reede, august 10, 2007


So I have decided to chart a new course with this blog and present the viewpoints of others in the Estonian media, translating segments of their work into English for the benefit of readers who do not know Estonian, as well as for the benefit of mina, a person who needs as much linguistic exercise as possible.

The first piece I would like to make available is an Aug 11 op-ed by Tartu professor Marju Lauristin, which generated 732 comments at last count, dwarfing the amount of commentary spawned by funnyboy writer Andrus Kivirahk's piece on suveteater, and encouraging the kind of 'kurat' and 'tibla' talk that accompanies any article containing a quote from the dark lord, Vladimir Putin.

A Family Affair

Before we get to the actual arvamus (opinion), it is important to know who exactly Lauristin is. Lauristin is the daughter of Johannes Lauristin and Olga Lauristin, two Estonian communists that served in the Eesti NSV government. In fact it was Johannes -- a statue of whom you can find in the basement of the Museum of Occupations in Tallinn -- who went to Moscow in 1940 to request admission to the USSR on behalf of the Republic of Estonia. Olga held various positions in the Eesti NSV government in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

The popular interpretation of Estonian communist participation in the overthrow of the Estonian republic is often boiled down to the idea that they were but simple idealists who were cynically used by the Stalinist state. This interpretation makes sense when one considers that the June communists of 1940 were poets and intellectuals, rather than the Soviet mafia that dominated Stalin's USSR.

Indeed, there is a Huey Newton meets Mao odor to the relationship between the Estonian left and the USSR. It is important to remember too, in these days of right-wing government, that many prominent Estonian politicians in the pre-war era were left wing. For example, August Rei, who set up the exile government in Oslo, was a staunch social democrat.

Anyway, it was because of Lauristin's background, rather than in spite of it, that she -- an academic -- was able to speak with extra gravitas about rejecting the Soviet Union and putting Estonia on the path to restoring independence. Imagine Laidoner's son speaking out against Estonian independence or Ronald Reagan's son speaking in favor of stem-cell research. Here was living proof that Estonian communism was dead.

Lauristin helped found the Popular Front in Estonia -- which organized the Baltic Way in 1989 -- and served as minister of social affairs in the early 90s. Since then she has returned to the world of academia, publishing influential books like 1997's Return to the Western World. These days she remains a 'thought leader' -- someone who is still obviously capable of stirring the public discussion about important issues.

It is also because of this background that one commenter replied to the following piece by saying, "Well, you are your parents' child."


Lauristin's arvamus from Aug. 11, is entitled "Estonians' Intolerance Feeds the Russian Propaganda Machine." It is a heavy-duty work to translate which sent me to my dictionary only to find out the word in question translates as 'coherence.'

Her main point is that despite Estonian language acquisition, Estonia's Russian community is isolated in Estonia by a lack of government initiative and a majority that is suspicious of its entrance into politics.

"During the years that integration monitoring has been done it has been shown that citizenship and Estonian language utilization by foreigners helps grow a positive attitude about Estonia inside, but this has not been brought together among at the same time tolerance and openmindedness," she writes.

"For Estonian-speakers and those that are not originally from Estonia that have gotten Estonian Republic citizenship, the Estonian community's views have been encumbered by distrust to the deepest root of Russian-speaking residents' participation in Estonian economy and politics," she adds.

She goes on to say that this mistrust, along with the failure to address problems in the Russian-speaking community have furthered this division among Estonia's residents.

"There is no need to wonder that growth of knowledge of Estonian language is for Russian-speaking resident a big letdown and their motivation grows weaker to apply for citizenship," she writes. "Although the necessity to draw more attention to community stability and social coherence has been spoken about for years, integration's social side has not first of all been able to mitigate risks like drug addiction, HIV, and level of unemployment."

In a very long section, that I am hesitant to translate, she goes onto to describe how the Bronze Soldier controversy widened this division, where ethnic Russians feel more distant from ethnic Estonians and ethnic Estonians believe that they must take a more hard line stance (kõva käe) in reaction to the youth shouting 'Rossija, Rossija'

Lauristin's solution is that Estonia must make a strong effort to counter Russian propaganda in Estonia. She calls Estonia's current response of not responding to the onslaught of negative information about Estonia manufactured by the Russian Foreign Ministry "submissive and cynical."

"Estonia should not downgrade the Estonian answer to this propaganda capmaign and high-pressure effect, when one significant aim is to influence Russian compatriots in Estonia," she writes. "Estonia needs a professional propaganda response strategy. The Estonian central media can certainly be widened so that it supports the needs of most Estonians and non-Estonians."

Lauristin writes that "the opinion, that we should not answer what the Russian media does to Estonian Russian consciousness (and at the same time also what Russian media tells to Western journalists), is submissive and cynical."

She argues that in "the Russian-speaking auditorium (especially for the young) they are offered in their mother language the possibility for discussion that is emotionally charged and interesting via audio visual messages that create Estonia (and Estonian short-term and long-term history) and other images while it brings Russian propaganda. In this place it must not be allowed to forget that in the Russian auditorium there are not only Russians. The audio visual output also influences nationalities."

In conclusion, Lauristin says that it "must be argued that the biggest thing is that the non-Estonians that live in Estonia do not believe Russian politicians nor wait for Russia to solve their own problems. The Estonian government needs to make all possible, that that our Russian-speaking compatriots are not receptive to Russia's propaganda war."

46 kommentaari:

plasma-jack ütles ...

Important detail - she mentions that "integrated persons" amount to 25% of the Russian-speaking population.

Giustino ütles ...

There's been some progress I have pointed out elsewhere -- Russian versions of ETV, Postimees, Eesti Paevaleht -- in denting that Kremlin-dominated bubble.

At the same time I personally have noticed a great shift in Estonian language acquisition even since I first came here in 2002. Most young non-ethnic-Estonian people I meet are fluent in Estonian. Even the little kids at the beach here in Tartu can play with others in Estonian.

I think we should admit that Estonia is moving towards a point where a new consensus should be made about just what the native Russian speaker's role in society is.

The early 1990s saw the institution of policies that were made to protect the Estonian language speaker -- sort of like life preservers thrown from Tallinn to Estonians in Kohtla-Järve to protect their right to use their native language.

Unfortunately, the language inspectorate is still needed to enforce that protection.

But now when you have post-1991 generations assuming adulthood, their status -- beyond one of "faceless immigrant" needs to be better clarified.

The worst thing I notice is that Russian-speakers (and they are Russophone Estonians, you don't live three generations in Tartu and stay as Russian as you would in Novosibirsk) are blamed for all sorts of things they arenät responsible for.

I have heard it too, especially after April, negative comments about them. That's totally counterproductive, as Lauristin pointed out. Just because drunk idiots in Tallinn looted stores, doesn't mean that an 8 year old girl halfway across the country is part of or responsible for that behavior.

I hear this more positive attitude from some in the government -- like the president and the population affairs minister. Even though Ilves is the ultimate evil (someone who has lived in America!!) to some Russian nationalists, he has taken the lead in putting out kinder and gentler signals to the Russophone community.

But when you read through the comments on Delfi or Postimees there is a lot of counterproductive nastiness out there -- as I pointed out, a lot of 'kurat' and 'tibla'.

zsommand ütles ...


We like your blog and added you to our list ( at
Best wishes from

Wahur ütles ...

Just few days ago I had an interesting discussion with a fellow who is hardcore rightwinger. To put it mildly.

He had an interesting theory about two kinds of racism. French type would talk loud: "Oh, I hate those blacks so much... But this Ahmed next door is really good fella". Scandinavian counterpart would say "Me? Racist? No way! But oh boy, this Ahmed next door smells ugly". I think there is quite a bit of this first type here, i.e. in words (especially when commenting in the internet) many are very loud. Lots of "tiblad välja" stuff. And then they go listening Aleksei Turovski in the zoo or hail Zelinski for scoring a goal for Estonia, without even thinking about nationality (I chose those two examples specifically, as their language has VERY distinct Russian accent, so everyone really sensitive cannot avoid noticing). The same, there are Russians in my Kaitseliit unit (lots of ugly nationalists) and nobody has any problem with that.

So yes, especially after April events situation seems bad - ask Estonians if they dislike Russians and many would probably say yes. Which does not stop them having a beer with Pjotr next door in the evening.

Juan Manuel ütles ...

I liked the article very much. I had to look up sallimatus (unfortunately! but then I found the same word in an Ekspress article about this year's gay pride's organizer).

I think what she says is sensible.

As far as I know, the only ones who may sometimes have language problems are Russians leaving in Narva. But then again, they manage to come to Tartu and study in Estonian. It seems to me that language is not the main issue. And it is clear that most Russians side with Estonia, not with the kremlin. Not even average Russians leaving in Russia side with the kremlin. The just accept kremlin rule as a lesser evil.

But anyway, the more Russians that make a successful career in Estonian society, the better.

Unknown ütles ...

It's not all that rosy. You can easily meet a Russian person in Tallinn who has absolutely no idea what you're on about, when you address them in Estonian. Also, unfortunately some bus drivers are like that. I've picked up a tactic with them. When I barely understand what they're saying in Russian, I don't answer them in Russian. It wouldn't be any fun if they wouldn't also have a bit of a mind-game trying to figure out what I just replied in Estonian :p

Juan Manuel ütles ...

You are right Andres, what I had in mind are younger people, people in their twenties or younger. Old people and middle age men seem to have more problems. And I have seen in ETV that some women working in Maxim also have problems to understand customers (words like "just just!" and "juust")

Giustino ütles ...

Tallinn has problems (as evidenced by the April riots). I honestly think there are young people in Tallinn that haven't been anywhere else in their life. They must think that Tallinn is Estonia.

I haven't been out to Pelgulinna in the past few years, but I doubt its any better out there. It's like the Soviet government built these poorly constructed apartment blocks (many of which are crumbling), moved people in, and left.

The money that flowed into Tallinn went to the Old Town, Pirita, then began spreading through the 'new' downtown, up to the airport, and then into the closer residential neighborhoods -- Kristiine, Kalamaja, Nõmme. But I don't know if it is ever going to reach Kopli or Pelgulinna.

In a sense its your traditional ethnic ghetto. It's like Newark. The only real option is to get out.

I think what she says is sensible.

It's one of the few pieces I have seen that criticize Estonians. That's probably why it generated so much commentary. It's so hard to say anything in the Estonian media without being besieged by 'kurat' and 'tibla'.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

What I've observed was that the big super markets are the places where they are gathering: Estonian and Russian speaking people. No tension there. I am thinking about places near Saku Suurhall. These are the matching points.

Wahur ütles ...

In a way, "tibla" is really good term. I comes from Russian phrase "ty bljad" (you bitch - common expletive) and therefore suits fine characterizing certain group of people, who's speech mostly consists of such expressions and who are therefore not really likable. Then again, I don't think that many users of the word care for such finesses ;)

Giustino ütles ...

The first case of 'tension' I have seen here in Tartu happened at Maxima. Some middle-aged guy had a problem explaining himself to the teenage clerk who responded "mida?" in a quite direct tone.

The guy looked pissed, but I was giggling inside because I am treated the same tactless way when I can't make myself understood. I think it might be unfair to interpret Estonian bluntness as 'discrimination.'

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

That makes me wondering how much expat culture is among the Russian speaking minority. I am wondering cause I am living as an expat now but does not feel that way cause the family is not. But I read a lot of culture shock right beside my expat fellows.

Giustino ütles ...

That makes me wondering how much expat culture is among the Russian speaking minority.

There's a German fellow named Thomas who posts here from time to time. His girlfriend is of Russian extraction, so he is immersed in the Russophone world.

For them -- I think, and I stress I think -- there are only two Estonias -- the Soviet Estonia and the current Estonia. The Soviet Estonia is the baseline. It's the "way things used to be." There is no time before "the way things used to be."

Like take simple things like street signs. In Soviet Estonia, they were all bilingual. In present Estonia, it's all in Estonian. So the change for them is a removal of Russian language from the public space. They are unaware of a time *before* Russian language became part of the public space because they weren't here.

For many people that came during the Soviet era, like Koreans in Tallinn, Jens Olaf, they didn't even speak Russian before the 1930s or 40s. They spoke Tatar or Udmurt or Kazakh or Georgian or Korean or Karelian or Polish. Their whole pre-war identity has been erased.

But anyway, the Estonians see the present Estonia as moving back to the "natural order" of Estonia -- the pre-war Estonia, while the Russophones are inclined to see it as a "scrubbing clean" of Soviet (and by association Slavic) culture that existed as an equal and even more prominent culture from the 50s through 80s.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Maybe a little out of topic, but these expat thing is interesting. Cause in all conclusions the expates have drawn, expats who have experienced culture shock there is no historical reasoning. The behaviour and habits of the native people is seen only on the current day basis and compared with the living conditions the expats had at home.

Unknown ütles ... former girlfriend and now fiancee got her russian extraction from this russian community around the peipse, sort of originaloriginal russian estonian ;-)...I wouldn't say that I am fully or only immersed into the russian scene here, my office-colleagues are, except one, all estonians, and among my friends is the share of estonian estonains and russian estonians quite equal...anyway, i disagree with the simplicity that russian-estonians put Estonia into a current and former least for the people I know here, they know about first independence and so on and estonian culture...for the russian-estonian I know, they are definitely aware of what soviet union has caused in Estonia and that there was an estonian life before soviet union...but i'm afraid I'm not a good source...I (in my personel circle of friends) met only "educated - openminded" estonian which mother tongue howsoever...

sofie ütles ...

Lauristin is right. Being an Estonian myself, I was ashamed reading the comments to her article. I just wonder: is Lauristin TOO clever for an average Estonian to understand her point, or does it hurt too much to face the truth?
Somebody in these comments told we should judge our Russians by their comments in Russian Delfi. I say we should not. And I so hope that all the Estonians are not judged by the comments they wrote to the articele of Marju Lauristin.

Giustino ütles ... former girlfriend and now fiancee got her russian extraction from this russian community around the peipse, sort of originaloriginal russian estonian ;-)...

That's a real interesting community right there. I strongly recommend a trip to those villages. Thanks for weighing in Thomas (!) I really appreciate it. And congrats on your impending marriage.

I am basing my 'two Estonias' idea on some of the debates I have had online. I think some still see Soviet Estonia as the 'default' setting, like a lot of Klenski's arguments are based on this idea.
then again someone will tell me that Klenski speaks for no one. Well who speaks for who? How do we know?

Lauristin is right. Being an Estonian myself, I was ashamed reading the comments to her article.

It's a shame, really. It's like the state says, "learn Estonian and everything will be alright" and then they enter the Estonian debate and it's all "tibla valja!"

Estonians maybe forget that they have ancestors that were once foreigners -- Russians, Finns, Swedes, Germans. It seems that a lot of 'white' Russians came after 1918, stayed, and melted into the community.

LPR ütles ...

Marjustin makes some valid points.

As estonians we should grow bigger if not by numbers, then in our hearts. Groupthink will only lead us into a cul de sac of hatred.

I am not saying that police should have handed out flowers to the marauders in April, but still.

I really think we are bigger than that.

We estonians often like to think that we are the 'maailma naba' as a nation, so we better act that way. We need to be more graceful against all odds. That would be our 'Nokia'. Something other nations would learn from us. Enlightenment, tolerance, wisdom and preserverance.

margus ütles ...

It's one of the few pieces I have seen that criticize Estonians.

There are many people who cast the blame on Estonians. One such is Rein Veidemann who occasionally rants on Postimees about how people can get along better. Most Soviet generation sociologists have written something. The difference is that Lauristin is considered an opinion leader. Yet she is a dwarf compared to Savisaar who has had several thousand comments.

to blogaddict: Did you mean 'perseverance'?

Giustino ütles ...

There's a lot of jerks on both sides that are muddying the relationship. I still want to smack that kid who made off with the Evian bottles during the riots.

You know, this kid.

I also want to smack all the 'tibla valja' rednecks on the Eesti Päevaleht site. Nende arvamus on lihtsalt takistav!

margus ütles ...

Morons should keep their opinions to to themselves, I agree, but that brings the question of free speech. Why should we trust Russians to believe that Estonia is not a Nazy-State when that truth was set by some illusive experts and everyone else should shut up? What about liberal inquiry? Where do you draw the line?

Juan Manuel ütles ...

I watched the Tallinn riot on tv (sounds a bit awkward to say it this way) and the kids rioting the old town gave interviews in Estonian. So perhaps language was not the main reason.

Is there no (numerical) indicator for 'integration'? Things like: number of politicians of Russian descent, number of Russian professors, number of (high) civil servants, average income of people with a Russian surname... Has there ever been a minister of Russian descent (not including Edgar who cannot be consider as Russian no matter who his mother was)?

stockholm slender ütles ...

Marju Lauristin is a great hero of mine! If one could choose an enlightened dictator for Estonia, she would absolutely be my choice (just as Osmo Soininvaara for Finland). Her family history is quite something - has she ever really talked about it? I would though add to your point about the "June communists" that many were really not communists at all (in the government they were actually in a minority, I seem to recall). Well, after all they didn't have so many left after Stalin got through with them. (Just like the most senior post-war Finnish communists were those that were lucky enough to be in prison in Finland during the 1930's, others were dead or discraced or Otto-Ville Kuusinen).

margus ütles ...

Is there no (numerical) indicator for 'integration'?

I don't think people like to talk about nationalities statistics because it brings up uncomfortable questions like: why are most crimes committed by non-natives?
Is there something seriously wrong with Russians? Such reasoning is racist, therefore it must be caused by discrimination, but that leads us to the conclusion that Russians are feeble and inferior compared to Estonians and need special care when they can't make a life in a liberal democracy. I don't know which is worse but obviously people don't like being stereotyped by nationality.

Wahur ütles ...

Juan, such numerical measure would give you a really awkward picture. Why? Main reason for Russian immigration were big factories. Estonians even had word for them - immigrant pump. And then lets not forget that main wave of immigration is actually recent. In 50ies it was small, increased in 60ies and turned into a tsunami in 70-80ies. (So for us it was a narrow escape, another twenty years of Soviet paradise and the population proportion might have been reverse.)

And you cannot make a professor out of a factory worker in 15 or even 30 years, sorry. Next generation, maybe, but still tough going. So main mass of them is relatively low-educated (note that secondary school was a year longer in Estonian schools than in Russian ones - in Soviet time) and non-achieving types.

Because factories they worked in were hurt most during privatization and other reforms as they were completely oriented to Soviet market (raw materials in from there, product back the same way) their economic status is also below average, which is what annoys them most i guess.

To me it seems that large part of Russian problem is their own complexes. True, Estonians do not run hugging them, but outright enmity is marginal issue. Russians in forums often brag "We do not need to prove anything, we live here so long, this is our home". And yet they do not behave the way you would expect from "hozjain". Good number of them has citizenship, 15% in the Riigikogu would be a serious power. So where are those 15%? There are none because Russians do not vote. Or vote for ES, who has cheated anyone else in Estonian politics and is therefore completely isolated. Where are Russian politicians that would be capable of doing politics on (inter)national level? There are none - either they are clowns or Muscovite puppets or simply one-topic-freaks. That Russians can be taken seriously, they can become honoured and loved even by worst "fascist" you can see easily in theater, cinema, sport, universities. If they want this to happen also in politics, they need to start doing this seriously.

So if they want to be taken as partners, equals, they need to start behaving like that. It is self-fulfilling dream, that they themselves still dare not dream.

Wahur ütles ...

Stockholm slender - factual.
"June communists" were those that miraculously found their love for communism in June 1940. So they had nothing to do with Kingissepp-Anvelt gang, pre-occupation EKP.

Giustino ütles ...

Here's a good recent story on Eesti demographics

plasma-jack ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
plasma-jack ütles ...

Has there ever been a minister of Russian descent?

Former population minister Eldar Efendijev's (Kesk) mother was an Estonian and father an Azeri, but his main language is Russian and he has graduated the Leningrad University. Although he studied history there, I'm afraid that it was not exactly same history that Mart Laar or Kadri Must know. So, technically he's Russian alright.

Wahur ütles ...

Oh, and evil tongues would probably mention certain Mr. Trofim Velitchkoff ;) Not that there is much of a Russian left...

Rein Kuresoo ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Giustino ütles ...

Yet we have to admit, that our counterpropaganda is absolutely toothless.

Counter-prop. would have to be for domestic consumption only. And are the messages correct? What should the messages be?

Now that everyone is on vacation, Russia has shut up this week. But what will happen in September?

You (Giustino) have tried to have a dialogue with some of them (Rusak and Cabrero) – did you succeed?

My arguments got stronger. That's all one can ask for.

Rein Kuresoo ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Giustino ütles ...

This all concerns a very deeply rooted belief system and can not be changed overnight.

But these are the armchair cowboys. I am talking about your average people in Estonia that don't fight on the Internet about the Erna Retk.

I'll give you a personal example. I know someone that often drops negative statements about Russians in front of their kids. I was with their kids in a group where there were Russian speaking kids and I could sense their anxiety? Why? because they hear the bad things that mommy and daddy say.

There should be more people out there in the Internet forums wading in and telling the 'tibla valja' crowd to shut up. Just as the communists and Stalinist apologists and 'Rossija'-chanting morons should remain marginalized from the public debate, there needs to be a hand there marginalizing the pigheaded Estonian nationalists that make every Estonian look bad.

Rein Kuresoo ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Rein Kuresoo ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Wahur ütles ...

giustino, agu-endrik wrote:
This all concerns a very deeply rooted belief system and can not be changed overnight.
And thats correct. Its not just armchair cowboys, they are just the vocal decile, part of whom do it also for living, I guess.
Sure, there are those that do not care, or who live well enough so they do not wish to rock the boat. But this belief system concerns especially your average Russian. It was meant to be fed specifically to them from the very beginning.
There are two ways out: 1) feed them, until they are too lazy to care or 2) break the belief system (but in such case we have to have a replacement ready).
As to our own noisy nationalists, I agree that they are a nuisance, but my experience shows that countering them openly causes only more noise.

in upstate NY ütles ...

"Now,for russians Hitler was absolute evil (as Cabrero or Rusak told you)and even comparison of Hitler and Stalin (or at least, the Red Army)is regarded as an utter sacrilege. It has been a shock for Russians to reach finally the understanding, that they were not "nashi" or liberators for estonians."

The interesting thing is that the Russians and Poles originally thought that Hitler would liberate them from Stalin. It took them a while to figure out that Hitler was no savior from their view point.

That is why Hitler got to Stalingrad so quickly and then became bogged down. It was at approximately that point in WWII that the Russians and other slavic peoples realized that their own devil was better than a foreign devil.

And so imagine how WWII would have gone if Hitler had not sent the Russians, etc. to death camps and had treated them like the French.

Of course, if Hitler had been that reasonable, he may not have attacked all of Europe sequentially.

LPR ütles ...

My arguments got stronger. That's all one can ask for.

Mart Laar was talking about starting an Estonian Propaganda ministry or smth. If Justin knew Russian, he'd be the best person to head it, in my view.

Giustino ütles ...

You know, I have to say that Lauristin sort of proves why Estonia is great in its own way. In Russia, if you fall out of favor with the elite, you are forced to flea west. But in Estonia, people that are from families that were intimately connected with the Soviet presence here are not judged. Even Johannes Käbin lived out his long life in peace. There were no boatloads of refugees. No banishment. One more example of why Estonia is West, and Russia is East.

Unknown ütles ...

just funny...we're talking here about the toothless estonian PR machine...yesterday I got a newspaper in my hands, I guess it was eesti express (not sure about, the one which you get in supermarket sometimes for free, A3 format...)anyway, one article was about a finish guy who got granted the estonian citizenship, just like that...funny or not, on the picture, the guy was there with swastika's allover him...he even just cut a swastika-cake!!!...what da f***...thsi guy is known for his nazism thing...well, I thought the estonian PR just shot itself in the leg...

Giustino ütles ...

anyway, one article was about a finish guy who got granted the estonian citizenship, just like that...funny or not, on the picture, the guy was there with swastika's allover him...he even just cut a swastika-cake!!!...what da f***...thsi guy is known for his nazism thing...well, I thought the estonian PR just shot itself in the leg...

Teinonen has Estonian ancestry, and studied in tartu for several years, hence the citizenship 'just like that'.

Teinoneni suguvõsas on olnud nii Vabadussõja veterane kui kolmekümnendatel Soome pagenud vapsipartei juhtfiguuri Artur Sirgi abilisi

He's also got KAPO breathing up his ass.

Teinonen sai Kapo peale pahaseks ja – selleks, et näidata, mis tegelikult toimus – riputas internetti fotod Wannsee konverentsi aastapäeva ja Adolf Hitleri sünnipäeva pidustustest.

I am gathering that they aren't able to ban this guy because he has citizenship (sort of like Dmitri Linter, Mark Sirok, Vladmir Lebedev?) I know they banned the other Finns that came down for the Nazi birthday party.

Sadly, neo-Nazis are everywhere. Even in Russia and Germany.

Unknown ütles ...

yeah...but if I understood correctly, he got it even despite the fact that he served in a foreign army...wonder who many naturalized estonians had such privilege...
I just wanted to say that Russia's PR campaign is probably grateful for such article...

Giustino ütles ...

I just wanted to say that Russia's PR campaign is probably grateful for such article...

It's an interesting problem. In a country like Russia where they have state-controlled media, they can take stories like the one about this fellow and recycle it into anti-Estonian PR. But should Estonia *not* write articles as to not feed the Russian propaganda machine? I hope it never comes to that.

That sort of ties into Lauristin's piece. Because Estonia is criticized for its policies, but in Estonia there is a debate on its policies and attitudes, and things can be organically changed. In an autocracy, like Russia, that's less possible.

Wahur ütles ...

Thomas, I believe, close to 100% of naturalized Russian males have served in a foreign army :)
Also, neo-nazi tendencies of Teinonen were far from obvious in the beginning, quite a few of my friends (who used to know him years ago) could not believe it first, when those pics started to surface in press.

Giustino ütles ...

Sometimes, I wonder if by prohibiting behavior it makes it only more alluring. It seems silly that you can be banned/deported for wearing a Nazi uniform or a Red Army uniform. What about Russian imperial uniforms? Teutonic Knights armor? When will the hysteria over WWII ever end?