esmaspäev, aprill 30, 2007

Russia Shoots Itself in the Foot ... Again

A Russian Duma committee head is now demanding that the Estonian government resign, according to several news reports.

This is humorous in that Russia -- and no country -- has the right to demand that a sovereign nation's leader step down.

But it also underscores that it is very much a political goal of Russia to not have the current Estonian government in office. Instead they would probably like to see Edgar Savisaar, who they have decided is the most capable of assuming power in the country, in the PM's spot.

Earlier Russian efforts to affect internal politics in Estonia have failed because they have worked with fringe groups like Night Watch, whose leader Dmitri Linter could go to jail for five years for provoking the riots in Tallinn last week. Linter is set to suffer the kind of fate Tiit Madisson, the Estonian radical nationalist, found himself in in 1996 for attempting to ovethrow the Estonian government.

Moreover, parties that toe the Kremlin line, like the Constitution Party, did abysmally in the March 2007 elections. They got less votes than their predecessor parties got in 2003 and that's with an ever increasing number of naturalized ethnic Russian citizens AND a Bronze Soldier controversy.

The only strategy now seems to be to support Savisaar. Former Estonian PM and historian Mart Laar has likened the arrival of the Russian Federation in Tallinn to the arrival of Stalinist lieutenant Andrei Zhdanov, who dictated the membership of the communist government in 1940 to then President Konstantin Päts.

Well, if you are going to use history as a club, you couldn't pick a better metaphor.

Meanwhile, the poor Estonian embassy workers in Moscow are barricaded in their embassy and still can't get out. We are all waiting for you to act normal Moscow. Still waiting.

13 kommentaari:

stockholm slender ütles ...

It certainly has been interesting to observe how Russia has carefully pushed all the wrong buttons as regards the Finnish opinion - instinctively in any case on the Estonian side. A would be empire and would be imperialists indeed. It is quite scary how archaically can a modern, nominally democratic government think and act. I would doubt any lasting Russian renessaince of social vitality if it is not combined with a long painful and honest look at the country's tragic history. Those millions dead must be mourned and remembered - people cannot be cynically used as nameless cannon fodder of history. To confront this issue would be in the desperate self-interest of the Russian nation. But of course the self-interest of the Russian nation is not what motivates Kremlin today - what ruler there has ever cared of that issue?

Kristjan ütles ...

It seems to me now that there is a fair chance that the Putinist regime will completely self-destruct.

M. ütles ...

this picture is to comment your post "Let the spinning begin" a few days back:

these guys mean business!!! :D

space_maze ütles ...

If Estonia was a bigger nation, and more people cared about this, that photo (without the captions) would be the press photo of the year.

Never mind year. Decade. Century. Millenium. Eon!

illi ütles ...

It never occurred to me before, but I have realized that it is in Russia's interest that the russian-speaking population outside of motherland remain monolingual. This is why Russia is claiming that Estonia is too hard on the language requirement and should give these people citizenship.
To this day, Russia has not admitted that the USSR was an involuntary occupation, even though the rest of the world knows this as a fact. Even though technology beginning with the internet is creating holes in the iron curtain, it cannot combat monolingualism. People who only speak one language will forever be disadvantaged, and in this case, bound to hear one side of the story. Russia is editing history and the monolingual russian-speaking population of Estonia has no choice but believe them.

Kristjan ütles ...

Another must-read, if you speak Estonian.

Agu-Enrik Ubailves ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Kristopher ütles ...

It should be noted that there is still complete silence from Russia on the government level. Nothing from Putin, that is, either good or bad.

We can presume that the regional officials and Duma members are doing Putin's bidding, but that's the beauty of it, they can say all kinds of outrageous things and stand up the press -- they're just a bunch of congressmen.

And though Putin's (anti-)fascist Nashi youth movement has the Estonian Embassy under virtual siege, OMON (Interior Ministry) has gotten out their batons a few times. A semblance of propriety, one could say. A semblance.

Giustino ütles ...

They denied Nashi's visa requests, telling them to not try coming to Estonia for five years ;)

Trust me, I think they did those kids a favor. Standing in Tallinn with Red Army uniforms on would be certain death.

Kristopher ütles ...

Well...on a bad day I've wanted to rip off a tourist's CCCP shirt but but I think in Tallinn, Nashi would face something more like enlightened derision for looking naff.

Giustino ütles ...

Anyway, I am starting to think that this Duma delegation thing is not going to turn out well.

They came here with demands and with the aim to stir things up. They will either except that the sacred bronze memorial has been moved to a cemetery or go home angry and continue their propaganda war.

I bet it will be the latter.

admin ütles ...

"People who only speak one language will forever be disadvantaged, and in this case, bound to hear one side of the story."

This is completely childish as an argument.
Any fool knows russian speaking people in Estonia by a big majority want to be taught ENGLISH in school.
It's precisely because Estonian is irrelevant to them for their future in the EU, that they feel so angry about it being forced on their children, anbd besides that it's a monumental waste of good money.

Toni ütles ...

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