only 1 chance to resist Soviets. It was bad choice, that I should protect here and now. After II WW British intelligence tried to organise something here, but this failed because of different reasons. Local resistance waned in the 50s, after last hope of western help had gone.

07-30-2007, 09:29 AM
The Soviets were gone in 1941. The Germans occupied Estonia from 1941-1945 and turned the place into Ostland. They had no intention of freeing Estonia and made that abundantly clear. Yet Estonians, rather than killing Germans, joined them.

It's sad fact that for Estonians there were no options to join western resistance organisations to resist German and Soviet (like France and other European countires had). So, after seeing Germans retreating and after experience of Soviet occupation in 1940-41, there was only 1 chance to resist Soviets.

There should have been a lot more killing of Germans going on between 1941-1943.

That Estonia chooses today to celebrate those who made the spectacularly wrong choice of joining the most genocidal military organization in European history doesn't reflect well on it. Tom Odom noted that the only proper use for the Lord's Resistance Army or the Hutu genocidaires in Africa was as fertilizer. There is no difference between those men and the SS in the 1940s, except the SS had prettier uniforms and better training.

07-30-2007, 10:59 AM
tequila, here is reading about resistance if you take look at pages 16-17 "General Considerations"


07-30-2007, 11:27 AM
Your link doesn't provide any evidence of any Estonian resistance to the Nazis. Indeed, there seems to have been quite a bit of collaboration, including the creation of a full Estonian SS division and several police battalions which participated partially or in full in the Holocaust.

Even "passive resistance" surely beats active joining in with Nazism.

Regardless of the past, that present-day Estonian political figures choose to celebrate these Nazi collaborators does not reflect well on them or their nation.

07-30-2007, 12:24 PM
Hey Kaur and Tequila !

Jeez, I never thought this would go Tango Uniform so quickly before I managed to digest my lunch :wry:

Not being Estonian or old enough to have 'been there', I can only relate to my 12 years, what I've read, heard and seen. Historically speaking (I'm not condoning anything herein), the choices were occupation by the Red Army or, what is currently termed as once being a German Sympathizer and to some extent, a Forest Brother (Baltic Partisan). I doubt these sympathizers were merely volunteers, but being in these units supported the removal of the Red Army from Estonia.

The gatherings or venue this past Sunday (there were two as Kaur pointed out) were not to celebrate SS units or Nazi Germany, but in memory of those Estonians in those units who fought side-by-side in the belief of freedom from Russia. IMO, the Minister’s statement reads “we need more patriots like you and take action in our country so that Estonians recognize the need for patriotism and Estonian freedom from future occupation.”

I don’t know that I would compare Tom’s (or my) experience with the Rwandan Genocide to Estonia’s decision between German or yet again Red Army occupation.

As I reflect on my time here I've concluded it's a pity that such a small country should find itself a graveyard of monuments for lost causes.

07-30-2007, 12:56 PM
Here explains Wikipedia German occupation in Estonia.


I was thinking here how to explain choices of Estonians during WW II with present time events. Where have people been between two hard stones at present time conficts? For example in Afganistan. Tribes have shifted their loyalities according to balance of power. First they joined with the help of sponsors against Soviets. First left the Soviets and then sponsors. In short time the empty room was filled with Taliban. Then happened 9/11 and reaction by USA. Tribes changed their loyalities again. We can call them all collaborators. Can we? Collaborators against what or who? Majority of people just want to live in peace (defeinition of peace and way of life is another topic). But when elephants start to run in shop you need to make a choice. How can we call Afgan officers who started their career in the middle of 70s, have studied in Frunze academy, fought with Soviets, worked with Taliban, now under Karzai and carring out joint operations with coalition?

07-31-2007, 07:02 AM
The Russian News and Information Agency RIAN (http://en.rian.ru/world/20070730/69968600.html) reports on Russia's reaction to the recent gatherings in Estonia.

TALLINN, July 30 (RIA Novosti) - Estonia's foreign minister dismissed Russian accusations earlier Monday that it glorifies Nazism.

"Estonia, like the majority of countries, condemns Nazism," Urmas Paet said, adding Nazism was a criminal ideology and the notion should not used in modern politics, which Russia is doing.

Russia's Foreign Ministry condemned a meeting of veterans of Estonia's Waffen SS division in the Baltic state over the weekend, calling it an outrageous event and regretting that it received official backing.

"The open glorification of former Nazi fighters' actions in World War II by the Estonian government, voiced in a congratulatory speech to members of the Nazi coven by the defense minister, is especially outrageous," the ministry said.

But Paet said Russia should focus on internal problems like "growing chauvinism."

07-31-2007, 07:04 AM
Also from this morning's RIAN (http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070731/69982431.html)

TALLINN, July 31 (RIA Novosti) - Ethnic Russian activists will stage rallies Tuesday and Thursday in Estonia's capital calling for the release of two group members arrested in April for protesting against the removal of a Soviet war memorial.

Leaders of the Night Watch movement, Dmitry Linter and Maxim Reva, were charged with organizing riots and face up to five years in jail.

Another group leader, Dmitry Klensky, said activists would gather outside the Prosecutor General's office in the city center, and would also "collect signatures in support of political prisoners Linter and Reva, and hand the signatures to the Estonian and European authorities."

The relocation on April 27 of the Bronze Soldier, a memorial to Soviet soldiers who died fighting in World War II, and the removal and reburial of soldiers' remains at the site, sparked a wave of angry protests both in Russia and Estonia, where ethnic Russians constitute about one third of the population.

Moscow issued strong protests, with some parliamentarians calling for cutting diplomatic ties with Tallinn.

The Russian leadership has repeatedly called the European Union's attention to Estonia's attempts to glorify Nazi Germany, and to its discriminatory policies relating to ethnic Russians whose families moved to the republic following its annexation by the Soviet Union at the beginning the war.

07-31-2007, 12:28 PM
Stan said that RIAN said:

TALLINN, July 31 (RIA Novosti) - Ethnic Russian activists will stage rallies Tuesday and Thursday in Estonia's capital calling for the release of two group members arrested in April for protesting against the removal of a Soviet war memorial.

... and there were 20 participants. The same number of participants was in their meeting month ago. I can say that there is kind of pattern.

If there is someone who understands Russian, then here is fresh story by rebel form Nashi summer camp. According to him the 12 day camp for 10 000 participants cost 17 million EUR's. Very interesting talk is about so called organizations combatants that were used as provocators during opposition meetings in Russia and now are ready for elections. There are plans for election falsification etc. Very interesting reading.


Dominique R. Poirier
07-31-2007, 02:24 PM
Here explains Wikipedia German occupation in Estonia.


I was thinking here how to explain choices of Estonians during WW II with present time events. Where have people been between two hard stones at present time conficts? For example in Afganistan. Tribes have shifted their loyalities according to balance of power. First they joined with the help of sponsors against Soviets. First left the Soviets and then sponsors. In short time the empty room was filled with Taliban. Then happened 9/11 and reaction by USA. Tribes changed their loyalities again. We can call them all collaborators. Can we? Collaborators against what or who? Majority of people just want to live in peace (defeinition of peace and way of life is another topic). But when elephants start to run in shop you need to make a choice. How can we call Afgan officers who started their career in the middle of 70s, have studied in Frunze academy, fought with Soviets, worked with Taliban, now under Karzai and carring out joint operations with coalition?

I have found the evolution of this thread interesting at some point and I would like to add something more to what Kaur said, which, I think, will add to the general enlightenment.

“The Myth of the War Experience was kept alive and transmitted into the postwar world not by any sizeable group of the population, but by some Nazi youth and the SS (the elite Black Corps) and above all by those who had volunteered to fight in the Second World War. We must first concentrate upon these volunteers, or a group of people identical to those who had furthered the Myth of the War Experience in the first place, a century earlier, now attempted to come to its rescue. There was no rush to the colors in 1939; for one thing, all able-bodied men were immediately drafted. The volunteers arrived later with the Nazi’ conquest of Europe, and they came from all over Europe to fight in Hitler’s armies, though the term volunteer needs qualification. These volunteers were not as single minded in their enthusiasm as the earlier volunteers had been, and their reason for joining up were more complex. They enlisted not in a national but in European crusade, and they fought against bolshevism for the most part rather than seeking than seeking personal and rational regeneration. For all that, commitment to their individual nation did play a certain role in their enlistment, as we shall see, but so did commitment to some type of fascist ideology: most of the volunteers had been sympathetic to National Socialism before they enlisted. Under these circumstances the Myth of the War Experience continued to make its influence elt among them.

From 1941 to 1944, altogether some 125,000 West Europeans and 200,000 East Europeans, Baltic peoples, and Russians volunteered in the Waffen SS—the military wing of the SS. They were grouped into various units, some of one nationality (the French Division Charlemagne), other of mixed nationality (the Division Viking, made up of Nordic nations). This was a European army, and however unreliable the reported figures of those who joined up, it was the biggest army of volunteers seen since the First World War. At first it had been small; by 1942 only some five thousand men had joined, but by 1943 the huge losses of the Waffen SS in Russia led to a more active policy of recruitment, and the number swelled. Thus, in 1943, 100,000 Ukrainians volunteered (of which a small percentage could be inducted), and even in France many joined in these last years of the war. Eventually volunteers came from thirty-seven nations. Hitler was always uneasy about this army of volunteers, since he never trusted members of former enemy nations. However, by 1943-1944 many of them had proven their fighting skills; indeed, it was in the last years of the war that these SS divisions distinguished themselves in the fierceness of their resistance to the Russian advance.

The reasons why men volunteered was often bound up with the circumstances of their nations and their previous political and ideological affiliations. Collaborationist governments encouraged enlistments, while some in the rather large Baltic contingents (some eighty-thousand Letts, for example) fought for their state’s independence from the Soviets armies which had conquered them. There was also a feeling among many volunteers that fighting for Hitler would assure their nations an honorable place in the new order of Europe (Hmmm, I already heard very similar arguments, much later during the 90’s. Ed.). A high proportion of volunteers had been members of prewar Fascist parties or of collaboration parties when their nation was occupied. Thus 62 percent of the French volunteers of 1943 belonged to one or another of the Fascist political parties, and a considerable number of Dutch volunteers, perhaps as high as 40 percent of the total number, belonged to the NSB (National Socialistische Beweging). The strength of political commitments made before volunteering varied from nation to nation. It was relatively high in Holland and Belgium, and quite low in the Baltic states, where no significant Fascist parties existed before the war. Many of these volunteers were as highly politicized as those who had fought on the Loyalist side in Spain, in contrast with earlier volunteers—surely a symptom of the increase of politicization during the interwar years.

Another sizeable group of volunteers had been members of conquered and now disbanded national armies. Political motives for enlistment were often indistinguishable from personal ones. The belief in national regeneration as a means of personal regeneration played its role, but tensions within the immediate family sometimes led to enlistment. Thus N.K.C.A. Int’Veld found that some Dutch volunteers joining the SS was an expression of revolt against a pro-English father. That the motivation of the SS volunteers were much more diverse that those of earlier volunteers in war was only to be expected given their lack of cohesion and the complex situations in which they found themselves.

The usual motivations also played a role: love of adventure, status, glory, and gain. The last was probably not an important factor—more could be earned by staying at home and joining the police of militia—but toward the end of the war the rapidly worsening food shortages also drove men to volunteer. At least they would have enough food and shelter in the Waffen SS. Such material inducement had played hardly any role among the volunteers of 1914 or those in Spain, but in the midst of total war they were bound to have an effect. Collaborators had a concrete reason for volunteering in the last phase of the war, for service at the front seemed an escape from the personal danger they faced in their respective nations as Germany went down to almost certain defeat. Moreover, during the last years of the war there was much forced recruiting from occupied nations, and it becomes difficult to distinguish the volunteers from those whose enlistment was all but compulsory.

The motivations for enlistment were important for the continuation of the myth. A pool of articulate and educated volunteers existed once again who, having joined, were ready to keep the myth alive. These were volunteers from Western countries—especially from France—for whom volunteering was an act of personal and national regeneration.”

I found this excerpt on: George L. Moss, Fallen Soldiers. Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars, Oxford University Press, 1990, pp. 205-207.

08-01-2007, 08:06 AM
Dominique, thank you for this post. I suppose that this kind of story or point of view should be included in new history book. In May Economist wrote nice column about European history.

The EU used to know where it stood on history—it was best kept simple, and in the past. In the early decades, history was about one big thing: the second world war, and the grand project of Franco-German reconciliation. From the outset, the EU was partly meant to make war unthinkable inside Europe. But over the years that miracle of continental forgiveness has ossified into something more inflexible, even smug. Just as pioneering Eurocrats toiled to create single European markets in widgets or wheat, their political masters crafted something approaching an approved single European history (challenged only in awkward-squad Britain, where the war was a matter of national pride). This history portrayed a smooth moral progression from nationalism and conflict (bad) to the sunny uplands of compromise, dialogue and border-free brotherhood (good).

This is not to say that the newcomers inevitably have right on their side. Some nasty anti-Semites lurk within Polish politics. The Baltics mis-timed their push for recognition of Stalin's crimes: a directive about racism and xenophobia was the wrong vehicle. But that is no excuse for the impatient eye-rolling with which newcomers are often greeted when they air historical grievances. (During a discussion of Estonia's war-memorial row, the German ambassador to the EU observed cheerfully that Berlin was still home to Soviet war monuments, and even sculptures of Lenin, as if that was comparable.)


08-01-2007, 08:51 AM
We can call them all collaborators. Can we? Collaborators against what or who? Majority of people just want to live in peace (defeinition of peace and way of life is another topic). But when elephants start to run in shop you need to make a choice. How can we call Afgan officers who started their career in the middle of 70s, have studied in Frunze academy, fought with Soviets, worked with Taliban, now under Karzai and carring out joint operations with coalition?

What do we call them? Inherently unreliable and almost certainly without moral compass. Also none of the above were nearly as bad as the SS.

But that is no excuse for the impatient eye-rolling with which newcomers are often greeted when they air historical grievances.

Please. There is a far cry from acquiescing passively to Nazi occupation, which the Estonians apparently had little problem doing, and volunteering to serve and fight alongside the occupiers who were also engaged in the mass murder of one's own fellow citizens. Recognizing the Baltics' historical grievances against Russia does not mean one has to clap when Estonian politicians salute proud SS volunteers.

08-01-2007, 02:21 PM
Please. There is a far cry from acquiescing passively to Nazi occupation, which the Estonians apparently had little problem doing, and volunteering to serve and fight alongside the occupiers who were also engaged in the mass murder of one's own fellow citizens. Recognizing the Baltics' historical grievances against Russia does not mean one has to clap when Estonian politicians salute proud SS volunteers.

Hey Tequila !
Sorry, been doing too many 12-hour shifts lately and intended to respond, but not before a little research.

As you're aware, the Germans were here for 700+ years, and little sign of mass murders (save the Nazis against the Jews).

What mass murders are you referring to ? Could you get me a link regarding that ? There's only 890,000 real Estonians here, so if we were to compare (as you recently did) to Rwanda, there would not be one single Estonian left.

I can't find any passive objection to German occupation (I like the fancy word you dug up though) in the time I've been here, rather "going with" the lesser of the two evils.

I thought I posted regarding "proud SS volunteers" and Sunday's gathers, or did I ? The government was not intentionally supporting nor condoning the event. Granted, it was not a smart decision given the recent events. But, it happens every year (number 15).

Regards, Stan

08-01-2007, 02:26 PM
Hi Tequila,

What do we call them? Inherently unreliable and almost certainly without moral compass. Also none of the above were nearly as bad as the SS.

How about "alive"? The type of "moral compass" you are referring to is difficult to gauge. In most tribal societies, "morality" is defined by tribal survival and personal, family and clan honour. This type of shifting back and forth between external groups is quite normal and moral within that system of morality.

I would also like to point out that the Waffen SS had the type of moral compass you are saying the Afghan officers don't (see the long quote tossed up by Dominique about the Crusade vs. Bolshevism). Furthermore, that particular, hmm, let's call it a "negative ideology" in the sense of saying we are against, rather than for, fitted in perfectly with the Baltic states who had been fighting the Russians for centuries. I will also point out that the choices, and rhetoric, given by both the Germans and the Soviets to the Estonians were no different than those the Americans gave to Canada when you invaded us in 1812.

In the name of my Country and by the authority of my Government I promise you protection to your persons, property, and rights, Remain at your homes, Pursue your peaceful and customary avocations. Raise not your hands against your brethern, many of your fathers fought for the freedom & independence we now enjoy Being children therefore of the same family with us, and heirs to the same Heritage, the arrival of an army of Friends must be hailed by you with a cordial welcome, You will be emancipated from Tyranny and oppression and restored to the dignified station of freemen. Had I any doubt of eventual success I might ask your assistance but I do not. I come prepared for every contingency. I have a force which will look down all opposition and that force is but the vanguard of a much greater. If contrary to your own interest & the just expectation of my country, you should take part in the approaching contest, you will be considered and treated as enemies and the horrors, and calamities of war will Stalk before you.[emphasis added]

Excerpt from General Hull’s Proclamation to Canada on July 13th 1812 (http://www.hillsdalesites.org/personal/hstewart/War/America/1812/North/1812-Proclamation-Hull.htm)

Please. There is a far cry from acquiescing passively to Nazi occupation, which the Estonians apparently had little problem doing, and volunteering to serve and fight alongside the occupiers who were also engaged in the mass murder of one's own fellow citizens. Recognizing the Baltics' historical grievances against Russia does not mean one has to clap when Estonian politicians salute proud SS volunteers.

So, what would you suggest? Should they have joined with the Soviets who had occupied them, murdered their citizens and attempted to destroy Estonian culture, or withe the Germans who also murdered their citizens and occupied them, but weren't trying to annihilate their culture?

It's a classic "between a rock and a hard place" situation that small countries have to deal with all the time and, like most such situations, it's compounded by thousands of years of bloodshed. We have been insanely lucky in North America. We have only fought two wars (obviously, I'm excluding your civil war), neither of which was particularly brutal, so we have managed to avoid the trap of a war every generation. This just isn't the case in most of the world.

08-01-2007, 02:54 PM
Hey Stan:

As you're aware, the Germans were here for 700+ years, and little sign of mass murders (save the Nazis against the Jews).

That's the mass murders I'm talking about.

I can't find any passive objection to German occupation (I like the fancy word you dug up though) in the time I've been here, rather "going with" the lesser of the two evils.

The Estonians did not resist the Germans as they did the Soviets. There were no "Forest Brothers" to fight the Nazis --- rather, those guerrillas chose to join the army that was liquidating their freedom and permanently annexing them to Germany.

I thought I posted regarding "proud SS volunteers" and Sunday's gathers, or did I ? The government was not intentionally supporting nor condoning the event. Granted, it was not a smart decision given the recent events. But, it happens every year (number 15).

From your own initial post:

Estonian Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo greeted the participants in absentee and called upon them to defend the homeland from enemies both at home and abroad. The Minister also stated that Estonia needs them right now, referring to the recent riots triggered by relocating the Red Army's bronze statue from downtown Tallinn to a military cemetery.

That certainly seems to imply government support for the event.

How about "alive"? The type of "moral compass" you are referring to is difficult to gauge. In most tribal societies, "morality" is defined by tribal survival and personal, family and clan honour. This type of shifting back and forth between external groups is quite normal and moral within that system of morality.

An Afghan officer who embraced first the Soviets, then Taliban, then the Karzai government seems to be systematically choosing precisely those elements most aligned against the old tribal system. Also, there are lots of fighters who are still alive who chose against at least two out of the three in each case.

Furthermore, that particular, hmm, let's call it a "negative ideology" in the sense of saying we are against, rather than for, fitted in perfectly with the Baltic states who had been fighting the Russians for centuries. I will also point out that the choices, and rhetoric, given by both the Germans and the Soviets to the Estonians were no different than those the Americans gave to Canada when you invaded us in 1812.

The Estonians could have chosen resistance to both, the most honorable path, or simple passive resistance through draft avoidance and refusal to volunteer for either's war effort.

The Estonian government does not do itself well by honoring those who chose the Nazis.

Dominique R. Poirier
08-01-2007, 03:49 PM
I appologize for dragging France on the table once more but there exists a situation I find rather similar to this Estonians experienced during WWII, thought certainly less dramatic, of course. Let just say that since things seem to change a bit, in appearance at least, since the election of Nicolas Sarkozy which happened on last May the following applied until the end of Jacques Chirac’s mandate. That is:

French people who are looking for a political party whose program is libertarian and inspired by the U.S. way of capitalism and individual freedom just can’t find one since there is no such a thing. All French political parties preach discreet defiance, when not overt hostility, toward the U.S. model, including those that claim to be on the rightist side. I must add to this that French are rather uneducated—not to say ignorant—about politics; to the point that they are just unable to provide a correct description of what is socialism, communist, capitalism, national socialism, or even fascism. The reason for this stems from a general unwillingness of the ruling elite to educate them about politics, and the main criteria available when the time to vote is coming are as subjective as: “who is the most trendy and the most attractive during public speeches;” the likelihood of promised tax cuts once elected, and the like.

As a result, those who feel rightist join rightist parties and many of them joined the ranks of the Front National—whose program is truly national socialist—because it is officially ear-marked “far rightist” by all other parties that, at the same time, claim that the United States is a far rightist country.

Confusion and mistakes ensue, of course.

So, French people are in a situation nearly similar to this Estonian experienced during WWII. Either they join a leftist party or a national socialist one that claims to be anti-communist and anti-left in general (?). It tantamount to say that they have no choice but to stand by a political party, if ever they still want to join one, that will: be anti-American and anti-free capitalism and entrepreneurship; favor the welfare state; favor a heavy tax system whose role is to finance the welfares.

Similarly, appearance suggest that Estonian who felt hostile to communism and the Soviet Union during WWII could hardly do more than either give up and submit willy-nilly to the ruling power of the moment (an attitude somewhat close to this of “passive resistance,” as Tequila suggests on his latest post) or stand by the Nazi (which was national socialist too, anyways). I hazard the guess that true passive resistance was a position quite hard to stand and intellectually accessible to a tiny courageous and well educated part of the Estonian population.
Overall, I just surmise that Estonians were perhaps more politically conscious and educated during WWII than French are today since things were less subtle and confusing in those earlier times than they are nowadays.

In any case, if we can pardon many Estonian who stood by the Nazi during WWII because there was no alternative available, it remains that those veterans of Estonia's Waffen SS division who still meet annually can hardly be excused the same way on the mere ground that Nazi don’t like Russia.

Have I been that simplistic in my analysis?

08-01-2007, 04:05 PM
Similarly, appearance suggest that Estonian who felt hostile to communism and the Soviet Union during WWII could hardly do more than either give up and submit willy-nilly to the ruling power of the moment (an attitude somewhat close to this of “passive resistance,” ad Tequila suggests on his latest post) or stand by the Nazi (which was national socialist too, anyways).

Passive resistance would entail things like hiding Jews rather than surrendering them, draft evasion, etc. Passive acquiescence, i.e. submission, appears to have been the attitude of most Estonians. Either one beats active collaboration and voluntarism. There was also the option of active resistance, of which there appears to be precious few Estonian examples, or flight to foreign countries, hopefully to continue the fight from there.

I hazard the guess that true passive resistance was a position quite hard to stand and intellectually accessible to a tiny courageous and well educated part of the Estonian population. Overall, I just surmise that Estonians were perhaps more politically conscious and educated during WWII than French are today since things were less subtle and confusing in those earlier times than they are nowadays.

The latter point you make sounds a bit odd to me. Please don't tell me that your evidence for Estonian political consciousness in the 1940s is the apparent willingness of Estonians to volunteer for the SS.

Tom Odom
08-01-2007, 04:12 PM
I have been reading this discussion but have heretofore stayed out of it. One reason is that I have often wondered what uniform I might have ended up wearing had I been living in Germany (or Estonia) at this time. That said, I have little sympathy or empathy for those who slaughtered innocents by the train load.

I will offer this thought:

To me the Estonian government is making a classically stupid move in identifying with the SS reunion groups in any way. Estonia generated enjoyed quite an out pouring of international support over Russian heavy handed responses concerning the statue. This risks reversing that support, leaving the Russians ina position to say, "we told you so." History in this game does not really matter; ask 100 Americans and maybe one will even know where Estonia is, much less know anything about Estonian-Soviet/Russian history. Tell them Estonia is a postage stamp being bullied by Russia, they will respond favorably for Estonia. Tell them the Estonian government gives homage to former SS (again SS versus Waffen SS distinctions are irrelevant here) associations, they will react with shock.

Bottom line: in the world of international IO this is truly dumb.


Dominique R. Poirier
08-01-2007, 04:28 PM
The latter point you make sounds a bit odd to me. Please don't tell me that your evidence for Estonian political consciousness in the 1940s is the apparent willingness of Estonians to volunteer for the SS.

I’m quite ignorant about Estonia during WWII and its history overall, but I find this debate on the case of Estonia, as example, quite interesting nonetheless. So, I don’t have any evidence at hand beyond the matter brought upon on this thread and the works of George L. Moss I read.
Since I know that political consciousness and education can vary to a great extent from one country to another I just suppose, surmise, believe, conjecture; and you are just enlightening me.

Thanks Tequila.

08-01-2007, 06:31 PM
In summer 1940 the occupation of Estonia was carried through as a regular military operation. 160,000 men, supported by 600 tanks were concentrated for the invasion into Estonia. 5 divisions of the Soviet Air Force with 1150 aircraft blockaded the whole Baltic air space against Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. The Soviet Baltic Fleet blockaded the operation from the sea. The Soviet NKVD was ordered to be ready for the reception of 58,000 prisoners of war

During the first year of Soviet occupation (1940-1941) over 8,000 people, including most of the country's leading politicians and military officers, were arrested. About 2,200 of the arrested were executed in Estonia, while most others were moved to prison camps in Russia, from where very few were later able to return alive.

On June 14, 1941, when mass deportations took place simultaneously in all three Baltic countries, about 10,000 Estonian civilians were deported to Siberia and other remote areas of the Soviet Union, where nearly half of them later perished. Of the 32,100 Estonian men who were forcibly relocated to Russia under the pretext of mobilisation into the Red Army after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, nearly 40 percent died within the next year in the "labour battalions" through hunger, cold and overworking.


Many Estonians were recruited in to the German armed forces (including Waffen-SS), the majority did so only in 1944 when the threat of a new invasion of Estonia by the Red Army had become imminent and it was clear that Germany would not win the war


Instead of conclusion.

WW II losses in Estonia, estimated at around 25%, were among the highest in Europe. War and occupation deaths have been estimated at 90,000. These include the Soviet deportations in 1941, the German deportations and Holocaust victims


In 1949 in response to slow progress in forming collective farms, about 20,000 people were forcibly deported in a few days either to labor camps or Siberia (see Gulag).[28] Within the few weeks that followed, almost all of the remaining rural households had been subjected to collectivisation (ibid).
Half of the deported perished [29]; the other half were not allowed to return until the early 1960s (several years after Stalin's death).

Russification was another effect brought about by the Soviet occupation. Hundreds of thousands of Russian-speaking migrants (mostly from the Russian Federation or Ukraine) were relocated to Estonia by the Soviet administration and Communist Party to conduct industrialization and militarization, contributing an increase of about half million to Estonia's population within 45 years of occupation and colonisation.[31] The immigrants stayed on to form part of the population. By 1980, when part of the Moscow Olympic Games were also held in Tallinn (the Olympic Regatta), Russification and state-orchestrated immigration had achieved a level at which it started sparking popular protests.


Tequila, all I can ask is little empaty.

08-01-2007, 06:35 PM
Hey Tequila !

From your own initial post:

That certainly seems to imply government support for the event.

That's my post from a newspaper, but my opinion or feeling was as follows:

The gatherings or venue this past Sunday (there were two as Kaur pointed out) were not to celebrate SS units or Nazi Germany, but in memory of those Estonians in those units who fought side-by-side in the belief of freedom from Russia. IMO, the Minister’s statement reads “we need more patriots like you and take action in our country so that Estonians recognize the need for patriotism and Estonian freedom from future occupation.”

I doubt and hope that the MOD did not commit political suicide over such a minuscule event (as the new government has only been around for 100 plus days now). Stranger things have however happened here.

08-02-2007, 08:25 AM
Dmitri Trenin from Carnegie's Moscow branch has written well about Bronze Soldier events in Tallinn in the context of Russian-western relations. He is just too modest in his statement

"Some would even say Soviet rule was heavier, because it lasted longer."

I would say (and people who know Estonian history would add) that those occupations are hard to compare in terms of human lives and political-economical-social terms.


08-06-2007, 06:24 PM
Estonia’s (http://www.valitsus.ee/?id=7261) objective is to maintain a stable level in NATO operations.

During meeting with Prime Minister Ansip, General Raymond Henault, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, who is on an official visit to Estonia, was convinced that Estonia, as a member of the alliance, has been able to provide security to other countries.

According to Henault, Estonia’s contribution to the activities of the alliance has been significant - Estonia’s activities in missions as well as our specialists’ knowledge of cyber defence are important.

General Henault expressed appreciation to Estonian soldiers. According to him, members of the Estonian Defence Forces serve as an example to others, they have received good training, and they are bold and willing to fulfil the tasks assigned to them.

The General believes that many countries may also contribute to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, which will be founded in Estonia.

08-08-2007, 08:05 AM
From the business section of the Moscow Times (http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2007/08/08/048.html)

Russian Railways has lifted restrictions on oil products exports to Estonia, traders said Tuesday, adding that the latest short-lived ban has added to uncertainty over the future of the politically unsafe route.

Traders with Russian oil firms and at Estonian terminals said fuel oil flows from three major Russian refineries have returned to normal last week, just two weeks after the railway issued an unofficial order to halve supplies.

"It looks like all [cargoes] are moving again, but we are in the dark as to how much we will get in August because there is no confirmation [from Russia] of the overall volumes," a source at a major terminal in Estonia said.

Russian Railways has repeatedly imposed sanctions on shipments toward Estonia since May, after political relations with Tallinn soured.

Previous reductions have halted gasoline and naphtha exports, leaving the light products-focused terminals mostly dry, while the latest round of restrictions affected fuel oil -- a key export that had been largely unaffected until July.

TNK-BP's Ryazan refinery, Surgut's Kirishi refinery and the Yaroslavl plant, half owned by TNK-BP and Gazprom Neft, are the key fuel oil shippers via Estonia.

"Kirishi seems fully back to normal with fuel oil supplies. And we are hearing it is also the case with Gazprom Neft and TNK-BP. Some volumes have been rerouted to Klaipeda [in Lithuania], but all in all Estonian business is back to normal," a Russian trader said.

Moscow's relations with Tallinn hit a low in April when Estonia removed the statue of a Red Army soldier from the center of its capital, angering Moscow.

08-15-2007, 07:34 PM
Many of us woke this AM with e-mail to this link, purportedly by the Russian Youth Group, Nashi (http://cdn-78.liveleak.com/liveleak/14/media14/2007/Aug/13/LiveLeak-dot-com-81771-1.avi).

This 30.8 MB scanned video is extremely graphic in nature, with a decapitation using a hunting knife, and the other male being summarily executed with a round to the head.

Little doubt regarding Nashi’s intent towards the Baltic States.

The masked individual cries "For Russia" beginning and end.

08-15-2007, 08:11 PM
Can't view the vid, but is this the skinhead murdering two Caucasian migrant workers as detailed here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,2149276,00.html)? Doesn't sound like there is much of a Baltic connection.

08-15-2007, 08:23 PM
Can't view the vid, but is this the skinhead murdering two Caucasian migrant workers as detailed here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,2149276,00.html)? Doesn't sound like there is much of a Baltic connection.

Hey Tequila,
Just tried the link again, seems to work fine. The Guardian's story appears to be the same, but left out the mass emailing notifications.

It's intended to be a skinhead performing the murders, as Moscow continues to insist the Baltics support such activists and the SS.

Regarding their past citizenships - Other than the recorded voice in Russian, I don't recall seeing individual documents in the video.

08-16-2007, 06:55 AM
Russia's Daily On-Line Kommersant reports (http://www.kommersant.com/p795771/Video_execution/) "Officers of Adygei Department of the RF Interior Ministry and prosecutors announced yesterday the detention of a man suspected of disseminating in Internet the video showing execution of natives of Tadjikistan and Dagestan."

The suspect is Viktor Milkov, 23, the student of corresponding department at Adygei Technological University. He is a member of National Socialist Party of Russia and makes living by paint work. Milkov keeps a blog in the Live Journal under vik23 nickname. Exactly his blog gave a link reference to the execution video on August 12 and, next day, posted a statement of National Socialist Party, where it assumed responsibility for the execution and said it was a militant wing of National Socialist Association.

National Socialist Association that is notorious for involvement in Russian Marches and attacks on gay parades denies any relation to the suspect, to the video and to the execution.

08-16-2007, 08:34 AM
In an interview with the Baltic News Service... (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/18512/)

TALLINN - Night Vigil, a movement of Estonian Russian-speakers set up to protect the Tallinn Red Army soldier monument at its former location, has forged links with the Latvian Anti-fascist Committee.

Night Vigil activist Dmitri Klenski told BNS Aug 14 that at a meeting during the weekend the parties came to an agreement regarding "the need to join forces [to counter] the spread of Neo-Nazi and Russophobe attitudes."

Participants at the meeting decided to organize monitoring of events and activities in their respective territoriesand to inform official international structures, media and local authorities of their activities and findings, he added.

08-16-2007, 09:12 AM
From The Moscow Times (http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2007/08/15/019.html) and Estonia's Daily Postimees (http://www.postimees.ee/160807/esileht/siseuudised/277281.php):

Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said Tuesday that some Russian youth groups reminded him of the Nazi Hitler Youth movement, but said his country wanted pragmatic relations with its former Soviet overlord.

"We cannot close our eyes when we see what is happening now in Russia," Ansip said.

"Those nationalist youth organizations, Nashi and Young Guard, they are like the Hitlerjugend in Germany," Ansip said, referring to two pro-Kremlin groups. "We have to be worried."

Nashi organized a blockade of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow after Estonia moved a bronze statue of a World War II Red Army soldier from central Tallinn to a military cemetery in April.

"One day, one lovely day, the Russian people will understand it is a big shame when they think such a small country as Estonia or Latvia or Georgia are enemies for Russia," Ansip said, referring to a recent opinion poll giving Russians' views on these countries.

08-17-2007, 01:44 PM
Economist writes again about Estonia.

READ the Russian-language internet, and you will find Estonia portrayed as a hell-hole ruled by Nazi sympathisers who organise a grotesque form of apartheid hypocritically endorsed by the European Union.

Estonians look back on the Nazi occupation with loathing. Their country was caught between the hammer and the anvil in 1939, and whatever they did, only suffering and destruction awaited them.

What really annoys the Kremlin crowd is that Estonians (like many others in eastern Europe) regarded the arrival of the Red Army in 1944-45 not as a liberation, but as the exchange of one ghastly occupation for another. That flatly contradicts the Kremlin’s revived Stalinist version of history, which puts Soviet wartime heroism and sacrifice at centre-stage, while assiduously obscuring all the historical context. Given how the Soviet Union treated Estonia in 1939-41, it is hardly surprising that those who fought the occupiers when they returned are regarded as heroes. But they were not Nazis, nor are those who admire them now.


I'm reading at present time Tony Judt's "Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945"
I would like to suggest this book to everyone that is interested about this mess that surrounds this thread. Estonia is just 1 little piece in this puzzle, but illustrates very well all misunderstandings.


08-17-2007, 01:53 PM
Hey Kaur,

What gets me most about this UK journalistic crap is the way they titled the article: "The truth about eSStonia". I expected better from our English counterparts. What childish behavior, the way the Russian youth have described Estonia's current PM, AinSSip (correctly spelled Ainsip). Little else perhaps to do these days for the folks at The Economist :rolleyes:

On that basis, the hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens who moved to the Baltic from the 1950s onwards were migrants settling illegally in occupied territories. Post-Soviet Lithuania granted them citizenship automatically. But Estonia and Latvia, where the demographic position was more precarious, insisted that they apply for citizenship if they wanted it, and pass a simple test in language and history.

This was not about ethnicity: Russians who lived in Estonia before the occupation (then around 10% of the population) and their descendants regained citizenship automatically. And it has worked rather well. Nearly 150,000 people have gained Estonian citizenship; only 8.5% remain stateless.

So, those poor folks without Estonian citizenship have lived here for 50 years and can't utter a word in the Estonian Language. Hmmm...What's holding them back ? You know what ? It's the law !

Get over it and study, or just go home :mad:

08-17-2007, 06:09 PM
The Baltic Times (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/18562/) just ran a story regarding Hans-Gert Poettering, President of the European Parliament as he toured Estonia in search of disgruntled ethnic Russians living under arduous rule in Estonia. His findings were somewhat less than Moscow would have hoped for.

Between Wednesday 15 and Friday 17 Aug, the German Europarliamentarian held a series of meetings with representative groups and summarised his findings in an interview with the Postimees newspaper.

"Life under the Communist dictatorship has left a very strong mark on Estonians. It is connected with liberty. That understanding, I think, is not very widesperead in Russia," he said.

Poettering said that it was necessary to make a thorough study of history in order to come to mutual understanding through learning and discussions. "It will then be possible to move on. It is important that the two communities should communicate with each other," he said.

“What really annoys the Kremlin crowd is that Estonians regarded the arrival of the Red Army in 1944-45 not as a liberation, but as the exchange of one ghastly occupation for another.”

The Economist goes on to claim that Estionia’s stance on citizenship “has worked rather well. Nearly 150,000 people have gained Estonian citizenship; only 8.5% remain stateless.”

UK-Russian relations are just as strained as Estonian-Russian relations at the moment with a round of diplomatic expulsions following in the wake of Russia’s refusal to extradite a suspect in the murder of former FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko.

More at the link...

08-22-2007, 08:38 AM
20 August 2007 is the date Estonians observe 'reindependence day'. President Ilves (http://www.president.ee/en/duties/speeches.php) addressed the general public from his Kadriorg Palace during an open house.

Dear friends.

Usage of language and grammar mirrors our way of thinking. But do we really consider the recovery of our freedom, after half a century’s yearning, to be something impersonal, something passive? The expression „independence was regained” carries exactly that meaning. Whereas „restoration of independence” denotes positive action, purposeful activity from our side. Which, in fact, it was.

Let us ask ourselves: were not the forest brothers part of the process of the restoration of independence? Were not the schoolchildren, who defied the occupying powers in 1980, restorers of our independence? Probably to a greater extent than some of those who bear decorations today.

Today, we tend to forget. And furthermore, we are indeed advised to forget, as we read a couple of years ago in a review of the film „Memories Denied”, where a critic asked: why should the deported, the victimised remember? Why should they be hostages to their memories? It is better to forget, not to tell.

20 August 1991 and its outcome would have been impossible without the dissenters, the so-called dissidents. In a few days, it will be already 20 years from their most well-known demonstration in Hirvepark (Deer Park). Some of them came to Hirvepark with a towel rolled in their sleeve and a toothbrush in their pocket. They were already familiar with deportation and repressions. They were prepared for a second – in some cases a third – trip to Siberia.

Much more at the link...

08-23-2007, 06:59 AM
From the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/22/AR2007082201176.html?sub=AR) as well as just about every newspaper in Estonia:

TALLINN, Estonia -- The cousin of Estonia's late president committed genocide by helping deport his countrymen to Siberia nearly 60 years ago, prosecutors said Wednesday.

But Arnold Meri, a former top ranking Communist Party official in Estonia, claimed he was a mere civil servant. He also said his poor health means he is unlikely to survive a trial.

At the time, Meri _ a decorated Soviet army veteran _ was based in Tallinn, but was sent on a temporary assignment to the island of Hiiumaa, about 90 miles west of the Baltic nation's capital.

There he oversaw the capture of more than 250 civilians who were later shipped to the mainland and then by train to labor camps in Siberia, prosecutors said.

Arnold Meri is also a cousin of Lennart Meri, an enormously popular former president who served two terms from 1992 to 2001, after Estonia gained independence from the Soviet Union.

Lennart Meri and his family were deported to Siberia in June 1941, but managed to return to Estonia. The former president died last year.

Something with this reeks. Not only has the story (http://www.latvians.com/en/Mailer/envelope.php?2003_10_25.htm) been around since 2003, it appears to be: 1. A matter of timing; 2. A need for fall guy or; 3. Just plain ol' politics.

We began with the Bronze Dude and subsequent April riots, one murdered Russian Citizen and a world of Sierra over the two-day event.

Estonian authorities began to prosecute the guilty with promises of harsh time behind bars. The guilty just happened to be ethnic Russian youth :wry:

Estonians hold the 15th annual SS party in all places....Narva. Yep, that was indeed a smart idea !

Last week Estonian authorities back off originally promised harsh punishments (a year for the Kiosk dude just turned into 2 months).

Now we recently discover that deporting 250 plus of your own folks to Siberia for the Summer holidays is a crime :confused:

I ain't bitin'

08-23-2007, 07:44 AM
Things suddenly got a whole lot more complicated in tiny Estonia. This move will no doubt help the sour relationship with the Motherland :wry:

ITAR-TASS (http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=11808639&PageNum=0) on line reports:

TALLINN, August 22 (Itar-Tass) - Estonian authorities are readying to expel from the country discharged Russian servicemen and even their wives, both ex- and current. A report on Tuesday said that under a decision by the citizenship and migration department, Lyubov Mikolenko, the ex-wife of retired ensign Nikolai Mikolenko was brought to a center for displaced persons on June 29

On July 25, Lyubov Galitskaya, the wife of another retired Russian serviceman, a permanent resident of Estonia, was taken to the same center.

Authorities regard as illegal the staying of the former Russian servicemen turned civilians Nikolai Mikolenko and Anatoly Galitsky, since refusing to extend their residence permits back in 2000.

At that time, Estonia recommended them to leave “for their historic Motherland,” i.e. Russia.

In the 1990s, Mikolenko and Galitsky received vouchers to purchase housing in Russia, within the framework of a Russian-U.S. project, which Estonian authorities used as a pretext for the refusal.

The former servicemen, however, stayed on in Estonia, extending their visas now and then.

Nikolai Mikolenko has lived at a displaced persons center since 2003, and Galitsky - since late 2005.

Estonia has been having problems with their expulsion, as the expelled persons “refuse to cooperate with the authorities” in order expedite their eviction to Russia.

Lawyer of the Tallinn center of human rights information Andrei Aryupin said the refusal to grant residence permits to the former servicemen, who had been given assistance in purchasing housing elsewhere, but preferred to stay in the country, has no legal grounds.

Neither the availability of apartment outside Estonia, nor a voucher entitling the owner to such an apartment can serve as a reason for forceful eviction.

The vouchers were “an act of U.S. humanitarian assistance," aimed at helping Russia pull out its troops from Baltic states, including Estonia.

Estonia never took part in this project, and therefore can make no demands of the recipients of this assistance, Aryupin said.

08-23-2007, 03:59 PM
With permission from the author. Scott Deil has lived in Estonia for about 10 years and continues to work as a Journalist. Sorry, no E-version available.

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

It’s said that only old men, drunks, and children tell the truth. If that’s the case, talking to an old man who’s had a few beers is the closest many journalists may ever get to the truth. And such was the case a few years ago at a birthday party in the United States. The party was thrown for a German immigrant, though as with many parties in the United States, it was attended by people of every race, creed, and color. One attendee was an Estonian who had served as a Lieutenant with the SS in World War II.
After a couple of drinks, he told his story. “I was 17 and stupid,” he said. “But I spoke both German and Russian fluently, and the SS thought I’d make a good officer. I knew one side would pick me up, and I had no lost love for the Russians.”
At the end of the war, he was arrested and sent to a prison camp, where he spent several years mounting a stage on a daily basis to be inspected by Jewish victims and witnesses of war crimes. “They were looking for officers responsible for locking women and children in a French church and burning it down,” he said.
“Did you do it?” the journalist asked directly.
“No,” he said. “I was in the artillery. I never killed a single Jew, though I certainly killed a hell of a lot of Russians.” The man turned his head, fighting tears. “But you know,” he said. “I was only 17. Just a stupid kid. Who’s to say I wouldn’t have done it if given the order?”

08-25-2007, 04:51 PM
Russia's News and Information Agency RIA Novosti (http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070824/74139125.html) reports on news from the Baltic States


Analysts have lashed out at Russia for discrediting Estonia in a large-scale propaganda campaign. Policymakers are urging the formation of a government-run propaganda agency for stronger resistance to Moscow's ideological offensive.

"Why tolerate this all-round foolish criticism of Estonia? Several months ago we believed that there was no point in objecting to the Russian stupidities and that our diplomats would paint the true picture about Estonia and its people behind the scenes of world politics. But now we can now longer hope it will work. Our leaders should deal with this.... The Russians are humiliating us and lying in cold blood, and we have to counter their propaganda.

The press describes the Russian media coverage of a two-day fishing trip by Vladimir Putin and Prince Albert II of Monaco as the "best PR action of all times." During fishing in the Yenisei River, photographers took pictures of Putin stripped to the waist.

"During his last year in office, Putin has been surrounded by the halo of God Almighty.... Prince Albert of Monaco did not catch much, while Putin again pulled out a few salmon. Jubilant, he decided to please the photographers by taking off his shirt. Compared to the frequently drunk and ailing Boris Yeltsin, Putin looked excellent. The president is in good shape and looks as a man with a grip of steel, who can fight against everything, including Western influence."

08-25-2007, 06:15 PM
Not to be outdone by the recent bout of monuments and their inherent meanings, here we go again !

Presiddent Ilves suggests yet another monument (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/18626/)

ONWARD & UPWARD: New freedom monument could be joined by a memorial to victims to communism (Photo courtesy Estonian Ministry of Defense)

Estonia could have yet another monument to debate in addition to the Bronze Soldier and the Freedom Monument, after President Toomas Hendrik Ilves called for the construction of a new monument to victims of communism.

Speaking Aug. 23 at a meeting to mark the 20th anniversary of a key pro-independence demonstration in Tallinn, Ilves said: "The events of recent years have convinced me that Estonia, just like the other European countries which suffered from crimes against humanity, needs a memorial to the victims," Ilves said.

He cited recent research which indicated that ‘crimes against humanity’ affected nearly two thirds of Estonians, eithe directly or indirectly.

"If so big a share of our citizens has suffered under communism, we cannot let it simply to be forgotten, we mustn't allow it to be downplayed," the head of state said.

In what sounded suspiciously like a sideswipe at Russian policy in the wake of this year’s Bronze Soldier demonstrations, Ilves expressed regret that right until the present day there is evidence of attempts to “whitewash” what Estonians and other nations living under communism had to live through.

"I wouldn't be upset so much if the ones who downplay it were neutral bystanders," Ilves said. "But why is it that former members of the CPSU [Communist Party of the Soviet Union], including senior members of the party, are permanently justifying or downplaying the sufferings that befell others because of communists?"

But even as Ilves was speaking, Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) President Rene van der Linden was criticizing Estonia’s handling of the relocation of the Bronze Soldier.

“I regret very much it happened in this way as this demonstrates disrespect of Russia’s role in World War II,” van der Linden told the Russia Today TV channel. “I’m sure there is finally a solution suitable for both parts. I’ll visit the Baltic States in the second part of September. No doubt this case will be part of my discussions with these countries. And I will also give attention to the position of Russian minorities.”

More at the link and here she is...

08-26-2007, 08:50 AM
Masha Lipman (Moscow Carnegie Centre) writes about 1937 state terror in Sovit Union.

This month marks 70 years since the drastic surge of Stalin's terror: In 1937 the Kremlin butcher scrapped even the faintest appearance of court procedures. The infamous "troika trials" -- a system of justice by rubber-stamped death sentences -- killed more than 436,000 in one year.

It seems logical that the church would take over the commemoration. In Russia, the top Orthodox clergy have traditionally been in harmony with the state's rulers, no matter how savagely the people were treated. Today, the church may be relied on to handle the delicate subject of the mass exterminations by the gulag system and to impart the government's implied message: Mourning the victims is okay within limits; broad public debates are unwelcome. Making connections between the past and the present is inadvisable. "The memory of terror is pushed away from the public space," Roginsky noted.

Those nations that seek to make Russia admit its guilt and apologize should bear this in mind. The Russian people themselves suffered the most at the hands of their rulers. [B]And if as a nation we won't hold anyone responsible for the grief, torture and death inflicted on our compatriots, how will we admit guilt for the harm done to others?


No comments.

09-04-2007, 08:18 AM
"RUSSIAN RIGHTS: Entitlement to education in Russian (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/18678/) remains a contentious issue across the Baltics"

TALLINN - Ethnic Russian inhabitants of all three Baltic states have formulated a resolution calling for an end to discrimination and opportunities to integrate more easily.

The resolution emerged from a regional conference held in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, Aug. 29 and says that equal treatment of the 2 million Russians living across the Baltic states is the only way that relations with Russia will improve.

"The solution of real integration problems and putting a stop to discrimination against our compatriots is the basis for the normalization of international relations with Russia," the resolution states.

Delegates also asked the Russian government and businesses to take the attitude of the Baltic states toward Russians into account when considering trade deals.

Participants at the conference stressed the need to retain education in the Russian language and to popularise Russian language, literature and art. New rules are due to come into effect establishing Estonian as the only official language for instruction in elementary schools.

While the ethnic Russians in Estonia think they have it hard, Latvia (http://www.cre.gov.uk/Default.aspx.LocID-0hgnew0tc.RefLocID-0hg01b001006009.Lang-EN.htm) is pushing harder and no longer silent about their opinions:

An ex-Soviet state on the shores of the Baltic, Latvia has a population of 2.3 million, of whom around 60 per cent are ethnic Latvians and about 30 per cent are Russian speakers.

Many ethnic Russians, regardless of how long they’ve lived in Latvia, do not have citizenship – they have no vote and are given only ‘alien of Latvia’ passports, coloured purple in order to tell them apart from Latvians. They are seen by many Latvians as still being occupiers: ‘You are not citizens of the second sort, you are nobody,’ says Visvaldis Lacis, Latvian MP.

09-06-2007, 10:14 AM
From Russia's RIA (http://en.rian.ru/world/20070906/76959190.html), "TALLINN, September 6 (RIA Novosti) - Estonia's defense minister admitted Thursday he had no evidence that cyber attacks, which hit Estonian government computers in April-May, were carried out by official Russian government agencies."

"Of course, at the moment, I cannot state for certain that the cyber attacks were managed by the Kremlin, or other Russian government agencies," said Estonia's Defense Minister, Jaak Aaviksoo, on Estonian's Kanal 2 TV channel.

Aaviksoo compared the cyber attacks with the blockade of Estonia's Embassy in Moscow, organized by the pro-Putin Russian youth movement NASHI (OURS) in response to Estonia's decision to move a Soviet WWII monument in the country's capital, Tallinn.

"Again, it is not possible to say without doubt that orders (for the blockade) came from the Kremlin, or that, indeed, a wish was expressed for such a thing there," said Aaviksoo.

The Estonian Defense Ministry had previously stated that the IP addresses of some of the computers involved in the cyber attacks could be traced to the Russian government.

However, hackers can easily manipulate IP addresses, and any attacks from Russia may well have been the actions of lone vigilantes.

Furthermore, thousands of computers from all over the world were used in the cyber assault. Russia called accusations of its involvement "unfounded," and neither NATO nor European Commission experts were able to find any proof of official Russian government participation.

09-07-2007, 07:40 AM
Sep 06, 2007, By The Baltic Times (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/18742/) staff and wire reports:

TALLINN - Estonia's security police have concluded their investigation into the three leaders of the Night Vigil movement accused of co-ordinating riots last April.

The Public Prosecutor's Office is expected to send the results of the investigation to court in the next few weeks, after they have been translated into Russian, spokesperson Julia Zmarjova said.

"After that the files will be delivered to the Public Prosecutor, who expects to send the case to a court at the end of September or at the beginning of October," Zmarjova told BNS.

On April 28 security police gained permission to take Night Vigil activists Dmitri Linter (33), Maksim Reva (32) and Mark Siryk (18) into custody. Linter and Reva remain under arrest but Siryk has been released with the consent of the prosecutor.

09-11-2007, 07:21 AM
Russia's News and Information Agency's (http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070907/77390084.html) Opinion & Analysis column writes:

The media are avidly quoting R. Muksimov, chairman of the Russian Assembly of Lithuania, as saying that ethnic Russians should rely on the national Baltic elites rather than Russia in solving their problems. "We live in the West - this is a fact... Endless requests for Moscow's help are a thing of the past. Our leaders should be well-versed in the law - only in this case Russia, Europe, and, even more importantly, the national elites will hear our voice." (Molodezh Estonii, August 29).

Experts are criticizing the Estonian authorities for neglecting transit business, which has already sustained serious losses because of fewer shipments from Russia. "Nobody has given serious thought to improving the performance of our railroads and ports. It seems that some people are still hoping that relations with Russia will improve and the level of shipments will be restored. Experts do not see any hope for its restoration." (Postimees, September 4).

The 4-month long delay on Estonia's transit border with Russia has created a tractor-trailer park...400 trucks waiting to cross into Russia, with the last truck waiting an average of 170 hours.

Meanwhile, Estonian Railway stated that in August only 16 trains per day transit Estonian from Russia. A 50 perecent decrease from last year's rail traffic, which has led to over 200 employee lay-offs. Russia claims the drop in traffic is due redevelopment projects with the Moscow and St. Petersburg to Tallinn routes.

09-12-2007, 10:32 AM
"Britain being the only European nation to rival Estonia for the title of Russia’s least favourite country (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/18761/) since the controversial murder of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinienko in London."

TALLINN - The European Union must talk frankly with Russia, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said at a meeting with visiting British MPs, Sep. 10.

"The European Union must continue a straightforward and frank dialogue with Russia on all topics," Paet was quoted as telling the delegation of British Liberal Democratic MPs.

The minister spoke about the need to agree about the mandate for a new partnership and cooperation agreement with Russia. Paet also touched upon the topic of the proposed EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement.

Speaking about Estonian-British relations, the minister and members of the delegation led by Malcolm Bruce, chairman of the House of Commons' committee on developent aid, stressed the importance of cooperation between the country groups in the two parliaments and shared the opinion that this cooperation could be more active and contacts more numerous.

Members of the British Liberal Democrat party wanted to know about Estonia’s economy and tax system, as their party has been toying with the idea of reforming the British tax system along Estonian lines.

Memebrs of the visiting British parliamentary delegation are House of Commons members Annette Brooke, Lembit Opik (who has Estonian ancestry), John Leech and Stephen Williams, as well as Susan Thomas and Lord Dholakia from the House of Lords.

During a meeting with the Estonian parliament’s deputy chairperson, Kristiina Ojuland, and members of the Foreign Affairs Committee including chairman Sven Mikser, the British parliamentarians wanted to know Estonia's opinion as regards the developments in Russia, and the proposed Nord Stream gas pipeline.

09-13-2007, 09:17 AM
"This is not a topic of Estonia and Russia, of Finland and Russia, or of Latvia and Russia, but a topic of the European Union and trade relations (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/07/519&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en)," Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said at a press conference on the Estonian Island of Saareemaa on Tuesday.

Russia must solve the border crossing delays on its western frontier with the European Union if it wants to join the World Trade Organization, EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said Tuesday. "If Russia wants to develop good relations with the EU, it must do everything it can to solve this border problem," Barrot told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The border between three EU members and Russia has been plagued by long lines of freight trucks.

"If they enter the World Trade Organization, they have to respect the rules. I have to say this very clearly to (Russian Minister of Transport Igor) Levitin," Barrot said.

Barrot has been visiting Estonia and Latvia, two EU Baltic members, this week.

Long lines of freight trucks are forced to wait to cross the Latvian-Russian border on a daily basis, while than 400 trucks were waiting to cross the border on Tuesday morning in Narva, the sole checkpoint in northeastern Estonia, BNS reported on Tuesday.

Russian customs handled 85 trucks over the past 24 hours, meaning the trucks must wait for almost a week to cross the border.

The lengthy border delays are a cause of political and environmental concern. for the Baltic states.

09-17-2007, 09:05 AM
Reading through this past week's various articles promises some intrigue for Estonia and her big neighbor to the East. Russia's GAZPROM must traverse Estonian waters (I guess they only just figured that one out shortly following threats of a 40% increase in natural gas prices for Estonia).

From Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2007/09/12/afx4110386.html)

A request by Russian-German gas company Nord Stream, partially owned by Russian gas giant Gazprom, to carry out surveys in Estonian waters for a future Baltic Sea gas pipeline has caused a rift in the three-party governing coalition here.

The ministry of foreign affairs had asked 20 institutions for an opinion on the question and all have now been received.

Among them, a study compiled by Estonian Academy of Sciences is the most critical.

'Gazprom has became partly a military enterprise and we see that the pipeline poses not only ecological but also very serious security risks for Estonia,' scientist Endel Lippmaa, head of the energy council at the Academy of Scienses told AFP on Wednesday.

'Such gas pipelines under the sea have lot of sensors that can be used also for military surveillance, and no NATO country can agree (to) the chance that Russia might get such an option inside our territory.

Not to be outdone, there's the ever bitter tone from Russia's REGNUM (http://www.regnum.ru/english/883104.html) news agency.

“We shall only win from good relations. We want to do business to let our railways and bridges admit more goods and people from Russia,” the Estonian official said.

Another attempt of the Estonian Foreign Ministry secretary general to engage history in the current political process is counterproductive,” expert in issues of regional developments in the post-Soviet territory Sergey Artemenko said commenting on a statement made by Estonian Foreign Ministry Secretary General Matti Maasikas.

“If one continues the dialog in the categories ‘must’ or ‘must not,’ let’s speak about what Estonia must do. And Estonia must recognize a number of historical facts,” Artemenko said and added: “For instance, the conspiracy with the illegitimate Bolsheviks government in 1920 that allowed that illegitimate regime staying in power; participation of Estonians on the side of the fascist Germany in punitive actions against civilians and crimes against humanity.

09-19-2007, 09:43 AM
We're on such good terms with Russia lately, that why not take just one more poke at them :wry:

I am proud, extremely proud, of the Otto Tief government. In the name of democracy and freedom they met their pre-determined fate, so that no one in the future could say that Tallinn was “liberated” in September of 1944. That the flag that the Red Army tore down from Tall Hermann Tower was the Estonian blue-black-and-white, not the Nazi swastika

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves yesterday (http://www.president.ee/en/duties/press_releases.php?gid=99832) at the opening of a photo exhibition of the members of the Otto Tief government at the Bank of Estonia.

He recalled the Atlantic Charter announced by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill on August 14, 1941, which enumerated the principles of the Western Allies in case of their possible victory, and declared that they recognize the right of all peoples to decide their own system of government and to determine their own fate.

Seeing the fates of Estonia’s democrats, there was no difference between the Nazis and Communists, said President Ilves. “The German arrested those they could, and when the Russians arrived, they arrested them again. Neither Nazis or Communists tolerated Estonia or democracy,” he said.

“I repeat my appeal to establish an honorable memorial to the tens of thousands who were victims of Communism in Estonia. Not only to the victims of Stalinism, because this would nullify the suffering of those who were imprisoned, repressed, and persecuted between 1953 and 1988. Unfortunately, we still do not know the names of all the victims. Our job is to find out and chisel them in stone. By name.” said President Ilves.

“I know that this is a very extensive undertaking. But the victims deserve it.

09-22-2007, 08:44 AM
Nord Stream (http://www.kommersant.com/p806739/r_529/hydrocarbon_transport/) Out of Estonia and back Into Finnish Waters.

Very little in the way of a surprise here, Estonia's government was holding out til that drop-dead day, in naive hopes Russia would at least make some concessions. The Putin regime is now just a tad more PO'd, and some fear that Putin will ensure gas outages during the Baltic's harsh winters. This will have little desired effect on Estonia, as most of the centralized heating is generated from fossil fuels.

Estonia has refused to allow Nord Stream AG to carry out geological exploration in its territorial waters and economic zone. The official reason for the refusal is that activity might lead to the disclosure of the volume of resource reserves in Estonia, which is a state secret. Nord Stream responded that it would lay its natural gas pipeline in Finnish waters.
The Estonian cabinet came to its decision yesterday. Oddly, the Estonian Foreign Ministry had prepared a draft of a decision in favor of Nord Stream, which cited the “long-term interests of the Estonian people and state.” Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that “We decided to say no a long time ago.” Paet explained that, while the overwhelming majority of the 20 ministries and other organizations consulted for the decision were in favor of allowing the pipeline to be laid, the majority of the ministers were against it, many for openly political reasons.

It was also pointed out that the pipeline would require increased border patrols and give Russia, which would have the right to defend the pipeline with weapons, control over shipping in the Baltic Sea as well. Only the gas company, Eesti Gaas, supported the pipeline. Eesti Gaas is controlled by Gazprom and E.On.

Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen stated in Tallinn last week that Finland was prepared to grant Nord Stream all necessary permits to use that country's waters.


This one was so appropriate, I needed to add it herein. Kinda Sorta North Pole stuff, aye ?

From the Moscow Times (http://www.moscowtimes.ru/stories/2007/09/21/044.html)

Estonia became the first country on the Baltic Sea on Thursday to reject an application by Russian-German company Nord Stream to carry out work related to a planned gas pipeline.

It (Estonia) said it had the right to reject the application because the results of drilling on the continental shelf would have given information about its natural resources and their possible use.

09-22-2007, 11:10 AM
Russia's News and Information Agency (http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070920/80067661.html) has yet another Opinion :wry:

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Yelena Shesternina) - On September 22, Estonia will celebrate the Day of Resistance.

But this is not a new anniversary; for more than 60 years, it was the Day of Tallinn's Liberation from Nazi Occupation, but last March Estonian President Toomas Henrik Ilves signed amendments to the Law on Holidays and Memorable Dates.

In order to leave no doubt as to their reasons for the rechristening, the authors of the draft explained in a note that on September 22, 1944, Estonia was re-occupied by the Soviet Union rather than liberated. They wrote: "After the withdrawal of German units as a result of the Soviet onslaught, the national blue-black-white tricolor flew over the Long (sic) Hermann Tower in the Estonian capital. But on that very day, the Red Army seized Tallinn and replaced it with the red flag of the occupiers."

Former Foreign Minister Trivimi Velliste put it bluntly: "During the war, the Estonians had no other choice than to take weapons from enemy number two in order to fight enemy number one, because they did not expect any mercy from the latter."

The current Foreign Minister Urmas Paet preferred not to attend the event and tried to stave off the potential reaction from Moscow: "I hope the Russian side will not interpret this rally as another attempt to rewrite history."

But the Russian Foreign Ministry did not react this time. That is not surprising, considering that its previous notes of protest to Tallinn, against the desecration of memorials to Soviet soldiers, meetings of SS legionnaires and trials of Russian war veterans, have failed to produce any effect.

09-24-2007, 09:01 AM
The Kremlin mouth-piece Itar-Tass (http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=11895901&PageNum=0) reports, 200 Nashi activists gathered near the Estonian embassy in central Moscow to commemorate Tallinn’s “liberation” from Nazi occupation. 22 September marks the day the Red Army captured Tallinn following a German retreat.

MOSCOW, September 22 (Itar-Tass) - About 200 activists of the youth movement Nashi (Ours) have gathered near the Estonian embassy in central Moscow.

The authorities-sanctioned meeting marks the anniversary of the liberation of Tallinn from the Nazi invasion.

The activists wanted to put an iron tree with small bells near the embassy in memory of those who fought for Tallinn's liberation.

The meeting was calm, without incidents. Nobody was detained. Police ensured order at the meeting, the Moscow police information department told Itar-Tass.

The meeting was to last till 15:00 Moscow time.

An hour after the meeting, another action organised by Labour Russia and left forces will take place at the embassy. The organisers say the aim of the action is to express protest against the attempts to present the day of Estonia's liberation from German Nazi invaders as a day of liberation from Soviet occupation. The meeting of left forces is also sanctioned by authorities, police said.

09-26-2007, 10:40 AM
Ooops, someone let the cat outta the bag this time, and it's all over the Russian press :o

Kommersant's Article (http://www.kommersant.com/p807856/r_531/hydrocarbon_transport_press_media/)

A copy of an Estonian Defense Ministry memorandum concerning the North European Gas Pipeline marked “for internal use only” appeared on the website of the publication Postimees yesterday. In it, the ministry complains that government agencies showed little opposition to the research of the seabed by the German-Russian Nord Stream pipeline company, forcing the country's political leadership to turn the company down. The publication of the document threatens to cause a government crisis. Estonian authorities are most concerned about how the document fell into the hands of the media, however.
In the memorandum, it is noted with disapproval that the Estonian ministers of defense, economics and foreign affairs did not express any opposition to the exploration of the seabed within the zone of Estonian economic interests until the day before the final decision on it was made. Observers say that the refusal may have been forced on the government by the nationalistically-oriented Union of the Fatherland-Republic Party, which is part of the ruling coalition in the government along with the Reform Party and Social Democratic Party.

10-03-2007, 09:14 AM
In response to recent official comments by Rene Van Der Linden, president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Estonia's Parliamentary Speaker and President decided enough was enough.

A related article can be found here with EU Business News (http://www.eubusiness.com/news_live/1191334621.96/), which is copyright protected.

Van Der Linden had made a quick stop over in Russia just days before his scheduled Baltic States visit. In this interview with Russia Today (http://russiatoday.ru/guests/detail/429), Van Der Linden heavily criticized Estonia's slow pace at granting citizenship to ethnic Russians living in Estonia and the voting rights of aliens in local elections.

In this article with Postimees (http://www.postimees.ee/021007/lisad/euro/286689.php), Speaker Ene Ergma referring to Van der Linden’s take on these issues, wrote:
"Your recent repeated misleading statements have created confusion and bewilderment both in the Estonian public and internationally. This leads to our request: give up spreading erroneous information about Estonia ".

The parliament speaker added that Van Der Linden's attention had been drawn to his mistakes even while he was still in Tallinn and expressed amazement that the PACE president had apparently not made any effort to correct his erroneous statements.

Even before his latest visit, Van Der Linden was widely seen as being strongly pro-Russian and received a hammering from Estonia's Daily Päevaleht reporting on Van Der Linden's family business interests in Russia.

In an interview with the Estonian newspaper Valgemaalane (http://uus.www.valgamaalane.ee/031007/esileht/25011305.php), President Ilves commented on yet another recent visitor, United Nations’ special discrimination rapporteur Doudou Diene, who advised that Estonia should have several official languages (in effect precluding ethnic Russians from learning Estonian to fulfill citizenship requirements).

"We don't need to pay attention to such propaganda! If Diene recommended that several official languages should be adopted in Estonia, why doesn't Germany have several official languages ? There are four million Turks there!"

"Russia has 143 million people and we have 1.3 million. It's supreme arrogance to believe that we are going to influence Russia. If there is a desire to show us as being bad, Russia will do it."

10-10-2007, 10:55 AM
More on the gas pipeline between Russia's Gazprom and Germany's Nord Stream. Some welcomed US and UK support for the Baltic States, and The Ukraine.

VILNIUS (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/18991/) -- The first day of the Vilnius Energy conference got under way Oct. 10 with U.S. and British speakers voicing the strong criticism of Gazprom’s energy policy in the Baltic States.

U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Bryza. Bryza wasted no time in pointing an accusing finger at Russian energy company Gazprom, laying the blame for much of the energy insecurity fear stalking Europe at Gazprom’s door.

In a presentation that included a picture of a muscle-bound Vladimir Putin in a ‘wife beater’ T-shirt that he described as “the president of Russia crossed with Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront,” and which drew giggles from the assembled dignitaries, Riley drew attention to Gazprom’s “reputation for having shadowy daughter companies.”

“The Russian energy sector is a creation of the state. A predatory energy supplier can manipulate energy risk by threatening to cut off supply,” Jackson asserted, before warning that Russia was in effect attempting to create a series of “semi-captive” economies in Eastern Europe and calling on the U.S. and EU to look at a “massive increase in foreign aid, perhaps in a joint initiative.”

More at the link

10-13-2007, 09:12 PM
"Nashi (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071013.nashi13/BNStory/International/) is a slick, well-funded instrument of Mr. Putin's government. It recruits members from impoverished cities and towns kilometres from Moscow and provides them with stipends and accommodation to attend rallies in the city."

If they [opposition groups] try to damage the country in any way, all commissars would take the youth out into the streets to defend our Motherland,” she said.

If Nashi members take to the streets, it wouldn't be the first time the group called on its legion of young, largely unemployed participants to defend the country's “honour.” In the past year, Nashi has staged raucous protests at the British and Estonian embassies and harassed both countries' ambassadors.

More at the link

10-15-2007, 08:43 AM
From the Baltic Times (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/19038/), 12 October. The European Union has failed in the struggle against "dangerous neo-Nazi tendencies" in the Baltic countries.

The president of the congress, Russian businessman Moshe Kantor, accused Estonia and Latvia of belittling the role of the Soviet Red Army in the “liberation” of Eastern Europe from Nazi forces. Kantor added that refusing to acknowledge the achievements of the Red Army was comparable to denying the Holocaust – a suggestion that many Jews are likely to find as distasteful as many Balts.

"The European Union does not pay the necessary attention to things taking place in Latvia and Estonia because of certain opportunistic, political reasons," Kantor said.

Kantor’s comments echo those of Russian President Vladimir Putin the previous day.

"Certain facts that we are coming across in certain East European countries are arousing frank surprise and lack of understanding,” Putin said.

“We know that in several European countries laws prohibit the denial of the Holocaust, while the activities of Latvian and Estonian authorities are openly encouraging the glorification of Nazis and their collaborators. And such facts remain unnoticed by the European Union."

Contrary to the implications of his speech, Holocaust denial is not specifically outlawed Russia as it is in Germany and Lithuania, for example.

10-15-2007, 09:15 AM
Moscow Times (http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2007/10/11/011.html): Russian Federal Security Service chief Nikolai Patrushev said Western spies were working to weaken and break up the country. Patrushev also claimed that foreign spies were working to foment discontent in Russia in the run-up to December's parliamentary elections and the presidential vote next spring.

In the interview published on Wednesday Patrushev said : "The CIA and SIS continue to attract partners from Poland, Georgia, the Baltic states and some others in their work regarding Russia." He said the activities of intelligence services from former Soviet republics in Russia were due to the fact that U.S. and British specials services have a serious influence on them.

Estonia's Security Police refused to comment. (http://www.interfax.com/3/322310/news.aspx)

Estonian Security Police commissioner Irina Mikson said to Interfax on Wednesday : "The security police are not commenting on the statement of the FSB director published in Argumenty I Fakty on October 10." "We advise you to turn to the source of information," she said responding to the request to comment on Patrushev's comments concerning the Estonian special services.

10-16-2007, 07:56 AM
16 October Washington Post - The Future Calling In Estonia (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/15/AR2007101501325.html) by Anne Applebaum.

From outside, the offices of Skype-- the company best known for its free Internet phone service -- don't look very different from the other Soviet and post-Soviet buildings that make up the nondescript suburbs of the Estonian capital. But inside, the aesthetic influence of Northern California is undeniable. The high-tech, open-plan offices; the "playroom," complete with pool table and sauna; the young, bearded employees; the Dadaesque plastic crocodile hanging from the ceiling; the bluejean-clad spokesman who has been "too busy" to contemplate the fact that eBay, which bought Skype for $2.6 billion in 2005, recently admitted that it paid too much.

This tiny slice of Seattle-on-the-Baltic -- Skype's main center for research and development -- is in Tallinn because Skype's original computer programmers were Estonian and its Scandinavian founders were savvy enough to know that Estonia is a country so eager to join the 21st century that even its gas stations have WiFi: Fill up your tank, download your e-mail, drive on. Despite its eagerness to join the future, though, the home of Skype can also seem, to outsiders, paradoxically hung up on the past. Indeed, this is a problem Estonia shares with some other Central European nations. Everywhere you turn, historical arguments are dominating the region's politics...

10-18-2007, 10:25 AM
Viktor Khristenko, Russia's Industry and Energy Minister, miffed over Estonia's refusal to permit Russia to perform a survey of Estonia's seabed as a potential avenue for Nord Stream's new gas line, has declared Estonians to be rude.

"To use such tools, as the Estonian government did, is in my view pure politicisation, and done in a rude way," Viktor Khristenko, Russia's energy minister, told the Financial Times (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21333868/) in an interview.

Minister Viktor Khristenko has far more intriquing business, all related to some sort of gas and more importantly, dealing with Russia's neighbors (Nabucco pipeline, Kazakhstan gas deal and the Russia-Romania gas project).

Seems Khristenko may still be a tad sore about not becoming Russia's Prime Minister.

10-22-2007, 07:51 AM
"Estonian prosecutors (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/10/18/europe/EU-GEN-Estonia-Russia-Riots.php) on Thursday accused the Russian government of financing the riots that rocked the capital in April when authorities removed a Soviet war memorial from a downtown square."

The finger-pointing at Moscow came as the state prosecutor's office filed charges against four activists accused of organizing the street violence in which one person was killed, dozens of businesses looted and vandalized, and nearly 1,000 people arrested.

State Prosecutor Laura Vaik said those accused — Dmitry Klensky, 61, Dmitry Linter, 33, Maxim Reva, 32, and Mark Sirok, 18 — began planning the riots in mid-2006 with backing from Moscow. It was not immediately clear how they responded to the charges.

"There is reason to believe that financial support and advice to organize mass disorders was also received from the Russian Federation," Vaik said in a statement, without giving details.

It was the strongest statement yet by Estonian authorities linking Russia to the unrest in Tallinn on April 26-28.

10-25-2007, 08:51 PM
From the New York Times Opinion Section (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/25/opinion/25aron.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1): For Mr. Putin, taking on the job of prime minister would be not just “stepping down” but wallowing in self-abnegation.

President Putin, watch out for those Estonian blonde snipers previously reported to be in Chechnya :D

The other option would not require Mr. Putin to move out of the Kremlin even for a short time. According to the Russian Constitution, the president may declare martial law in the case of aggression or “direct threat of aggression.” A subsequent “martial law regime” could be easily fashioned by the Parliament to include the cancellation of elections until the “threat” is over. The “threat” could be found to emanate from Estonia, which has been sharply denounced by Russia’s official propaganda this year.

More at the link

10-25-2007, 09:08 PM
From the New York Times Opinion Section (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/25/opinion/25aron.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1): For Mr. Putin, taking on the job of prime minister would be not just “stepping down” but wallowing in self-abnegation.

More at the link

Mr. Putin is not the sort of man people enjoy saying no to, and he is the sort of man that gets what he wants. He is genuinely popular in much of Russia, respected (and especially feared) at home and abroad, and there is no ambiguity at all about who's in charge. This is a man whose wielding of power often reaches the state of a High Art Form, even as he uses such power for sometimes not so lofty things.

I don't think that Putin would need to hold on to the Presidency; no one is likely to oppose him even if he were to become "simply" the Prime Minister. Everyone knows where the real power lies; titles are effectively just a formality in this regard. Augustus was merely the "Princeps" - First Citizen - and technically the Senate had supreme authority (just as the Republic technically existed in Roman law until 284 A.D.). Putin could easily be with us for a generation, and good or not, this is likely what everyone will have to adapt to, if they haven't already.

10-25-2007, 09:18 PM
Perhaps I've been watching this 'transition' too long to see what's coming (which is basicaly nothing as far as change is concerned).

The public is right behind him, even as of today ? (http://www.kommersant.com/p818482/r_527/Rallies_in_support_of_Putin_are_staged_by_the_Unit ed_Russia,_the_opposition_believes/)

People Want Vladimir Putin for 3rd Term
Russia undergoes a wave of public rallies in support of extending Vladimir Putin's powers for the third presidential term. The opposition believes the rallies were organized by the United Russia party. However, both the Kremlin and the United Russia said the initiative is coming from the people.

In Chechnya, the rallies in support of President Putin took place in Grozny, Gudermes, and Achkhoi-Martan. The rally in Grozny consisted mostly of university students. “We have been warned that we should secure the attendance of all students,” said an employee of the University of Grozny. Files of young people dressed in T-shirts depicting Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and Vladimir Putin, and carrying banners with “Let’s give third term to Putin!”

10-29-2007, 01:38 PM
New Europe (http://www.neurope.eu/view_news.php?id=79345) reports on: Estonia insists on retired Russian servicemen’s deportation from 27 October 2007 - Issue : 753

Estonia will bring up the issue of deportation of six Russian retired military servicemen, who are illegally staying in Estonia, at the upcoming EU-Russia summit in Portugal, Interfax quoted Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet as telling a news conference in Tallinn on October 24.

The pensioners received vouchers entitling them to receive housing in Russia in the 1990s but, citing various pretexts, are refusing to go to the places where housing should be given to them under international programmes, Paet said.

“The matter involves so-called voucher-holders, who have been given vouchers designed for Russian servicemen, but who have still not left Estonia,” Paet said. Russia is failing to fulfill a readmission agreement in relation to these people, despite the fact that Tallinn has sent relevant requests to Moscow, he said. Russia insists that its readmission agreement with the EU will take force only after the conclusion of relevant bilateral agreements, Paet said.

“Negotiations with Estonia on this issue have not been started, and the readmission agreement has not actually come into effect,” Paet said.

10-31-2007, 02:45 PM
“Free Anti-Fascists Dmitry Linter and Maxim Reva!” and “Form an International Commission to Investigate into April Events” run the placards of the protesters.

Russia's ITAR-TASS (http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=12014559&PageNum=0) reports on activists of the Night Watch movement in support of the Soviet WW2 memorial in Estonia, Linter and Reva, were charged with instigating the April riots in Tallinn, which followed the Estonian government’s decision to dismantle the monument and exhume the remains of Soviet soldiers who died in the city liberation from the Nazi in September 1944.

The police detained over 2,000 protesters. More than 200 of them were arrested, and about 50 were convicted, mostly with suspended sentences.

Linter and Reva are serving their six months in custody pending trial. “Their prison time expired on October 27, but they are still in custody,” said Linter’s mother Leonora. “Previously, the lawyers were told that my son and Maxim Reva might try to put pressure on witnesses. Now the investigation is over, and their case is referred to court. Reasons for their further custody are totally unclear.”

10-31-2007, 03:33 PM
"Recent speculation that Russia could use its Baltic naval fleet (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/19156/) to guard the pipeline during construction and might even to use submarines to patrol the sea bed have hardened Estonian opposition to the project.

"Why did Russia have to make such an announcement? Why did the economic project have to be tied down militarily and politically?" Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet asked in his interview."

Estonia (http://www.russiatoday.ru/business/news/16130): underwater gas pipeline poses threat
Poland and several Baltic states intend to call on the European Commission to find an alternative route for the Nord Stream northern European gas pipeline. A Finnish newspaper reported the move was called for by Estonia.

11-07-2007, 01:10 PM
Those sneaky devils at Putin's HQs, pounding on the Baltic States for the last 9 months over rewriting history, all the while master minding a new novel for the kids :confused:

Helsinki's Sanomat reports (http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Stalin+portrayed+as+hero+in+new+Russian+school+tex tbook/1135231592911)

"Stalin portrayed as hero in new Russian school textbook
Novel interpretations presented concerning Winter War of 1939-1940"

By Jukka Rislakki

At the beginning of this school year, school pupils in Russia will be getting a new history textbook in which the policies of Josif Stalin are portrayed in a positive light, and which offers an interesting interpretation of the Finnish-Soviet Winter War of 1939 - 1940.

The book also gives the impression that Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania joined the Soviet Union voluntarily. In this connection it is not mentioned that the Red Army occupied the Baltic countries, that their leaders were imprisoned, and that the occupier organised "elections". (Another history textbook, previously approved for use at the upper secondary school level, describes this in greater detail.)

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 is mentioned in the book without legal or historical assessments.

The policies of the Western powers are seen to be partly to blame for the events, and "many experts" are said to be of the opinion that the Soviet Union had no option but to agree to a pact with Hitler. By doing so Stalin managed to improve the country’s security.

More at the link...

Imagine What Dr. Price would do with this one :D

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 is mentioned in the book without legal or historical assessments.

11-08-2007, 04:29 PM
"TALLINN (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/19219/) - A Russian submarine that recently went undetected in Estonia’s economic zone has raised questions about the level of maritime security in the Baltic state and, oddly enough, relations with Finland. According to reports, a Russian submarine entered the waters of Estonia’s economic zone in the Gulf of Finland sometime at the end of October. While not entirely out of the ordinary, the incident was odd in that Finland apparently knew of the submarine’s presence in the area but had failed to inform Estonian authorities."

11-12-2007, 09:04 AM
As It Rises, Russia Stirs Baltic Fears (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/11/weekinreview/11ellick.html?_r=2&ref=world&oref=slogin&oref=slogin)
From the NYT, By ADAM B. ELLICK, Published: November 11, 2007

Russian power is rapidly returning to the Baltics, only this time the weapons are oil and money, not tanks.

General Kronkaitis (now retired as Lithuania’s top general) has a unique perspective. He fled Lithuania to America as a boy in 1944, and served nearly 30 years in the United States Army before returning to command his newly independent country’s military in the 1990’s. He engineered its entry into NATO in 2004, thinking this would help cement security for the tiny Baltic nation. Now he says his hopeful view was wrong.

The Baltic countries are trying to challenge Russia’s energy monopoly.

All three are resisting an ambitious Russian-German plan to build a pipeline under the Baltic Sea that would send gas directly from Russia to Western Europe — bypassing the Baltics and cutting them out of transit fees and access to the flow.

Gazprom, the Russian oil giant, already controls more than 35 percent of Baltic gas companies. Latvia has been cut off from an old Russian oil pipeline since 2003 and Lithuania since 2006, forcing them to import more expensive oil by ship. The Russians blame pipeline problems, but Latvians and Lithuanians don’t believe that; Estonia was shut off for several weeks after the spring riots.

11-12-2007, 11:53 AM
I have already used that in Russia the real things are big. Despite this Russia can surprise me :) This is the election poster from centre of Moscow "Our choice - Vladimir Putin". On the left hand at the level of "H" you can see short dot. This is the man who is connecting the poster.


On the right hand at the botton is timer. Wait until it reads 0.

11-13-2007, 09:01 PM
From the Baltic Times (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/19265/) review of press reports, "If you're a real Russian, don't have any fun in Tallinn"

Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda is calling on Russians to boycott visits to Estonia and Estonian goods over the Christmas and New Year period.

According to press reports, Komsomolskaya Pravda is running a campaign under the slogan ‘I don’t travel to eSStonia’ which portrays Estonia as a neo-Nazi state. As a result, the paper urges Russians to refrain from shopping trips and holiday breaks in the Estonian capital, which is traditionally a popular destination with Russian tourists over the festive season.

Estonian-made chocolate and beer are singled out as goods that should not be found in any patriotic Russian’s Christmas stocking.

11-15-2007, 10:22 AM
General Yuri Baluyevsky (http://www.mil.ru/eng/12005/12062/12080/index.shtml), Russia's military forces Chief of Staff, told lawmakers that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were rapidly building up their military forces.

TALLINN (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/19272/) - Russia has cited what it terms a military buildup in the Baltic states among the reasons for its Nov. 7 decision to suspend participation in the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. Both the suspension and the accusations have drawn swift criticism from Baltic leaders and commentators.

“The Baltic states have a particular attitude toward the CFE Treaty,” the general said. “Guided by the common NATO approach, they do not join the regime of limitations imposed by the treaty and today they remain a so-called gray zone in terms of arms control.”
The number of armored vehicles in the Baltic states has increased nearly tenfold since 1999 and they now number 431, Baluyevsky said. He also said that the number of artillery guns larger than 100 mm has tripled to 320.

Meanwhile the Baltic press has painted the Russian accusations of a Baltic military buildup as laughable.
“Formally, there are no quantitative limitations on military equipment in our country, but it is foolish to think that the Latvian army’s three old-fashioned tanks will create any threats against neighboring Russia or Belarus,” commentator Askolds Rodins wrote in Latvia’s Diena on Nov. 12.
He also speculated that the real reasons behind the Russian decision had more to do with domestic politics than with military strategy.

“Russia’s influential mass media outlets have for years been going on about the ‘circle of hostile countries’ which is supposedly gathering around the Russian motherland. Suspension of participation in the CFE is a dandy way of strengthening this particular myth,” he wrote.

BRUSSELS, November 14 (RIA Novosti) (http://en.rian.ru/russia/20071114/88118482.html) - A moratorium on Russia's Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty obligations will take effect on December 12, the chief of the Armed Forces General Staff said on Wednesday.

"There will be no changes to Russia's position: The law will come into force as it should, on December 12," Gen. Yury Baluyevsky said.

Russia has repeatedly urged its NATO colleagues to ratify the CFE Treaty and then amend it to eliminate flank limitations, he said.

11-15-2007, 07:52 PM
In a last minute ditch effort, Estonia plays her trump card (http://en.rian.ru/world/20071115/88241861.html) (some here say 'bails'). Notwithstanding and less than a month before Russian law commits to the moratorium, Estonia still has to convince her neighbors it's a good idea.

Estonia's government decided on Thursday to set up a commission on joining the adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty before Russia's moratorium comes in force on December 12.

The modified version of the arms control treaty, which Western countries consider a cornerstone of European security, was signed on November 19, 1999 by all NATO countries except Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Slovenia.

The governmental commission will assess the possibility of joining the adapted CFE treaty, conduct consultations with NATO partners, and formulate Estonia's position on the issue ahead of the Russian moratorium.

Russia (http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20071115%5cACQDJON20071115094 2DOWJONESDJONLINE000653.htm&), whose relations with Estonia are at their lowest ebb since independence in 1991, has also signaled it is weighing new force deployments on its western flank, raising jitters in the Baltic states about their giant neighbor's motives.

11-15-2007, 08:40 PM
“The Myth of Genocide (http://www.regnum.ru/english/888259.html): Repressions by Soviet authorities in Estonia in 1940-53” book by Alexander Dyukov.

The author brings together and systematizes sources about true history of the Soviet repressions of those times in Estonia. Without taking positions of “revisionism” or rehabilitation of Stalinism, the author draws special attention to the fact that repeatedly presented by Estonian top officials.

Alexander Dyukov comes to a conclusion that the repressions in Estonia were not selective grounding on ethnic character (which means they were not genocide) and that the total number of victims of repressions is overestimated by Estonian politicians by 2.5 times and the number of those killed in repressions by 6 times.

The Baltic Times has once again done her homework. A much better version...if you will.

Deportations were like a family picnic - claim (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/19306/)

TALLINN -- A new book by a Russian historian claims Estonia's recollection of the 1941 forced deportations to Siberia is too harsh. In The Myth About Genocide, revisionist historian Alexander Dyukov paints a picture of Soviet repressions as little worse than a family picnic, Eesti Ekspess reports.

"If Baltic nationalists had not cooperated with German special services and had not prepared for acts of diversion, there would have been no need for deportation. It was the activity of nationalists and of Nazi agents that provoked the deportations - and Estonian historians prefer to keep silent about it," the historian writes.

Eesti Ekspress points out that at the time of the first deportations, the war with Germany had not yet begun. At that time, the Soviet Union was itself collaborating with Germany by means of the notorious Molotov-Ribbentrop 'pact of steel'. Despite that fact, Dykov describes the June 1941 deportations as if they had taken place in a frontline situation.

In Dyukov's interpretation the 1941 deportation did not greatly differ from a family outing to the countryside, albeit in somewhat cramped circumstances. The Soviet Union generally took good care the people it decided to resettle, he said

11-18-2007, 04:19 PM
Estonian Ethnic Russians In Court Over Statue Riots - AFP (http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20071116%5cACQDJON20071116062 2DOWJONESDJONLINE000448.htm&)

A court in the capital Tallinn was to decide whether to release Dmitri Linter and Maksim Reva from custody for the duration of their trial.

Estonia's state prosecutor's office said the full trial, in which Linter and Reva will be joined by two other defendants, would begin Jan. 14.

Linter and Reva have been in jail since April, when they were arrested during an unprecedented two-night outburst of looting and violence which rocked Tallinn as authorities shifted the so-called Bronze Soldier memorial from the city center to a military cemetery.

Another of the accused, Mark Sirok, was also detained in April but later released. The fourth defendant, Dimitri Klenski, wasn't arrested.

The four men were charged in October after Estonian police wrapped up a five- month probe.

Estonian prosecutors have said the April 26-28 unrest was far from spontaneous, arguing preparations for the riots began already in mid-2006.

They have also said the organizers had support from Russia, although it wasn't clear whether they were referring to the Russian government itself or simply to groups based in Russia.

Sirok is particularly controversial in Estonia because he heads the Estonian branch of the pro-Kremlin Nashi youth group, which blockaded the Estonian embassy in Moscow for a week after the memorial was moved.

Moscow has blamed the riots on the use of force by the Estonian police against Russians who were "defending" the memorial to Red Army soldiers.

11-21-2007, 09:21 AM
No Loyalty, No Cargo (http://www.tol.cz/look/TOL/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=244&NrSection=3&NrArticle=19162)

Stability gave Russia an opportunity to pay attention to the political and security aspects of economic growth and trade with the three Baltic republics, which have been thorns in Moscow’s side for 15 years over their treatment of the Russian minorities and their aspirations to join NATO and the European Union.

Russia’s basic position in external affairs has been stated, or demonstrated, time and again: Without proven loyalty or cooperation, no economic benefits. This is the case with Georgia, whose Borjomi mineral water can be purchased in many countries but not in Russia, ostensibly for health reasons, or with Polish meat, banned on the same grounds.

11-21-2007, 12:01 PM
Maureen & Jim Tusty - producers/directors of "The Singing Revolution (http://www.singingrevolution.com/)"

When we set out to make "The Singing Revolution", we envisioned North Americans seeing the film. The Baltic people know their history, it's the rest of the world that does not. We want to share this inspiring story with those who know little about Estonia. Those who take the time to see the extraordinary events that comprise the Singing Revolution are often deeply moved by this remarkable human story.

Most people don’t think about singing when they think about revolution. But song was the weapon of choice when Estonians sought to free themselves from decades of Soviet occupation. "The Singing Revolution" is an inspiring account of one nation’s dramatic rebirth. It is the story of humankind’s irrepressible drive for freedom and self-determination.

11-24-2007, 03:21 PM
From Estonia's Daily, Eesti Paevaleht (http://www.epl.ee/artikkel/408144)...

The media are discussing the law on the moratorium of Russia's participation in the CFE in the context of the Russian-U.S. geopolitical confrontation. Commentators are furious that under the circumstances Estonia has to set up a commission on preparations for its membership in the adapted treaty. "U.S. diplomats are losing nerve. They say Moscow has been promised that the Baltic nations will start getting ready to join the treaty and that some of its provisions may be revised. This explains why Estonia made the decision to form the commission. Estonia must do everything to implement the previous provisions of the treaty. But its new version cannot be regarded as natural. Estonia is not a pawn in a political game between Washington and Moscow."

The media believe that Russia needs the moratorium in order to revise the adapted treaty once again and include provisions convenient for it. "Russia's aim is clear - to turn the existing security structure upside down and start new talks in order to lay down its own terms. Russia is a champion at playing such games."

11-28-2007, 07:00 PM
Former Speaker of Finnish Parliament Paavo Lipponen (http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Lipponen+criticises+Estonias+Russia+policy/1135232143007) criticises Estonia's Russia policy.

In an interview with Estonian television, Lipponen questioned the wisdom of Estonian security cooperation with Georgia and Ukraine if it hurts relations with Russia.

In the interview, Lipponen suggested that there is no realism in security cooperation with Georgia and Ukraine, and said that he does not feel that such cooperation should be implemented in a way that it makes relations with Russia more difficult.
Lipponen was in the Estonian capital Tallinn taking part in a seminar of the International Defence Research Centre.
Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament, wrote in his blog that Lipponen's comments amount to a denunciation of Estonia's foreign policy.
"The former leader of Finland's Social Democrats gets to say, in practice, that Estonia's foreign policy is worth nothing", Mihkelson writes.
"He should know that good relations with Russia do not come about on the basis of the wishes of one side", he continues.

The director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, Andres Kasekamp, noted that Georgia and Ukraine share some of Estonia's misfortunes, and that Estonia cannot be indifferent to them. He said that Lipponen's views are typical of Finnish foreign policy thinking.

11-29-2007, 02:48 PM
Meeting on Russian Airspace Violations (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gYrrEu4mz81vYe1PR0ksN06j_cpgD8T6QO980)

Military officials from Russia, Finland and Estonia agreed on steps Wednesday to limit airspace violations in the region...

In September, Russia acknowledged that one of its military transporters flew about 4 1/2 kilometers, or three miles, into Finnish airspace along the southern coast for three minutes, prompting the neutral Nordic country to demand an explanation.

Russia said the incursion was unintentional and proposed a meeting of experts to help prevent such incidents.

Last year, Moscow apologized for airspace violations after a dozen such incidents over a period of two years prompted a protest from Finland.

Similar complaints have been made by Finland's southern neighbors, Estonia and the other Baltic states. In October 2005, a Russian fighter jet crashed in Lithuania.

11-29-2007, 08:43 PM
Estonia's Prime Minister comments on Estonia-Russia trade and economic ties and the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty.

“not so close” - PM (http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=12121007&PageNum=0)

Estonia wants to have good-neighbourly, pragmatic relations with all neighbours, including Russia, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said here in reply to Russian reporters’ queries after a speech at the Washington National Press Club.

However, “there is space for improving relations” with Moscow, the prime minister stressed. Questions focused both on economy and politics, but he narrowed them down to trade and economic relations between the two neighbouring countries. He stressed that these ties “are not so close,” but demonstrated no regrets about it.

Speaking about the economic consequences of the recent row around the dismantlement of the monument to Soviet Soldier Liberator in Tallinn, Ansip said that following the row Russian-Estonian trade “has declined by over 40 percent,” but this cost Estonia only 0.5 to one percent of GDP growth.

...but it does not like such investments, which make it possible to manipulate political decisions.

Doudou Diene, U.N. special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance recently spoke about signs of discrimination against Russian-speaking population in Estonia.

In reply to an Itar-Tass query about prospects for Estonia’s joining the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, the prime minister said his country would join the treaty as “new member” no earlier than it was ratified by all present participants.

He said Tallinn would discuss limits on the number of forces and armaments “first of all with NATO partners, and only then with third parties”.

11-30-2007, 11:42 AM
TALLINN. Nov 29 (Interfax) (http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/politics/28.html?id_issue=11920495) - A group set up to prevent a Soviet war memorial from being removed from the center of Tallinn said on Thursday that one of its activists has filed a suit with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, accusing Estonian police and the Kaitseliit paramilitary organization of unjustified cruelty.

"Alexander", who is an activist of the Night Watch group and asked for not his surname to be published, claimed that police and Kaitseliit members subjected him to brutal treatment during protests in April 2007 against the transfer of the memorial - a soldier's statue and small mass military grave a nearby - from the heart of Tallinn to a military cemetery outside the capital, Night Watch spokeswoman Larisa Neshchadimova told Interfax.

"During the mass riots, 'Night Watchman' Alexander was trying to stop a crowd from turning over cars and vandalizing a bus, a streetcar, and a cafe that had people inside, and stopped an ethnic street fight," Neshchadimova said.

"Police officers were unable to record a single fact discrediting Alexander. Nevertheless, on April 27, he found himself in D-Terminal [a police facility], where a Kaitseliit member in civilian clothes beat him up for refusing to obey his demands," the spokeswoman said.

"With support from the Center for Human Rights Information in Estonia, Alexander has tried to restore justice, but all levels of the judiciary and prosecution service have refused to accept his applications," Neshchadimova said.

"This means that the human right to legal defense has been violated in Estonia."

Alexander is suing the Estonian government, accusing it of refusing to investigate acts banned by Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and of denying him rights as proclaimed by the Convention's Articles 5 and 6. as rp

Kaitseliit = Defense League or National Guard

12-07-2007, 07:15 PM
After the conflict with Estonia over the Soviet bronze soldier monument (http://www.kommersant.com/p832456/organized_labor_minority_rights/), Russian transit through Estonia has been reduced by 40 percent.

The losses of Estonian Railways are 35 percent compared with a year ago, with the transportation of crude oil, gasoline, coal falling dramatically. The railway has announced plans to lay off up to 40 percent of its employees, mainly those on the Russian line. General economic growth has also slowed in the country, by 2.5 percent in the second quarter. Inflation in the country will hit 9 percent this year, far above the Euro zone average. In all, the conflict with Russia has created losses of about €320 million, according to one Estonian economist.

Russia's approach to the defense of Russian speakers living in Estonia and the other Baltic countries has shifted from dependence on international organization to a multifaceted approach based on diplomatic and economic influence. International organizations, particularly the Council of Europe and the UN have also expressed dissatisfaction with the position of Russian-speaking non-citizen residents of Estonia as well.

Ken White
12-07-2007, 08:42 PM
You get a tan?

12-08-2007, 06:20 PM
Ken, Thanks !
Indeed I did get a tan and will post a trip report on the members only forum within 24 hours, complete with graphics :p

You get a tan?

12-12-2007, 11:32 AM
"The moratorium is not an end (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071211/ts_afp/russiausnatomilitarycfe_071211234918) in itself but a way of attracting our partners' attention to the unfavourable situation in this area,"...

Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said "the treaty is dead. With the CFE gone, European nations will lose an important independent source of information about Russian military activity."

Russia also wants Baltic countries such as Estonia, once part of the Soviet Union and thus of the Warsaw Pact, to join the CFE.

Last week Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko gave a mixed message.

"Russia has no plans to raise its military presence in Europe, obviously, that is, if there is not an attempt to raise the military presence by NATO countries," he said.

According to Felgenhauer "it is practically inevitable that Russia will begin moving weapons west, primarily to borders of Baltic states."

"It makes a lot of economic sense to move forces from Siberia to Leningrad district, because it's two or three times more expensive to keep them in Siberia. It will also send a powerful signal to the West. It's a win-win situation for Russia."

12-13-2007, 07:20 AM
TALLINN (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/19474/) - Russia’s railroad chief held informal talks with Estonian Economic Affairs Minister Juhan Parts on Dec. 8, the first meeting by a highly placed Russian official since bilateral relations between the countries collapsed earlier this year.

Russian Railways CEO Vladimir Yakunin and Parts, together with Estonian Railways CEO Kaido Simmermann, discussed railroad and port infrastructure development in both the Baltic state and Russia. A large delegation of Russian businessmen had accompanied Yakunin to Estonia, according to reports.

Though no agreement or memorandum materialized from the talks, the closed-door meeting was a breakthrough in facilitating a thaw seven months after the Bronze Soldier riots in Tallinn and an organized cyber-attack on Estonian Web sites that in all likelihood had been orchestrated in Russia.

Yakunin’s primary purpose in visiting Estonia was to attend a commemorative ceremony dedicated to the 65th anniversary of World War II pilot Endel Puusepp, an ethnic Estonian and Soviet war hero. Yakunin is chairman of Center for National Glory, an NGO that promotes Russia’s military heritage.
In the words of Simmermann, “Although the purpose of Russian Railways chief’s visit to Estonia is not related to the railroad, I proposed Vladimir Yakunin find time for a meeting.”

Freight turnover on Estonian Railway’s infrastructure totaled 2.3 million tons in November, down 38.7 percent year-on-year, the company announced on Dec. 10. Of total freight volume nearly 61 percent consisted of oil or oil products, which as a group were down 30.5 percent against last year.

12-16-2007, 12:56 PM
Russia's REGNUM writes: (http://www.regnum.ru/english/932354.html) Website of Kyrgyz Central Election Commission hacked by Estonian hackers

The official website of the Kyrgyz Central Election Commission was hacked earlier today, on December 14. The message “This site has been hacked by Dream of Estonian organization” was published on the main page of the site, reports a REGNUM correspondent.

Up to the present moment, no information on the website is available. Instead of usual information, “The page cannot be displayed” sign is shown. It was not the first case of a hacker attack against Kyrgyz internet resources. Earlier, during riots and election campaigns, Kyrgyz internet providers were subjected to DoS attacks.

12-16-2007, 09:24 PM
I suppose that this article explains very well the backround of Regnum.

That REGNUM should be playing this role, Akhundov said, is not entirely surprising, given its origins and management. Modest Kolerov, the former head of the Russian President’s department for international ties with CIS countries and promoting Moscow’s interests there, created the agency in 2002.


12-17-2007, 03:36 PM
By Chris Schüler in Liepaja, Latvia, 14 December 2007 (http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article3249897.ece) "From the coast road that leads into the Latvian port of Liepaja from the north, it is an astonishing sight – a vast Russian Orthodox cathedral, its gilded onion domes lit up by floodlights, surrounded by a suburb of crumbling Soviet apartment blocks."

Liepaja's official tourist brochure tries to make a virtue of Karosta's "enchanting brutality", waxing lyrical about "the sweet smell of wild roses among the hard, cold steel of twisted barbed wire". In reality, it is a dismal, desperate place, riven by unemployment and drug addiction, its streets dark and deserted on a Saturday night. Karosta is where most of the city's Russian-speaking population live – the ancillary workers brought here to service the naval base, now left high and dry by the receding tide of Soviet power.

It is a problem that affects all three Baltic republics to varying extents. For many indigenous Balts, Russian-speakers are an unwelcome leftover of a brutal 50-year occupation, during which their languages and cultures were suppressed and tens of thousands of their compatriots killed or deported to the gulags.

The friction with Russia over oil and gas, along with a recent row over the passage of Russian submarines through Estonian waters, has done little to ease the situation.

But among some sections of the Russian-speaking population, an angry backlash is gathering force.

Next month, four men are due to go on trial in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, for their part in riots which were sparked last April by government plans to move a Soviet war memorial. The men are all members of a pro-Russian group called Night Watch.

Russian-speakers account for 58 per cent of Estonia's prison population and approximately 80 per cent of HIV-positive cases. They have a higher incidence of respiratory diseases, alcoholism and drug addiction and, according to a paper published in the British Medical Journal in 2004, significantly higher rates of suicide than native Estonians or Russians in Russia.

Amnesty International warns that the Russian-speakers in Estonia are "impeded from the full enjoyment of their economic, social and cultural rights". Last year, it condemned the country's Language Inspectorate, which carries out spot-checks on workers to see if they can speak Estonian – if they fail, they face losing their jobs – as "repressive and punitive in nature".

Much more at the link...

12-18-2007, 11:04 AM
Estonia's Singing Revolution (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=32289&postcount=249) film receives NYT's Critic's Pick :)

By MATT ZOLLER SEITZ "Can singing change history? (http://movies.nytimes.com/2007/12/14/movies/14revo.html#) “The Singing Revolution (http://movies.nytimes.com/gst/movies/titlelist.html?v_idlist=451755;423129&inline=nyt_ttl),” a documentary by James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty about Estonia’s struggle to end Soviet occupation, shows that it already has."

The first part of “Revolution” provides a thumbnail sketch of 20th-century Estonian history, and it’s not pretty.

...when Estonians gathered in Tartu for the Estonian song festival, which often drew upward of 25,000 people. The images of these festivals are moving already; the force of the singers and the precision of their conductors are stunning to behold.

But the emotion swells further when Estonians defy their occupiers by singing nationalist folk songs. This bold act reclaimed Estonian identity...

Imagine the scene in “Casablanca” in which the French patrons sing “La Marseillaise” in defiance of the Germans, then multiply its power by a factor of thousands, and you’ve only begun to imagine the force of “The Singing Revolution.”

12-20-2007, 10:31 AM
"Without meaning to sound too cynical, we could honestly say that the most positive thing about 2007 – as far as the Baltics are concerned – is that it’s finally over. It opened with a warm, drippy winter that threatened to kill off the local ski industry, and ended on a high note, with the Baltics joining the Schengen zone."

Estonia’s year of the bronze (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/19534/)

Without question one single event in Estonia – easily the biggest story to come out of the nation since its 1991 independence – overshadowed all others in 2007: the Bronze Soldier riots of April 26 - 27. Even as early as January political forces were lining up on both sides of the issue...

The Bronze Soldier storm finally broke on April 26 when, seeing the beginning of archeological work protesters came out in force. It’s hard to say whether the two days of rioting that followed was more connected to politics or alcohol. ...a huge backslide in ethnic relations.

In early May the media’s focus had shifted to the unprecedented cyber attacks against the nation’s IT infrastructure, and the antics of Nashi, a pro-Putin youth group, who had surrounded the Estonian embassy in Moscow.

Later in the year the losses from Russian import and export embargoes would be tallied up, along with those from jittery tourists who stayed away.

Estonian residents then had time to either grumble or cheer as new laws went into effect on June 5 to make the nation’s restaurants and bars smoke free. Suddenly patios and doorways became the coolest places to hang out.

Midsummer celebrations were tempered by the news on June 23 that two Estonians, Sgt. Kalle Torn, 24, Jr. Sgt. Jako Karuks, 33, were killed in Afghanistan by a missile.

Later that summer Franz, a 20-year-old polar bear at the Tallinn zoo, was killed in an escape attempt.

Since then the Estonian government has refused to allow the Nord Stream gas pipeline project to conduct survey... Yet another sign of continuing bad relations with Russia.

Much more at the link to include Latvia and Lithuania

12-27-2007, 10:01 AM
The NATO designation for the TU-154 is coicidently "Careless" :D

A Russian Tu-154 (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071226/wl_nm/finland_airspace_russia_dc) entered half a km (500 yards) into the Finnish airspace at 10.55-10.58 a.m. local time (3:55 a.m. - 3:58 a.m. EST), southwest of Porvoo on Finland's southern coast, the ministry said in a statement.

The plane's crew deviated from the original course and took the direction towards Finland, at 11.56-12.02 Moscow time, upon an order from the regional air traffic control centre in Tallinn (Estonia)," Itar-Tass quoted Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky, the aide to Russia's airforce commander, as saying.

"The Tallinn traffic controller twice gave the order to the crew, and this order was fulfilled," he said. "At 12.02 Moscow time, the plane returned to its original course and continued the flight without further deviations."

On Nov. 28 (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/12/26/europe/EU-GEN-Finland-Russia-Air-Violation.php), military officials from Russia, Finland and Estonia agreed on ways to avoid airspace violations in the region, including improving the exchange of information on flight plans and sharing technical details.

The parties agreed to another round of talks early next year in Moscow, the Finnish Foreign Ministry said.

12-28-2007, 10:55 AM
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said in a recent interview with Interfax news agency (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-12/28/content_7329053.htm)
that the nation would seek to join the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty immediately after its ratification, news from the Estonian capital Tallin said Thursday.

The Estonian government has set up a committee charged with preparatory work, Paet said, adding that negotiations on the joining of the treaty would start immediately after its ratification by NATO members.

12-28-2007, 08:58 PM
A court in the Estonian capital Tallinn is due to consider an appeal calling for the return of a Soviet memorial to the city centre (http://www.russiatoday.ru/news/news/19076). The remains of Soviet soldiers who died fighting the Nazis were moved from the city centre in April 2007.

The appeal comes from two daughters of one of the soldiers, Ivan Sysoev, whose remains were not found during the relocation.

The Estonian government decided to move the monument along with a mass grave of 13 soldiers to a military cemetery on the outskirts of Tallinn.

It provoked mass clashes between police and the city's ethnic Russian population. Russians severely criticised the decision to move the memorial, saying it undermined the role of the Soviet soldiers who they see as liberators.

12-29-2007, 04:47 PM
Estonia (http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20071228/94607864.html)

The press is jealous about improvements in relations between Moscow and Riga.

"After the signing of the Russian-Latvian border treaty, Russia has started treating Latvia as a constructive partner. Yesterday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov did not miss the opportunity to demonstrate his good attitude to Latvia by inviting Latvian President Valdis Zatlers to Moscow. "The retiring Latvian Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis compared the ratification of the border treaty with the Russian troops withdrawal from the Baltic nations... He said that the future generations would not have to worry about the inviolability of national borders or national security."

However, some commentators are warning against illusions in the big neighbor's foreign policy. "Of course, the Latvian President may go to Moscow, admire Red Square and have a cup of tea with Vladimir Putin, but will this fill with oil the pipeline that has been empty for years? Will Russia stop chanting about 'human rights violations' in the Baltic countries? There is no doubt that Latvia is in a better foreign policy position now than Estonia, but the Latvians themselves are somewhat skeptical about this success." (Postimees, December 12).


Assessing the border treaty as a major event, the majority of publications are skeptical about the prospects for bilateral cooperation. They believe that despite formal signs of rapprochement, Moscow and Riga are still unable to find a common language. "Depending on the specific situation, Russia will alternate the position of a good interrogator with the bad one ...but will not acknowledge the fact of occupation." (Diena, December 12). "Lavrov did not forget to mention that the situation with non-citizens in Latvia is not normal.'

01-01-2008, 03:04 PM
"It is a huge technical and logistical challenge." (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7153924.stm)

The pipeline is about 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) long and it will run from Vyborg, in Russia, under the Baltic Sea, to Greifswald, in northern Germany.

Once construction is completed at the end of 2010, the pipeline will supply Russian natural gas to customers all over Europe.

There is a perception that the pipeline was a project drawn up between Russia's state energy company Gazprom and Germany, and other countries claim they were not consulted.

Poland and the Baltic states say they feel they have been bypassed, claiming they will also lose transit fees.

The new Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, says he will continue to push for the planned Russian-German gas pipeline to pass through Poland, rather than under the Baltic Sea.

Finland's environmental agency wants the pipeline to be moved further south.

"We are generally in favour of completing the pipeline project in order to have an alternative source of supply," says Jorma Korhonen, the director general of the Finnish Department for External Relations.

"But environmental factors have to be taken into account. We are concerned about the impact on the environment."

"This pipeline involves huge risks. We do not know what will happen when the seabed is disturbed," says Juha Aromaa, a spokesman for Greenpeace.

"The Baltic Sea is polluted and some of the poisonous substances on the seabed could re-surface.

"We are pushing the boundaries of surveys along such a long survey corridor."

The Gulf of Finland was heavily mined, and along with chemicals, were dumped in the sea during World War II.

01-02-2008, 03:04 PM
TALLINN, January 2 (RIA Novosti) (http://en.rian.ru/world/20080102/95152000.html) Estonian Foreign Ministry said 9,950 Russians submitted applications to Estonian embassies in December 2007, against 16,549 Russian nationals in December 2006.

On December 21, Estonia joined the Schengen agreement along with another eight countries to allow border-free internal travel, which ministry officials said could lessen the number of Russian visitors.

However, local sociologists and opposition activists said the decrease was caused by Russia's indignation at the ex-Soviet Baltic state's decision to relocate a WWII monument in the capital, Tallinn.

In a statement earlier on Wednesday, Mikhail Kamynin, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, called ineffective Estonia's eight-month-long investigation of Russian national, Dmitry Ganin's murder and expressed hope that those guilty of the crime would be punished this year.

"Unfortunately, I have to state that Estonian police have not so far taken effective measures to conduct an objective investigation into the murder of a Russian citizen in Estonia," Kamynin said.

01-04-2008, 03:43 PM
"MOSCOW. Jan 2 (Interfax) (http://www.interfax.com/3/351898/news.aspx) - The Russian Foreign Ministry has said no serious progress has been made in investigating the killing of Russian citizen Dmitry Ganin during an outbreak of violence in Tallinn in April 2007."

We must state with regret that the Estonian authorities have not taken real measures to investigate objectively the killing of a Russian citizen in Estonia, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said in a statement posted on the ministry's website on Wednesday.

Lawyer Alexander Kustov, who defends the interests of Ganin's mother, has asked the Estonian prosecutor general's office on many occasions to give him the files of the criminal investigation, but his requests have been declined for "confidentiality" reasons, he said.

Estonia's Northern District Prosecutor's Office dismissed Kamynin's statement as "untrue. "The investigation of the case is continuing. Eight months have passed since the investigation started; this is less than a year. But it is still being conducted and it is unfair to talk about any deadlock," the spokesman for the office, Gerrit Maesalu, told Interfax.

Maesalu said there had been searches and interrogations and that suspects had been identified. "At the moment, there are not 13 suspects as the media reported earlier but 14, but all of them are suspected of beating up Dmitry Ganin and his friend Oleg but not of murder," the spokesman said.

Estonia's ethnic Russian community denounced the decision as an insult to the memory of the dead.

01-06-2008, 03:49 PM
TALLINN. Jan 3 (Interfax) (http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/politics/28.html?id_issue=11941002) - Estonia's government gave consideration at a meeting on Thursday to proposed legislation to enlarge the list of reasons for which an alien or a stateless person may be expelled from the country.

Today's law permits expelling and imposing a 10-year entry ban on those who have committed any of so-called "first degree" offenses - crimes such as murder, rape and robbery.

The proposed amendments to this law would extend the category to those who have committed "second degree" offenses - less serious crimes, Justice Minister Rein Lang told reporters after the government meeting.

According to the Russian Embassy in Estonia, there live about 110,000 Russian citizens and about 120,000 stateless persons in the Baltic country, whose total population is estimated at 1.34 million.

The projected amendments would "primarily apply to aliens who have repeatedly broken Estonian laws, for example have committed serious breaches of the peace or crimes against property or have been staying in Estonia illegally," Lang said.

01-07-2008, 10:19 AM
Russian youth movement activist arrested in Lithuania (http://www.regnum.ru/english/939291.html) for illegal border crossing.

A Russian citizen, Konstantin Goloskokov, was arrested while illegally crossing the border. The trespasser was detained for a two-month term. He is facing a fine or imprisonment for up to two years. Goloskokov was planning to get into Estonia through Lithuania, where he intended to stage an action in Tonismagi Square, where the Bronze Soldier Monument was dismantled last spring. The trespasser informed authorities that he is a Nashi activist; he was going to Estonia via Lithuania, because earlier he had been denied an Estonian visa.

The State Border Control Service stated that overall the number of trespassers has been declining within last three years. In 2007, 484 trespassers were detained, which is by 23% less than in 2006.

01-10-2008, 08:38 AM
Dozens of Nashi Protesters Detained (http://www.moscowtimes.ru/stories/2008/01/10/015.html)

Police detained dozens of Nashi activists at an unauthorized rally outside the European Commission's offices in Moscow on Wednesday, in a rare instance of the pro-Kremlin youth group running afoul of the law.

Some 700 activists gathered at the delegation's office at 14/1 Kadashevskaya Naberezhnaya in central Moscow to protest the imprisonment of a fellow activist in Lithuania, which is an EU member.

The rally was not sanctioned, and police dispersed it, rounding up 50 activists and new Nashi leader Nikita Borovikov, Nashi spokeswoman Kristina Potupchik said, Interfax reported.

Police said the detainees were taken in for questioning on possible charges of illegally gathering for a protest.

The rally was meant to protest the jailing of Konstantin Goloskokov, who was sentenced to two months in prison on charges of illegally crossing the border earlier this month. Goloskokov was traveling to Estonia to participate in a Nashi picket at the former site of a Soviet memorial.

01-10-2008, 08:48 PM
TALLINN (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/19619/) -- Press reports in Estonia say that five young Russian Estonians have been charged with money-laundering in a case that may involve connections to the international terrorist organization, Al-Qaida.

The Eesti Ekspress newspaper (http://www.ekspress.ee/) says that Estonian police have been investigating the men ever since British police contacted them in the wake of the July 2005 London bombings in which 56 people were killed.

One of the suspected ringleaders of the bombing was found to have had an Estonian telephone number on his mobile phone, and to have made at least two money transfers to Estonia. The paper says that the amounts transferred to Tallinn were significant.

Police targeted IT expert Ilya Kotkov and uncovered a sophisticated money-laundering operation. A search of his apartment reportedly discovered around half a million kroons (40,000 euros) in cash.

Kotkov was sentenced to five years in prison of which he will serve eight months.

01-12-2008, 01:03 PM
"TALLINN, January 11 (RIA Novosti) (http://en.rian.ru/world/20080111/96269966.html) - Three activists charged with public order offenses following last spring's riots in Tallinn over the removal of a Soviet-era statue will go on trial January 14, a local court said Friday."

The removal of the graves of Soviet soldiers and the Bronze Soldier monument from central Tallinn provoked mass protests in the capital and some other Estonian cities in late April, when over 1,000 people were arrested, dozens injured and a Russian national killed.

Estonian prosecutors said Dmitry Linter, Maxim Reva and Dmitry Klensky, aided by a member of Russia's Kremlin-backed youth group Nashi, organized riots that led to looting, arson and clashes with police. If found guilty the defendants could face up to five years in prison.

The activists set up a group last spring called Night Watch, whose members guarded the monument commemorating those who died liberating the Baltic state from the Nazis in 1944, in an attempt to prevent its removal.

The move by Estonia aggravated relations with Russia, which has long criticized its discriminative policies toward Russian speakers and leniency toward Estonian SS veterans. Rallies were also held in Moscow, where Nashi activists picketed the Estonian embassy, leading to its brief closure and diplomatic protests.

The trial of the three men will resume on January 15 and will then be held again on January 28-31, the Estonian court said.

01-16-2008, 08:13 PM
An excellent recap from the Wall Street Journal.

One key steppingstone in that process was the U.S.-Baltic Charter (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120043210462392247.html) signed 10 years ago today.

We tell this story because it contains an important lesson. The West again faces major questions about how to reach out to young democracies striving to join our institutions -- in the Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. The challenge is to tie these countries to the West and its values at a time when enlargement fatigue is setting in and Moscow's opposition is growing.

The Charter helped unleash creative energy in these former Soviet republics. Seeing the Americans engaged on the ground made it also easier for many Europeans to beef up their presence and assistance. Another result of the Charter was that the Balts' historical distrust toward global security organizations, such as the U.N. or OSCE, started to melt.

... Washington's message was: You need to run this marathon, but we will coach and support you along the way. Above all, we will make sure that no one will be allowed to trip you up or prevent you from crossing the finish line.

In plain English (or Latvian), this meant that performance mattered and that neither Moscow nor Western skeptics could veto the process.

More at the link

01-22-2008, 05:34 PM
The much-anticipated trial against four alleged organizers of the Tallinn riots (http://www.eesti.ca/main.php?op=article&articleid=18809) began this week amid a tranquil atmosphere at home and the requisite show of propaganda on the part of Russia. The four men are accused of fomenting the rioting that rocked the Estonia’s capital last April...

The defendants have denied their guilt, and even made counterclaims against the Estonian state, alleging police abuse and constitutional violations such as denying the right to legal counsel. Regardless, prosecutors are confident that they have compiled a strong case against the four - all ethnic Russians - who face up to five years in prison.

Put mildly, it would appear that the goose has been cooked for the four defendants. Some of them, if not all, were followed by security police for months before the rioting took place. Their phones were also tapped. Indeed, it is the latter that will likely serve as the prosecutors’ smoking gun. One can easily imagine that any of the four, in the heat of the moment on April 26 - 27, began phoning contacts and “rallying the troops.” The language used was, in all likelihood, very harsh (and could eventually become a fine primer to the rich obscenities in the Russian language).

The court case will also be interesting in that it could shed light on Russia’s role in the mayhem. Moscow has denied any role in the riots, and the subsequent cyber-attacks...

But there is a pleasing footnote to the latter ordeal. Nashi activists have in recent days discovered that their road to Europe has been blocked. Due to their aggressive behavior against Estonia, the Baltic state has declared them personae non grata for travel to the European Union.

Now the poor activists - who aren’t really activists but protesters-for-hire -are moaning that they can’t get to Helsinki or Madrid because they’ve been blacklisted. For us, this has provided a wonderful sense of schadenfreude.

01-24-2008, 08:36 AM
TALLINN, January 21 (RIA Novosti) (http://en.rian.ru/world/20080121/97467548.html) - An Estonian court on Monday handed down suspended sentences to four people found guilty of public order offenses during last spring's riots in Tallinn...

Tallinn court gave Andres Maripuu, 20, an 18-month suspended sentence for looting clothes worth over $2,000 from luxury shops...

Alexander Timokhin, 19, received a one-year suspended sentence for breaking a shop window.

Svetlana Karanina, 59, found guilty of attacking a police officer, was given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Earlier in the day the court gave a one-year suspended sentence to Andrei Rybakov for throwing stones at policemen and vandalizing plants outside the National Library.

01-30-2008, 12:37 PM
Now, tiny Estonia has quietly struck back (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/world/europe/30russia.html?ex=1359349200&en=ee63e6662506a24f&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss). It has caused a bit of an uproar here by putting the Nashi protesters on an immigration blacklist, preventing them from traveling not only to Estonia but also, because of its recent entry into the European Union border-free zone, to most of Europe as well.

MOSCOW — Like many Russians, Mariana B. Skvortsova planned to spend her winter vacation traveling abroad. Yet, as she tried to cross from Russia into Finland this month, border guards refused her entry.

Ms. Skvortsova, a leader in the Kremlin-backed youth group, Nashi, was among hundreds of young people who unleashed furious protests after the former Soviet republic of Estonia moved a monument to World War II-era Soviet soldiers from the center of Tallinn, its capital, to the city’s outskirts last April.

02-04-2008, 07:33 AM
Estonian President's speech (http://www.president.ee/en/duties/speeches.php) on the Anniversary of the Tartu Peace Treaty

...After accession to the organisations of existential importance to Estonia, our goals are no longer easily defined. All too often it is no longer possible to say a goal has been achieved, to stamp a task “Done”.

Nowadays, our task is to have an impact and influence in those two organisations regarding issues with the greatest and most immediate bearing on our interests. Our goals include Estonia’s own initiatives in areas whose relevance others perhaps have not yet quite realised. Estonia’s initiative on cyber security in NATO serves as a good example.

Considering these goals, Estonia must have a clear understanding of her own capabilities and opportunities. I argue that we are capable of much more. We must abandon the attitude that we are too small to make a difference.

Being part of NATO also requires and assumes our intellectual contribution.

NATO is the mode and the channel the United States uses for its relations with Europe. As most of us clearly understand, it is in Estonia’s interests for the US to be present and to continue to participate in Europe’s security system.

NATO membership also means participation in the NATO missions. This elementary notion is not necessarily always popular. If we allow NATO to develop into an à la carte alliance, where everyone choses whether or not to participate in a mission – we may face a time when we, too, might not happen to be everyone’s choice on the menu. This we cannot allow.

I have not addressed relations with our eastern neighbour. Considering Russia’s on-going election campaign, it is hard to know what to say. When leading Russian sociologists believe election success requires the creation of an „external enemy”, and if at the moment that enemy happens to be Estonia, I conclude this is not the best time for dialogue.

For the same reason, we should take whatever is said or thought of us east of our border with greater composure.

02-05-2008, 10:38 AM
Joint Baltic American National Committee Inc. (http://jbanc.org/clinton08.html) sent questionnaires to the leading Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, asking each for their positions on key issues and concerns of the Baltic-American community.

1. What policy would you follow in U.S. relations with Russia given Russia’s increasing Soviet-style isolationism, anti-Western propaganda, and anti-democratic actions such as restrictions on a free media and return to a “one-party system”? How will you act to stem Russia's intimidation of neighboring countries, such as the Baltics, through boycotts, oil supply manipulation, cyber attacks, disinformation, and other means?

The list of issues that divides the United States and Russia is growing longer. In the heart of Europe, where we have worked hard since the end of the Cold War to bury old rivalries and hostilities...

Many of us had hoped that Baltic-Russian relations would improve after Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia joined NATO and the EU. Instead, Russia has stirred nationalist feelings against Estonia, used oil and natural gas as a political weapon in the Baltic Sea region...

President Putin seems intent on setting Russia on a path of zero-sum competition with the United States...

Unfortunately, President Bush has failed to grasp what is happening. He began the process of tearing up treaties without finding other ways to preserve mutual confidence...

We can do better than this.
As President, I will be ready to work with Russia where our interests intersect – fighting terrorism and nuclear proliferation are just two examples

2. Given the increasingly bold use of energy supply manipulation by Russia as a coercive measure to divide Europe and weaken NATO, what do you think U.S. policy should be to address this problem?

Energy security is a big issue...and I am concerned that Russia is likely to remain a major source of energy for the Baltic states and most of Europe in coming years.

But what we can and must do is manage that dependency better. Part of the answer to this energy security problem is increased diversification of suppliers

In the 1990s the Clinton Administration made the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline a priority, and thankfully, we helped make it a reality. I am deeply disappointed that President Bush has failed to make possible successor projects a priority. As President, I will.

Above all, we need a more unified position within Europe and between Europe and the United States to level the playing field with Russia.

3. Do you support NATO enlargement?

Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, I was fortunate to learn first-hand about the occupation and illegal annexation of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia...The United States never recognized that annexation, and I am deeply proud of that.

I am also proud of the leadership role that the Clinton Administration played in opening NATO’s door in the 1990s.

4. Do you support expanding trade with and increasing investment in the Baltics? If so, what measures would you propose?

For many years the Baltic states have been at the cutting edge of reform, and they have rapidly expanded trade with the West.

You have turned the Baltic states into high-tech tigers who set the standard for the Internet age.

5. How would you improve U.S. public diplomacy in the Baltic countries? Would you favor more exchanges and people-to-people contacts? If so, how would you deal with the problems of obtaining visas and the implementation of visa-free travel from the Baltic countries to the United States?

I know from my own travel to the region how talented and gifted these societies are. I commit to working with you to create the conditions where visa-free travel becomes a reality as quickly as possible. I know that both sides could benefit from this kind of future.

I fondly remember the many talented young Baltic NGO leaders I had the privilege to meet during my visit to Estonia in 1996 and at a Vital Voices conference in Iceland in 1999.

When I am President, the United States will continue to send the same message to the people of the Baltic countries that I sent when I spoke in Estonia in 1996:

“We rejoice in the freedom you have restored here, we admire your courage and tenacity, and we will continue to stand with you as you regain your rightful place in the family of Western democratic nations.”

More detailed responses at the link...

02-06-2008, 09:06 AM
TALLINN, Estonia (AFP) (http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20080205%5cACQDJON20080205110 3DOWJONESDJONLINE000425.htm&)--Estonia has launched an unprecedented two week public amnesty on turning in Soviet-era explosives which people may still be hoarding, an Estonian public security official said Tuesday.

"Anyone who informs us during the two week campaign about having explosives and will hand them over to Rescue Board specialists, will not be punished for a crime, which otherwise might be punished with a fine or even imprisonment.

"We know that many people have explosives (sic) at home which were left in Estonia by the Soviet army, and many people have also collected various explosives (sic) from our oil-shale mines," Porss said.

The explosives amnesty is unprecedented in Estonia.

Soviet-made explosives (sic) left behind in Estonia when the Red Army troops left the country in August 1994 have killed and maimed people handling them.

The amnesty will last until Feb. 17 and has been accompanied by a wide public awareness campaign in newspapers and on television and radio channels.

02-07-2008, 07:19 AM
The pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi decided to strike back at Estonia after several of its members were blacklisted and subsequently barred entry to the EU. 50 Nashi activists demonstrated outside Russia's MFA with a list of Estonian figures Nashi wants blacklisted.

MOSCOW. Feb 4 (Interfax) (http://www.interfax.com/3/360986/news.aspx) - The youth organization Nashi has compiled a list of people, including Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, who they believe should be banned from entering Russia, Nashi representative Kristina Potupchik said.

The "black list" including 20 names will be handed over to the Russian Foreign Ministry through a picket Nashi intend to hold Monday afternoon near to the Foreign Ministry, she said. "[Estonia's] unwanted guests include everybody who fought for the Bronze Soldier and for the memory of those who died in the Great Patriotic War..."

02-11-2008, 07:28 PM
TALLINN, Estonia (AFP) (http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20080205%5cACQDJON20080205110 3DOWJONESDJONLINE000425.htm&)--Estonia has launched an unprecedented two week public amnesty on turning in Soviet-era explosives which people may still be hoarding, an Estonian public security official said Tuesday.

Nearly eight response calls per day (http://www.postimees.ee/110208/esileht/siseuudised/311243.php)...Estonian citizens have turned over almost 47.5 kilos of TNT, 319 electric detonators, 35 various UXO (ranging from 23 to 220mm), 2,008 rounds of military ammunition, six meters of fuse and 500 meters of det cord !

Pretty much what you'd expect from your neighbor's basements :eek:

02-11-2008, 08:22 PM
REGNUM Interview (http://www.regnum.ru/english/954808.html) with European Parliament member Sahra Wagenknecht (http://www.sahra-wagenknecht.de/en/topic/71.curriculum_vitae.html)

REGNUM: Ms. Wagenknecht, what was your motive when visiting Estonia to observe the trial of the young men accused in organizing disorders?

My fear was — and is — that the trial against the four who are being accused of having initiated and organized disorders last April will go largely unnoticed. This to my mind would be in flagrant disregard of the outrageous accusations brought forth against the four young men by the Estonian authorities...

The EU is always very quick to judge situations happening outside the Union. When it comes to abuses committed by the member states themselves the EU is more than willing to turn a blind eye. This is what from my point of view is happening as regards all matters connected with the events surrounding the so-called Bronze soldier in Tallinn. I regard it all the more important to show presence at the trial in order to show that proceedings do not go unnoticed but that there is a public interest also from outside Estonia as to what is happening to the four men who are facing those charges...

REGNUM: In your statement, you say that there are grounds to suspect that the government itself provoked the disorders in Tallinn streets in April 2007.

It was more than obvious that the removal of the anti-fascist monument would be a provocation especially for the Russian-speaking minority to which this monument has a highly symbolic meaning. The attacks on the monument by the Estonian government had started well before the April events of last year. There were continuous proceedings to change its outlook and to gradually do away with the Bronze soldier as a relic of the anti-fascist past.

REGNUM: Aren't you afraid that Estonian politicians might accuse you of ties with the Kremlin?

This is already happening, and it does not come as a surprise to me. It is always the easiest way to try and attack somebody who does not fit into the general mainstream attitudes.

Estonia which so eagerly is working on being a modern technology society seems to have a severe lack of data protection. This is also a major problem from my point of view as regards the ongoing trial in Tallinn. The alleged evidence brought forth by the authorities seems to be based heavily on the disregard of data security standards. It is obvious that a lack of protection in this respect raises serious concern as regards the adherence to elemental privacy rights on the side of the Estonian authorities.

No real surprises here at Sahra's website (http://www.sahra-wagenknecht.de/en/topic/83.the_left_party__die_linke_.html)

Member of the Executive of the Left Party (DIE LINKE)

Within my party my work aims at ensuring that The Left obtains a clear-cut, unmistakable anti-capitalist party profile, that it continues to be a devout and consequent anti-war party...

...I belong to the leadership of the Communist Platform of the party and am one of the spokespersons of the solidarity movement venezuela avanza. I am also a supporting member of the youth association Left Youth ['solid].

Much more at the links...

02-12-2008, 11:16 AM
MOSCOW (AFP) — Russian schoolchildren hold anti-Estonia protest (http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jiTTA8Cjf2pkTFuQ5ZXohA9Af_wA)

Russian school children held a history class about World War II on Saturday outside the Estonian embassy in Moscow in a protest over the removal of a Soviet war monument from central Tallinn.

The class, which was given by a Russian war veteran, was held outdoors in a street near the embassy amid near-freezing temperatures. Around 20 children dressed in winter coats and hats attended, an AFP photographer saw.

The protest was organised by the Mishki (Teddy Bears), a children's group affiliated with the Kremlin-backed youth organisation Nashi, which has carried out numerous protests against Estonia.

02-12-2008, 01:19 PM
Stan mentioned the event with "mishki". Here are photos. This was very sad view. Admiral lied with history facts and children were listening :(


02-12-2008, 01:57 PM
Stan mentioned the event with "mishki". Here are photos. This was very sad view. Admiral lied with history facts and children were listening :(


Hey Kaur !
Great link, some kind of forum. Sadly, my Russian sucks (save the bad words). Are the forum comments pro-Russian, neutral, or perhaps a few even pro-Estonian ?

The Nashi are losing ground in Estonia following the Kremlin's decision to box them up for another election year and the overall ban from Schengen Countries.

This Teddy Bear approach looks like North Korea, only they tended to start with kindergarten :eek:

Take care over there !

Terv kodumaalt

02-25-2008, 11:56 AM
Almost year has passed ...

Bitter row

But President Ilves believes Moscow loses no opportunity to meddle in the affairs of his tiny country.

Indeed as a former radio journalist, he was keen to quote me a weighty think-tank report that suggests the Kremlin is trying to divide and rule the whole of Europe.

As a former talks writer from a more Russophile background, I was more inclined to give the Kremlin the benefit of the doubt.

Russian perspective

But my views changed a bit when I got to the Kremlin itself.

The Kremlin seems reluctant to let go of its historical influence
I found myself soon afterwards in a grand office behind its intimidating red-brick walls, looking out over the psychedelic onion domes of St Basil's Cathedral and taking tea with President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy adviser, Sergei Prikhodko.

He was so disgusted by the moving of the bronze soldier statue that he could not bring himself to say anything else at all about Estonia.


03-14-2008, 10:26 AM
There is already pattern in Nashi activities. This time against Russian daily newspaper.

Kommersant Accuses Nashi Hackers
By Nabi Abdullaev
Staff Writer
The Kommersant newspaper has complained to police and prosecutors about a massive hacker attack on its web site, which it suspects was orchestrated by the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi.

The attacks on the newspaper's web site began last week, Kommersant lawyer Georgy Ivanov said, and the site remained paralyzed for much of Thursday.

Meanwhile, entering the Russian expletive "zasrantsy," or assholes, in popular Internet search engines Yandex, Yahoo and Google returned links to the Kommersant site Thursday.

The Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, attacks on the Kommersant site come in the wake of an enigmatic recent campaign against the independent-minded daily in which young people on the street were distributing rolls of toilet paper.

Printed on the toilet paper was the Kommersant logo, a letter purportedly from editor-in-chief Andrei Vasilyev and the cell phone number of Kommersant reporter Yulia Taratuta.

Vasilyev said the letter printed on the toilet paper was a forgery.

Taratuta penned an article published in January in which an unidentified Kremlin official was quoted as calling Nashi activists "jubilant street punks" and saying their services were no longer needed.

Kommersant filed complaints to city police and city prosecutors Wednesday over the toilet-paper incident and hacker attacks, Ivanov said Thursday.

"We don't mention Nashi in our complaints because there are no legal grounds to do so," Ivanov said.

The DDoS attacks on the Kommersant site were increasing Thursday, he said.

A City Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman said investigators were looking into the complaints. She declined to elaborate.

Nashi spokeswoman Kristina Potupchik denied group's involvement in the attacks on the Kommersant site and the toilet paper campaign.

Earlier this month, a detailed plan on how to disrupt the newspaper's operations -- including hacker attacks -- purportedly authored by Potupchik and several other senior Nashi members began making the rounds of the Russian blogosphere.

Potupchik said Thursday that the plan was "a fake."


03-14-2008, 12:11 PM
The “Bronze Year” of Estonia-Russia relations

13.03.2008, Kadri Liik, ICDS

An article by ICDS director Kadri Liik, The “Bronze Year” of Estonia-Russia relations, appeared in the 2007 Yearbook of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that was issued for the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.


03-24-2008, 05:28 PM
Estonian Review: 12-18 March, 2008 (http://www.mfa.ee/eng/kat_137/9487.html)

European Union Needs More Visible Presence in Afghanistan

Mar 14 - Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that even though the European Union’s contribution to Afghanistan’s development and stabilisation is noteworthy, the residents of Afghanistan still know fairly little about it. The foreign minister also acknowledged that Estonia’s experience in Helmand province has proved the importance of co-operation between military and civil forces is. Co-operation with the UN, NATO, the USA, and Afghanistan are equally important for co-ordinating our strategic plans.

Poland Highly Interested in Estonia’s Cyber Defence Activities

Mar 14 - The Polish Minister of National Defence Bogdan Klich, who was in Tallinn on one-day visit, confirmed his keen interest in the development of bilateral defence co-operation to his Estonian colleague.
Issues related to air policing of the Baltic States, NATO’s collective missile defence, cyber security, European Union Battle Groups, and bilateral co-operation within the framework of the Baltic Defence College were discussed...

According to the Polish Minister of Defence, they are very interested both in Estonia’s experiences with repelling cyber attacks and proposals regarding the development of the relevant capabilities of the armed forces.

Eight Countries to Take Part in NATO Cyber Defence Centre in Estonia

Mar 17 - Eight countries will be taking part in the work of the cyber defence centre, while the posts of chief and chairman of the supervisory board will be filled by Estonians. The countries are Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Germany, Spain, Slovakia and the United States.

Much more at the link...

Tom Odom
03-24-2008, 05:32 PM
Welcome back mate!

Estonian Review: 12-18 March, 2008 (http://www.mfa.ee/eng/kat_137/9487.html)

Much more at the link...

Ken White
03-24-2008, 05:44 PM
Well, not too badly, anyhow... :D

Welcome back.

03-24-2008, 05:59 PM
Welcome back mate!
Thanks, Tom !

Well, not too badly, anyhow... :D

Welcome back.

Well, Ken, after the death threats, canceled credit cards, rhetoric...It was time to return and give you folks something to do :D

Regards, Stan

03-24-2008, 06:14 PM
RIA Novosti - Opinion & Analysis (http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20080321/101964475.html)

Observers believe that the strong dependence of Estonia's Russian speakers on Russian television is dangerous for Estonian society because it is further splitting the country along ethnic lines. "The [Estonian] Human Development Report points out that 93% of Estonia's Russian speakers watch Russian TV channels, and 68% of them read Russian newspapers published in Estonia... A feeling of solidarity and mutual confidence are relatively week in Estonia; mistrust has grown after last April's events [transfer of the Bronze Soldier statue]." (Eesti Paevaleht, March 18).

Commentators are linking Washington's reserved reaction to Beijing's suppression of massive protests in Lhasa (Tibet) with Kosovo's recent precedent. They believe that Moscow may derive some benefits from these events. "The Kremlin is silent for the time being, but Russian television channels are backing Tibet. This is not surprising because in this way it is possible to cut Washington to size for recognizing Kosovo's independence and at the same time instigate Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transdnestr. It is no secret that the Kremlin is always pleased to hear Beijing being criticized for its treatment of national minorities because in this case, Russia is not blamed for events in Chechnya and violations of human rights against its own ethnic minorities... Now big countries have to keep their mouth shut on the status of democracy in Russia." (Parnu Postimees, March 18).

Ron Humphrey
03-25-2008, 12:38 PM
Hope you gave the credit cards and death threats their due diligence and response;)

03-25-2008, 01:18 PM
Hey Ron !
I intended all along to die in debt and normally prefer bomb threats (at least you know what to look for) over death threats :D

Hope you gave the credit cards and death threats their due diligence and response;)

03-26-2008, 01:32 PM
Little history lesson.

How the Russians Turned into the Image of the "National Enemy" of the Estonians.


03-28-2008, 02:25 PM
TALLINN - The Night Watch movement of Russian-speaking young people (http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/20111/) in Estonia wishes to stage a public meeting on the anniversary of the riots that broke out in connection with the relocation of the Soviet soldier monument last April.

Activists Sergei Tydoyakov and Pyotr Pushkarnyi have filed an application with the city government to hold a meeting of several hours' duration on the afternoon of April 26.

The meeting would take place in Hirvepark and according to organizers its purpose would be to defend democratic values in present-day Estonia.

The Tallinn city government already has registered a number of public rallies for April 26 and 27 in what are seen as sensitive locations of the capital city.

Meetings are slated to be held in front of the parliament, at Harjumagi next to Freedom Square, in Kaarli boulevard, in front of the National Library and on the sidewalk next to the Kaarli Church facing Tonismagi, or places near the spot where the so-called Bronze Soldier used to stand until last spring, to promote various initiatives concerning amateur sports, quitting of smoking and clearing of roadsides of litter.

04-05-2008, 08:50 AM
The Estonian Foreign Ministry is getting ready to replace their Ambassador to Russia (http://www.kommersant.com/p874066/r_530/Estonia_Russia_abmassador/). Marina Kaljurand hasn’t worked in Moscow for three years, but she is mostly associated with among other things, last year’s clashes initiated by moving the Soviet Bronze Soldier Monument.

Kaur, anything more to this ?

The climax of Marina Kaljurand’s activities in Moscow was past year’s events, when Tallinn moved the bronze statue of the WW2 Red Army Soldier from downtown to a military cemetery in the suburbs and quite a few youth movements of Russia called Ms Kaljurand the symbol of fascist regime of Estonia. Her car was attacked by the youth but the ambassador manifested the courage and rigidity.

Meanwhile in Tallinn, they have apparently decided to aim at warmer relations with Moscow, as the Bronze Soldier's conflict stripped the country’s economy off up to 40-percent of the budget revenues. The first move en route to improvement could be replacing the ambassador, who inspires negative thoughts in Russia.

People in Estonia’s Foreign Ministry hope that a new ambassador will work in totally different conditions in Russia. The standing of the Kremlin became clear after then Russia’s Ambassador to Latvia Viktor Kalyuzhny declared the change of the attitude to the Baltic States past fall. “The Kremlin will be working not with the opposition but rather with current authorities,” Kalyuzhny vowed.