neljapäev, detsember 07, 2006

The Amnesty Report

So the new report about Estonia's minority policies by Amnesty International is out and it is meaty. The document, entitled Estonia Linguistic minorities in Estonia: Discrimination must end at first glance appears like an indictment of current minority policies. But if you actually go through and read Amnesty's Report, you will see that Amnesty, as a whole, agrees with Estonia's integration policies, but believes that they should be better funded, and that economic barriers for Russian-speakers in private business should be removed in areas where Russian-speakers make up an overwhelming majority.

For example, Amnesty makes it clear that it supports the scheduled school reforms, but it points out areas where the Estonian government should focus to end discrimination, as the NGO deems it. For example, Amnesty recommends:

The Estonian authorities to monitor levels of drop-out rates in secondary schools where Russian is replaced by Estonian as the language of teaching; to provide more support for teachers who will be required to replace Russian with Estonian as their language of teaching; to provide additional and adequate resources (including necessary psychological and learning supports) for all students who are required to replace Russian with Estonian as their learning language to successfully manage this transition.


Amnesty also takes a hard look at Ida-Virumaa:


In many parts of Estonia, notably the north-eastern region of Ida-Virumaa, Estonian is not spoken by the majority of those residing in the region. This means that Estonian language skills are de facto not necessarily needed in all professions. The result is that although many persons belonging to the Russian-speaking linguistic minority would be able to carry out several functions in the labour market without endangering public safety or order, they find themselves unemployed with no or limited realistic opportunities to gain legal employment in the formal sector as they do not have the appropriate Estonian language certificate.

I advise anyone who is interested to read this report. My first reaction is "easier said than done" but when you have Amnesty International essentially agreeing with Estonia's integration policies - agreeing with its unitary language policy in the public sphere, I can't say there is much to complain about. Can Estonia's integration policies be steamlined or made more effective? Of course they can.

I think Estonians are still very frightened by the Russian language. They feel as if there is a seven-ton linguistic elephant hovering over their small land at all times. But the reality is that *physically* most of Estonia is populated by Estonians that speak the Estonian language. And it takes two and a half hours by bus to get to the overwhelmingly Russian-speaking portion of Estonia in Narva and Sillamäe.

There are neighborhoods in Tallinn where people only speak Russian - but there are neighborhoods in New York and London also where people only speak Russian too. In some ways you could consider these minorities - the Narva minority versus the Tallinn minority - to be in very different situations. The Tallinners are undergoing a pretty stereotypical "immigrant experience." Like Italians in New York's Little Italy of the 1900s, they live in communal neighborhoods, preserving their culture, but using the language of the majority - in that case English, in this case Estonian - to interact in the private and public spheres.

In Narva, you have much more of a "national minority" situation. This is where you have an ethnically different community residing at some distance from the national ethnic majority. The Russian Estonians of Narva, unlike those of Tallinn, therefore find themselves not unlike the Swedes of the Aaland Islands, or the Sami of Finnmark, or the Bretons of France (bear with my comparisons here, for my sake). They are more of a national minority or cultural isolate than an immigrant community.

Now, I've heard some people tell me that Russian is a "stronger" language. That if it isn't kept in check it will overtake Estonian - turning Estonia into the next Ingria or Karelia - Finnic lands that have been colonized by Slavs. This is a deep-seated, territorial fear. I respect it.

Yet even when 25 percent of the residents of Estonia speak Russian as their native tongue, the language somehow hasn't caught on. In fact it's the Russian teenagers in Tallinn that correct MY bad Estonian when I attempt to order something or pay for tickets. And the younger generation of ethnic Estonians - those younger than 25, even in Tallinn, barely speak Russian at all.

Amnesty International is an NGO. It does not know all and does not command the moral respect of a God. However, they have invested time into preparing this report, and I am not afraid to reconsider some of the questions that exist regarding Estonia's minority policies.

Your thoughts are always welcome.

117 kommentaari:

Anonüümne ütles ...


In Narva, you have much more of a "national minority" situation. This is where you have an ethnically different community residing at some distance from the national ethnic majority. The Russian Estonians of Narva, unlike those of Tallinn, therefore find themselves not unlike the Swedes of the Aaland Islands, or the Sami of Finnmark, or the Bretons of France (bear with my comparisons here, for my sake). They are more of a national minority or cultural isolate than an immigrant community.


Except that while the Swedes were always in the Aaland Islands, the Sami were always in Finnmark and the Bretons were always in France, the majority of Russians of Narva are relatively recent arrivals, displacing Estonians after 1944, who were not allowed to return to the city by the occupying authorities. So in this sense Narva is more of an immigrant community, but rather than residing in a particular suburb of a city, they reside in the whole city.

Giustino ütles ...

Except that while the Swedes were always in the Aaland Islands, the Sami were always in Finnmark and the Bretons were always in France, the majority of Russians of Narva are relatively recent arrivals, displacing Estonians after 1944, who were not allowed to return to the city by the occupying authorities. So in this sense Narva is more of an immigrant community, but rather than residing in a particular suburb of a city, they reside in the whole city.

This is very true. Like I said, bear with my comparisons. Sadly, Amnesty didn't exist in the 19th century to criticize UK language policies in Ireland or Wales ;)

But I think that if Estonians want to "re-Estonianize" the cities of Ida-Virumaa then they must, by all means, move back to Narva, and move back to Sillamäe and move back to Jõhvi.

Buy the real estate and move your jobs and just take it back. Why wait for the government to do your work for you?

I think everyone involved, including native Russian speakers, would welcome the movement of some Estonian capital to Narva and Kohtla-Järve.

Eventually this will probably happen if you can keep the baby boom up. It happens in New York. The children of successful generations, having no affordable place to go, move in and repopulate immigrant neighborhoods.

Hoboken, New Jersey - where I used to live -used to be a rundown backwater 20 years ago, but today it is one of the most expensive places to live in the NYC area.

In 20 years, the "cool place to live" may very well be in Sillamäe or Kohlta-Järve. Take a look around at all those new Estonian babies. They very well may decide that Tallinn is for Yuppies, and that Püssi - by far the best-named town in Estonia - is the place to be.

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

The only text versions of the findings the internatsid have on their site are in Russian and English yet they dare to be talking about "linguistic discrimination" and give "recommendations" to Estonia including, as unbelievable as it sounds hiring non-citizens into public administration. This show us what the future be if we listen. They claim that Estonian version "may be added soon", only to show they now realized that the viciousness of their ridiculous attack has been exposing their true intentions.

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

in fact they say they have estonian overview and it will be added to the web site, but it does not change much

Anonüümne ütles ...

When will we see a report from Amnesty International condemning Quebec's policy towards the English speaking minority living in Quebec? Why is Amnesty International not pressing the Canadian government to end Quebec's discrimination against monolingual English speakers? We English speakers living in the USA should defend our English speaking compatriots across the border from the oppressive policies of the Quebec regime.

Martin ütles ...

In a globalised world, can we seriously think that Russian, with its 140 million native speakers, could be ever be considered a "minority" language? There is only 900,000 native Estonian speakers in the whole world.

I think Amnesty's report deals Estonia a real injustice, given the progress Estonia has made in the years since re-idependance.

Giustino ütles ...

they dare to be talking about "linguistic discrimination" and give "recommendations" to Estonia including, as unbelievable as it sounds hiring non-citizens into public administration.

Imagine this: When we are back in Estonia and I again receive my permanent resident card, I - me, Mr. New York - will be able to vote in local Tartu elections.

I haven't done anything to earn that right except fill out some paperwork (which last time around was very easy) and rent an apartment in Tartu.

Yet here in these United States, Spanish-speaking immigrants without citizenship have no such rights.

Hmm.

We English speakers living in the USA should defend our English speaking compatriots across the border from the oppressive policies of the Quebec regime.

While irony is welcome, I think the official response from the Estonian government should be "we welcome Amnesty International's recommendations and will consider them."

At the same time, I don't feel it is as bad a report as it could have been. If anything, it just says the Estonian government should better fund its initiatives, rather than suggesting it change them altogether.

notsu ütles ...

Well, IMO the report is relatively friendly, but it has a misleading title and of course, it has already given rise to even more misleading ones: the news in Delfi was titled "Human rights activists: don't bully the Russians!" You can imagine what kind of comments it triggered.

I didn't understand your comment, Giustino, about your right to vote in local elections. Every permanent resident has this right in Estonia, citizen or not, non-citizen residents of Jõhvi or Sillamäe included. It is not the privilege of US-origin residents exclusively. But maybe I didn't catch your point...

Giustino ütles ...

I didn't understand your comment, Giustino, about your right to vote in local elections. Every permanent resident has this right in Estonia, citizen or not, non-citizen residents of Jõhvi or Sillamäe included. It is not the privilege of US-origin residents exclusively. But maybe I didn't catch your point...

The point is that no such right exists for non-citizens in the US!

We were talking about the '07 elections and I was saying who I would *probably* vote for, and then I said "Well it's a shame I can't vote" and then I was reminded that with my permanent resident's card I WILL be able to vote.

A right my wife, living here in the US as a permanent resident, does not have.

Bob ütles ...

Much to the chagrin of the Russians in Russia and maybe the okupatsioon Russians living in Estonia, the country that the report refers to is "Estonia", not "West Russia", not even the "Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic" anymore.

It is ESTONIA, a place in which the native peoples and their decendants have lived in for 5,000 years, speaking a "tongue" that is probably 4,000 plus years old.

I think it's up to the Russians to assimilate if they want to stay in Eesti. If I lived there I wouldn't expect to get by solely on MY native tongue, English. I would consider myself a (hopefully) honored guest and not expect the country to adapt to my peculiar ways.

We have a similar thing here in the states with the Spanish speakers. My ancestors came here from Europe and Scandinavia and "assimilated", learning enough English to "get by" with even the first generation stepping off the ship onto American soil. No, English is not the "official" language here, but it is the de-facto standard.

I would take about any conclusion Amnesty International came to "with a grain of salt".

I don't think Estonia should discard it's national identity for the sake of the European Union either, but that's another discussion.

Giustino ütles ...

No, English is not the "official" language here, but it is the de-facto standard.

Can anyone give me an example of a state where minorities AREN'T at a disadvantage?

Just curious.

Franz ütles ...

"But I think that if Estonians want to "re-Estonianize" the cities of Ida-Virumaa then they must, by all means, move back to Narva, and move back to Sillamäe and move back to Jõhvi"
Estonians don't have resources for re-Estonianize Ida-Virumaa cities.
Hardly has succeeded to re-Estonianize Tallinn (47,4 % Estonians in 1989 and 53,7 % in 2000).
Ida-Virumaa in an settlement anomaly. Theorethically there must not live so many people in Ida-Virumaa cities.

n-lane ütles ...

And it takes two and a half hours by bus to get to the overwhelmingly Russian-speaking portion of Estonia in Narva and Sillamäe.

From where? :)

Roland ütles ...

We were talking about the '07 elections and I was saying who I would *probably* vote for, and then I said "Well it's a shame I can't vote" and then I was reminded that with my permanent resident's card I WILL be able to vote.

'07 elections are for riigikogu and so for citizens only. You have to wait till '09 local elections if you want to vote in Estonia.

Giustino ütles ...

Estonians don't have resources for re-Estonianize Ida-Virumaa cities.

Well then tell your wife that you need to have more children because you need to "re-Estonianize" Püssi.

Hardly has succeeded to re-Estonianize Tallinn (47,4 % Estonians in 1989 and 53,7 % in 2000).

Everyone has different stats. The Estonian Statistical Office shows 54,8 percent eestlased, 36.6 percent venelased, 3,6 percent ukrainlased, 1,9 percent valgevenelased, ja 0.6 percent soomlased for 2006.

Theorethically there must not live so many people in Ida-Virumaa cities.

"Theory" is actually reality. According to the population register:

In 1959, 30,000 people lived in Narva and 10,000 people lived in Kohtla-Järve.

In 1989, 85,000 people lived in Narva and 92,000 lived in Kohtla-Järve.

In 2005, 69,000 people lived in Narva and 44,000 lived in Kohtla-Järve.

And people wonder why there is more unemployment there! Without Soviet-style population transfer there is no way to keep the population levels there up so artificially high.

In comparison, Tallinn in 1959 numbered 280,000, today it is around 396,000. Tartu in 1959 numbered 74,000, today it is around 100,000.

Anonüümne ütles ...

Can anyone give me an example of a state where minorities AREN'T at a disadvantage?

Iraq before the US invaded. Sunni's had it pretty good under Saddam.

notsu ütles ...

Come on... what about Kurds?

Estonia Visitor ütles ...

Apartheid South Africa!

stockholm slender ütles ...

I must say that I really can't summon much enthusiasm for this abstract rights centred approach in Estonia's case that has no regard to the specific historical or cultural context. Of course, that is what makes Amnesty special, but here it works against a very small, a very peaceful, non-aggressive society next to an archaically thinking aggressive and territorial great power. Sure, the substance might be positive but it isn't the substance that gets reported. I already saw on the morning bus in Espoo a headline in Metro proclaiming: "Amnesty slams Estonian human rights situation" (or the equivalent, can't remember the exact words). Not nice.

radical sasquatch ütles ...

Guistino wrote: "In Narva, you have much more of a 'national minority' situation....They are more of a national minority or cultural isolate than an immigrant community."

The Russians in Ida-Virumaa are neither an immigrant community (as Italian Americans in the U.S, who arrived more or less voluntarily in a society that was accustomed to receiving immigrants) nor an organic national minority (as the Kurds in Iraq/Iran/Turkey, who have lived in that region for centuries and ended up in other people's states). They are colonists. To understand ethnic relations in Estonia after the Soviet Empire, the more relevant model would be other post-colonial societies, such as South Africa or Kenya.

I understand that there were Russians in Estonia long before the Soviet occupation, and that it might be unfair to dismiss all Russians in Estonia today as "colonists," an obviously loaded term. I think there's a reasonable case to be made for Russians as a national minority before the Soviet occupation. The Estonian Republic's constitution seemed to treat them as such. But I think the Soviet occupation created a new dynamic, especially in Ida-Virumaa. To Estonians, Russians, whether they arrived before the Soviet era or not, are reminders of an attempt to undermine if not destroy Estonian cultural and national integrity. Of course Estonians should be magnanimous, patient and reasonable towards their Russian minority. Of course the universal human rights of Russians in Estonia should be respected. Prejudice and discrimination are counter-productive. But History has placed the burden of compromise on the Russians in Estonia. I'm not sure Amnesty International understands this.

(Incidentally, I'm optimistic that young people in Estonia today, whatever their ethnic background, will eventually be able to transcend their burdensome past).

Radical Sasquatch ütles ...

Apologies for such a long post. I didn't realize how I was rambling on.

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

Imagine this: When we are back in Estonia and I again receive my permanent resident card, I - me, Mr. New York - will be able to vote in local Tartu elections.

don't mix privilege the people of Estonia by their sovereinty can bestow upon you and native right that you could demand. I don't think you consider that aforementioned US privelege would be retained, if, say 500 thousand Americans would suddenly want to come.

Anonüümne ütles ...

I live in Jõhvi. These Amnesty International people better worry about estonians in Ida-Virumaa! And where was this organization in 1941-1991? Where was finnish media-they were afraid of russians! Noody didnt care when Estonians were sent to Siberia and Ida-Virumaa-where my family lived for houndreds of years was russified and colonized!
Estonians are too patient!
This report was payed by Russia. As they poison people in London and do their dirty business everywhere in the world!

Giustino ütles ...

I live in Jõhvi. These Amnesty International people better worry about estonians in Ida-Virumaa!

When we come back to Estonia I will make it a priority to do a special blog series on Ida-Virumaa and what it is like there for the benefit of the English language audience. I'd be happy to take your suggestions on where I should go and what I should see. Jõhvi will definitely be a destination.

Martin ütles ...

I have to wonder, given the silence of Amnesty International over the years regarding the situation in Estonia, and after Estonia has made great strides in integrating her Russian speaking population, reducing statelessnes from over 30% down to under 10%, why now?

With Russia cracking down on foreign NGOs recently, I can only speculate that Amnesty International may have sacrificed Estonia in order to continue operating in Russia.

Frank ütles ...

It might make sense to differentiate between "Russians" and "homines sovietici" - I remember a night with Tiit Matsulevits in Tartu in 1987 in his flat (then in charge of the university´s PR, later Estonia´s ambassador to Germany and Russia)where he stated: "I love Russia, but I do not love the Soviet Union". Needless to say, he knew longer passages of Achmatowa (among others) by heart.

Anonüümne ütles ...

I never thought I'd see the day when Amnesty sides up with the Kremlin. This report is confusing and completely inadequate. The situation with Russia is getting out of our control and we should probably be packing our bags and flee while we still can. I sure as hell don't want to end up in Siberia.

n-lane ütles ...

Well, some historians may call most of the Russians in Ida-Virumaa and Tallinn "colonists". But these "colonists" never regarded Estonia as a colony. Estonia was just part of their home country, the Soviet Union, the world they lived in. All of a sudden, this world collapsed. For many of them, it was a tragedy.

What do you think: Could all Soviet citizens be held responsible for the crimes of the regime? Similarly: Could all Germans of the Nazi Germany be made responsible for Hitler's crimes?

"Amnesty International" has just talked and listened to those people. "Amnesty International" is a well-known and independent NGO. Why would it "side up with the Kremlin"? Just in order to continue operating in Russia? It is nonsense, anonymous ladies and gentleman.

As Anna from Tartu put it: "Miks on nii, et kui AI mõistab hukka mingisuguse Venemaa teo, noogutavad kõik eestlased pead ja räägivad kui äge AI on ja kui hull on Venemaa? aga kui sarnane asi ilmub Eesti kohta, siis väidetakse et it is all crap." It takes two and a half hours by bus to get from Tartu to Narva, too.

I am not afraid to reconsider some of the questions that exist regarding Estonia's minority policies.
Why could you ever be afraid of that, Mr. New York?

faqih ütles ...

A lot of things have been said here about Russian-speakers beeing discriminated in Estonia. The fact that people who were born here are denied political and economic opportunities is despotic. That is true, but I am not going to go into details.
I would like to talk about what these facts mean for the future of Estonia.
There are three biggest cities in Estonia: Tallinn, Tartu, Narva. Narva is almost all Russian town. More than 40 percent of the capital population are Russians. More than 20 percent of Tartu population are Russian also. Russians are predominantly urban、highly-industrialized population. Many of them are very good educated people. They have at their fingertips vast educational resources in Russian, and many of them are ready to pour in their knowledge and energy into developing the country they have been living all their life. But it is not so easy because of the governmental polices towards Russian population. Estonia is losing people. I have seen very smart people leaving Estonia for Russia, Germany, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom. They are ready to foreigners in these countries rather than being treated as if nobody needs you in your home country.
Many Estonians are getting good education in Western countries. Estonia is more open now. But what price do they pay to become westernized? Is it not enough that they work on Sweden factories, go into a German-owned bank and so on. It appears to me sometimes than many Russians care much more about Estonia than Estonians do, while Estonians are becoming more and more dependent on their western patrons.
Languages come and go. What you really need to think of is prosperity of people.

oliver ütles ...

_Well, some historians may call most of the Russians in Ida-Virumaa and Tallinn "colonists". But these "colonists" never regarded Estonia as a colony. Estonia was just part of their home country, the Soviet Union, the world they lived in._

Ah yes, right there, that is the reason why these people are called colonists. For Estonia as a country, as a state this was a another period of slavery. Massive immigration - dramatic changes in "the demographic pie" (Estonians down to 60%)
Estonians weren't born in the Soviet Union, we were born in Estonia occupied by the Soviet Union, or abroad (our president for example) - in the families that fleed from the very same advancing Soviet Union (and all its "soldat-osvoboditeli")
Estonia will never be the real home for people who try to identify themselves with the Soviet Union.
If they accept their past and really understand that they live in Estonia that has regained its independance (and act accordingly), the are called whatever they wanna be (Estonians, Russians, Ukrainians and so on), otherwise they'll always remain kolonist, sovjett, homo sovieticus, okupant, tibla, kultuuritooja, vabastaja...

It's as simple as that.

n-lane ütles ...

"that is the reason why these people are called colonists" oliver

Yes. But my point was that they didn't feel themselves to be colonists, because for most of them Estonia was (and for some of them still is) a republic which joined the Soviet Union out of free will. At least that's what they were told - and they had no reason not to believe it. So I think the Russians now living in Estonia cannot be held responsible for the Kremlin's policy of the past.

"Languages come and go. What you really need to think of is prosperity of people." faqih

I completely agree with that. To put language before people's needs is a crime.

wilpuri ütles ...

I can't help but to view the Russian residents as invaders and colonists who have overstayed. I know its not a very pragmatic approach, but this is how I feel, and how I suspect many Estonians and Latvians feel as well.

I was pleased by Putin's move to attract Russians living abroad back to Russia, but unfortunately it is unlikely to attract the masses, as they are better off outside of Russia.

notsu ütles ...

I'd like to underline that AI report did actually approve Estonian integration policy as such, the aim of turning all Russian-speakers into people able to communicate in Estoinan INCLUDED. It was only funding that was critizised (when can language course be compensated and so on).

Giustino ütles ...

But these "colonists" never regarded Estonia as a colony. Estonia was just part of their home country, the Soviet Union, the world they lived in. All of a sudden, this world collapsed. For many of them, it was a tragedy.

Well, Estonia was always a nominal independent republic in the Soviet Union. It very much legally changed its status and it has changed its laws too. But it legally always retained that right, even in the Soviet constitution.

There are three biggest cities in Estonia: Tallinn, Tartu, Narva. Narva is almost all Russian town. More than 40 percent of the capital population are Russians. More than 20 percent of Tartu population are Russian also.

Not true. Russians are 37 percent in Tallinn, 16 percent in Tartu. If we wanted to similarly exaggerate numbers I could say that Estonians are 60 percent in Tallinn and 85 percent in Tartu. I mean people so generously add all other minorities to the "Russian-speaking pile" - surely we can add Ingrian Finns and others to the "Estonian-speaking pile."

Therefore the assertion that one out of every three people in Estonia is discriminated against is completely false. I mean if Estonians are 69 percent, then how can Amnesty claim that one-third of the population is discriminated against?

Languages come and go. What you really need to think of is prosperity of people.

This statement puzzles me. Couldn't you use the same statement to justify the total exclusion of Russian language from all life in Estonia? Because I mean, languages come and go. What matters is the prosperity of the people.

Why could you ever be afraid of that, Mr. New York?

Because I believe that Estonian integration policies are, in general, working - just as the report points out. At no point does the report challenge school reform or citizenship issues. It only offers advice on how to better implement them, which is fine.

I think it takes a certain amount of "political courage" to look at a policy that is at least working and saying, "Hey we should change it!"

So the question would be then, "Why mess with something that is working?"

Speaking of Amnesty, why aren't they here defending the rights of the de facto Spanish-speaking minority? Or how about the de facto Muslim minority in France and Britain?
I'd welcome that. Because despite the reputation, New Yorkers are not the most tolerant people. You've got to learn to speak English. You do not at your own economic peril.

I'd also like to add some things.

#1: I believe that there is still some idea out there that all Estonians are fluent in Russian and they are just being hard asses by not speaking it.

This is false. Most Estonians I know that don't live in Tallinn and are young enough to have missed out on compulsory Soviet military service (so you are talking about people born since the mid-1970s, aged 30 and younger) speak the language poorly or not at all.

#2: Russian is as difficult for Estonians to learn as Estonian is for Russian-speakers. Estonians that know Russian must master a totally foreign alphabet, learn to pronounce sounds that are very difficult for them to make, and learn a completely alien vocabulary. It's a hard language to learn, even for English speakers.

#2: De facto discrimination works the other way too, especially in shops. I have seen many Estonian customers that were "forced" to speak Russian by employees that just refused to answer them in Estonian. I have seen Russian-speaking bosses yell back at their Estonian employees in Russian every time they attempt to speak the language of the majority. What's sadder is that the Estonians acquiesce in the work place.

That is totally unacceptable. You can call that "linguistic despotism."

Giustino ütles ...

I'd like to add that I am not totally in support of all of Estonia's integration policies.

I can see why people think that denying citizenship to Narvalased born in 1990 is "despotic." I personally think that it could be counterproductive.

Yet, at the same time the law is a tricky thing. As much as we "feel" that things should be one way or the other, a change in policy creates a great number of ramifications.

I mean, if you extend citizenship to all people born on the surface of Estonia, then wouldn't anybody born in Estonia after 1991 that was a non-national be able to claim a similar right today?

n-lane ütles ...

"I was pleased by Putin's move to attract Russians living abroad back to Russia" wilpuri

It's not "back to Russia" for the majority of them. It's "away from home". That is what people talking about "invaders" and "colonists" seem not to consider.

"the aim of turning all Russian-speakers into people able to communicate in Estoinan INCLUDED" notsu

You cannot "turn" people into anything. You only can help them become something different. Provided they want to.

Giustino ütles ...

It's not "back to Russia" for the majority of them. It's "away from home". That is what people talking about "invaders" and "colonists" seem not to consider.

But what about a sense of history?
I mean, I am of Italian descent and very aware that my people do not come from the US - once populated solely by native peoples. I understand that Italy is the epicenter of Italian culture. Therefore, if I felt a particularly strong affinity for Italy, and I wanted to *stay* Italian, then moving there wouldn't seem so foreign. Maybe I am just a weirdo. I mean I must be one of the few Americans that aren't of Estonian descent and can speak some Estonian.

You cannot "turn" people into anything. You only can help them become something different. Provided they want to.

Well, the things is that Estonians have decided that they, as a people, are defined by their language. It doesn't matter where you come from, so long as you speak Estonian. So many Estonians have foreign roots - German, Polish, Swedish, - even Ilves has Russian roots. But the common denominator has been fluency in their tongue. This is an old idea that goes back centuries.

Which reminds me of another fact:

#4: 1945 was not the year 1. Estonia's history goes back further than the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Soviets. Its attitudes towards minority linguistic groups go back centuries. And the attitude has been one of linguistic assimilation. Their insistence on non-Estonian speakers to learn is a tribal self defense mechanism that has allowed them to endure centuries of linguistic slavery from German barons and Russian autocrats. I mean, in 1880 the language of instruction was German at Tartu, but in 1894 everything had to be changed to Russian. Yet the language of the people never changed because of this attitude.

This isn't just about language laws, it's about the spirit of history.

faqih ütles ...

Languages come and go. What you really need to think of is prosperity of people.

I meant that goverment should make its policy flexible. Estonians are too afraid to become extinct. My ancestors have lived for many centuries in that region. My grandmother used to speak a Finno-Ugorian language, which have become extinct, with neighbours in her village nor far from Saint-Petersburg and Russian with me. It is a tendency for thousands of years. I dont care if my child would speak another language. That is not important. Important is protection of those people for whom there are not much option for choosing a language. Russian should be made another state language. That what I call democracy.

Anonüümne ütles ...

At 8:16 AM, Giustino said…

But what about a sense of history?
I mean, I am of Italian descent and very aware that my people do not come from the US - once populated solely by native peoples.

Hey how many Indian languages have you studied up to this day?

Giustino ütles ...

Hey how many Indian languages have you studied up to this day?

The people of where I grew up spoke Algonquian languages. In Western Long Island the people were systematically destroyed through population transfer, disease, and genocide in the 17th century. Some people that still speak their variety of Algonquian live on reserves in Canada.

As for eastern Long Island, their culture was systematically destroyed through a racist system placing Indian youth as servants in English households as youth - divorcing them from their native culture via what amounted to slavery.

Thomas Jefferson compiled vocabulary lists of their language in the early 1800s. Some fragments of this list survive, but the native language died in the mid-19th century.

Today there are language "reclamation" projects underway at the Wampanoak reservation in Massachusetts. This is the closest relative to our extinct Long Island Algonquian languages. Those courses are for natives only.

My grandmother used to speak a Finno-Ugorian language, which have become extinct, with neighbours in her village nor far from Saint-Petersburg and Russian with me. It is a tendency for thousands of years.

Except that Finno-Ugric languages in Russia proper had not developed into proper functional languages that are capable of functioning in an academic and business environment. Estonian is not a "people's language" like Livonian. It as workable as Icelandic or Danish OR Russian OR English.

Russian should be made another state language. That what I call democracy.

Democracy is rule by the people. If the people do not like the laws, they can change them.

Consistently asking the state to solve all your problems for you is not democracy. Using the mechanism of democracy to serve your interests is democratic.

If you don't like the laws, lobby the government and change them.

faqih ütles ...

If you call Russians invaders then I wish they would stay under Nazi regime.
From my point of view Russians DID free Estonia, as many other Eurpean countries. I wish neo-cons before listening to Rumsfeld and Gates’cooked-up anti-Soviet propaganda study a little bit about WW2 and USSR. At least about ideas that stand behind them. Estonians,,,well, there are all kind of Estonians, pro-Soviet and anti-Soviet. There were a lot of cases where a father would work for German police and a son would fight with red army. They are just a small, angry nation, which is trying to take an advantage for its own sake in the world of big politics.
I just them not become too blind, to look at real people, to become humanistic.

Giustino ütles ...

From my point of view Russians DID free Estonia, as many other Eurpean countries.

Yeah, free to get deported and/or murdered by NKVD.

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb.

Giustino ütles ...

They are just a small, angry nation, which is trying to take an advantage for its own sake in the world of big politics.

Now now, we can all say bad things about different peoples.

For example, Russian culture and identity is bogged down in 19th century geopolitics. They still put all their faith in one corrupt man - the tsar. I mean 80 years of revolution, and they couldn't live without a king?!

What's more, their culture is stale and boring.

Tolstoy? The ballet? *Yawn*

oliver ütles ...

_They are just a small, angry nation..._

And that is how it's usually ends...
If your opponent has more time he/she also let's you know that Estonians are fascists or apes with no culture brought down from a tree by Russian Empire and later again by Soviet Union.
Or they'll give you a list of writers, composers, scientists of Russian origin and demand you to match it with Estonian ones...

You feel sad for them, but at the same time a bit scared.

Giustino ütles ...

You feel sad for them, but at the same time a bit scared.

Hello - my wife and child and niece and sister-in-law and every other Estonian I know are NOT angry nor FASCISTS. They are young vibrant people with a future.

They deserve to live their lives in peace without some meddling neighbor coming in and trying to mess it all up for posterity's sake.

I mean, think about the terror that was unleashed on Estonia in 1941 and 1949. What made people capable of loading other humans into trains and sending them to live in Siberian gulags?

If you want to talk about primitive tree people, I don't think you can get a better example in recent Estonian history than what occurred during the Red Terror.

But are they angry? No. They are just living their lives. Is Vaiko Eplik angry about the past? I am sure he knows about it. But instead, he's decided that he doesn't want to make any commercial music anymore.

See :) Life goes on.

Anonüümne ütles ...

Where was Amnesty International when we were repressed and discriminated against on our own native soil???

n-lane ütles ...

"It might make sense to differentiate between "Russians" and "homines sovietici"" Frank

This is a very useful remark, I think.

"Therefore the assertion that one out of every three people in Estonia is discriminated against is completely false. I mean if Estonians are 69 percent, then how can Amnesty claim that one-third of the population is discriminated against?" Giustino

Well, the three and a half guys who make the difference left Estonia for the USA yesterday. Too bad.

"Couldn't you use the same statement to justify the total exclusion of Russian language from all life in Estonia? Because I mean, languages come and go." Giustino

Did faqih really try "to justify the total exclusion" of Estonian language "from all life in Estonia" by saying "languages come and go"? No, he did not.

"Speaking of Amnesty, why aren't they here defending the rights of the de facto Spanish-speaking minority? Or how about the de facto Muslim minority in France and Britain?" Giustino

How many of those Spanish-speakers and Muslims are stateless?

"#2: De facto discrimination works the other way too, especially in shops." Giustino

Please watch this video called "Tallinna kauplustes jääb Eesti kellega hätta" ("Estonian language will get you in trouble in Tallinn shops") and then read these comments (in Estonian).

"That is totally unacceptable. You can call that "linguistic despotism"." Giustino

Yes, linguistic despotism is unacceptable. I wonder who would argue with that. Nobody here said Estonians have to speak Russian. People will find a way to communicate if they really need to. The best solution would be to have no official language de jure. Just like in the US. Or Sweden.

"But what about a sense of history?" Giustino

Ok, I'll say it the other way round: Putting history or culture or language before people's needs is a crime.

"Hey how many Indian languages have you studied up to this day?" Anonymous

This one was good, wasn't it? ;-) Sorry.

"Narragansett. Susquehanna. Chemehuevi. Mattole. Liiga pikad nimed. Liiga võõrad keeled. Ärge siis küsige meilt, mida me mäletame."
(Jaan Kaplinski. Me peame ju väga tasa käima (pdf))

"If you don't like the laws, lobby the government and change them."

It is another very useful remark. I hope some day someone will make a good use of it. If it's not too late by then.

"They are just a small, angry nation, which is trying to take an advantage for its own sake in the world of big politics." faqih

I am sure, many of us had moments in our lives, when we were small and angry. God bless those whose moments of anger are things past!

See :) Life goes on.

:-)

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

The fact that people who were born here are denied political and economic opportunities is despotic.

It is Europe, horrible place, unlike, say, prosperous Churkestan. There's no single country when a person can demand citizenship on mere fact of being born in a country.

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

I completely agree with that. To put language before people's needs is a crime. Yep, toput people before people.. bunch of crap.

n-lane ütles ...

It is Europe, horrible place, unlike, say, prosperous Churkestan. Estonia in World Media

Hello Estonia in World Media! :-)
Please tell us more about the country Churkestan! Where is it?

There's no single country when a person can demand citizenship on mere fact of being born in a country. Estonia in World Media

Not even Churkestan? :-(
Those people in question were citizens of the Soviet Republic of Estonia.

But please tell us first:
Why did you use a photo of Russian communists in front of the Latvian embassy in Moscow to illustrate your article about the Amnesty report on Estonia?

Yep, toput people before people.. bunch of crap. Estonia in World Media

No, to put language before people. Language by definition is not people.

Franz ütles ...

"Those people in question were citizens of the Soviet Republic of Estonia"
So-called "Soviet Republic of Estonia" was not at all state. It was self-government organ of occupator power. To talk about citizens of Soviet Republic of Estonia is as to talk about citizens of Bohemian-Moravian Protectorate or General-Gouvernemang

Franz ütles ...

"The best solution would be to have no official language de jure"
From 1940 until January 1989 there was not official language de jure in Estonia. And which were the results? Which was the position of Estonian language?

n-lane ütles ...

Please let me make my statement clear.

I was born in Narva. I am an Estonian citizen. My family is Russian. My mother tongue is Russian. At present I live in Germany. But I regard Estonia as my first home. Because my family lives there. Because I love this country.

Estonia is NOT a one-nation state. It is home to many nations, which have the right to be equal citizens in their homeland. For me, ethnic nationalism as a state policy is unacceptable, regardless of the size of the nation. And those who see it differently are by default my opponents. Because they try to deprive me and my family of our home. And I will fight against them with all the legal weapons at my disposal.

I am not responsible for the decisions which were made before me or when I was too young to intervene.

cbr ütles ...

Woow.. how did I miss this heated debate including racial hatred, FUD and demagogy. What a shame.

Okay, now to pour jet fuel into the fire...

faqih seems like a typical Russian chauvinist. Now if Russia wouldn't let people like that into their politics, they would have a lot less issues with Estonia. We ain't "evil people". We don't despise the soul of anything Russian. But when people say things that we just can't comprehend, that makes us scared. And you are scared of enemies. So in my opinion the Russian state is partly to blame for the situation of the Estonian Russians. Instead of sputtering insults, we could be making dialog. But statements like "the Estonians should thank us for liberating them" just ruin all those possibilities. In that sense, Russians really are TERRIBLE diplomats. You don't build diplomacy on the grounds of fear and awe. You build it on dialog and understanding.

plasma-jack ütles ...

they try to deprive me and my family of our home.

I (as an Estonian citizen whose mother language is Estonian) can assure you that nobody will take away you citizenship just because you're Russian. ever. & you, as a citizen are always welcome back here. same case with every Estonian citizen whose mother language is Finnish, Ukrainian or Latvian.

if I might add, nobody will not even discuss sending out the non-citizens from Estonia.

and i actually think you know it verywell, just trying to push "nationalists" make schauvinistic comments, are we?

there are human rights which are universal and must be guaranteed to everyone in Estonia, Germany and Russia.

and there are citizen's rights which can only be enjoyed by.. citizens. these two doesn't mean the same thing. every 1st-grade law student can tell you that.

Franz ütles ...

"Estonia is NOT a one-nation state"
Estonia in one-nation state with quite sizeable Russian minority and many smaller minorities too.

n-lane ütles ...

if I might add, nobody will not even discuss sending out the non-citizens from Estonia. plasma-jack

Thank you, plasma-jack :-)
But when I hear wilpuri say "I can't help but to view the Russian residents as invaders and colonists who have overstayed" I get scared, too...

n-lane ütles ...

Estonia in one-nation state with quite sizeable Russian minority and many smaller minorities too.

You see, plasma-jack...

So, Franz is my first opponent.

cbr ütles ...

n-lane, I don't quite understand your crusaide against the Estonian constitution.

Why is it paramount to you that Estonian should NOT be the official language of Estonia? I mean we don't force Russians to abandon Russian or anything. The Estonian republic's main goal is to protect and preserve the nation (according to the constitution). Any other nation is welcome here, but you can't just kick open the door and demand special rights etc. You have to respect the constitution and the people.

Also why do you have to seek opponents amongst your fellow countrymen? Where does this seeking of an enemy come from? We aren't in the Soviet Union anymore where the "strange people", "capitalists" and "evil nationalists" are out to get you...

Please don't take this as offensive. I'm just trying to make dialog.

faqih ütles ...

to Giustino:
When you are talking about the crimes during WW2 dont forget that it was war. German troops used to burn people alive in this area! My grandmother told me that they used to pack a wooden house with people and burn them alive! And you are talking about crimes? Many Estonians used to work for German army. Do you want Red army to establish a fair trial, due process of law? Nonsense. It was a war, a war not initiated by Russians. And how could USSR fight that war? Give people a good salary to work on its factories in Siberia? Think about it.
It was not a war in Iraq or Vietnam for imperialistic gains, it was a war for life. Just think what was going on at that time. And Estonians are going to support Bush in Iraq! They are going to send troops to Iraq and participate in the USA goverment war crimes! Is it not a shame?

I called Estonians an angry nation, because they are blaming USSR for corrupting its nation and depriving natural rights from Russian-speaking peoples. Come on! Why to be so offensive!

History has been rewritten. Nor Soviet hitosry is objective, nor Estonian one. Both of them are corrupt. But the latter one is still out there in schools.

And about culture. I am fed up with remarks about Russian culture from brain-washed Americans. I am not going to mention of the quality of American culture just for the reasons of politness.

n-lane ütles ...

n-lane, I don't quite understand your crusaide against the Estonian constitution. cbr

The problem with the Estonian constitution is that it was written according to the ideas of ethnic nationalism. It turned hundreds of thousands of people to foreigners in their home overnight! You don't see a problem here?

Also why do you have to seek opponents amongst your fellow countrymen? cbr

I don't seek opponents. I just see and name them. Because there's a risk that some of them tolerate such people as wilpuri. Or even share their ideas.

Please don't take this as offensive. I'm just trying to make dialog. cbr

Thank you cbr. I appreciate this dialogue.

n-lane ütles ...

Why is it paramount to you that Estonian should NOT be the official language of Estonia?

Oh, excuse me cbr, I never said that.
Two options can be considered here:
- No official language at all or
- More than one official language.

Giustino ütles ...

How many of those Spanish-speakers and Muslims are stateless?

In the US they have the citizenship of their home countries - Mexico, Guatemala, wherever.

See, here's the big dilemma. The Russian Federation is the legal successor of the USSR when it comes to territorial disputes, but when it comes to citizenship it pretends it's not? Why?

If you don't have Estonian citizenship and you were born a Soviet citizen, then wouldn't that make you de facto a citizen of the Russian Federation? That seems like the logical answer to the question.

Estonia is NOT a one-nation state. It is home to many nations, which have the right to be equal citizens in their homeland.

The bulk of the Russian minority in Estonia is a regional minority (which is what I was trying to explain in my original blog post).

In this way the Russians of Ida Virumaa are de facto (though not historically) akin to Swedes in the Aaland Islands.

I think most Finns would consider their official bilingual status to be a joke. Most I have met possess very limited knowledge of Swedish.

One reason why Russian should not be considered a state language is because Russian has played zero role in the creation or preservation of the Estonian state.

But, I can see a situation where Russian would be considered a regional official language in Ida-Virumaa county. But there is no reason why signs in every other Estonian county should be bilingual because kids in Viljandi have no compelling reason to live in a bilingual society that doesn't exist - just as kids in Narva may find the language laws to reflect a reality that doesn't exist.

In a nation that is sliced 70/30, the 30 percent must eventually understand that the burden is on them, as a minority, to become fluent in the tongue of the 70 percent. And that minority is decreasing. In 1989 Estonians were 61.5 percent, then in 2000 67.9 percent, and now in 2006 68.6 percent. What will it be next year? 68.8 percent? 69.1 percent? At what point will people cease to question that this is without question the majority tongue?

If Russia was overflowing with economic opportunity, academic opportunity, and cultural wealth, then you might see Estonians value possession of that language.

But Russia is itself a nation of many nations - it is ONLY 80 percent Russian, and its official language is, you guessed it, Russian.

But in El-Mari "officially" there are two languages, and so perhaps it should be in Ida-Virumaa. Just like the Sami have language rights in northern Finland, just as the Albanians have language rights in southern Italy, so should the Russians of Ida-Virumaa have regional language rights.

I could see that. It may take time for Estonians to liberalize their attitude (and bullying from the Russian Federation never helps) but I think that 15 years from now that very well may be reality, and the Estonians may look back on themselves and say "we were too harsh on our neighbors in Ida-Virumaa."

cbr ütles ...

Oh, excuse me cbr, I never said that.
Two options can be considered here:
- No official language at all or
- More than one official language.


How would you imagine that? Because I have no idea how such a situation would look like. And people generally are afraid of the unknown. The worst case scenario is something like this: I step into a shop in Tallinn and can't get service because the clerk tries to tell me in Russian that she won't deal with me in Estonian, because she has no obligation to do so. And I can't understand crap, because she talks in very fast Russian. Basically a stranger in my own country.

See the contradiction here? Of course the Russians have rights and everything but if I can't expect to be answered in Estonian in Estonia, then where the hell else? We don't have some mystic huge motherland or huge minorities in other countries. This is our country and it scares us when the minority, who just happens to be from a neighbouring county of ~170 million, demands extra rights.

Now here's the difficult point, because technically this is your motherland too. But I still have to be a bit selfish, because I wouldn't like to see an Estonia where I absolutely can't cope without Russian. That wouldn't be Estonia anymore, that would be a suburb of Moscow :/

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

if I might add, nobody will not even discuss sending out the non-citizens from Estonia

non-citizens are sent away all the time. But you are right, nobody discusses it

notsu ütles ...

to faquih:
in what way was the invasion of Estonia by Soviet troops in 1940 (followed by mass arrests) a "war for life"? In what way did Estoina threaten the USSR? Also, consider that in 1940, while Estonia was a neutral country, USSR was an ally of Nazi Germany, just having cooperated with them to conquer Poland. Remember, Poland didn't fall before it was attacked by Soviet troops from the other side. Who knows, maybe the whole WWII would have stuck there without Soviet help to Nazis?

I cannot understand how come you don't know that. This information has been available since Gorbachev's time.

Giustino ütles ...

This is our country and it scares us when the minority, who just happens to be from a neighbouring county of ~170 million, demands extra rights.

142 million, of which 80 percent are ethnic Russian, which gives you around 113 million. Sorry, I'm a statistics geek.

Now here's the difficult point, because technically this is your motherland too. But I still have to be a bit selfish, because I wouldn't like to see an Estonia where I absolutely can't cope without Russian. That wouldn't be Estonia anymore, that would be a suburb of Moscow.

No, in Estonia everyone should be able to get by in Estonian.

Let's put it this way. Is it logical to expect that after 50 years of Soviet occupation, Estonians are just going to say, "oh, that's ok, you can talk to me in your language, here's the key to the city"?

Especially when the Russian Federation continues its attempts to emasculate Estonia by calling them Hitlerites and fascists?

Given the situation, you could say that things are going pretty swell.
Because, if you want a comparable situation, look at Northern Ireland. The Brits resettled Protestants there 300 years ago and its still a mess. And more violent too.

Not to be a pessimist, but we should really consider the other side of things. They could be a lot worse.

notsu ütles ...

Things could also be like in ALgeria... (what are the French rights there, now?) of even worse, like in Balkan...

cbr ütles ...

http://g.delfi.ee/images/pix/file14538700_file14538178_DSC_3417.jpg
http://g.delfi.ee/images/pix/file14538207_DSC_3427.jpg
http://www.delfi.ee/news/paevauudised/eesti/article.php?id=14538640

Oh yes. Things like this certainly help us understand Russia and Russians more... dumbasses :S

n-lane ütles ...

Giustino's most recent comment was in many parts so good, so I was about to stop commenting on this post... :-)

In my opinion, Russian as a regional official language is a good idea.

Also I believe, that if the Swedes were 30 % of the population of Finland, the Finns wouldn't consider their official bilingual status to be a joke any more.

The Russian Federation is the legal successor of the USSR when it comes to territorial disputes, but when it comes to citizenship it pretends it's not? Why? Giustino

Because people are not territory. People have free will and freedom of choice.

Now here's the difficult point, because technically this is your motherland too.

Thank you again, cbr :-)
What exactly do you mean by "technically"?

This is our country and it scares us when the minority, who just happens to be from a neighbouring county of ~170 million, demands extra rights.

Yes, Estonia is our country. Yours and mine. What minority "from a neighbouring county of ~170 million" do you have in mind? The Tatars? The Chechens? Have they already invaded Estonia??? Gosh, when did it happen? I'll tune to Eesti Raadio in a second.

Sorry, but please face the reality.

But I still have to be a bit selfish cbr

Well, if you have to be selfish you can put some Tallinn street sand in your pocket and always carry "your Estonia" around with you.

oliver ütles ...

N-lane, you ARE fighting against Estonian Constitution, against Estonia... and obviously against most of the states all over the world.
For example.. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland didn’t fight Soviet Russia just to escape from this terrorist regime. If this was the case, wouldn’t it be logical we all joined into one big state? That’s just it. We wanted to things the Estonian way, our neighbors their own way.
Estonia is a state "which shall guarantee the preservation of the Estonian nation and culture through the ages" (from the constitution). If you exclude this line from the constitution and add few official languages or leave none at all, there’s no point to call it Estonia any more. Estonians would follow the fate of Votes, Vepsians and many others, Maris and Karelians are also nearly there - smothered to death.

cbr ütles ...

Sorry, but please face the reality.

Which reality are we talking about? Because I haven't lived in the Soviet days all that much either. I ain't responsible for colonisation plans of the Soviet Union either. All I know is that during the first Estonian Republic (well actually that's incorrect, because there only is one Estonian republic which was occupied for 50 years) the Russians had cultural autonomy, there were no problems (then the Russians only made up a considerably smaller percentage of the population too though). Then some evil empire came and swallowed us. And brought lots of foreign people in to mine oil shale. And now we have these big problems due to that.

All I know is that this is my land too, the land of my forefathers. We have lived under foreign rule for so long. Now let's try it our way, shall we? Just for the laugh. I shall not write more about this topic because I already wrote and deleted about 5 sentences, which were flamebait and/or igniting somekind of ethnical hatred. I say, let's wait for some years. We can't make rush decisions when we still remember too well the last occupation.

n-lane ütles ...

Estonia is a state "which shall guarantee the preservation of the Estonian nation and culture through the ages" Oliver

It is perfectly okay! Ladies and gentlemen, wake up!!! I never said a word against that.

But not at the cost of other nations.

there’s no point to call it Estonia any more Oliver

The dream of a monoethnic state is very beautiful and romantic! I can feel its beauty myself!

But it DOES NOT WORK in the modern world. That is the tragedy.

I know, it is very sad to see a beautiful dream vanish. One needs courage to face it...

Giustino ütles ...

Yes, Estonia is our country. Yours and mine. What minority "from a neighbouring county of ~170 million" do you have in mind? The Tatars? The Chechens? Have they already invaded Estonia??? Gosh, when did it happen? I'll tune to Eesti Raadio in a second.

It seems like the "Russians" in Estonia should start calling themselves something else for PR reasons.

This approach always works. Take the Civil Rights movement in the US. "Negroes" gave way to "Blacks" and the whole debate shifted because in te old debate "negro" and second class were synonymous and in the new one "black" was an unknown quantity waiting to be defined.

I think that if Estonians heard them say, "We are not Russians proper, we are _____ and we love Estonia and want to work to make it the greatest nation the size of Maine on the planet" then this old "Estonian versus Russian" debate could be put to rest in Ida-Virumaa.

So N-lane, choose a name. Narvalased is too narrow, but I sort of like it. ;-)

Giustino ütles ...

The dream of a monoethnic state is very beautiful and romantic! I can feel its beauty myself!

You can feel its beauty in most of Estonia to this day, except in Tallinn and in parts of Ida-Virumaa.

Which is why the regional identity is more accurate that a dual-state identity.

See, most people see statistics and think, "Ok, about 7 out of every 10 Estonian residents speak Estonian and about 3 out of every 10 speak Russian."

But that doesn't mean that in Paide that if you knock on ten doors, seven people will answer "tere!" and three will answer "privet!" - it means that if you knock on almost every door in Narva you will hear "privet," in Tallinn you will hear both, and in the rest of the country you'll hear nothing but "tere päevast."

So it's much easier for me to endorse a regional role for the language than any other option. If people are so worried about Estonian in Ida-Virumaa, then they can move to Ida-Virumaa and re-Estonianize it.

I am sure no one will call it colonization. :)

cbr ütles ...

guistino, just how Americans should move to Chinatown? :P

I would find it VERY difficult to live in let's say Sillamäe, where even the shop clerk would look funny at me when I'd address her in Estonian.

Giustino ütles ...

I would find it VERY difficult to live in let's say Sillamäe, where even the shop clerk would look funny at me when I'd address her in Estonian.

It's too bad that you just can't clone yourselves. You have to wait nine months just to produce one tita.

PS: Narvalane, I think maybe "Russians in Estonia" should call themselves "Slavs" because technically aren't many of them also Ukrainian, Belarussian, etc.? What I mean by reframing the debate by changing a community name is this:

If you ask Estonians about "Russians" you'll get a plague of bad memories. I mean, wasn't it "the Russians" that carted grandma off to Siberia and killed grandpa? But if there was another name for this distinct community that made it clear that we are Estonians first, Russian-speakers second - then this debate could grow to another level and people could *consider* liberalising language laws in Ida Virumaa.

Maybe it's a dumb idea, I don't know. I'm just spitting out ideas here.

n-lane ütles ...

It seems like the "Russians" in Estonia should start calling themselves something else for PR reasons. Giustino

Giustino, thank you for this idea! I think we've had an interesting debate here.

Giustino ütles ...

Giustino, thank you for this idea! I think we've had an interesting debate here.

I appreciate your input. We don't get enough Narvalased posting here on Itching for Eestimaa.

Ja vaata kui palju kommentaarid!

n-lane ütles ...

I appreciate your input.

Thank you again. I want to apologize for some harsh remarks, which might have offended you or some of my fellow countrymen/countrywomen. And to add that my girlfriend is also ethnic Estonian.

notsu ütles ...

Right, n-lane's input is very valuable. How often it is that we have a civil discussion which involves citizens both of Russian- and Estonian origin? This is something that was once dreamed of in Hanrahan's blog (afrodisiax.wordpress.com).

N-lane, I'm curious, what is the identity of yours? when you are asked this in Germany, what would you reply?

And thanks for your link to the discussion in livejournal: the members of it have many interesting blogs in Russian that I recommend to anyone here who understands this language. They reaffirmed my faith in humanity :).

faqih ütles ...

to notsu:
As you might know、 a year ago Russian parliament refused to sign a border treaty with Estonia because the Estonian parliament insisted on mentioning "occupation by Soviet Union". At the end the treaty was signed, but the words mentioning the alleged occupation were excluded.
As I wrote before in my comment, history was rewritten to please certain political forces. I understand why it was made and do not blame anybody.
As far as I know USSR did push on Estonia after signing the secret pact with Germany. The troops were placed there, however, under the treaty ratified by the National Diet. As well as the later decision to increase troops number, and the decision to enter the USSR. This is a historical fact. I suppose there was a political struggle for power, but the decision seems to me very probable. To enter USSR, which was for many years the closest political and economic partner for crisis-ridden Estonia , as a sovereign state looks to me as a very sound decision. Europe was on a verge of a war and Estonia needed support. Any big country could just gobble it down in a week.
Please let me know of the facts you are talking about. Do you allege that the majority of the National Diet was intimidated to death by Russian spies? It could be very interesting. Maybe you could send some links in Russian, German or English so I could read about the fact you are talking about. Better in Russian, because you probably know what was the attitude towards USSR from the west.

plasma-jack ütles ...

At the end the treaty was signed, but the words mentioning the alleged occupation were excluded.

Where the hell are you getting your information from? o_0 Is that what they write in Russian newspapers?

Franz ütles ...

"At the end the treaty was signed"
What? Border treaty between Estonia and Russia has not yet been treated

Franz ütles ...

Border treaty between Estonia and Russia has not yet been signed

Franz ütles ...

"National Diet. and the decision to enter the USSR."
As you know, "elections" to the so-called "parliament" in 14.-15. July 1941 were not legal. These "elections" were organized under Soviet occupation (since 17th June 1941). Only candidates of communists were allowed to participate in "elections". And results of so-called "parliament elections" were falsified. It all was only spectacle organized by Soviet occupators.

Franz ütles ...

Sorry, must be 1940 instead of 1941

faqih ütles ...

To plasma-jack's comment
Where the hell are you getting your information from? o_0 Is that what they write in Russian newspapers?


You dont need to spit out curses on Russian newspapers. Will you believe information published on Välisministeerium official web site?

http://www.vm.ee/eng/kat_200/5733.html

To Franz:

Estonian and Russian negotiators reached a technical border agreement in December 1996. The border treaty was initiated in 1999. On 18 May 2005 Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and his Russian colleague Sergei Lavrov signed in Moscow the “Treaty between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Russian Federation on the Estonian-Russian border” and the “Treaty between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Russian Federation on the Delimitation of the Maritime Zones in the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Narva”. The Riigikogu ratified the treaties on 20 June 2005 and the President of Estonia Arnold Rüütel announced them on 22 June 2005. On 31 August 2005 Russian President Putin gave a written order to the Russian Foreign Ministry to notify the Estonian side of “Russia’s intention not to participate in the border treaties between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Estonia”. On 6 September 2005 the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation forwarded a note to Estonia, in which Russia informed that it did not intend to become a party to the border treaties between Estonia and Russia and did not consider itself bound by the circumstances concerning the object and the purposes of the treaties.

Here is an unofficial translation.


http://web-static.vm.ee/static/failid/394/Est-Rus_border_treaty.pdf

faqih ütles ...

To plasma-jack's comment
Where the hell are you getting your information from? o_0 Is that what they write in Russian newspapers?


You dont need to spit out curses on Russian newspapers. Will you believe information published on Välisministeerium official web site?

http://www.vm.ee/eng/kat_200/5733.html

I should have said that Russian side refused to ratify it. This will be more correct. I apologize for my mistake.


To Franz:

Estonian and Russian negotiators reached a technical border agreement in December 1996. The border treaty was initiated in 1999. On 18 May 2005 Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and his Russian colleague Sergei Lavrov signed in Moscow the “Treaty between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Russian Federation on the Estonian-Russian border” and the “Treaty between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Russian Federation on the Delimitation of the Maritime Zones in the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Narva”. The Riigikogu ratified the treaties on 20 June 2005 and the President of Estonia Arnold Rüütel announced them on 22 June 2005.
On 21 June the government of the Russian Federation decided not to forward the treaty to the Duma for ratification because Estonian parliament added in preambula a mention to the declaration of the Riigikogu of 7 October 1992 ' On the Restoration of Constitutional Power ' , which allege that Estonia "fell victim to the Soviet Union aggression in 1940, and was illegally incorporated into the Soviet Union". I think there were also issues related to the border line itself, related to the Tartu Peace Treaty of 2 February 1920.

Here is an unofficial translation of the Treaty.


http://web-static.vm.ee/static/failid/394/Est-Rus_border_treaty.pdf

faqih ütles ...

I copied the above statement from Wikipedia.
Just note the tone of the speech.

On 31 August 2005 Russian President Putin gave a written order to the Russian Foreign Ministry to notify the Estonian side of “Russia’s intention not to participate in the border treaties between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Estonia”. On 6 September 2005 the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation forwarded a note to Estonia, in which Russia informed that it did not intend to become a party to the border treaties between Estonia and Russia and did not consider itself bound by the circumstances concerning the object and the purposes of the treaties.

notsu ütles ...

@faquih:
here was a discussion about occupation of Estonia going on, but in this blog there are several other interesting topics - in Russian:

http://nostalgie-ee.livejournal.com/19220.html#cutid1

Most disputers there would call it Anscluss instead of occupation and compared the situation of Estonia in USSR to the situation of German-annexed Austria or Tchekhoslovakia
(if the link doesn't work, take just nostalgie-ee.livejournal.com and look for "Вражеская Эстония"-4: Оккупация
(december 6th)
The author of the blog is ready to answer questions.

Another discussion about whether it was an occupation or not is here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Estonia#.22Occupation.22
(or just take article about Estonia in english wikipedia, look "discussion" section and select point 18 "Occupation".

Definition of military occupation in wikipedia (I don't have time at the moment to search for anything better, maybe someone else here provides something):
"Belligerent military occupation occurs when one nation's military occupies all or part of the territory of another nation or recognized belligerent"

As for the legality of "elections", Franz already replied you.

Occupation/Anschluss issue aside, you still haven't said, how could the deportations and executions that started right away in 1941 be called as "liberation".

plasma-jack ütles ...

right away in 1949, sis...

actually Estonians got the first taste of the Communist regime already in 1917.

plasma-jack ütles ...

jesus, i meant 1940, of course :-p

notsu ütles ...

First great wave of deportations happened in 1941, the second in 1949, bro...

faqih ütles ...

to notsu:
That is exactly what I want to know. What are the facts that prove the elections to be illegal. This is obviously a political decision. Assumed illegality was proclaimed by the parliament in the beginning of 90-es. That was probably the only way to topple down Soviet regime. But is there a reason to maintain the assumption now?! Let me know the facts! Falsified results of the elections? I can here it on an every day basis on radio from most of the world countries. Look what is going on now in Mexico. That is not an occupation. Look at the definition above. This is just a sign of undeveloped democracy. And it was the case in Estonia. After all Estonia entered into USSR as a sovereign state. That is not an occupation.
Let me know please about deportations. If you are talking about deportation during the war, then I hold back from commenting. Many Estonians were war criminals.
What I recognise is that Estonians are a lovely small nation that was hold back in dark ages for centuries because of German, Sweden and Russian imperial influence. But things have changed. Estonians have every reason to be happy and enjoy their life. Let them be happy! There is no need to be a sulky boy anymore. Be happy and let your neighbours be happy!

plasma-jack ütles ...

Many Estonians were war criminals.
Name one.

plasma-jack ütles ...

First great wave of deportations happened in 1941, the second in 1949, bro...

yeah, but shootings started right away.

cbr ütles ...

Oh jesus... okay, it's HISTORY LESSON TIME.

The Soviet Union broke the "bases contract" by relocating more forces on Estonian soil that it was allowed. That basically meant that when the Estonian government would have refused to cooperate with the SU, the government would probably have been overthrown by the Red Army, because the land was de facto occupied by the Red Army. The Soviet press accused Estonia of not following the "bases contract", which was a propagandist lie. The SU forced Estonia to broaden the territory of the military bases (for example a whole city, Paldiski, was given to Soviet forces).

Then one by one Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia faced ULTIMATUMS from the Soviet Union - put up a government we like and let more forces in your land or face the consiquences. Now Stalin was a mad man, so mass murdering the Baltic nations wouldn't have been any problem for him. So the Baltic leaders decided it's wiser to surrender (live now, fight later, you know).

And on the elections of 1940 there was only 1 candidate, oppressions were already going on, so the people were scared. Of course the pro-Soviet block won. And then they "asked the USSR to accept them into a happy family of nations" and all that bullshit.

So please don't give me crap about "no evidence etc". Guys like don't recognise the holocaust either, I suppose?

Franz ütles ...

"After all Estonia entered into USSR as a sovereign state. That is not an occupation"
Are you really so cynical? USSR was not at all union, it was an empire. "Union republics" were not at all sovereign states. It's like to assert, that Czehoslovakia enterted ito Third Reich as a sovereign state

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

That is exactly what I want to know. What are the facts that prove the elections to be illegal. This is obviously a political decision.

This position is normally shared by die hard Stalinists and Derzhava Imperialists, as lies of the Baltic States joining voluntarily USSR are rejected by a number of modern Russian historians. However, I tend to agree with you, there’s political decision not to avoid the question of the Baltic occupation as it has clear political benefits internally and externally.
Political decisions are enforced by power. Estonians have power to and put into practice their political decisions, unlike their opponents. This requires no per se justification to those who oppose the ruling Estonian regime, in broad sense.
Aside from this point, which is close to being personal position, one could easily find out that the World opinion coincides with Baltic opinion which can easily be accessed by making acquaintance with relevant resolutions of PACE, OSCE, European Parliament, US Congress and Senate as well as positions of number of Western governments especially those adopted starting from 1960s and as far as in 2005. For pure legal questions one can turn to ECHR case law, in particular cases like Penart vs Estonia, Zhdanoka vs Latvia, Kolk vs Estonia are worth looking at. For your personal convenience I suggest excerpts from them here:
Европейский суд по правам человека в нескольких решениях 2001—2006 годов дал следующую оценку событиям 1939—1991 годов (14685/04, PENART v Estonia, стр 8-9): «Суд отмечает, что Эстония потеряла независимость в результате Договора о ненападении между Германией и СССР (известного также как Пакт Молотова-Риббентропа), заключённого 23 августа 1939 года, и дополнительных секретных протоколов. Вслед за ультиматумом о размещении в Эстонии советских военных баз в 1939, в июне 1940 года произошёл ввод крупных сил советской армии. Законное правительство было свергнуто, и советское правление было установлено силой. Тоталитарный коммунистический режим Советского Союза провёл широкие и систематические акции против населения Эстонии, включая, например, депортацию 10 тыс. человек 14 июня 1941 и более 20 тыс. человек 25 марта 1949 года. После Второй мировой войны десятки тысяч человек ушли в леса с целью избежать репрессий со стороны советских властей. Часть из них активно сопротивлялась оккупационному режиму. Согласно данным органов безопасности, около 1500 человек были убиты и почти 10 000 арестованы в период движения сопротивления 1944—1953.»
http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%AD%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8F

notsu ütles ...

faquih, most deportations did NOT happen during the war. Think of the date 1941, These thousands Estonians were deported BEFORE the WWII had arrived on Estonian soil.
And again, considering the help USSR gave to Nazi Germany during first years of WWII... how comes that soviet generals executing this contribution to German army were never considered as war criminals?

As for 1949 deportation wave, the victims were mostly women and children. War criminals?

Franz ütles ...

"Let me know the facts! Falsified results of the elections?"Do you really believe, that under Soviet occupation honest parliamentary elections were possible? Only candidates on Union of Working People (Töötava Rahva Liit) were allowed to apply into parliament. "Bourgeois" candidates were not allowed. There are evidences collected in 1950s in USA from witnesses, how results were falsified. This is realy unrealistic, that "Union of Working People" get 92,8 % votes. Extreme leftist were quite marginal in Estonia

Franz ütles ...

It's about Latvia, but it can be quite useful for you:
home.parks.lv/leonards/BaigaisGads

plasma-jack ütles ...

well, you can refer to Western sources, but I'm afraid it's really hard to convince a die-hard Russian nationalist that Western sources are telling the truth.
Well, if they do, how come that you can hardly read anything similar in Russian media? See? You politically motivated angry little nationalists are just making things up!
With that kind of attitude, it makes me wonder why we wanted to join the Soviet Union at the first place ...

But wait - wasn't this just a plot to rob from Russia its natural resources and best part of its population? Damn, for a small angry nation we are awfully clever.

Giustino ütles ...

I've read a lot about this - perhaps not as much as you fellows - but my understanding is that when an ultimatum is given by a country considered hostile to the state (and Stalin no doubt considered the Estonian state hostile in 1940 when that ultimatum was given) - then the country is legally considered occupied. End of story.

I have access to the Time magazine archives and the Time reporters in Tallinn in 1940 clearly describe a situation that is more in line with the Estonian interpretation than the Soviet state interpretation.

From Oct 1939:

Bluff and Bombers. Meanwhile, Dictator Stalin suddenly brought down Russia's fist upon Estonia. This prosperous little Baltic state flanks the sea approach to Leningrad, where the Red Navy is frozen up tight at least three months of each year, and its capital, Tallinn, is an ice-free port. On the pretext that the Estonian Government recently "allowed" an interned Polish submarine to chug out of Tallinn and become a commerce raider—actually it shot its way out, fired upon by harbor batteries (TIME, Oct. 2)—the Moscow press and radio have been violently attacking Estonia as "hostile" to Russia. These attacks redoubled in fury last week as Soviet stations screamed that the pint-size Russian freighter Metallist had been "torpedoed in Estonian waters" with a loss of five proletarian lives by a "mysterious submarine."

Next thing Estonians knew, warships of the Red Navy appeared off their ports. Soviet bombers, some of whom the Estonians thought came from a Russian aircraft carrier, began a threatening patrol over Tallinn and the nearby countryside. What all this meant, the Estonian Government soon learned from their Foreign Minister Karl Selter. He had flown to Moscow the week before to "boost trade," now flew back to Tallinn with word that the Russians bluntly asked Estonia to reduce herself to the status of a protectorate of the Soviet Union in return for trade favors. J. Stalin suggested that an Estonian delegation empowered to sign a treaty along these lines be at once brought to Moscow by Foreign Minister Selter. Some 48 hours later Mr. Selter emplaned with an imposing array of Estonian bigwigs.

The new Baltic Pact, running for ten years, provides: 1) Estonia grants Russia the right to maintain naval bases and airdromes protected by Red Army troops on the strategic islands dominating Tallinn, the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Riga; 2) Russia agrees to increase her annual trade turnover with Estonia and to give Estonia facilities in case the Baltic is closed to her goods (i. e. by Germany) for trading with the outside world via Soviet ports on the Black Sea and White Sea; 3) Russia and Estonia undertake to defend each other from "aggression arising on the part of any great European power" (i. e. Germany); 4) the Pact "should not affect" the "economic systems and state organizations" of Russia and Estonia.


From Aug. 17, 1940:

Last week, as Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia officially became Russian Republics Nos. 15, 16, 17, liquidation of their nationalism began. Hundreds of men were arrested, including all leaders of former regimes that the Ogpu could lay hands on. Tribunals were set up to try and punish "traitors to the people." Traitors to the people included not only active opponents of sovietization but all those who have fallen short of their political and economic duties, including the political duty of voting their countries into the U. S. S. R. in recent elections. Those who failed to have their passports stamped for so voting may be shot in the back of the head.

Under arrest and liable to prompt liquidation were Estonia's onetime President Konstantin Päts, Latvia's onetime President Karlis Ulmanis and Foreign Minister Vilhelms Hunters, Lithuania's onetime Foreign Minister Juozas Urbsys. Special justice, including immediate confiscation of property and execution within 24 hours if they are bagged, was decreed for diplomats abroad who refuse to recognize the new regimes and return home.

n-lane ütles ...

N-lane, I'm curious, what is the identity of yours? when you are asked this in Germany, what would you reply? notsu

Ich bin Russe aus Estland. Estländischer Russe.

Giustino ütles ...

Faquih,

I should just say that it is maddening for Estonians to live in a world where what the Soviets did was called "liberation" and what the Nazis did was called "occupation." It makes as much sense as a math equation that reads 2+2=5.

While Russians might not understand it, the recent idea to ban both swastika and hammer & sickle is quite a healthy interpretation for Estonia.

They truly were both murderous regimes there. The Soviets destroyed so many families that there is no way ever, in hell, that Estonians will view them favorably in a historical perspective. They just won't.

Some Russians, most of whom also suffered under communism, don't feel that way. But the Soviet actions in Estonia were the actions of a foreign country on a sovereign one, and so Estonians have the benefit of pointing to that foreign country - the USSR - and identifying it as the source of much of its sorrows from the past.

And that's it. The Russians should feel very proud that they defeated the Third Reich in World War II. But they should not feel proud about what happened to Estonia in 1940-41, and especially what happened in 1949.

The NKVD was a murderous organization that had as little regard for human life as any similar organization in known history. And the worst thing is that they will never be punished for their crimes against humanity.

plasma-jack ütles ...

well, I also have heard American historians and politicians argue that the bombing of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden was justified and principally a good thing. and very many of the French have always had the idea that colonization was ultimately a good thing for colonized people. and Great Britain is still joyous over the Falklands. and Japan has similar problems over history with Koreas and China.

of great powers, only Germany has admitted that it has done some wrong during its history.

plasma-jack ütles ...

oh, and Turkey - has anybody ever seen Turkey apologizing for anything? I don't know about the Italians, but from democratic and quasidemocratic states I could also name Israel... actually I could ramble about the subject on and on and on.

in human society, how many criminals feel they are doing wrong? and how many of them would confess?

plasma-jack ütles ...

Napoléon Bonaparte was also a mass murderer. Like Caesar. Very respectable guys, just like Stalin.

Giustino ütles ...

well, I also have heard American historians and politicians argue that the bombing of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden was justified and principally a good thing.

The official interpretation is that we "had to do it" to save our own lives. That many more would have died if we invaded Japan proper. But I think beyond kneejerk "patriotic" reactions to questions about those actions, Americans are quite ambivalent about what happened in Japan. I am not sure if most would be able to tell you anything about Germany.

I'll never understand why the Japanese waited for the second bomb to surrender. And there was so much hatred for the Japanese after stuff like the Bataan Death March that Truman - who was himself only president for a few months - felt like it was an option to kill all of those civilians.

I think it's all just a tragedy for humanity. I am sure that some Americans here in my city would strike me down as "soft" or "leftist" or "a hippie" for saying so, but that's what I think.

notsu ütles ...

I dunno if I would call Napoleon a mass murderer... he caused a lot of deaths on both sides in his military campaigns, but he didn't rule mass arrests/executions of civilians to my knowledge... aren't his actions rather comparable of tragedies of WWI?

plasma-jack ütles ...

well, he certainly was an occupier.
and in the WW1 they didn't shoot prisoners:
http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/goya/goya.shootings-3-5-1808.jpg

notsu ütles ...

It depends on where did he go. In Poland, for instance, he was greeted as a liberator... and many Italians actually viewed him as "our guy". Read Stendhal's Italian travelogues... he meets many underground Italian bonapartists.

notsu ütles ...

PS For France, I think, Napoleon was definitely a better solution than the Revolutionary government. As for Poland... well, he kind of really restored their independence (could maybe be compared to Transilvanias relative independence in 16th c.)

ükskõik ütles ...

Wow, this seems to be a hot topic.

Amnesty's opinions are worth nothing in real politics. They publish some report every now and then, but has anyone ever followed their advice? I don't think so.
I know The Economist wrote an article about this very report, and condemned Amnesty's incompetency. I bet more people will read the piece published by The Economist, than the original report.

So, I don't see what the buzz is all about.

Giustino ütles ...

So, I don't see what the buzz is all about.

It's funny reading the report when it says something like, 'people that don't speak Estonian are being denied employment, a fundamental human right.'

And I am thinking - do I have a fundamental right to employment? I am not so sure. I live in a city where many people (about 30 percent) speak Spanish. You can work in Spanish and the authorities certainly communicate in Spanish - many of our signs in the subway are now bilingual - but if you want a well-paying job outside of your ethnic community, then you should probably learn English, because no one is going to hire you if you don't.

But would an employer be denying someone their "fundamental human right to employment" if they didn't hire someone because they couldn't work in the majority language? I don't think so. I think it should be understood that you should be able to work in the majority tongue - in our case, English, if you want quality employment.

Another thing they didn't take into account is that these Slavic cities in Estonia, with their high unemployment, are leftovers from the Soviet economy. Their populations were unrealistically high. I mean Kohtla-Järve was just 20,000 in 1959, and then about 80,000 in 1989!
Today it is 46,000 and falling.

It is interesting that the Estonian cities where there was organic growth between 1959 and 1989 are still growing or remaining at the same levels (Pärnu, Viljandi, Tartu) but the cities where you had Soviet economy-driven growth, such as Kohtla-Järve, you continue to see population decline.

People want to blame the government for that but the truth is that maybe Idu-Virumaa can't support populations like Narva's or Kohtla-Järve's. Maybe it's a GOOD thing that people that can't find work decide to go where there is work.