Today Crimea, tomorrow Estonia?

In Estonia, what's happening in Ukraine looks painfully familiar

8 March 2014

9:00 AM

8 March 2014

9:00 AM

 Tallinn, Monday

 ‘I have some sad news,’ says the Estonian politician, as we sit down to dinner. ‘War has broken out.’ The pain in his voice is palpable. For this patriotic man, and many like him, Russia’s invasion of Crimea has reawakened memories of an era everyone here hoped was over.

Wandering the cobbled streets of Tallinn, Russia seems a long way away. You could be in Bremen or Lubeck. Yet Tallinn’s European heritage is only half the story. It’s been Estonia’s capital for just 45 years, from 1918 (when Estonia first won its independence) to 1940 (when Stalin invaded) and again from 1991 (when Estonia regained its independence) to today. About a quarter of Tallinn’s population are Russian speakers, as are about a quarter of all Estonians — roughly the same proportion that exists in Ukraine.

Recent events have also rekindled memories of 2007, when the Estonian prime minister decided to move a controversial Soviet war memorial from the centre of Tallinn to a military cemetery on the outskirts. Local Russian speakers rioted. Estonian news, government and banking websites were disabled. Estonia accused Russia of orchestrating a covert cyberwar. Russia denied it.


Estonia’s two language communities still keep their distance. Tens of thousands of Russian speakers only hold grey ‘Alien’s Passports’ rather than the full passports granted to non-Estonians who’ve passed the state’s Estonian language test.

Russians have always lived in Tallinn, alongside the Germanic merchants who made this one of medieval Europe’s most prosperous ports. After it was conquered by Peter the Great, it became Russia’s gateway to the West. But many of the Russian speakers who live here today were shipped in from the USSR after 1945, in an attempt to undermine Estonia’s identity. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Estonians were transported to Siberia. Others — both Estonians and Russians — just disappeared. One of them was the grandfather of Jana, a translator I met in Tallinn. In 1940, when Stalin invaded, Jana’s grandfather, a Russian, was drafted into the Red Army. In 1941, when Hitler invaded, he was drafted into the Wehrmacht. In 1944, when Stalin returned, he was drafted into the Red Army again, but this time he said he’d had enough. He was taken to the KGB HQ, a grand Jugenstil building in Tallinn. Jana’s grandmother came to visit her husband here. She brought him bread and trousers, but when she returned for a second visit, he was no longer there. She never saw him or had word of him again. When I visited the building with Jana there was a sign outside: ‘Luxury flats for sale.’

As in Ukraine, Estonia’s Russian speaking population isn’t evenly dispersed. In Narva, on the Russian border, over 90 per cent are Russian speakers.

On the wooded islands off Estonia’s west coast, conversely, there are hardly any native Russian speakers. On Saaremaa, Estonia’s biggest island, I spend a day with Erika, who grew up here under the Soviet regime. ‘Estonians have always wanted their own home, their own piece of land,’ she says. ‘We’re individualistic.’

So how did Estonians resist Soviet attempts to erase their individuality? How did they survive half a century of collectivisation? ‘We could still see Finnish TV,’ explains Erika. ‘They couldn’t stop it.’ But there was more to it than that. These tough, resourceful people are well used to fighting for their homeland.

Here on Saaremaa, Sweden is closer by boat than Tallinn. We stop at a Soviet war memorial, a huge concrete obelisk looming above the Baltic, built to mark the Red Army’s victory over the Wehrmacht. A few years ago, a short walk away, workmen uncovered two Viking longboats. In them were the skeletons of 40 warriors, killed in a forgotten battle here.

Back in Tallinn, I spend a night at the Telegraaf hotel. Before it became a hotel, this building was Tallinn’s telephone exchange. In 1924, local communists, supported by the Soviet Union, stormed the exchange in an attempt to overthrow the Estonian government. As they were sending a telegram to the USSR, requesting military back-up, an Estonian general called Ernst Podder broke into the building with several soldiers and shot all six of them. Thanks to his quick thinking, that telegram was never sent.

For Britons, the Crimean crisis may seem like a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing, but for our EU neighbours and Nato allies in Estonia, it feels very close to home.

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Show comments
  • David Lindsay

    In Latvia, one third of the
    population is stateless due to the staggeringly racist definition of

    In Estonia, even native-born citizenship is alienable upon being found
    also to hold a Russian passport; the last Patriarch of Moscow, Alexy II,
    was from Estonia, and he had previously been the Archbishop of his
    native Tallinn, a city with a world famous Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

    Unburdened by Russophobia, and therefore possessed of
    solutions to the problem of Russian oligarchical takeover, the alliance
    between the traditional Right and the traditional Left has been saying
    all of this, and more, for years.

    Soviet Republics from 1944 to 1991, the Baltic States became independent
    a few
    months before the dissolution of the USSR.

    Their brief independence
    between the Wars had been part of the humiliation inflicted by Germany
    and Austria-Hungary on defeated Russia at Brest-Litovsk in 1918.

    and Estonia became dictatorships in 1934, and Lithuania as early as

    Although Lithuania has a different history, Latvia and Estonia had
    never existed as independent states before 1918.

    After having been ruled
    by the Teutonic Knights and then by Sweden, they had become parts of
    the Russian Empire from
    the 1720s onwards.

    In other words, and in order to give some
    perspective, they had done so only very slightly after the Union between
    England and Scotland.

    Therefore, their incorporation into the Soviet Union in 1944 was nothing more than the
    restoration of the centuries-old status quo ante.

    It was warmly
    welcomed by much of the Baltic political class, which contained many
    committed Communists.

    That the Polish city of Wilno, now Vilnius, should
    have become and remained the capital
    of Lithuania was and is entirely pursuant to the Molotov-Ribbentrop
    of 1939.

    It is the case that the large Russian minorities in Lithuania and,
    especially, in Latvia and in Estonia, increased during the Soviet
    period, very much at the request of the local Communist Parties, which
    sought them to fill various positions in the economy.

    But those
    minorities had existed, and had been numerically considerable, for

    Upon independence in 1991, the Baltic
    States adopted the founding constitutional principle that they had been
    occupied by the USSR rather than
    incorporated into it, so that they were merely reverting to their
    interrupted sovereign statehood.

    In 1993, Latvia even elected a
    President, Guntis Ulmanis, who was a great-nephew of Kārlis Ulmanis, the
    Inter-War dictator. He had come up through a rapidly reconstituted
    party which his great-uncle had banned.

    But the
    laws of occupation are comprehensively set out in the Hague Conventions
    1907. The powerless citizenry of an occupied state
    remains a separate legal entity from its occupier.

    Whereas incorporation
    makes the members of that citizenry into citizens of the incorporating
    state. That was what happened in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

    From 1944 to 1991,
    their inhabitants were Soviet citizens, simply as a matter of legal
    fact. As they had been from 1922 to 1940, and as they had been de facto even if not de jure, along with everyone else in the territory concerned, from 1917 to 1922.

    Those states therefore share in the responsibility for the Soviet regime
    during most of its history.

    over the Soviet Union, there were monuments to the Red Latvian Riflemen
    who had fought in and for the Revolution. Latvians had been one of the
    largest ethnic groups in the
    Bolshevik secret police, despite comprising a very small proportion of
    the population of the new Soviet state.

    “Russian” and “Communist” were obviously not
    interchangeable terms, while the
    Russian Empire had always defined all as equal if they served the Tsar,
    which was how it had managed to incorporate the Balts, among so very
    many others.

    They were never victims of imperialism as the term is
    ordinarily understood.

    Yet, like many Austrians in relation to the Third Reich, but without the
    excuse that most people involved are now dead, they are determined to
    pretend that they were indeed victims.

    Citizenship is denied, voting
    rights are refused, amenities are not extended, schools teaching through
    the medium of Russian are closed, and so on. Inside NATO. Inside the

    These are not even measures against small minorities, or against recent
    immigrants with their children and grandchildren, for whose rights in
    these spheres the advocates of Eurofederalism and Atlanticism normally,
    and in most cases rightly, fight with such vigour.

    Rather, these are
    measures against large population groups that are several centuries old.

    The defence of Saint Petersburg, and of the highly populous heartland of
    ethnic Russian culture from that city to Moscow, is impossible without
    control of the Baltic States.

    Purging them of their Russian and Soviet
    pasts, and of their large and longstanding Russian populations, as
    surely as the clutching of those purged states to the bosoms of NATO and
    the EU, is part and parcel of driving Russia out of European and
    Western affairs; of deracinating or “othering” Russia as Eurasian and

    • Jambo25

      I have rarely read such mendacious tosh as the above posting.

      • Kennybhoy

        FFS Jambo! It’s the Young Maister o’ Lanchester. What do you expect? This is actually quite tame by his standards! 🙂

        • Jambo25

          Kennybhoy, even by Lindsay’s standards that posting is right through the looking glass. Completely bonkers and nasty with it.

      • ian channing

        Why is it tosh? I found it pretty informative.

        • Jambo25

          Because it was ahistorical and gave a false appreciation of what was actually going on in the Baltic states over the last century.

          • David Lindsay

            Quite the reverse.

      • Bonkim

        DL makes valid points.

        • Jambo25

          You may think so. I think much or most of what he has written is dross.

    • anyfool

      You say,
      They were never victims of imperialism as the term is ordinarily understood.

      Never victims, you yourself mention several countries who have occupied the area, even if as you say they were never there before 1919, ” an obvious idiocy ” how many countries never existed before then, every country that arose from the break up of European empires would by your reasoning be liable to reintegration into whatever entity the previous rulers decide, tell that to your Pakistani friends in Labour, the Party of the Impoverished.

      • David Lindsay

        Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.

        The Cold War is over. It has, in fact, been over for a generation. If you can still properly remember it, then you are now quite old. Get over it.

        • vr

          You are correct! Cold war is over, it is getting quite hot already in Crimea..

      • Bonkim

        Pakistan is not a united country – maintained by brute force mainly by the military over is post-colonial history. Most post colonial countries were drawn up on a blank sheet by the departing powers with little thought to the multitudes that inhabited the land. This was no different in Europe, even North America – WW1 and WW2 were needed to sort out the territorial and ethnic/linguistic mix left – post USSR situation similar – I have no problem with Russia re-asserting its role to bring some sense to the warring factions. the West has no real understanding of the region and blind idealism or misguided attempts to bring western style democracy will end up in failure in all the ex-USSR countries, as it has been in ex-British colonial countries.

    • Bonkim

      That is the nature of these petty new nation states. Don’t assume human rights as we know in Britain and the US exists in these backwaters.

      • David Lindsay

        The world ought to have insisted that the 15, largely cobbled together, republics were not under any circumstances to make the ludicrous attempt to go their separate ways.

        As we now see.

        • Bonkim

          Do we have a world government with a military force to enforce its wishes? Would that be a democratically elected government or something like what the EU is pretending to be? How many people would be allowed to live on earth if that became reality and how do you get rid of all the other surplus human material?

        • HookesLaw

          Your socialist slip is showing. You are a pathetic and ignorant bigot.

    • vr

      > due to the staggeringly racist definition
      What is racist about demanding citizen to speak loval language and know a bit about history and country? Oh are Russians a different race than Estonians or Latvians???
      > In Estonia, even native-born citizenship is alienable upon being found also to hold a Russian passport;
      Plain wrong, If you are born as Estonian citizen there is no legal way to take it from you, you can have as many other passports as you wish. Unless you give it up yourself.
      If you are not born as Estonian citizen but naturalized, then it is possible to reverse it.

    • MJ

      So I lived in Latvia. I must have been imagining all the fields that I walk through and all the families that I knew who had lost loved ones to Soviet aggression. In your fabricated history, I didn’t stand in fields where the Latvian people were forced on cattle cars. And your cleverly spun history, the population was not reduced by over 40 percent through execution, exile or imprisonment. I suppose in your little world the holocaust didn’t happen under Hitler either.

    • psage

      obvious troll is obvious, that will will do paid kremlin stooge that will do

  • artemis in france

    If they treat Russians in Estonia as second-class citizens they’re asking for trouble. By not accepting realities (a large proportion of them feel disenfranchised) they are leaving themselves open to “sympathetic” Russian interference. If they really want
    Estonia to be a peaceful, happy place for everyone they should address the grievances of “Russian Estonians” asap. Of course, if they must tie themselves to the EU, they’re merely swapping one supranational body for another. The EU mayn’t seem as menacing as the old USSR but appearances can be deceptive.

    • D Whiggery

      Quite, it’s the EU/NATO that are being expansionist here not Russia.

      Apparently, Putin is meant to be the new Hitler, a phantom menace to keep us all together. Apparently he wants to reconquer the whole of Eastern Europe too, but I wonder why it’s taken him so long to start. He’s been in power for 15 years and he’s only now got round to doing a bit of conquering.

      Something doesn’t add up with this narrative.

      • David Lindsay


        Look how hysterical they become when they are challenged. That says it all.

        • Crying out loud

          Who do you think that you are? You have replied to everyone here with utter tripe. if you cannot contribute with intelligent thought and comment then go so completely and hideously away.

          • David Lindsay

            Look how hysterical they become when they are challenged. That says it all.

          • Crying out loud


      • roger

        Yes, Hitler was a ‘man in a hurry’ and paid the price.

      • HookesLaw

        How is an independent country choosing to join NATO, ‘expansionist’?

        • D Whiggery

          NATO does things no differently to Russia in expanding its influence. A country deciding to join NATO is not a bottom up decision following overwhelming public pressure, it is a top down decision from a political elite. NATO co-opts politicians in target countries by using financial incentives and possibilities of advancement which are all the more attractive now that the EU and NATO expand hand in hand.

          To think this is some spontaneous affirmation of inspirational self-determination on the part of ordinary people is naive in the extreme. Couple that with the fact that NATO since 1999 has no longer been just a defensive alliance but an offensive military tool to achieve western foreign policy goals and I can understand why Russians (not just Putin) don’t want it expanding up to their boarders.

          • psage

            stop slobbering on putin’s knob your embarrassing yourself

    • Crying out loud

      Russians are in Estonia mainly due to colonisation in Soviet times to dilute the native Estonians and to open up industry. Few incoming Russians bothered to learn Estonian and sent their children to Russian language schools. Go to the excellent Museum of occupation in Tallinn and you will see that the Soviets invaded in 1941 and stayed until 1991, excluding limited freedom during the German occupation. It was the soviets who bombed Tallinn vanalinn (some streets are still not rebuilt) and flattened the Estonian city of Narva and repopulated it with Russians.

      Independent Estonia has quite rightly emphasized that Estonian is the national unifying language and that every citizen should learn it – would you agree that immigrants in England should continue to use immigrant languages and learn limited English generation after generation?

      The Estonians have made great strides to accommodate Russian speakers. Go to most restaurants in Tallinn or Tartu and menus will be in Estonian, English and Russian. Most older Estonians speak Russian, though younger Estonians and ethnic Russians also speak English. In many respects English has unified the divide as a mutual second language.

      • David Lindsay

        Russians are in Estonia mainly due to colonisation in Soviet times


        • Crying out loud

          Would you like to provide evidence?

          • David Lindsay

            Wikipedia? Is that it? What I wrote is axiomatic to anyone who knows anything about the subject.

          • Crying out loud

            How droll.

        • HookesLaw

          You are an idiot.

  • black11hawk

    Well seeing as Estonia is a NATO and EU member and an attack on one member is an attack on all of them, we would literally have no credibility whatsoever if we did not defend Estonia

    • JoeDM

      And that is the fundamental difference with the Ukraine crisis.

    • David Lindsay

      It has had none for more than 20 years, anyway.

      Of course we would never go to war with Russia. Don’t be silly.

      • black11hawk

        Of course the UK wouldn’t go to war unilaterally with Russia if that’s what you mean, but if Russia invaded a NATO member they would have to defend it and I reckon they would.

        • Bonkim

          NATO was designed to defend the Western nations during the cold war – not save the new Eastern European states formed after the break up of the USSR.

          • black11hawk

            Yeah but since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the accession to the EU of various former-Soviet satellites, such as Estonia, those countries have been a path to becoming culturally and politically westernised.

            In my view Poland is beginning to supersede Italy as the fourth most important nation in the EU and any invasion by Russia of one of its neighbours would rile it sufficiently for it to bring other NATO members in. Therefore, even if America didn’t become heavily involved the European members of NATO would not stand for it.

            Also if Russia were to invade and take control of a NATO and EU member they really would have to give up the whole charade and declare the alliance over as it would be utterly meaningless thereafter.

          • Bonkim

            In principle yes – but the equation has shifted. EU countries and the US – in fact the whole world has now tasted the fruits of economic stability and affluence. Unlikely they will wish to all that sacrificed chasing a few ideals – The situation in the 50s and even 60s was much more precarious the wholesale destruction of WW2 meant people were used to living on the breadline and hence able to take more risk – for example the Cuban missile crisis or various adventures – Egypt, Korea, Vietnam, etc. The Yugoslavian, Iraqi and Afghan adventures were affordable because of economic prosperity and low risk of spread.

            Tangling with Russia and involving Europe would be hugely costly and most EU nations are near-bankrupt – regardless of Poland’s rise from an agrarian base.

            Apart from polish agricultural and people export, its coal is poor quality and falling.

            UK is lukewarm to any new war due to reduction in military power. The real question is whether Merkel can afford to sacrifice Germany’s economy in any adventure to save a few Slavs from their tiff with Fellow Slavs with whom they have a shared history. Personally I will leave Ukraine and Russia to sort themselves out – Ukraine in bankrupt – not much they will contribute apart from bread flour and cheap labour – that not many want.

          • black11hawk

            You’re right in that the West does not want to jeopardise its stability for no good reason. But the problem is there are still certain states Russia, China and others who are willing to become embroiled in and even start conflicts if they think it’s in their strategic interest. Just because we have become gun-shy it does not mean others have. In the end we will have to stand up for ourselves, because nobody else will. The invasion of an allied country would be a serious incursion upon the West and we would have to react militarily or invite future incursions.

          • Bonkim

            Who is ‘West’ ? The mainstay of NATO power during the cold was were the US and Britain, also France that joined in later.

            US had to be coaxed in participating in WW2 – and pearl harbour was the trigger point.

            Britain and france were busy defending their Empirs.

            the EU is defunct – mainly held together by Germany’s economic might. The others in the Eurozone are liabilities. there is no joint political will within the EU and Baronness Rushtion and NATO Secretary General Rasmussen are empty vessels sounding loud.

            When it comes to the crunch – Poland, Western Ukraine, the Baltic countries (they are not an united entity either) , possibly Czech republic, and Hungary will bear the brunt of any serious conflict. US is far away and good at remote warfare, britain luke warm towards the EU and wants to safeguard its banking and financial services and little affinity with eastern Europe. France – economy in the doldrums – Italy good eating pasta but little else – and the rest bankrupt and internally corrupt. Take your pick of the west and decide who you want as your allies in an all out war with Russia or China.

          • tolpuddle1

            The NATO alliance was set up in the days of Churchill and Truman. In today’s multi-cultural West, with a decadent population munching super-burgers as they goggle at porn, it has long been a charade, except against cardboard foes like Milosevich. The West’s only remaining weapon is air power (Western boots on the ground will always lose) but Putin has an air force.

            If Putin were reckless enough to attack the West or the Baltic states, there would be no public appetite in the West for war (even if the public could haul themselves off their sofas) and thus no possibility of Western victory. The Ukrainians are worried because they know quite well that in the event of war, they’d very probably be on their own; except of course for right-wing and liberal-interventionist journalists talking tough from their favourite drinking holes.

          • vr

            May I remind that Estonia has always bearing western cultural identity

          • INTJ

            Actually, I would disagree. Estonia wasn’t even a part of the EU until early 2004. It’s been part of the EU for just over a decade.

        • David Lindsay

          No chance.

        • INTJ

          I think that they might send supplies for Estonia, but I don’t know that I would place all of my faith in finnicky western countries.

    • Bonkim

      No one will go to war to save Estonia and Lithuania if they were to be invaded – the numbers are few and they don’t have oil or gas.

      • roger

        Though short sighted politicians took us to war over Poland, even though they knew British forces could never free it from German invasion (as for Russian nazi/soviet pact invasion it didn’t even say anything, let alone do anything).
        Never trust politicians making war far from home.

        • Bonkim

          Pre-WW2 there was a lot of misplaced idealism around and domination over Empires gave false security. The world has changed – everything now is worked out by cost benefit analysis. If you look up recent history – after Iraq and Afghanistan and to a lesser extent Yugoslavia governments are hamstrung by a sceptical electorate and worries about budgets, social security and other costs – doubt if the west has stomach for an all out life or death war as was the case in 1939/40. Even then it took a lot of coaxing to get the US to take part – only after Pearl harbour.

          Doubt if Mutti will allow anyone to get too hot with Putin – they need each other too much for a catastrophe to upset the EU economic cart.

  • D Whiggery

    So you’re Putin and you’re hell bent on restoring the Russian Empire.

    You come to power in 1999 and set to work implementing your evil plan for world domination. What do you do?

    Do you invade Estonia quickly or try economic incentives to bring them back into the Russian orbit?


    Do you wait until they join the EU and NATO and then wait ten years and then invade?

    Well he didn’t do the first and I’ll doubt he’ll do the second, which probably means that he doesn’t want to conquer Eastern Europe but simply to maintain Russia’s sovereign independence against Western Globalism. But hey, let’s not let common sense get in the way of the hysteria.

    The EU’s at stake we must provoke another cold war at all costs.

    • David Lindsay

      Well said.

    • brotherbaldrick

      Yip, I concur fully. It amazes me how eager these supposed libertarian journo’s are to reignite the cold war! Quite happy they are to support a neo-nazi group that has come to power in Ukraine through violence and intimidation, but utterly oppose when an autonomous region wants to have nothing to do with said illegitimate neo-nazi’s! Western journo’s – thick as pig sh*t and dangerously incompetent!

      • GS_garbo

        Analogously, what about Chechnya? Shouldn’t Chechens have the right to determine their fate? Give them a referendum and see if they wish to remain part of Russia? It would be the logical fair thing to do, would it not?

        • Bonkim

          But the West did sod all during the Chechen war – wrong colour and religion to attract the EU.

      • INTJ

        I think your distinction of *western* journalists — or, as you so eloquently put it: journo’s (though unless you’re trying to indicate their posession of something, it ought to have been journos) — is assuming that there is something distinctive about western journalists that make them the only stupid journalists. I don’t disagree that many western journalists write poorly and misleadingly about very important topics, but that doesn’t mean that eastern cultures don’t do the very same thing.

    • Tom Tom

      The only Empire i see is the US Empire which has reduced its allies to servility and seeks to encircle any opponents until they succumb. Germany is not a sovereign state and Britain is a lapdog messing in Central Europe as disastrously as before.

      The attempt to deny Russia its warm-water port is lunacy, it is also a major oil export hub. Britain should lead by example and give the Falklands to Argentina and Gibraltar to Spain if it wants to pursue this path, Israel should return Jerusalem, and the USA should return Florida and Texas and Hawaii.

      This is the War Russia has expected – it was planned in 1954 but needed Gorbachev’s agreements with Reagan to be betrayed by Clinton and Bush to make Russia and China see the need for new weapoms as the Us decided to modernise its nuclear weapons. The War Party in the Us wants to fight a nuclear war in Europe

      • joeblow55

        Argentina is a decayed mess,

      • HookesLaw

        usual garbage

      • joeblow55

        Usual garbage. Probably an FSB disinformation campaign.

    • John Locke

      This comment is way too simplistic. The world is an evolving place.

      Putin came to power in 1999. The Russian economy was in tatters (look up the 1998 Russian financial crisis). Its military was demoralised, underfunded and under-equipped. Separatism had spread to many part of the remaining empire, most notably in Chechnya. Russia was in an ill position to project its power anywhere, things looked quite bleak.

      You have to give credit to Putin. He fought a successful war in Chechnya and subjugated the separatists elsewhere. He concentrated power into Moscow by changing the laws so that he could name regional rulers. He destroyed any opposition in free press by taking over all the TV stations; the majority of people now only hear one truth, his truth. He rejuvenated the secret service and it now enforces his rule throughout the empire, using harassment, show trials and simple beatings. He imprisoned the unfriendly oligarchs (well many of them deserved it) and kept only those loyal to him. He even resorted to poisoning dissidents that had escaped abroad — anyone going against him should know better. He reformed and nationalized the oil and gas industries and thanks to the high energy prices his economy boomed. He has reformed the military and trained and equipped quite a few elite units. He restarted the old soviet strategic bombing test runs; game of chicken at NATO borders are now again a frequent occurence. He left the “Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe” and is now concentrating troops and weaponry on the European borders.

      If this was a game of Sid Meyer’s Civilization, I would congratulate Putin on an excellent game so far. But alas, it is not a game, and it seems I’m on the opposite side.

      Once he had the situation in Russia stabilized, he started to look outwards. His first target was Georgia in 2008. He funded separatism in its regions and moved in its forces. Georgia is now severely weakened.

      What about the economic war? Putin is doing it all the time. Just look up the Ukrainian-Russian gas wars. Even being part of WTO, our commercial enterprises have to watch out for random import restrictions that are raised every so often by Russians. Aside from the stick, there is also the carrot. Putin makes use of both.

      Russia has grown stronger. And Putin thinks that he is now ready to play the bigger game. And he does.

      How should we respond? Should we just appease him. Hope he gets content and calms down? Get serious people. It is not NATO or EU who is provoking a new cold war, it is Putin. We have no choice in the matter.

    • http://soundcloud.com/andres-dajek Andres Dajek

      Estonian here, definitely agreeing that this crisis is less likely to escalate out of Ukraine at this time. However you cannot think of Putin’s regime as rational, we don’t know what’s going on behind the curtains. In the future, maybe a few years from now, maybe ten, RF could try to scheme itself another piece of land. Think why Russia cares about expanding its borders at all? The main reason *seems* to be distraction. There is a lot of unrest in Russian population because of severe poverty in some areas, a lot of corruption and bureaucracy that makes life difficult. I understand that Putin is not a great hero and savior for many Russians and I think a part of his imperialistic ambitions is to draw attention from internal unrest to an outside “threat” (almost always accompanied by nazi-labeling – is as if they have completely forgot about Molotov-Ribbentrop…). A common demagogic weapon during the cold war. I’m quite sure Putin plans to stay in power for a long time still like his soviet predecessors and if one day feels that he is nearing his own “Maidan” he might once again choose to use this diversion. After Georgia and Ukraine the chances of Estonia becoming a victim are getting more likely.

      On a closing note – would anyone have taught it rational for Hitler to take Czechoslovakia in ’38?

      • joeblow55

        True, but NATO can’t afford to let the EU and NATO be breached. As Patton wanted to do, we will spear the Russian bear once and for all.

        • Curnonsky

          Not a chance, they will find a way to let Putin have what he wants.

      • D Whiggery

        I never said that Putin was good for Russia or that his regime is logical, but the Russian Doctrine of settling territorial disputes with China in the East while opposing NATO expansion in the West is long standing and well publicized. Russia’s actions in this case accord with that doctrine.

        As for distractions, I think that’s a bonus at the present time but the overall doctrine dates from when Putin was far more popular and didn’t need to indulge in such demagogic weapons. I would also put it to you that the EU also needs to distract people at the present time. The EU needs the Russian bogeyman and Russia needs the Western bogeyman and it’s ordinary Ukranians that are being used as play things in a geopolitical battle.

        Consider the following:

        1. NATO and the EU now expand hand in hand.

        2. Since 2002, the EU has the right to use NATO assets independently as long as NATO doesn’t wish to act itself.

        3. Georgia recently confirmed its intention to join both the EU and NATO and is sending troops to the EU’s mission in the Central African Republic to prove its commitment to ‘European Values’ whatever the hell that’s meant to mean.

        4. Since 1999 and the bombing of Yugoslavia, NATO is no longer simply an alliance of mutual defence but a military tool for achieving western foreign policy objectives.

        Taking all that into account, can you really not understand why Russians generally (not just Putin) might have a problem with an extremely powerful military alliance expanding up to its borders?

        • INTJ

          Just saying, the amount of ‘mysterious’ poisonings since Putin came to power have drastically increased. I don’t think those people who died of ‘mysterious’ poisonings would think that Putin was in any way good — or even neutrally effective — for Russia.

      • joeblow55

        If this hitler thug Putin makes a grab for the Baltics, WW3 begins. And Vlad and Mother Russia will be radioactive dust. Even a KGB thug like Putin realizes that.

    • joeblow55

      The Chinese are waiting at Russia’s doorstep, to take back the Siberian steppes the Russians stole from them. And I guarantee you, the Chinese will take them back, now that Vlad has decided borders are fungible. The same is true for the Russian Federation, you old Stalinist fool.

      • D Whiggery

        “you old Stalinist fool.”

    • INTJ

      Except that Russia has already signalled ‘concern’ for its ethnically Russian citizens, which is exactly what happened with Ukraine and Crimea.

  • alabenn

    The Russians in Estonia have no more rights to citizenship than we white Europeans have in the ex colonies of Africa and Asia, the same can be said of the recent arrivals to Europe from these places, this will always be so, as no one can tie the hands of future governments.

    • GS_garbo

      Incorrect. I live in Estonia as a foreigner and know the law (being married to a Russian).

      To gain full citizenship, Russian residents of Estonia merely need to take an intermediate-level language exam along with a simple, open-book test on Estonian history. Some refuse because Stalin said there was no need to learn the languages of these minor countries — everyone would learn Russian, as the international language of socialism, and these languages would disappear.

      In general, Russia has little respect for the many minorities within its borders. Witness Chechnya which is 95% Chechen but Russia is not offering to hold a reference on independence there.

      • Bonkim

        Is it any different in the US where immigrants have to learn English and swear allegiance to the flag to become citizens?

        You will find the same in any number of countries where the majority sets the tone of what is acceptable and what is not – and new comers just have to adapt and change. You will find most Europeans anglicized their names to sound more anglo in the US.

        • GS_garbo

          The situation is similar in Estonia and Latvia, but because they are small countries most immigrants don’t want to make any effort to adapt.

          I forgot to mention that it is also more convenient for Russians living in Estonia and Latvia to simply retain their “alien passports” because the men can avoid military service (in Russia and Estonia or Latvia) AND they can travel freely in Russia, the European Union and the United States (again, I know this as a fact because a friend has an alien passport).

          These alien residents only lose the right to vote in Estonia, but they essentially remain Russian citizens because at any time Russia will give them a Russian passport if they request it (but then they would have to serve in the Russian army, whence the lack of desire).

          • Bonkim

            Human nature – in principle Estonia and Latvia have never existed as independent countries – always part of or under the vassalage of larger powers around – the Russian or Polish and later Germanic powers.

            Individually these are not viable states except as part of the greater EU.

          • Dicio Est

            If you make comments based on history at least get it right or anyone could simply throw random words and make it sound like facts.

            I can not speak for Latvia but I can for Estonia.

            Firstly. We were conquered with the crusades of German Teutonic knights. First time we came under a “nation”. At that time not all the nations had countries formed around them anyway so it wasn’t that out of the box to fall under someone as a region.

            Then through political and economical wishy-washy we came under Sweden, Denmark, Livonia and partly under Lithuania-Polish kingdom.

            At 18th century for the first time we came under Russian control as they invaded wanting lower water ports on the Baltic sea.

            Then came our own independence, then the now Soviet Union annexation, then Nazi Germany wooshed in and again Soviet Union took over. Low and behold 1991 and we regained independence.

            So your “later Germanic powers” is way off. We came under Germanic power early on and mostly the ruling layer of society was always Baltic Germans for a long time.

            Your principle of “never existed as independent nations” is stupid. India didn’t exist as an independent nation. Native Americans don’t have a nation. Does that give right to the US or UK for the former to invade and rule them?

            Estonia after the ww1 was a full fledged nation. Also the one we currently have. We have our history, genotype, language. All you need as a nationality and nation.

          • Bonkim

            Thanks for the chronology – what you are saying is true of almost all present day political entities. Sense of ones tribe and nation has changed over time.Germans, British, Eurpean immigrants to the Americas or Australia all have played their parts in shaping their world – that is history which progresses through conquests, immigration, and revolutions. Difficult to find fault with human nature and the weak are always dominated by the strong and technologically and militarily better organised. Nations have come and gone, changed and transformed and trying to define ones tribe through history is counter-productive. Many nations such as those arising from say Yugoslavia, liberated ex-colonies, etc, have to re-invent their nationhood, often by new constructs which did not exist in previous centuries.

            Regrettably aligning oneself with a nation, race, or sect/religion brings with it unwanted baggage and falsehood. Even if you are from a large group with long history of domination, say Britain – the British of a hundred years back if resurrected will find themselves strangers given that speech, customs, language, religion, food, social norms, all have changed – equally today’s Britons have little knowledge or understanding of the role their ancestors played and the huge imprint they left in ex-Empire territories – not just the English language.

          • Dicio Est

            Well true but you going “The people are not the same that they were 300 or 100 years ago” doesn’t make them completely different.

            We are products of our genes and environment. Our parents and family are a huge part in making us who we are. Most see 50-60 years in the past with their grandparents (going by 25 being the averageish year one gets a child). You can hear stories of from your grandparents of their grandfather and mother. So from secondhand account you can travel back 100 years already.

            Those customs, speech, language, religion, food, social norms don’t change that radically and totally. It is a gradual change.

            You are making it seem like it suddenly goes from A to J. It’s more along the lines of A going to Ab then Ac then Ad until it reaches Ax and then starts from B. Food, social norms probably are the only ones I can agree that can take leaps but again it doesn’t mean it goes from A to J. Some part of A still remains and it isn’t a fast hop to J either.

            For example here is a 1739 Bible in Estonian: (http://cache.osta.ee/iv2/auctions/1_9_12059800.jpg)

            Lets transcribe it ” Meie Isfanda Jefusfe Kristusfe Uus Testament ehk Ue Seaduste Ramat” has now 2014 become “Meie Isanda Jeesus Kristuse Uus Testament ehk Uue Seaduste Raamat”

            So if a 300 year book is readable and if you admit quite similar I bet other things have passed over too. There obviously are differences to 1739 and 1339. Still if the words transcribed 300 years ago are still similar then some part had to be similar 600 years ago.

            That baggage is for granted because if you trace back your lineage the people are more or less your parents, only a lot of “great-great-great” infront of their names.

            That “hundred years back” person would simply get a culture shock. This has happened to people in comas for long periods of time. Some didn’t see the cellphone revolution for example. Then again if this back to the future guy came back in a village nearby his shock wouldn’t be that shocking as life is stuck in such places.

            I agree that people are constantly in motion and even during 2 generations you can see how people find it hard to adapt but you are going on the other side of the extreme in my opinion making it seem as it changes quick and totally.

            If a person came from the 15th hundreds and he wouldn’t die of shock of all the technology I am sure we could speak to him, make him eat something familiar and have a topic to talk about like religion or social norms of their time and find common ground.

          • Bonkim

            Thanks – will go along with that – ultimately we all make our identities, believe in them and feel secure.

            Today’s world is getting more any more homogeneous and old tribalism on assumes will die off soon.

            The real question is there a need to re-invent ones tribal loyalties and identity simply to claim one is different?

            For me I don’t believe nationalism, sectarianism, and language/culture as essential for ones existence. I am happy not belonging to any group for security. Most people cling to their birth-culture, language, and religion as they feel secure – lost outside.

          • joeblow55

            Exactly. I would tell the russkis there to lay off the vodka and learn Estonian.

      • What an ignorance

        “To gain full citizenship, Russian residents of Estonia merely need to
        take an intermediate-level language exam along with a simple, open-book test on
        Estonian history.”

        I am not an immigrant and i speak Estonian perfectly without any accent, but I
        will never ask for citizenship that way! This would mean that I agree with
        nationalist scum “IRL” party that I am inferior to others born here.

        I was born in Estonia as well as the majority of other people who have
        “gray” passports, but didn’t receive any citizenship when Estonia
        gained independence. As far as I understood, it was just because i had Russian
        mother and father! Now tell me, is it not discrimination by the government
        itself? I was 5 years old when Estonia gained independence, so I could not
        decide anything on my own that time, but apparently government decided that I
        was the “second class” that did not deserve citizenship.

        Nationalist parties like IRL and Nazi SS-legion supporters need to understand
        that treating russian people who were born in Estonia as inferior class of
        people will eventually be punished and I believe that if all of Estonian people
        would get citizenship, then we would have much better government without any
        nationalist scum that only trying to insult Russia and discriminate Russian
        people in the country. This would be ultimate punishment for them – the loss of

        • GS_garbo

          A 3-hour exam is too much to demonstrate your loyalty to Estonia? That is hard for me to understand.

          I also wonder what sort of punishment are you imagining for the people who are mistreating you? Should Estonia be occupied by Russian troops like Crimea is today and a “referendum” held?

          Moreover, I sincerely believe that calling Estonian “Nazis” because they didn’t want to be in the Soviet Union is wrong. Estonian was an independent country in 1940. It was invaded by the Soviet Union when Stalin divided Europe in his pact with Hitler. Estonia suffered greatly during the battles between Russia and Germany with nothing to gain. Russia won a glorious war and Estonia lost its independence.

          I know that Russians have a hard time hearing this but the same story is repeated all around the perimeter of the former Soviet Union. Small countries lost their independence and Stalin increased his territory.

      • joeblow55

        Indeed. Let’s hope demographics put Russia out of its misery once and for all.

      • INTJ

        So are there sort of half-passports for people who don’t speak Estonian?

  • JoeDM

    This article is a load of utter anti-Russian tosh.

    Estonia is a member of the EU and NATO. The Ukraine is neither.

    • David Lindsay

      Until Russia attacked any of the Baltic States. At that point, their NATO membership would become worthless, because under absolutely no circumstances would we ever go to war with Russia.

      • Caroline Louise

        I think people need to face reality here. NATO is intent on pushing right up to Russia’s borders and ringing them with missiles so close to Moscow that their deterrent becomes useless. Does this sound like an organization that doesn’t want to go to war? Don’t underestimate the lunacy of our leaders. And don’t be as complacent as the idiot author of this article who writes as if he were in a John LeCarre spy novel. What’s happening here is nothing like as cosy or as safe as cold war non-fears of Soviet expansionism. This is a power play by dumb ignorant oligarchs like foul-mouthed Nuland who might end up killing us all.

        If you care about that you really need to stop supporting the absurd world view of these out-of-touch journos.

        • rtj1211

          They’re not out of touch, they are told to write articles like this to order or else.

          They are merely cogs in a chain of command who are unable to hold any principles for fear of defaulting on their mortgage and starving their children.

          That’s how power works: make people parents and then threaten them.

        • GS_garbo

          Russia is the largest country in the world by territory, hence it always has to fear more neighbors because it has more neighbors. That is the price of a large empire.

          • joeblow55

            Don’t worry, the Chinese are just itching to take back their lost lands in Siberia, stolen by Russia. Hey Vlad, hear those Chinese bugles up your you know what? If the Americans make a grand bargain with the Chinese to carve up the world between them, you are toast.

          • INTJ

            Why does anybody WANT Siberia? It’s almost too cold to LIVE.

        • joeblow55

          I would say you are out of touch lady. Even been in a gulag? My grandmothers relatives in Lithuania disappeared into them in 1940.

      • joeblow55

        We would go to war, and Russia would be the loser, and maybe give Kaliningrad oblast (ostpreussen) back to Germany, its rightful owners

  • justejudexultionis

    We need to double the size of the UK army and buy/develop new hardware. Paradoxically, the demilitarization of the West is more likely to lead to outright war with Russia and China than any attempt to restore our forces to Cold War levels. Obama has presided over a shameful, and potentially disastrous, ostrich-like policy of international disengagement and a refusal to learn the historical lessons of isolationism. Let us not pretend that Russia and China are anything but the enemies of world peace.

  • John Locke

    It was 74 years ago when it started. Violence was done to our people. They came from the east, and they spoke russian.

    Most of the best and brightest of our minds were murdered, many were sent to Siberia where a lot of them perished; many more escaped this horror to find new homes abroad in safe west — their children are no longer part of us, they are also lost to us.

    A yoke was put on my people that lasted for almost 50 years. People’s lives were destroyed, their property confiscated, the economy depressed, normality ceased, insanity ensued. In a sense, World War Two ended in 1991. For us it did.

    Has anyone apologised to us for this injustice? No. The people who did this and their descendants have not apologised. In fact, they even justify their actions. They are proud of them. The people who murdered our leaders are heroes in their books. I can still meet russians who have lived here for 50 years and still don’t even know how to properly say “hello” in the local’s language. I can’t respect people like that. And for that I’m called a faschist or a racist. Fine. I’m a faschist then.

    Don’t get me wrong. I know many wonderful ethnic russians. They are my friends. They are not bad people. Anyone can have a good life in this country, all you have to do is act in good faith, and the rest will follow.

    What happened was an injustice but noone is ever going to apologise. Fine. So be it. Things like this happen. You move on. You stop complaining. You look forward to the future. But seeing this new aggression, we remember what happened. We are afraid. Could this horror be happening again?

    We are afraid. It’s natural for us to be afraid seeing this. Some say that we have nothing to be afraid of, that we have NATO and EU. But I bet Obama would be “very upset” if something like that happened here. Is NATO going to protect us? How? By snapping their fingers, or “being really upset”. People have their doubts. Because physically I can’t see any kind of protection. The protection is only legal. The couple of fighter jets patrolling our skies are just for show.

    Putin has left the European arms-limiting treaties. He is concentrating forces near our borders. His military is drilling techniques for invasion. His airplanes are frequently violating our airspace, testing our radars and plane scrambling mechanisms. They even run practice bombing runs towards our capitals. Putin has said that the collapse of the Soviet union was the greatest tragedy of the last century. It is clear now that his ambition is to restore this empire and undo this “tragedy”.

    We are afraid.

    • John

      You should be afraid. First you collaborated with the nazis and slaughtered ethnic Russians, then when the Russians came back you pretended as nothing happened but the Russians didn’t think same did they. When Russia was economically on its knees after decades of macroeconomic mismanagement you laughed at their face and treated them as they were lower than dirt instead of offering a hand. Than instead of pursuing policies of non militarily alignment like Finland you went to Washington so you can bring the military alliance that should not even exist today on Russia’s border to undermine its economic and political security and further insulate russia. Needles to say, your draconian policies have not only alienated ethnic russian population in your own country but everywhere in the world. By the way it was Washington that broke its word on non expansion toward east, and it was the United States that broke the strategic treaty on missile defense, not Russia and Putin as you claim. Shame on you

      • Dicio Est

        In order for us to be able to collaborate with Nazis and slaughter ethnic Russians we would need them to be there. Meaning the Red army annexed the republic of Estonia in 1941. Then came the Nazis and then the Red army again. If you don’t want slaughtering then you should stay behind your own borders.

        Estonia pursued a non military alignment before ww2. We declared ourselves neutral. How did that work out for us? Getting annexed by the Red army.

        Why do countries seek protection from military organisations? Because they need it. You basically pushed us to it.

        Finland got attacked by the Red army also or did you forget the Winter War? Red army bombed Helsinki to tiny bits hoping Finland would surrender. Then you accused them of being Fascist for defending themselves and siding with Germans. “How dare they defend their country! They should enjoy the Red army liberation!”.

        If it wasn’t for the imperialistic braindead world policing you guys Russians, Americans and formerly Germans did none of this would of happened.

      • Anthony Brady

        You seem to blame the victim.the mllions of Russian dead in the war was a self inflected
        Womb . Russia signed a treaty with Germany to invade and divide poland. This treaty started the war.i realize most Russians are unaware of this fact but Russia only itself to blame. The war was not the fault of Estonia Poland or indeed UK France USA but rather Russia and Germany.

      • psage

        i’d dislike this ten times if i could

  • http://www.DNotice.org/ Dean Jackson

    The article reads, “Tallinn, Monday  ‘I have some sad news,’ says the Estonian politician, as we sit down to dinner. ‘War has broken out.’ The pain in his voice is palpable. For this patriotic man, and many like him…”

    How is it the author of the article doesn’t know that the “patriotic man” is a Communist Party member? For those clueless, the “collapse” of the USSR was a strategic ruse.

    Russia had to sacrifice 23-years of good PR, being the one accusing the United States of invading nations, violating international law. So why did Russia violate the sovereignty of the Ukraine, destroying its image abroad, and placing itself on the same rogue level with the United States, you ask? Because of the following…

    The Kiev protests, which were initially controlled by the government, went viral throughout the nation, where dozens of statues of Lenin were toppled, statues that were supposed to have been toppled back in late 1991, after the fake collapse of the USSR.

    The spontaneous protests that broke out all over the Ukraine were so large that those Communist security forces in Kiev posing as demonstrators had to be quickly pressed back into security service to guard the government buildings!

    Google: ‘kiev demonstrators guard government buildings pictures’

    The reason Russia had to intervene in the Ukraine is two-fold, (1) to assist in policing the eastern Ukraine; thereby (2) allowing the stretched-thin Ukrainian Communist security forces to secure the rest of the nation.

    For those unfamiliar with this subject, the “collapse” of the USSR in 1991 was a strategic ruse under the “Long-Range Policy” (LRP). What is the LRP, you ask? The LRP is the “new” strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 to defeat the West with. The last major disinformation operation under the LRP was the “collapse” of the USSR in 1991.

    The next major disinformation operation under the LRP will be the fraudulent collapse of the Chinese Communist government. When that occurs, Taiwan will be stymied from not joining the mainland. This is why China is buying up gold all over the word. It is believed that China currently has 3,000 [metric] tonnes of gold. When China has 6,000 [metric] tonnes it will have the minimum gold reserves necessary for its currency, the yuan, to replace the United States’ dollar as the world’s reserve currency, that is after the fraudulent collapse of the Chinese Communist government (the United States gold reserves is approximately 8,133.5 [metric] tonnes).

    Take a look at the main paper of the Russian Ministry of Defense…


    “Krasnaya Zvezda” is Russian for “Red Star”, the official newspaper of Soviet and later Russian Ministry of Defense. The paper’s official designation is, “Central Organ of the Russian Ministry of Defense.” Note the four Soviet emblems next to the still existing Soviet era masthead, one of which pictures Lenin’s head, the man who removed the independent Russian nation from the map, supplanting it within the new nation called the USSR (the USSR being the nation that was to one day include all the nations of the Earth, incorporation taking place either by violent revolution or deception)! Those Soviet emblems and Lenin’s head can’t still be next to the masthead of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s newspaper due to their association with the Soviet Union and its ideals of world revolution.

    The fraudulent “collapse” of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Moscow & Allies, which explains why verification of the “collapse” was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”. Notice that not one political party in the West demanded verification, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the “alternative” media. When determining whether the “former” USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the “former” USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    In fact, the “freed” Soviets and the political establishments of the West refused to de-Communize the Soviet Armed Forces officer corps, another proof that the “collapse” of the USSR was a sham and that the political establishments of the West were co-opted by Moscow & Allies.

    For more on the “Long-Range Policy”, read KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn’s books, “New Lies for Old” and “The Perestroika Deception” , the only Soviet era defector to still be under protective custody in the West:



    The following is an excellent brief three-page introduction to Golitsyn and his significance in understanding Communist long-range strategy:



    Yes, the above means that Russian troops outside their bases in the eastern Ukraine will return to their bases when the anti-Communist demonstrations are squashed, unless the Russian population too stages non-government approved demonstrations, leading to the eventual and true collapse of the USSR! Or, as this article suggests, non-government approved demonstrations are breaking out all over the “former” USSR outside of Russia, where statues of Lenin are finally being toppled!

  • rtj1211

    The only thing that is certain to happen tomorrow is that the US/UK/EU misinformation ministry will continue to try and scaremonger its citizens, as it has done continuously since 1945.

    Nobody trusts the media anymore. No-one trusts the Government any more.

    We all learned the lessons of the little boy who cried ‘Wolf!’ at school.

    The corruption in Ukraine has been going on for 15 years, at least. All sides whether supported by Russia, the EU or the Americans have been stripping the people of their wealth.

    • HookesLaw

      As night follows day you will continue with your preposterous load of garbage.

      • Tasma Terron

        Garbage? You trust the Government/media do you? Totally transparent, totally trustworthy!! Right!

  • Henry Ko

    For collectivists engaged in practical political affairs, the ways and means of chasing socialist illusions are critically important.

  • Bonkim

    The main problem in Europe, more acute in Eastern Europe is the racist/ethnic/sectarian divide. Nationalities are all too important in that context. The USSR did try to even out such narrow loyalties within the socialist state and international brotherhood of man – however today tin pot nationalities across the baltic and ex-USSR nation states think that the EU or some other external power will save them from historical power politics of the region and allow them to maintain their economic and imagined social/ethnic identities – most had to re-invent new national identities following the collapse of past empires.

    • Nele

      yes, poor people, imagine how hard could that have been to learn all the new culture and language to pretend their “new” nation, in such a short time!
      Oh my goodness….

      • Bonkim

        It is absurd to reinvent new nationalities to suit new borders and then argue with those that are happy with their past. The past has a habit of returning to haunt the present. The USSR was not such a bad thing for the people of the region after all. Suppressed base racist and sectarian devils. Brought equality improved education and opportunities for all. Freedom has brough past racism, sectarianism, and worse of all Neo-Nazis to the fore – note the Ukrainian neo-Nazi that murdered that old man in England last year.

        Conversely the present population should accept the natural changes inevitable in such circumstances and recognize that majority population anywhere have their natural right to have separate borders if they want to.

        I would have liked Ukraine to have split along the majority language/sectarian divide. It probably will. The Eastern Ukrainians should start a campaign for a referendum to have their own state separate from the pro-EU western (previously under the Catholic Polish Empire). The mob in Kiev brought about an illegitimate change to an elected government – two can play at the same game.

  • serguei_p

    The West does nothing about Crimea.
    Later Russia takes over the rest of by then demoralised Ukraine (driving to do what would be popular in Russia – the restoration of the USSR). The West promises to go into war if Russia attacks a NATO member.
    Russia goes to “help” Russian-speaking population of Estonia. NATO members announce that they are “now at war with Russia”. The war goes goes very slow, nothing seems to happen.
    Then suddenly a Blitzkrieg – Russian tanks make a bash for France overwhelming the armies that are not really prepared to fight a war.

    • Jambo25

      If you think that the Russian army is war ready then you are delusional.

    • andrewp111

      Russian tanks aren’t going to make a dash for France. More likely is NATO goes into Ukraine to deter Russia, Putin calls their bluff and drops a tactical nuke or two on the US forces, and Obama folds his hand. Then the EU simply surrenders.

  • roger

    ‘State language test’ says it all, have you never been to bi-lingual Wales? To have second class citizens based on culture and language is something that the EU is supposed to eradicate, send in Ashton to do her magic (joking) or impose sanctions. We must get our EU house in order before trying to sort out Ukraine.
    As for NATO, tread very carefully.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Russia became a gangster state in 1917, before that it was some degrees worse. Most of the peoples of Eastern Europe have voted, fought or emigrated in order to be free of Russian totalitarian brutality, corruption and economic servitude. There is no upside to Russia. They liberated no-one. They are bad news.

    • John

      Your hubristic bewilderment know for no boundaries. If ignorance was happiness you definitely would of been the happiest men alive.

      • psage

        put a sock in it paid kremlin troll

      • INTJ

        I’m sorry, but prideful misunderstanding? That makes absolutely no sense. I believe that your overusage of polysyllabic words is an attempt at making yourself seem more intelligent than your uninformed opinions would suggest, or your grammar and spelling, for that matter.

      • Mary Christine

        I would’ve rather remained under Nazi domination.
        It was ten times better than any ‘liberation’ Russia could offer.

        In Nazi Germany, liberation=burning jews, forced collaboration with germany, disobeying civilians killed.
        In Russia, liberation=killing the locals and bringing foreigners in, raping the women, stealing the riches of the land, enslaving the nation.
        Leave your ‘collaboration’, ‘liberations’, ‘friendship’ and shit like that behind. We don’t need it.
        At least be fair and call it invasion and occupation.

  • Richard Young

    Being a member of NATO does not mean they are an ally.Their membership of NATO was pushed by El presidente Clinton to secure votes at a dodgy time for his cigars.Ahem.

  • tolpuddle1

    Is William Cook suggesting that Britain goes to war against Russia over the Ukraine?Or (potentially) for Estonia ? The quotation from Neville Chamberlain supports that idea.

    What is certain, is that William Cook himself won’t be going to war for either.

    Stick to Viking longboat museums, William.

  • tolpuddle1

    It’s this type of article that is painfully familiar. But it isn’t 2002.

  • Kasperlos

    Well the good news for the Estonian politician is that his country is a member of NATO. While Estonia denies full passports to its Russian speaking residents Estonia will gladly rely on Americans, Canadians, Portugese to defend their ‘values’. The Russians did themselves no favours by acting on the Crimea, but neither did the West/EU do any favours by helping to light the fires in Maidan square. Duplicity, lies, intrigues, betrayals are the order of the day for politicans who feel no pain in playing with the lives of millions of peaceful people. For the British peoples who see the Ukrainian-Russian events as far off, well they are, and they have nothing to do with how to meet rent payments, send their kids off to school in the morning. Rather the oligarchs, politicans and psychopaths on both sides who have nothing better to do than foment trouble and get others to pay the price, others who have nothing to do with the thing at hand. How many people in residential neighborhoods stick their noses into the affairs of their neighbors, their families, their lives and rile up trouble. Busybodies they used to be called. Now they’re called ‘leaders’. Enough already, it’s been a mere 100 years since the bloodletting of WWI. Enough!

    • andrewp111

      What good does NATO membership do if the tactical nukes are no longer based there, on the ground. Obama doesn’t have the balls to use Strategic nukes.

    • Mitchell

      They don’t deny passports to Russian speaking citizens..There are plenty of Estonian passport holders who speak Russian. They deny passports to those who can not pass the National language test, regardless of what other language they speak, Russian, French, English, Hungarian. Your statement implies if you speak Russian you can not have a passport. It is not so.

  • hocestquisumus

    estonia is a member of the EU and NATO. are you serious?!

    • moderate Guy

      That an a couple of euros will buy them a coffee.

  • David Goldman

    The problem isn’t more Russian expansion (their options are limited due to the NATO wall). The problem is if China gets brave all of a sudden and tries the same thing.

    • Mary Christine

      But you see, that would be Russia’s problem entirely.
      Europe is not China’s neighbour, nor is US or Canada.
      Russia’s big problem is that it has no allies. Russia only coerces other nations into treaties because it has them at knifepoint. Said knifepoint is of course, the gas. What would some European countries do without gas?
      If China would get brave, European people would probably even say something like ‘Eh, they need more land for their people, the Russkies aren’t using it anyway’ and that would be it.
      That would be the justification.
      EU and US wouldn’t give a single soldier for that war.
      So how is that a problem for us?

  • joeblow55

    No economic incentives will work for the Balts, if Putin tries occupying the Baltic States, Vlad “the Impaler” Putin, welcome to World War 3. And that one you will lose, you old KGB terrorist, you.

    • andrewp111

      Russia will win, because Russia will use nukes first. Obama doesn’t have to balls to use nukes.

      • http://www.facebook.com/justin.neill.73 Justin Neill

        Your comment is puerile. This is not a schoolyard. If WW3 breaks out, we are all fucked… Europe, Russia, USA, me and yes you too.

  • Pete Walk

    You guys are so sick and deluded, again the puppet masters like in Iraq has you worked up and there setting the trap. How do intelligent men continue to listen to corrupt politicians who you know has been coveting yes Ukraine but CRIMEA for years. How dare Putin object to Nato slowly surrounding his country, how dare he allow Crimea MAJORITY Russian to have a referendum. You sit quietly while Muslim states like Kosovo are built but how dare an ethnic Russian area want to rejoin Russia.

    I can see what you guys and America are slowly manufacturing and if you like peace people should listen to this. Firstly Putin has not attacked anyone since 1991 while you being commanded by the Yanks have launched illegal wars leaving over 1 million innocents dead yet you have the gall to treat Putin like Hitler for making sure Nato does not set up on his border. Do you know in a signed agreement America told the USSR is they dissolve they Nato will NEVER approach former Soviet states. Sorry Putin doesn’t trust you anymore. Why are you so obviously back another American Christian on Christian war. If you saw the leaked call with Ashton and Estonian FM who said the dead police and dead protesters were shot by the the SAME person and he thinks there is strong evidence it was the MAIDAN PROTESTORS and what do you know Kiev government started stopped the investigation. Really guys it’s not enough the victims don’t want to know who killed 80 Ukrainian heroes.

    1 million dead Iraqis and you twist your mind to say Putin is about to rebuild the empire. Russias about making money they have no such goals, they will never however allow you or America (who this is really for) to get Crimea. I tell you what Russia has a surplus and there own foods your Greek brother are starving in the streets. You want to bully Russia Europe will suffer and always smart Germany know this so they again have to be the adult like they tried with Iraq. One German said today European are living on the streets yet my and Europes tax dollars are about to go to 26 Million unemployed Ukrainians who are heading to Britain. Great, why don’t you guys focus on the Muslims who spit in your face instead of a Christian nation for America. YES 75% of the eveil Russians are Christian orthodox. Hmmm America enjoyed destroying Yugoslavia know they get to play with Europe again.

    When H. Clinton and other conservative idiots start comparing Putin reacting to the Maidan massacre as Hitler going into Poland there are a bunch of sociopaths planning something to make them rich. Please stand on the right side. Why are you not insulted a country on the American continent is telling Russia what it can do on its border?

  • http://ayellowguard.blogspot.com/ Chris Connolly

    Stupid headline: tomorrow Estonia? No. Estonia is in NATO.

  • MMayfield

    And actually that wasn’t exactly how it happened in 2007 either is it? As organizers of that statue protest caught on camera and id’d were traced to Russia… NOT Estonian Russians. Although the Estonian Russians participated for a mere 100EEK/person. Yes… they were paid to play rough and then the fever hit others.

  • Suchabela

    Do not be a coward. ALL will be good. Putin will not go to Estonia, he is clever man, trust me. Almost 24 years Crimea tried to be loyal to Kiev. All in vain. Kiev’s demented authorities cannot rule – almost all of them are dolts.

  • Alexandra Feofanova

    Hey, what are you talking about?

    Crimea already was the part of Russia.

    You can clearly see it from this short video: http://youtu.be/XEigTcunXIQ

    Better learn history…

  • Amanda Nevada

    It is impossible to integrate new ways of doing things into our civilization unless they can be first proven by some people as useful for the rest.

  • FireBits

    This is very unpleasent situation for Finland as well. Russian nationalists think that all land that has ever been part of Russia should become part of Russia again and that includes Finland.

    Russian nationalists, stay were you are. We don’t want you here. Finno-Ugric people are not Russians and we have been living alongside the Baltic sea for many thousand years.

    • Tasma Terron

      Calm your tits, the Russians weren’t going anywhere else.

  • joeblow55

    Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin are back. In the guise of Vladimir Putin. He must be stopped.

  • joeblow55

    Time to dismember the Russian federation, after all, borders don’t matter, eh Vlad? So the stolen bits go backed to their real owners, Karelia to Finland, a fat slice of Siberia to China, stolen by the Tsars, Bessarabia to Romania, Kaliningrad back to Germany or Poland or Lithuania, Sakhalin and the Kuriles back to Japan and a Muslim independent Caucasus, and btw, some polonium for dear old vlad, after all, it’s his poison of choice,

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  • James

    Its funny how different people see different facts. I was in Tallinn in 2007 when the infamous prime mister decided to dig 12 WWII graves by bulldozers, with no recognition to norm or UN law, that sparked anger, however the riot started when the Police attacked silent protestors who were holding flowers, and laying them down in front of policemen.

    The Police put fences and blocked all roads apart of one located to the side of Tallinn National Library, and suddenly couple of white vans appeared full of fire extinguishers, which got distributed to the policemen, and in 10 min, police started spraying the people who stood, and when police could not force them to leave, they started beating them up with batons. All facts documented and still have all photos and videos.

    Something shocking to see such behaviour in a country in the EU but still act with a Soviet mentality!

    Even my neighbour who is an old Finnish retired man, got beaten up and arrested with his son and ended up spending 5 night in temporary detention centre at D Terminal.

    Stalin (Georgian) leader of Soviet Union attacked Estonia who took Nazi German side, and had Estonian SS regiment fighting against the allied forces!

    Estonian Nazi soldiers still march in the streets of Tallinn wearing their SS uniforms!

    EU forced Estonian Government to remove a Nazi statue from the centre of Tallinn before they joined the EU, this statue was removed to a private land outside the centre, Nazi from around Europe travel there every year!

    The history is clear all you need is to search! Estonia wasn’t a country and didn’t exist before 1917! Even Estonian Presidential Palace was built by the Tsar and was a summer house for his wife!

  • James

    Another question, would we really go to war against Russia for the sake of any Easter European country? Not really!!! We made a mistake in WWII and fought Germany for Poland, we won the war but lost the Empire. It will never happen again!!!

  • marina

    Ukraine Maidan terrorist coup co-financed and completely organized by the USA, the EU and the Baltic states. They are the ones co-financing the Nazi radicals murdering civilians in the East of the country, something which Estonia is very familiar with, considering they were Nazi collaborators and still curate countless nazi cemeteries across the country. Crimea begged Russia to be able to return to their motherland, in order to escape from Nazi Ukraine, today the lapdog of the US and the EU.