Just when they thought the Language Inspectorate was fear incarnate, Estonia's Slavic residents have woken up to a new menace - their cousins in Moscow. Today a group of young Muscovites, most of whom we can assume have never been to Estonia, organized a protest in front of the Estonian embassy in Moscow burning Estonian flags decorated with swastika designs on them.
The actions of the group, called "Young Russia," come just a week after a bill was submitted to the Estonian parliament that would ban the use of the swastika as well as the Soviet hammer & sickle in public places where the display could cause a public disturbance. Let me repeat that - Estonia wants to ban the use of the swastika too, but the "Young Russians" painted one anyway on their mock Estonian flag that was burned during the demonstration.
The demonstration also happened shortly after Amnesty International issued a report suggesting ways that Estonia could improve its integration policies. At a time when Estonia's Slavic residents could be enjoying a genuine debate about integration law reform, they have been ambushed by a loud, hateful protest in the streets of Moscow that arouses the displeasure, if not the fear, of genocidal Russian nationalism.
If Russians interested in Estonia wanted to do the local residents any favors they would a) shut up and let Estonia's Slavs speak for themselves; and b) actually read Estonia's laws. Sadly, the Russian audience is fed information by state-owned media that is hostile to Estonia. I wish I could somehow change the situation, but I often fear that I can't. There are too few antidotes for ignorance.