Saturday, July 28, 2007

Nashi sex camp shock horror--latest lurid plug for book


27/07/07 - News section

Sex for the motherland: Russian youths encouraged to procreate at camp
By EDWARD LUCAS

Remember the mammoths, say the clean-cut organisers at the youth camp's mass wedding. "They became extinct because they did not have enough sex. That must not happen to Russia".

Obediently, couples move to a special section of dormitory tents arranged in a heart-shape and called the Love Oasis, where they can start procreating for the motherland.

With its relentlessly upbeat tone, bizarre ideas and tight control, it sounds like a weird indoctrination session for a phoney religious cult.

But this organisation - known as "Nashi", meaning "Ours" - is youth movement run by Vladimir Putin's Kremlin that has become a central part of Russian political life.

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Nashi's annual camp, 200 miles outside Moscow, is attended by 10,000 uniformed youngsters and involves two weeks of lectures and physical fitness.

Attendance is monitored via compulsory electronic badges and anyone who misses three events is expelled. So are drinkers; alcohol is banned. But sex is encouraged, and condoms are nowhere on sale.

Bizarrely, young women are encouraged to hand in thongs and other skimpy underwear - supposedly a cause of sterility - and given more wholesome and substantial undergarments.

Twenty-five couples marry at the start of the camp's first week and ten more at the start of the second. These mass weddings, the ultimate expression of devotion to the motherland, are legal and conducted by a civil official.

Attempting to raise Russia's dismally low birthrate even by eccentric-seeming means might be understandable. Certainly, the country's demographic outlook is dire. The hard-drinking, hardsmoking and disease-ridden population is set to plunge by a million a year in the next decade.

But the real aim of the youth camp - and the 100,000-strong movement behind it - is not to improve Russia's demographic profile, but to attack democracy.

Under Mr Putin, Russia is sliding into fascism, with state control of the economy, media, politics and society becoming increasingly heavy-handed. And Nashi, along with other similar youth movements, such as 'Young Guard', and 'Young Russia', is in the forefront of the charge.

At the start, it was all too easy to mock. I attended an early event run by its predecessor, 'Walking together', in the heart of Moscow in 2000. A motley collection of youngsters were collecting 'unpatriotic' works of fiction for destruction.

It was sinister in theory, recalling the Nazis' book-burning in the 1930s, but it was laughable in practice. There was no sign of ordinary members of the public handing in books (the copies piled on the pavement had been brought by the organisers).

Once the television cameras had left, the event organisers admitted that they were not really volunteers, but being paid by "sponsors". The idea that Russia's anarchic, apathetic youth would ever be attracted into a disciplined mass movement in support of their president - what critics called a "Putinjugend", recalling the "Hitlerjugend" (German for "Hitler Youth") - seemed fanciful.

How wrong we were. Life for young people in Russia without connections is a mixture of inadequate and corrupt education, and a choice of boring dead-end jobs. Like the Hitler Youth and the Soviet Union's Young Pioneers, Nashi and its allied movements offer not just excitement, friendship and a sense of purpose - but a leg up in life, too.

Nashi's senior officials - known, in an eerie echo of the Soviet era, as "Commissars" - get free places at top universities. Thereafter, they can expect good jobs in politics or business - which in Russia nowadays, under the Kremlin's crony capitalism, are increasingly the same thing.

Nashi and similar outfits are the Kremlin's first line of defence against its greatest fear: real democracy. Like the sheep chanting "Four legs good, two legs bad" in George Orwell's Animal Farm, they can intimidate through noise and numbers.

Nashi supporters drown out protests by Russia's feeble and divided democratic opposition and use violence to drive them off the streets.

The group's leaders insist that the only connection to officialdom is loyalty to the president. If so, they seem remarkably well-informed.

In July 2006, the British ambassador, Sir Anthony Brenton, infuriated the Kremlin by attending an opposition meeting. For months afterwards, he was noisily harassed by groups of Nashi supporters demanding that he "apologise". With uncanny accuracy, the hooligans knew his movements in advance - a sign of official tip-offs.

Even when Nashi flagrantly breaks the law, the authorities do not intervene. After Estonia enraged Russia by moving a Soviet-era war memorial in April, Nashi led the blockade of Estonia's Moscow embassy. It daubed the building with graffiti, blasted it with Stalin-era military music, ripped down the Estonian flag and attacked a visiting ambassador's car. The Moscow police, who normally stamp ruthlessly on public protest, stood by.

Nashi fits perfectly into the Kremlin's newly-minted ideology of "Sovereign democracy". This is not the mind-numbing jargon of Marxism-Leninism, but a lightweight collection of cliches and slogans promoting Russia's supposed unique political and spiritual culture.

It is strongly reminiscent of the Tsarist era slogan: "Autocracy, Orthodoxy and Nationality".

The similarities to both the Soviet and Tsarist eras are striking. Communist ideologues once spent much of their time explaining why their party deserved its monopoly of power, even though the promised utopia seemed indefinitely delayed.

Today, the Kremlin's ideology chief Vladislav Surkov is trying to explain why questioning the crooks and spooks who run Russia is not just mistaken, but treacherous.

Yet, by comparison with other outfits, Nashi looks relatively civilised. Its racism and prejudice is implied, but not trumpeted. Other pro-Kremlin youth groups are hounding gays and foreigners off the streets of Moscow. Mestnye [The Locals] recently distributed leaflets urging Muscovites to boycott non-Russian cab drivers.

These showed a young blonde Russian refusing a ride from a swarthy, beetle-browed taxi driver, under the slogan: "We're not going the same way."

Such unofficial xenophobia matches the official stance. On April 1, a decree explicitly backed by Mr Putin banned foreigners from trading in Russia's retail markets. By some estimates, 12m people are working illegally in Russia.

Those who hoped that Russia's first post-totalitarian generation would be liberal, have been dissapointed. Although explicit support for extremist and racist groups is in the low single figures, support for racist sentiments is mushrooming.

Slogans such as "Russia for the Russians" now attract the support of half of the population. Echoing Kremlin propaganda, Nashi denounced Estonians as "fascist", for daring to say that they find Nazi and Soviet memorials equally repugnant. But, in truth, it is in Russia that fascism is all too evident.

The Kremlin sees no role for a democratic opposition, denouncing its leaders as stooges and traitors. Sadly, most Russians agree: a recent poll showed that a majority believed that opposition parties should not be allowed to take power.

Just as the Nazis in 1930s rewrote Germany's history, the Putin Kremlin is rewriting Russia's. It has rehabilitated Stalin, the greatest mass-murderer of the 20th century. And it is demonising Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first democratically-elected president. That he destroyed totalitarianism is ignored. Instead, he is denounced for his "weak" pro-Western policies.

While distorting its own history, the Kremlin denounces other countries. Mr Putin was quick to blame Britain's "colonial mentality" for our government's request that Russia try to find a legal means of extraditing Andrei Lugovoi, the prime suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

Yet the truth is that Britain, like most Western countries, flagellates itself for the crimes of the past. Indeed, British schoolchildren rarely learn anything positive about their country's empire. And, if Mr Putin has his way, Russian pupils will learn nothing bad about the Soviet empire, which was far bloodier, more brutal - and more recent.

A new guide for history teachers - explicitly endorsed by Mr Putin - brushes off Stalin's crimes. It describes him as "the most successful leader of the USSR". But it skates over the colossal human cost - 25m people were shot and starved in the cause of communism.

"Political repression was used to mobilise not only rank-and-file citizens but also the ruling elite," it says. In other words, Stalin wanted to make the country strong, so he may have been a bit harsh at times. At any time since the collapse of Soviet totalitarianism in the late 1980s, that would have seemed a nauseating whitewash. Now, it is treated as bald historical fact.

If Stalin made mistakes, so what? Lots of people make mistakes.

"Problematic pages in our history exist," Mr Putin said last week. But: "we have less than some countries. And ours are not as terrible as those of some others." He compared the Great Terror of 1937, when 700,000 people were murdered in a purge by Stalin's secret police, to the atom bomb on Hiroshima.

The comparison is preposterous. A strong argument can be made that by ending the war quickly, the atom bombs saved countless lives.

Franklin D Roosevelt and Harry Truman may have failed to realise that nuclear weapons would one day endanger humanity's survival. But, unlike Stalin, they were not genocidal maniacs.

As the new cold war deepens, Mr Putin echoes, consciously or unconsciously, the favourite weapon of Soviet propagandists in the last one.

Asked about Afghanistan, they would cite Vietnam. Castigated for the plight of Soviet Jews, they would complain with treacly sincerity about discrimination against American blacks. Every blot on the Soviet record was matched by something, real or imagined, that the West had done.

But the contrasts even then were absurd. When the American administration blundered into Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of people protested in the heart of Washington. When eight extraordinarily brave Soviet dissidents tried to demonstrate in Red Square against the invasion of Czechoslovakia, in 1968, they were instantly arrested and spent many years in labour camps.

For the east European countries with first-hand experience of Stalinist terror, the Kremlin's rewriting of history could hardly be more scary. Not only does Russia see no reason to apologise for their suffering under Kremlin rule, it now sees the collapse of communism not as a time of liberation, but as an era of pitiable weakness.

Russia barely commemorates even the damage it did to itself, let alone the appalling suffering inflicted on other people. Nashi is both a symptom of the way Russia is going - and a means of entrenching the drift to fascism.

Terrifyingly, the revived Soviet view of history is now widely held in Russia. A poll this week of Russian teenagers showed that a majority believe that Stalin did more good things than bad.

If tens of thousands of uniformed German youngsters were marching across Germany in support of an authoritarian Führer, baiting foreigners and praising Hitler, alarm bells would be jangling all across Europe. So why aren't they ringing about Nashi?

Edward Lucas is author of the forthcoming The New Cold War And How To Win It

80 comments:

Ruslanas said...

Most striking aspect of distortion of Russia’s history is that this is happening not in the completely totalitarian state or in a ’sovereign democracy’ which is still rather soft, even though it is getting tougher. All of it is taking place in the state where there are plenty of alternative sources of information, at least for now. The Russians are returning to the distorted history more or less on their own accord and will. During the Soviet days there was no alternative, no Internet, everything was under a strict control. People were forced to believe in great a Stalin who made one or two mistakes.

The Russian academics don’t protest, the elites are happy. Even the only Russia’s hope, rising middle class, is accepting all of these lies.

In 2001 in my last Russian history class at the University of Edinburgh our tutor, who was teaching the Russian History all his academic life, announced that we are his last class. He would not teach anything about Russia because he was extremely disappointed in developments in Russia. That was 2001 and the great historian already saw the direction Russia was taken. Maybe the policymakers should more listen to the historians. By understanding history one could see the future clearer.

I would dare to invite everyone who is interested in the Baltic States and Russia to visit my blog 'Lituanica'
http://irzikevicius.wordpress.com/

Редактор said...

to ruslanica: hmmm no internet during the soviet period hmm damn soviet system restricting people to use free network... damn damn damn

rusak said...

Article is just pure garbage, but what else would you expect from Edward Lucas? The ridiculous "interpretations" aside, the factual errors are glaring.

Attempting to raise Russia's dismally low birthrate even by eccentric-seeming means might be understandable.

Russia's birthrate is actually higher than that of the average European country, and it's rising. These statistics aren't hard to find, Lucas. Instead of putting things in context, you do the opposite to present Russia in the worst possible light.

Certainly, the country's demographic outlook is dire. The hard-drinking, hardsmoking and disease-ridden population is set to plunge by a million a year in the next decade.

Where did you get this figure -- a million a year? In 2006, Russia's population declined by about 530000 people. In 2007, it will be substantially less than that, probably about a quarter less. The demographic situation is improving, whether you like it or not. The birth rate is rising, the death rate is falling, and immigration has picked up since the lows of 2001-2004.

Such unofficial xenophobia matches the official stance.

Lucas, where is there is more minority representation in government, in Russia or Estonia? If you are really against xenophobia and racism, why don't you complain about the lack of minority representation in the Estonian government?

Those who hoped that Russia's first post-totalitarian generation would be liberal, have been dissapointed.

Oh that's rich. What exactly is "liberal" about the fact that there is no a single ethnic Russian minister in the government of Estonia? It this liberalism according to you?

It has rehabilitated Stalin, the greatest mass-murderer of the 20th century.

If Stalin was "rehabilitated", why was Solzhenitsyn's work shown on a state channel in 2006, with Solzhenitsyn's involvement and support? If you watch the state-owned television channels, you can find criticism of the Soviet Union. The only thing is, it's not the complete and utter renunciation and denunciation of everything that ever happened in the Soviet Union that you want, Lucas.

And it is demonising Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first democratically-elected president.
That he destroyed totalitarianism is ignored. Instead, he is denounced for his "weak" pro-Western policies.


It doesn't need to "demonize" Yeltsin at all, the population doesn't need any convincing on this. Yeltsin got a dignified farewell, which is more than he deserved.

25m people were shot and starved in the cause of communism.

Where did you get this 25 million figure? Why 25 million and not 24 or 26 million? The truth is, you just made it up or got it from someone else who made it up. There were no "tens of millions" killed in the gulag -- ask that silly wench Anne Applebaum, she tried and didn't find them. The human cost of Stalin's repressions was terrible and devastating in reality, but when people vastly exaggerate it for political reasons, that's not acceptable. The thing is, you're not satisfied with a figure of, say, "several million" people. You don't think your western readership will be sufficiently impressed by that, so you vastly inflate it.

He compared the Great Terror of 1937, when 700,000 people were murdered in a purge by Stalin's secret police, to the atom bomb on Hiroshima.

Actually, he compared the terror of 1937 to "use of atomic weapons against civilians".

The comparison is preposterous. A strong argument can be made that by ending the war quickly, the atom bombs saved countless lives.

And a strong argument can be made that by being "harsh" with the Balts and ending the war quickly, the Soviet Union saved "countless lives" in the long run.

But the contrasts even then were absurd. When the American administration blundered into Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of people protested in the heart of Washington.

Yeah, I'm sure that's a great conciliation to the millions of Vietnamese and others killed and to their loved ones.

Not only does Russia see no reason to apologise for their suffering under Kremlin rule

Haha, Lucas uses one of the lines I cited in the discussion of that other article almost word for word! As for apologies, Russia != USSR. That's enough for there to be no reason.

Russia barely commemorates even the damage it did to itself, let alone the appalling suffering inflicted on other people.

If your brain worked properly, you would be able to differentiate between "Stalin" and "Soviet government", and "Russia" and "Russian people". Why is it that you seem unable to do so, Lucas?

Colleen said...

RE: war protests, from wiki:

The Kent State shootings, also known as the May 4 massacre or Kent State massacre, occurred at Kent State University in the city of Kent, Ohio, and involved the shooting of students by members of the Ohio National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970. Four students were killed and nine others wounded, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.[1]

Some of the students who were shot were protesting the American invasion of Cambodia which President Richard Nixon announced in a television address on April 30. However, other students who were shot were merely walking nearby or observing the protest at a distance.

Colleen said...

RE: demographics, positive news:

- Recent trending toward more births, less deaths, longer lives: http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=11703223&PageNum=0
- Mass returns back to Russia: http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/politics/28.html?id_issue=11797208

Colleen said...

RE: the idea of patriotic camps

EL writes: "With its relentlessly upbeat tone, bizarre ideas and tight control, it sounds like a weird indoctrination session for a phoney religious cult."

Well, it can be compared easily to evangelical Christian summer camps, as portrayed in the documentary Jesus Camp. Georgia was condemned by the UN last week for setting up a patriotic camp near one of the breakaway regions. It's basically common practice in the western world.

The writer tries to compare Nashi to Nazi Germany because he might be intoxicated of hatred/fear/paranoia/jealousy toward Russia/Russians... or he might just have a "colonial" mindset.

Vitaliy said...

It not so bad, Edward, don't worry, it's not so bad.
May be it is phony, but what do you expect from youngsters whose intellectual level is a little bit higher than mammoths have? It is a fact.

Many people in Russia notice that intellectual level of young people is significantly, in times lower than young people had in Soviet time. This is a result of Yeltsin's reforms. The results are degradation, depopulation, corrupted low level education. So what can I say - it is true, but what do you expect if the presedint Yeltsin was drunk asshole?
I know, you like this time SO MUCH, you remember it with lots of nostalgy. But this time is gone forever, the situation changes.

However, I like those young guys. I like that they will live and work in Russia. I like that they know the history of their Motherland and Fatherland. They are not racist skinheads, that you have so much in Britan and the USA. They are not terrorists, like Zakaev and many others. They are russians, ukrainian, tatar, baskir, jew. They are russian orthodox, muslims, buddhists and atheists. BTW, you have to learn how to be tolerant from those guys. They are common young people.
They will be OK, Edward, don't worry.

La Russophobe said...

RUSAK:

It's kind of amusing that, while seeking to "correct" anti-Putin statements made by Edward, you make no effort whatsoever, to correct pro-Putin statements made by Nashi. There's no evidence whatsoever that tight underwear makes WOMEN sterile, as Nashi claims, the argument is that tight underwear can affect MALE potency, for instance. This is exactly the kind of ignorant, hillybilly "thinking" that brought the USSR to its knees. Colleen compares Nashi's camp to "evangelical Christian summer camps" but she ignores the fact that such camps are not FUNDED AND RUN BY THE US GOVERNMENT nor do they put up poster of Democratic presidential candidates dressed like whores.

Now, let's have a look at your one of your idiotic, fundamentally dishonest statements of "fact," shall we?

Attempting to raise Russia's dismally low birthrate even by eccentric-seeming means might be understandable.

Russia's birthrate is actually higher than that of the average European country, and it's rising. These statistics aren't hard to find, Lucas. Instead of putting things in context, you do the opposite to present Russia in the worst possible light.

You cite no source to support your claim about what Russia's birthrate is (wow, what hypocrisy!), and the fact that Russia's birthrate is above average doesn't mean it's even close to being high enough to offset Russia's appallingly high death rate from drinking, high-fat diet, smoking, pollution, and many other causes -- for instance, that Putin's Russia has the fifth-highest murder rate in the world. Russia's roads have far higher fatalities than the average European state, for instance. Because of this, Russia has to have a much higher birthrate than the average European state just to stay at the status quo, but it doesn't. Moreover, if Russia's birthrate were really acceptable, then Nashi's actions are completely crazy, since they encourage the spread of AIDS.

All you are doing, RUSAK, is repeating the pathetic neo-Soviet propaganda spewed out by a regime that controls Russia's media and does not allow Russians to find out the truth. It's a regime run by a proud KGB spy who spent his whole life learning how to lie, and your taking its statements at face value is the act of a total moron, exactly the type of action that destroyed the USSR and will destroy Russia as well.

You'd be funny if you weren't so sad and pathetic.

Nothing is Free said...

Dear La Russophobe (fellow comrade in the struggle),

You are hitting the nail on the head, and that's why you are pissing these russkies off. The root of much of the problems of these Finnic-Uighuric apes that speak adulterated Polish, also known as Russians, is in their total and absolute belief in authority. Whilst in America, only 20 % of the people know correctly that the Sun revolves around the Earth, 53.9857 % of Russkies believe that Putin makes the sun rise in the morning! Do I hear "3rd term"?

The (fortunately) high death rate is the result of Putin's policies and the petrodollar windfall. Under Yeltsin, they finally started getting into shape. So-called Putin's "economic miracle" brought back the salo, pel'meni and borscht. Simply put, Russians are the most grotesquely obese people in the world! They barely fit into those Lada clown-cars, purchased for no good reason, other than Putin told them so. The suspensions were not designed for such loads, the seat-belts, alas, are too short. The outcomes on the roads are tragic (for them), not to mention the coronary woes.

The fact of the matter is that the russian proles swallow whatever lies Putin feeds them. Right now he's telling them that Georgia's elected West-leaning president, who wants to restore the territorial integrity of his once-great country, and finally break with away from Russian tyrants, is a madman, and still has tactical nuclear weapons left over from the Soviet Union. So Georgia must hand them over, or else. Can you believe in something so preposterous? Making something up and demanding proof of a negative?!

Aleksejs Nipers said...

I will not comment this article, because I am not a specialist in this issue.
But I fund one funny thing in the internet – Godwin’s low (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law).
It says “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one” :)
Godwin's Law does not question whether any particular reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that one arising is increasingly probable. :)

Mario said...

I find that most criticism of Russia and its people has its origin in a)American-funded NGO's and b)media, blogs etc tribally connected with a dozen or so oligarchs who basically stole Russia's golden assets for their own private greed with the intention of selling them later to international companies.
The Russians are no fools. They are on average, even after the oligarchic fracas, better-educated than say the average Daily Mail or English tabloid reader. Any kind of information is readily available.
"Putin's Russia" exists because the people want it to exist. He is consistently supported by 70-85% of the Russian people. He has got the endorsement and blessing of the great Solzhenitsin himself. Like Solzhenitsin he is a great Russian patriot and has achieved resounding success for his people. The youth movement is thoroughly wholesome and praiseworthy. It is also a preventative measure to avoid a repeat of the regime change in Ukraine - which by the simple measure of providing the physical infrastructure of regime change ie park people in front of Parliament, get rock groups to play 24 hours non-stop, bribe the police chiefs so as not to interfere and maintain lighting, provide tents and food and create a "Princess Diana effect" with loadsa money, succeeded in having a "pro West" man elected by the astonishing majority of 51%. The Russians obviously do not want regime change originating in Washington and Nashi besides its educational and patriotic reasons provides a bulwark against this. (Incidentally ,in Ukraine more than two thirds of the people now want the president out. It hasn't stopped him from dismissing Parliament, where the government against whom the "revolution" was staged has the support of 60% of the elected representatives. He also dismissed the Constitutional Court which had enabled him to become president. His reasons for the coup d'état? They're all crooks, apart from him that is)
Rather than criticise Russia, we should treat them as what they are - our kith and kin,and Russia as a huge market, endowned with amazing resources. As Europeans we'd rather be dependent on Russian energy than on Islamic energy. We'd also rather have gas coming through Russia than through Turkey where the Islamic Prime Minister, surrounded by throngs of veiled women, recently said that "the minarets are the bayonets and the (Islamic)people the foot soldiers".
All in all, it is obvious that Putin and Nashi are the natural answers to Russia's wishes. Putin is responsive to their desires. In Britain whereas people want an immediate stop to immigration and invasion by Africans and Moslems, to the building of more mosques, and to the habit of masked Pakistanis and Arabs gathering in front of our Parliament and cathedrals, insulting and threatening us. Instead we get unjust and cruel criticism of Poles and laudatory remarks about "moderate" Islam by the Princes of Twat, Brown and Cameron and other politicians, at a time when almost 1 out of 2 "British" Moslems want Shariah Law

Ruslanas said...

To Redaktor and other Russia’s ‘patriots’. I appreciate great sense of Mr Redaktror, but visiting his blog only brings me back to the point made by Lucas, and latter by me. Russia is sliding to Nazism at the cosmic speed and even educated Russian’s voluntarily supporting this. Back to school dear ‘patriots’ and do little bit of comparative research between early stages of the Nazi Germany and the present day of the Putin’s Russia. Well, actually you might not find much of the objective history in the Putin’s history any longer. Maybe it is too late for you already.

To Redaktor - ‘Russia has no friends, it has national interests'. Those genius Putin’s words are borrowed from the Brits, by the way. And then the Russians are complaining the all neighbours can’t stand them. Very interesting, why? Visit http://irzikevicius.wordpress.com/

Nothing is Free said...

Dear Ruslanas,

It is quite obvious that information in Russia is heavily censored at every level. So telling them "go, read a book" will not do. So can you please elucidate (in point form if need be) your comparison between early stages of Nazi Germany and Putin's Russia for the benefit of these Russian 'patriotic' nincompoops?

Sean Hanley said...

Please provide a bit more information about the book (e.g. when and it will appear). I couldn't find any details on Amazon and internet searches.

It would also be interesting to see some of your writing on CEE reform politics pulled together into a book - I understand the region looms less large in your thinking just now than Putin's Russia and is probably less marketable, but still...

Giustino said...

To Rusak:

Lucas, where is there is more minority representation in government, in Russia or Estonia? If you are really against xenophobia and racism, why don't you complain about the lack of minority representation in the Estonian government?

This is quite an interesting question that deserves a response. 25 percent of Estonia's residents are ethnic Russians. However, 80 percent of this large Russophone population lives in three places -- Tallinn, Kohtla-Järve, and Narva. This limits their representation in parliament.

Still, the mayor of Tallinn is half-Russian Edgar Savisaar. The mayor of Kohtla-Järve is Jevgeni Solovjov. Narva has an ethnic Estonian mayor, but 27 of the 31 seats on its city council are held by ethnic Russians.

Morover, President Lennart Meri's mother came from the Swedish minority. President Toomas Hendrik Ilves' mother's family had roots in Russia. The very ambassador, Marina Kaljurand, that Nashi attacked in May as a symbol of Estonian 'fascism' is Latvian and Russian by birth.

The reality is that Estonia is its own society and that having minority roots does not prohibit Estonians from attaining the highest of political office.




And a strong argument can be made that by being "harsh" with the Balts and ending the war quickly, the Soviet Union saved "countless lives" in the long run.

Not really. The Estonians were quite chummy with the Soviets until they were occupied in June 1940. They agreed to allow the Soviets to station troops on their country, for instance, a demand that the Finns refused. They even acquiesced when the Soviets demanded unlimited troop numbers, and -- with the foreign troops on their soil -- gave in to occupation with barely a fight -- only one battalion in Tallinn put up resistance.

For their loyalty they were rewarded in the first year of Soviet terror by deportation, torture, and murder. This created a scenario were by the time the Germans rolled in, July 1941, the Estonians were ardently anti-Bolshevist.

So, basically, Stalinist terror in Estonia in 1940 *hurt* the Soviets more than *helped* them, because the Estonians were now fervently *against* helping the Soviets in anyway and, indeed, some *enlisted* to go to the front and avenge the deaths of their loved ones.

That's called hubris, and that is why your empire fell apart. Because nobody likes you -- they didn't then. They still don't. And you know it. Which is why you can only attempt to control your neighbors through hostile posturing.

But even that fails, because your oil only makes your oligarchs rich, and what person wants to take part in a system where all the spoils go back to a few rich guys in Moscow?

Yeah, I'm sure that's a great conciliation to the millions of Vietnamese and others killed and to their loved ones.

See, this is the flaw in Russian analytical thinking. They think of themselves as sort of a negative of the US. Except the US is infinitely richer than you and has twice as many people and actually has allies!

The reality is that Vietnam was a costlty and terrible mistake and that most wars are bad and that dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a totally messed up thing to do.

The reality is also that Stalin was a genocidal maniac that killed millions of people. So was Hitler. All these things are bad. Killing people -- unless you are being attacked by them -- is wrong.

In the Hiroshima case, the US was attacked by the Japanese. In the Soviet-Estonian case, the Soviets were not attacked by the Estonians. rather, the Estonians invited the wolf into their house.

The Soviet occupation of Estonia did not differ greatly from the German occupation of The Netherlands or Denmark. In both cases troops were amassed on the border, and demands were made to timid indefensible governments that -- after perhaps some skirmishes -- were accepted.

I still don't see how the Russians don't just take a hard look in the mirror and figure that one out. Why do they still defend the criminals of yesteryear? And what's with these silly camps. If you want to make Russia great -- why don't you start a good, independent company and employ your little Nashi girlfriend and run a legitimate transparent business that isn't connected to the Kremlin. That sounds patriotic to me.

All this dancing with deceased 20th century idiotic ideologies like fascism and communism is ridiculous. Get a friggin' life already! The world is depending on it!

Nothing is Free said...

That's called hubris, and that is why your empire fell apart. Because nobody likes you -- they didn't then. They still don't. And you know it. Which is why you can only attempt to control your neighbors through hostile posturing.

Precisely! Russia is the ugly girl that no-one wants to date. They can't stand the rejection by Poland, Estonia and Georgia! Everybody loves America, though.

But even that fails, because your oil only makes your oligarchs rich, and what person wants to take part in a system where all the spoils go back to a few rich guys in Moscow?

The so-called popularity of Putin is another sign of Russian degeneracy. They are all starving and dying of alcohol poisoning, but as long as they can be proud of their master, that's all that matters. Sticking it to Estonia and Georgia is all the bread and circus they need.

See, this is the flaw in Russian analytical thinking. They think of themselves as sort of a negative of the US. Except the US is infinitely richer than you and has twice as many people and actually has allies!

Too right! None of the Soviet vassals rushed to help the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The whole world is helping America in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And what's with these silly camps. If you want to make Russia great -- why don't you start a good, independent company and employ your little Nashi girlfriend and run a legitimate transparent business that isn't connected to the Kremlin.

The Nashyists are a perfect representation of Russia and what is wrong with it. The perfect statistical sample. All business in Russia is controlled by the Kremlin, and the morons like it that way!

P.S.
Bravo, Giustino! You're putting their delusions under the spotlight, and they are scampering like cockroaches!

rusak said...

This is quite an interesting question that deserves a response. 25 percent of Estonia's residents are ethnic Russians. However, 80 percent of this large Russophone population lives in three places -- Tallinn, Kohtla-Järve, and Narva. This limits their representation in parliament.

Ever heard of such a thing as proportional representation, son? That's how things work in the civilized world.

Still, the mayor of Tallinn is half-Russian Edgar Savisaar. The mayor of Kohtla-Järve is Jevgeni Solovjov. Narva has an ethnic Estonian mayor, but 27 of the 31 seats on its city council are held by ethnic Russians.

Morover, President Lennart Meri's mother came from the Swedish minority. President Toomas Hendrik Ilves' mother's family had roots in Russia. The very ambassador, Marina Kaljurand, that Nashi attacked in May as a symbol of Estonian 'fascism' is Latvian and Russian by birth.


This is absolutely laughable and you know it. Name one ethnic Russian minister in the Estonian government. Just one. Is it really that hard? There is not a single ethnic Russian minister in the Estonian government. Do you think this kind of situation is normal for a civilized country -- a 25% minority and not one minister in the government. Is this liberalism or what is it exactly? And don't run from these questions, coward.

Regarding minority representation in the Russian government, quoting an earlier post of mine:

The Russian minister for economic development and trade, Gref, is a German. The minister of the interior, Nurgaliev, is a Tatar. The minister for information technologies and communications, Reiman, is a Jew. The minister for emergency situations, Shoigu, is a Tuvan. I don't know what kind of name Zurabov (minister of health and social development) is, but it's not an ethnic Russian name. I heard that Lavrov, the foreign minister, has Armenian ancestry on his mother's side; his predecessor, Ivanov's, mother was Georgian. The minister for regional development, Yakovlev's, mother was an Ingermanland Finn. And of course there are couple of Ukrainian names in there as well.

The reality is that Estonia is its own society and that having minority roots does not prohibit Estonians from attaining the highest of political office.

What about not having any ethnically Estonian roots? Name one non-Estonian last name in "the highest of political office". You're saying that Estonia is not an apartheid state? But if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck...

So, basically, Stalinist terror in Estonia in 1940 *hurt* the Soviets more than *helped* them, because the Estonians were now fervently *against* helping the Soviets in anyway and, indeed, some *enlisted* to go to the front and avenge the deaths of their loved ones.

Try to think a little wider, son. First of all, I was thinking about the end of the war, not 1940, but even then, all you're really saying is that the Soviets were not quite harsh enough, or not harsh in the "right" way. The point is that Estonian resistance could have been broken, just like the Japanese resistance was broken.

That's called hubris, and that is why your empire fell apart. Because nobody likes you -- they didn't then. They still don't. And you know it. Which is why you can only attempt to control your neighbors through hostile posturing.

The Soviet "empire" fell apart mainly because of internal structural deficiencies. What are you talking about -- specifically, how exactly did this "hubris" manifest itself? You don't even know what you're talking about, you just fantasize and use your imagination to come up with explanations that conveniently appeal to you. "Ah these damn Russians offend my Est nationalist sensibilities... and THAT must be why their evil empire collapsed!!" That's about the level of your "logic" and "analysis" right there. It's garbage.

You want to talk about the US... If there had been a substantial ethnic Russian emigre community in the US, even a third of the size of the Polish one, we would have kept all of you in check. No "Captive Nations Resolution", none of that nonsense. Eastern Euro grudges and inferiority complexes would not have been allowed to determine US foreign policy.

See, this is the flaw in Russian analytical thinking. They think of themselves as sort of a negative of the US. Except the US is infinitely richer than you and has twice as many people and actually has allies!

"See..." what exactly? You're basically just arguing that might makes right. The US is richer, so what? Nazi Germany was "infinitely richer" and had a much larger population than, say, Czechoslovakia, and it also actually had allies.

Anyway, I was addressing Lucas' comparison of "Russia"(USSR) and the US. What difference does it make how many people protest if it doesn't change anything? So if a lot of people had protested the invasion of Czechoslovakia in the Soviet Union, that would somehow make it better?

I still don't see how the Russians don't just take a hard look in the mirror and figure that one out. Why do they still defend the criminals of yesteryear?

People defend criminals of yesteryear all over the world, that's how it is. There's a "criminal of yesteryear" on the 20 dollar bill and on other US currency denominations. Why is it OK for them but not OK for us? Lithuanians want to complain about Soviet/Russian occupation etc but they have no problem with creating monuments to Gediminas and the like. Why is only the Russians that must "look in the mirror" and all that crap while all our neighbors get to have their little nationalist funtime?

Giustino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Giustino said...

Ever heard of such a thing as proportional representation, son? That's how things work in the civilized world.

No it isn't. The United States is 12 percent African-American, yet we only have one black senator -- and Obama is actually biracial!

A full one-ninth of the Swedish population is non-ethnic Swedish. Yet when I look at the names of the Swedish riksdag members, I see a lot of Ericssons, Johanssons, and Anderssons, yet only a handful of non-ethnic Swedish names.

I guess the Swedes must be practicing apartheid.

What about not having any ethnically Estonian roots? Name one non-Estonian last name in "the highest of political office". You're saying that Estonia is not an apartheid state? But if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck...

I already gave you the name of the Russian ambassador who has no ethnic Estonian roots. What else do you want .. the names of all the Riigikogu members that aren't ethnic Estonians? And what is an Estonian. Aleksei Lotman and Mihhail Lotman are Russian Jews by ethnicity yet they have both served in the Riigikogu. Apartheid state indeed.


Try to think a little wider, son. First of all, I was thinking about the end of the war, not 1940, but even then, all you're really saying is that the Soviets were not quite harsh enough, or not harsh in the "right" way. The point is that Estonian resistance could have been broken, just like the Japanese resistance was broken.

Why would one need to break the resistance of a neutral state that signed a mutual assistance pact with you and allowed you to station troops on its territory?

The Soviet "empire" fell apart mainly because of internal structural deficiencies.

Like a lack of loyalty brought on by years of mistreatment?

You want to talk about the US... If there had been a substantial ethnic Russian emigre community in the US, even a third of the size of the Polish one, we would have kept all of you in check. No "Captive Nations Resolution", none of that nonsense. Eastern Euro grudges and inferiority complexes would not have been allowed to determine US foreign policy.

But there is a sizeable Russian minority in the US. The problem is that tsarist/Soviet policies created a mass outflux of political refugees that hated with a passion the Russian leadership. You want to see an example of the Russian diaspora at work in America? Read St. Petersburg-born author Ayn Rand.

"See..." what exactly? You're basically just arguing that might makes right.

No, I am just rubbing it in your face that you are not a superpower and that Brazil is a richer country than yours.

I am also arguing that the line of thinking that just because the US does something doesn't make it right and doesn't make you immune from criticism. If you actually had a democracy, you could focus your ire on domestic events, rather than continually meddling in your neighbors affairs. Ed Lucas has something to say about Russia and he will say it, Russian whining or not. So basically, sit on it. Son.

People defend criminals of yesteryear all over the world, that's how it is. There's a "criminal of yesteryear" on the 20 dollar bill and on other US currency denominations.

Go ask a Cherokee in Oklahoma how he feels about Andy Jackson. I lived down the street from the Native Americans in my community. Their culture and language is basically extinct because of what the English colonists did to them. That was wrong. I am not defending it.

Lithuanians want to complain about Soviet/Russian occupation etc but they have no problem with creating monuments to Gediminas and the like.

See, another flawed line in Russian thinking -- mainly, the Baltics are all the same. You can accuse Estonians of being part of the Soviet occupation because some Latvians were in the NKVD. You can accuse Estonians of harboring great power complexes because the Lithuanians have a statue to Gediminas.

Since Russia is an Asian country, we might as well discuss the situation of your Asian brethren, say in China. I mean why is it that the Chinese got to crack down on Tiananmen Square, but the Russians had to pull their occupying troops out of Estonia? Wah wah. Boo hoo. It's so hard being Russian.

Why is only the Russians that must "look in the mirror" and all that crap while all our neighbors get to have their little nationalist funtime?

Because your 'nationalist fun time' is about having warm thoughts about killing millions of innocent people from neighboring countries.

I am an American but I live in Estonia. I have two daughters. My life is totally normal here. I work, I shop, everything is fine. Yet I constantly run into angry Russian nazis on Internet fora who want to engage people about how bad Estonia is and how it was okay to deport innocent women and children -- like my wife and daughters -- to die in a friggin' Soviet prison camp.

That, son, is messed up and indefensible. Anyone who defends that is worthless in my book. And if your president gets up and tries to defend it, then it makes it even more clear why I am so glad that we are in the European Union and NATO. Estonia has had all the 'Russian civilization' it needs for quite some time.

Nothing is Free said...

Dear Rusak,

Since it appears that your fur hat has fused to your skull, allow me to translate Honorable Giustino's retort to your propaganda lies into words that you can understand...

No, I am just rubbing it in your face that you are not a superpower and that Brazil is a richer country than yours.

The figures say otherwise, but we know that the Soviets always made up their statistics.

I am also arguing that the line of thinking that just because the US does something doesn't make it right and doesn't make you immune from criticism.

Exactly. That's why the US has a whole month (a month! not a measly week) dedicated to Indigenous Nations, and restituation for slavery is paid to the negros. How else do you think they can afford Lamborghinis and Ferraris and all that gold in the music videos? The Russian Tyrant must come to every former colony and kneel, and beg for forgiveness. Maybe then we'll think better of you.

If you actually had a democracy, you could focus your ire on domestic events, rather than continually meddling in your neighbors affairs.

Russians have no life, that's true. They are green with envy of their neighbours success and special relationship with America. Get a hobby, losers.

Ed Lucas has something to say about Russia and he will say it, Russian whining or not. So basically, sit on it. Son.

Too right! The Daily Mail and the Economist may not be papers of great repute, but the truth must come out through every outlet. LaRussophobe, Ed Lucas, the Daily Mail are the truth, man!

Since Russia is an Asian country, we might as well discuss the situation of your Asian brethren, say in China. I mean why is it that the Chinese got to crack down on Tiananmen Square, but the Russians had to pull their occupying troops out of Estonia? Wah wah. Boo hoo. It's so hard being Russian.

Europe stretches from Los Angeles to Vilnius and no further, you filthy asiatic.

Because your 'nationalist fun time' is about having warm thoughts about killing millions of innocent people from neighboring countries.

Since you were so roundly defeated in the Cold War, and our researchers have pored over your archives, we have the full objective, as in "Ayn Rand" objective, history of your cesspit.

I am an American but I live in Estonia. I have two daughters. My life is totally normal here. I work, I shop, everything is fine.

We are free, as in freedom, people. You are post-Soviet biomass.

Giustino said...

Nothing is Free,

I am definitely not calling Rusak a 'filthy asiatic'. But I am saying that if he is going to smear Estonians with the deeds of Latvians or Lithuanians, then it should make sense to link his country to other Asian countries like China or India.

Look, how clear can I make this? Estonia is not a threat to Russia. It is a small European country that's been through a lot of BS. It has an exceptionally complicated history that should be read by anyone trying to understand it.

Rusak brings up lack of Russian Estonian presence in government. It's a fine critique. I expect in the future there will be more presence, but the current generation of political leaders have been in or around power since 1991, at a time when *some* ethnic Russians in Estonia were represented by Intermovement.

There are ethnic Russian parties in Estonia, but the Russian Estonians don't vote for them. I mean about 145,000 native Russian speakers in Estonia are Estonian citizens, about 12 percent of all citizens.

Yet the Constitution Party -- which fielded the most ethnic Russian candidates -- only got 1 percent of the vote in the March elections. Moreover, in Ida-Viru county, they only got 762 votes. The bottomline is that in Estonia, people don't vote according to ethnicity.

Juan Manuel said...

Rusak,

we are having a discussion here, not insulting each other. Please try not to offend those who have a different point of view.

As to minorities in Russia, there is a 55% minority that has no representation in the current government. There is no single woman as a minister, and Russia has a lot of ministries.

There are indeed ethnic Russian MPs. You have thr two sons of Yuri Lotman, one of them is a Isamaa (Fatherland) MP and the other one is a Green party MP.

But anyway, ksenophobia is not about how many Russians you have in government, it is about not deporting Georgians and not harrasing foreign ambassadors.

Juan Manuel said...

By the way, following your line of thought, Stalin's Russia was probably the most tolerant and liberal regime in the world. It was run by two Georgians. And still Georgians where particularly hit by the repressions.

Ruslanas said...

The colleague above asked me to name a few similarities between the Nazi Germany and the Putin’s Russia. I would like to mention only very few

- Both nations suffered defeat and couldn’t accept that, and both nations were longing for a ‘strong hand’, and they deserved it.

- Both leaders elected during the democratic process, and both leaders were demolishing embryonic liberal democracy in their countries. Hitler did it more rapidly, Putin does it slower.

- Both Leaders were convinced that the liberal democracies would not work in their countries. Hitler was wrong; Putin is more likely to be wrong also.

- Both nations tolerated authoritarian measures by their leaders, which eventually led to a totalitarian regime in Germany, and it is leading to the totalitarian regime in Russia. Both nations were satisfied with the dictatorships.

- As the Nazi Germany at the beginning the Kremlin disclosed its plans to modernise the army. The Nazi Germany abandoned the weapons treaty, so did the Putin’s Russia

- Structure of economy, which is favourable to the chosen oligarchs, and eradication of the Jewish Oligarchs (he is an oligarch but he is the Russian one)

- Propaganda of xenophobia and actively looking for enemies around in order to cement their nations. ‘We are surrounded by the extremely dangerous enemies who might attack as at any moment, and destroy us, such as the Baltic States (at the moment Estonia) and Georgia.’

- Terrorizing its neighbours, the sphere of influence doctrine (Dugin and Hauschofer)

- Spread of the racist pogroms. In Germany it was organized by the Nazi regime in Russia it is ignited by the elites using ‘Rusland Rusland, uber alles’ doctrine. Almost all racially related violence in Russia which took place recently did not receive any punishment by the law enforcement authorities. The problem ignored, militia only using force to disperse ever-decreasing opposition gatherings.

- Universal disdain of the liberal democracy, from the top to the bottom of societies.

- Rewriting of history in both, Nazi Germany and Putin’s Russia. The Racial superiority propaganda. Germans Arians and the Russians are purified Slavs, better than the rest of the world and will save the Christendom, etc.

- Creation of the militant youth organizations by the Leader. The leader is using the state recourses to create a private, well organized units which are ready to ‘follow their Leader till the end’. Hitler youth in Nazi Germany, Nashi and others in Russia.

- Control of media and using it to serve purposes of the Leader. No doubt Nazi Germany went further than Putin, but where Russia will be in five years?

- Most striking similarity is that both, highly educated nations submitted to the Asiatic style of dictatorships without much of the fight. Russia is moving towards that very fast.

cabrero said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cabrero said...

2 Ruslanas

From what you posted I can clearly see that the anti-russian Cold war-style propaganda in the West works perfectly, so the old USSR school has to take a rest.

- Both nations suffered defeat and couldn’t accept that, and both nations were longing for a ‘strong hand’, and they deserved it

We did not suffer a defeat. Yes, we lost a lot of what we built politically and economically during the Soviet era, but it was not a defeat. It was a result of changes, initiated from inside. Most people in the new Russia initially welcomed it, saw the new perspectives, and accepted how wrong the old ideology was. In contrary, Weimar Germany was defeated in a war, totaly exhausted and forced to sign a humiliating peace treaty. Besdies that, current Russia still lives in the middle of the globalized world, it's people have free access to information, they are self-aware and dont want to give up their personal freedoms.

- Both leaders elected during the democratic process, and both leaders were demolishing embryonic liberal democracy in their countries. Hitler did it more rapidly, Putin does it slower.

I wouldn't say that Russia had embrionic democracy in 2000. It had the same 10 years of experience as other former SU republics, which by that time considered themselves as "mature" democracies.

- Both Leaders were convinced that the liberal democracies would not work in their countries. Hitler was wrong; Putin is more likely to be wrong also.

What made you think that about Putin, besides your personal "logical conclusions"? He or any of his representatives never declared that.

- Both nations tolerated authoritarian measures by their leaders, which eventually led to a totalitarian regime in Germany, and it is leading to the totalitarian regime in Russia. Both nations were satisfied with the dictatorships.

Who told you that Russians were satisfied by dictatorship? Most people in Russia dont want Stalin or whatever Big Brother back. Or you count those born in 1920's?

- As the Nazi Germany at the beginning the Kremlin disclosed its plans to modernise the army. The Nazi Germany abandoned the weapons treaty, so did the Putin’s Russia

After more than 10 years of almost zero funding any army would need modernization. US and other NATO countries continued that after the Cold War end, so, we have no moral or any right to do that? If you are not agree with the Weapon treaty issue post, why exactly, with reference to the reasons, declared by Russia. For me they seem to be just. Besides that RF declared itself open to renegotiate the conditions and adapt them to the modern reality.

- Structure of economy, which is favourable to the chosen oligarchs, and eradication of the Jewish Oligarchs (he is an oligarch but he is the Russian one)

In many developed countries the economies are controlled by a limited number of financial groups, especially the key sectors. You can speculate on high oil and gaz prices topic, Gazprom and e.t.c. But do you question our right to structurise these sectors the way we think it is optimal? Or extra high oil export taxes is a favour? What jewish oligarchs do we erradicate - Vekselberg, Abramovich, Potanin or Fridman?

- Propaganda of xenophobia and actively looking for enemies around in order to cement their nations. ‘We are surrounded by the extremely dangerous enemies who might attack as at any moment, and destroy us, such as the Baltic States (at the moment Estonia) and Georgia.’

Please quote any example of "propaganda". We are not looking for enemies, for we have our own internal problems to solve. Our leaders are not that stupid to rush into a weapon race or any confrontation. Baltic States (at the moment Estonia) and Georgia - if a little doggie barks a lot it is a reason to be afraid, may be its' rabid... - I was talking about dogs only, no parallels with those countries...

- Terrorizing its neighbours, the sphere of influence doctrine (Dugin and Hauschofer)

May be I dont know smth. What neighbours do we "terrorise" and how?

- Spread of the racist pogroms. In Germany it was organized by the Nazi regime in Russia it is ignited by the elites using ‘Rusland Rusland, uber alles’ doctrine. Almost all racially related violence in Russia which took place recently did not receive any punishment by the law enforcement authorities. The problem ignored, militia only using force to disperse ever-decreasing opposition gatherings.

The only massive pogrom-like thing I remember was in Kondopoga, and the authorities prevented its repeat in neighbour cities. People involved are now in court. Besides that dont put it in the same line "pogroms". If a foreign diaspora does not respect local traditions and laws, and it results in massive fights, it is not a pogrom it is a mere result of uneasy tensed interethnic relations were both sides share guilt. And the skinhead-type guys are not accepted in our society and in most cases those who assault foreigners are prosecuted and sentenced.

- Universal disdain of the liberal democracy, from the top to the bottom of societies.

Here I'll repeat the said in the first papagraph.

- Rewriting of history in both, Nazi Germany and Putin’s Russia. The Racial superiority propaganda. Germans Arians and the Russians are purified Slavs, better than the rest of the world and will save the Christendom, etc.

We dont' rewrite history, this statement is false by nature, and we have no superiority propaganda. Yes, we do proclaim that Russia is a great country and we have a lot to be proud of. Whatever negative passed in our history doesnt make us worse than other states, and we dont deserve the sense of constant guilt as others want - that was the Putins', not more not less.

- Creation of the militant youth organizations by the Leader. The leader is using the state recourses to create a private, well organized units which are ready to ‘follow their Leader till the end’. Hitler youth in Nazi Germany, Nashi and others in Russia.

Nashi wearing the same T-shirts doesnt' make them militatnt. The resemblance between them and Hitlerugent is the same as between a tracktor and tank - both have tracks and engine.

It seems that you are living in the past, not us, and don’t accept other way than US-favoured way. If you know russian and care so much about our bilateral relations and Russia’s internal affairs don’t base your opinion on american press or russian opposition publications only. Get out of tank and look around then!
Let’s clear some basic issues first:
1. US or European democracy is not a model for the rest of the world to follow, and Western democratic standards do not bear an absolute value to measure other countries.
2. Every country has the right to develop in it’s own way and the primary concern are national interests like integrity, political stability, economic growth and peoples security and wellbeing. Nothing of that should be sacrificed for illusionary “values”
3. Being somebody in opposition to a government does not make him always right. And a government is not automatically wrong when it takes suppressive course of action.

Now some general issues concerning Russia
1. In Russia there is freedom to say what you want and to express your opinion. And I assure you it is even more than in the USA. The most typical example is that a US Congress sponsored AM-station “Radio Svoboda” openly shits in the air for the last 17 years giving word to all the opposition representatives and seems to feel OK in general. No one is taking away the broadcasting license. And it’s just the most typical example.
2. The absence of a strong opposition in Russian politics is not government guilt but opposition’s problem. This clowns had their chance in the last elections to Duma. There were no limitations (except for some insignificant local episodes) on media and money to win peoples hearts, they failed…
3. We are aggressive? How possibly we can be aggressive when for more than a decade we where weakening our offensive potential while you, the West was modernizing and strengthening it's own. We recently closed our last military base in Cuba while NATO is expanding , building new bases in the CIS republics. Or should I mention Yugoslavia, Iraq, missile defense complex in Eastern Europe?
I’m righting this not to convince anybody. especially those radical pro-US and anti-official russian government fellas

Throughout our history we always encountered double standards, treachery, unjust disapprove and other dirt coming from within and whithout. But the most correct course was not to give a crap about others opinion and do what is good for us. And we will prevail, prosper and develop our own, russian, way.

rusak said...

No it isn't. The United States is 12 percent African-American, yet we only have one black senator -- and Obama is actually biracial!

Yes it is. And blacks in the US have more representation in government than Russians in Estonia.

A full one-ninth of the Swedish population is non-ethnic Swedish. Yet when I look at the names of the Swedish riksdag members, I see a lot of Ericssons, Johanssons, and Anderssons, yet only a handful of non-ethnic Swedish names.

I guess the Swedes must be practicing apartheid.


I don’t see a 25% strong ethnic minority without a single minister in government in Sweden.

I already gave you the name of the Russian ambassador who has no ethnic Estonian roots.

An ambassador to a foreign country? That’s pathetic. What kind of political authority does an ambassador to a foreign country have in Estonia? Yeah, that’s right. Try again.

What else do you want .. the names of all the Riigikogu members that aren't ethnic Estonians? And what is an Estonian. Aleksei Lotman and Mihhail Lotman are Russian Jews by ethnicity yet they have both served in the Riigikogu. Apartheid state indeed.

So let me get this straight… You think that if there is some ridiculously small representation that means that there is no systemic discrimination? Not a particularly strong position on your part, son.

Why would one need to break the resistance of a neutral state that signed a mutual assistance pact with you and allowed you to station troops on its territory?

It doesn’t matter why because this is not at all what this is about. Lucas tried to justify or “pretty up” using atomic weapons against civilians by saying that it ended the war quickly and saved “countless lives”. The Soviets no doubt also employed s similar rationale for a lot of things, but Lucas would just say that those were crimes.

Like a lack of loyalty brought on by years of mistreatment?

Yeah, a good way to build “loyalty” is to deny the troublesome minority representation in government, right? That’s not mistreatment at all, no, no.

But there is a sizeable Russian minority in the US.

No, there isn’t and there certainly wasn’t one 50 years ago.

The problem is that tsarist/Soviet policies created a mass outflux of political refugees that hated with a passion the Russian leadership. You want to see an example of the Russian diaspora at work in America? Read St. Petersburg-born author Ayn Rand.

I said ethnic Russian émigré community. Don’t pretend you didn’t see that. Regardless of their political views, no Russian would have supported the Captive Nations Resolutions the way it was written because it is an offense against every Russian as such. The entire Russian émigré community was against it. However, we had practically no representation in the US, nothing that could really oppose the cabal of the Polaks, Galicians, Balts etc, etc.

No, I am just rubbing it in your face that you are not a superpower and that Brazil is a richer country than yours.

Brazil is not richer than Russia. Brazil’s GDP per capita at PPP: $8800 (2006). Russia’s GDP per capita at PPP: $12200 (2006). And Russia’s GDP growth rates well exceed those of Brazil. But what does any of this have to do with what I was saying?

I am also arguing that the line of thinking that just because the US does something doesn't make it right and doesn't make you immune from criticism. If you actually had a democracy, you could focus your ire on domestic events, rather than continually meddling in your neighbors affairs. Ed Lucas has something to say about Russia and he will say it, Russian whining or not. So basically, sit on it. Son.

I don't see where I said or implied that anything made anything right, or that anyone should be immune from criticism. What Lucas is doing is not simply "criticism" -- it's anti-Russian agitation.

Go ask a Cherokee in Oklahoma how he feels about Andy Jackson. I lived down the street from the Native Americans in my community. Their culture and language is basically extinct because of what the English colonists did to them. That was wrong. I am not defending it.

You are defending it when you defend these double standards. Where is the Captive Nations Resolution for the American Indians? Where is the Captive Nations Resolution for the Cornish? If Russia decided to support American Indians against the US, regardless of the "merits" or justifications, the American public would be outraged -- and that's basically how Russians feel about this kind of "criticism".

See, another flawed line in Russian thinking -- mainly, the Baltics are all the same. You can accuse Estonians of being part of the Soviet occupation because some Latvians were in the NKVD. You can accuse Estonians of harboring great power complexes because the Lithuanians have a statue to Gediminas.

Since Russia is an Asian country, we might as well discuss the situation of your Asian brethren, say in China. I mean why is it that the Chinese got to crack down on Tiananmen Square, but the Russians had to pull their occupying troops out of Estonia? Wah wah. Boo hoo. It's so hard being Russian.


What the hell are you talking about? Step your reading comprehension game up, son. The statement about Lithuanians had to do with the => “people…all over the world…” It had nothing to do with Estonia. I brought up Lithuania because a Lithuanian was saying some stupid things in this very discussion. I know that, to some Russians, the Baltic states are all basically interchangeable but that’s not me. It’s funny though, how you made this idiotic assumption for no reason and ran with it. You’re paranoid, seeing things that are not there. There’s a Russian saying that a hat burns on a thief’s head. You must be feeling guilty about something. So what are you feeling guilty about, son? Supporting an unjustifiable apartheid state, maybe…

Because your 'nationalist fun time' is about having warm thoughts about killing millions of innocent people from neighboring countries.

So it’s just about how many people were killed? Gediminas and company only killed “thousands” of innocent people whereas Stalin killed “millions” – is that the entire difference here? Moreover, Russian nationalism doesn’t have to be pro-Stalin or pro-USSR at all.

I am an American but I live in Estonia. I have two daughters. My life is totally normal here. I work, I shop, everything is fine. Yet I constantly run into angry Russian nazis on Internet fora who want to engage people about how bad Estonia is and how it was okay to deport innocent women and children -- like my wife and daughters -- to die in a friggin' Soviet prison camp.

That, son, is messed up and indefensible. Anyone who defends that is worthless in my book. And if your president gets up and tries to defend it, then it makes it even more clear why I am so glad that we are in the European Union and NATO. Estonia has had all the 'Russian civilization' it needs for quite some time.


In my own family there were victims of Stalin’s repressions, but I recognize very well the difference between opposition to a regime or a system, on one side, and bias and hostility toward a particular ethnic group, on the other. From the way you connected “Soviet prison camp” and “Russian civilization” it is clear which side you’re on.

cabrero said...

And smbd is accusing Russia in shauvinism, xenofobia and e.t.c...

http://www.amnesty.org.ru/pages/ruseur510022006

Ray D. Noper said...

About representation of Russian minority in Estonian parliament... On the last election, Russian party in Estonia got <1000 votes. 300k ethnic Russians, you say ? Less than one percent votes for pro-Kremlin party ? Boo-hoo, Russia, call for police, somebody's being repressed ! It couldn't be our passiveness that did it !
It's liberal democracy in Estonia, if your party could not even get to the parliament, you shouldn't bet on being a minister...

I have yet to see ONE Russian in Estonia who acknowledges being repressed, and who accepts that Estonia is not a rebel part of Russia. International courts have decided - yes, Estonia is an independent country; yes, there was an occupation; yes, there were illegal mass deportations (both ways). Some soviets still think it's 1946, with good comrade Stalin being alive and healthy.

Agu-Enrik Ubailves said...

Dear folks, I would never argue with anybody, who starts its comment with statement Article is just pure garbage, but what else would you expect from Edward Lucas? Let him ponder alone about his brilliant findings like I heard that Lavrov, the foreign minister, has Armenian ancestry on his mother's side; his predecessor, Ivanov's, mother was Georgian. The minister for regional development, Yakovlev's, mother was an Ingermanland Finn.

rusak said...

You mad, Est? Looks like I've struck a nerve. Yeah, you should be mad at the apartheid state. Eventually, you will find out that, as the saying goes, you reap what you sow.

Agu-Enrik Ubailves said...

Here in Estonia some say too, that we have failed to have dialogue with russians. I do not know, what kind of dialogue can we have, if one party is using the words arbitarily. Apartheid was a regime, where the black did not have vote. Estonian russians either have a vote or can choose have a vote (to become a citizen). They can use their votes to elect russian candidates to the parliament - once they will have sufficiient representation in parliament, they can probably have also russians in the governement. It seems weird to add russians, gays, blacks ... or more women to the governement, to make somebody else happy, this is not an Eurovision song contest. The words like democracy, fascism, occupation-annection, etc. are wrapped into the same kind of mist in contemporary mainstream russian semiosphere. There will be no dialogue, unless you learn to use the words in their proper meaning, son.

cabrero said...

2 Agu-Enrik Ubailves

If you bother to check the thread
http://www.amnesty.org.ru/pages/ruseur510022006

you will see that Estonian anti-russian discrimination policy, directed to monoethnicity, pissed of even Amnesty International.

And if you didnt get the point of this discussion I'll tell you. It's not about Estonia, for it's not the world center - it's about double standards you, russophobes, apply. You ignore violations in other countries, Estonia in particular, but exhagerate whatever happens in Russia, twist and pervert our image. There is a saying about a spec in your neghbour's eye, and log in yours...

Giustino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Giustino said...

You ignore violations in other countries, Estonia in particular, but exhagerate whatever happens in Russia, twist and pervert our image. There is a saying about a spec in your neghbour's eye, and log in yours...

You guys are so naive. You hold a government sponsored camp where teenagers have a 'love oasis' to make more babies for the motherland and you expect no one (especially a British person, lord knows how they love lurid gossip) is going to write about it?

Of course they are going to write about it!!! And I want to read more about the Nashi youth and the idiotic games they play. This is better than T.a.T.u!

you will see that Estonian anti-russian discrimination policy, directed to monoethnicity, pissed of even Amnesty International.

Amnesty said quite clearly that they have no problem with 1) the unilingual state policy and 2) school reform.

They do have a problem with the language inspectorate. That's a valid claim and they can write whatever they please and we can talk about it.

But if you read the report, there's no criticism of macro Estonian linguistic policy.

Just because you move a lot of one ethnic group to a country, doesn't mean you change the state language to accomodate them. If that were the case, the language of New York City would have changed to accomodate every successive wave of immigration.

Finally, to rub some salt in your gaping Russian wounds, Mart Laar got more than 9,000 in votes in Russian populated Lasnamäe district of Tallinn in March.

Some ethnic Russians voted for the most right wing party in Estonia in March. Some ethnic Russians in Estonia put their kids in Estonian-language kindergartens. How do I know this? Because my kid goes to kindergarten here.

From the way you connected “Soviet prison camp” and “Russian civilization” it is clear which side you’re on.

I am on the side of Finland, Estonia, Ireland, Iceland, and all the states that emerged from the crumbling empires of the first half of the last century.

So what are you feeling guilty about, son? Supporting an unjustifiable apartheid state, maybe…

Why are you such a negative and vengeful person? I am very happy to live in a country that has genuine parliamentary elections where all citizens can vote for social democrats or greens or economic liberals or populists.

And don't tell me that Russians are not citizens because, like I said, only 8 percent of people in Estonia lack citizenship, and 25 percent - 8 percent is 17 percent, son.

So Russians are voting in Estonia. they are just not voting for pro-Kremlin parties. In fact most I have spoken with see the Kremlin is a self-interested meddler that hurts them more than helps them.
Now that's got to hurt. Your own 'compatriots' deserting you.

Russian Estonians put up an Estonian flag at the Nashi sex camp last month just to prove that the country is not a fascist state. Maybe you should go talk to them, rather than some American guy.

cabrero said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cabrero said...

It's not us naive, but you, who can accept only negative and perverted interpretation of whatever is going on in Russia. If our country turns into a large buddist monastery, you will still think that it is some cover for some anti-human anti-western nacionalist camp.

We don't have problem with smbd. writing about events in our country, we neither object critics based on real facts and analisys.
In that camp there was nothing more than encouragement of young married couples to have kids, and propaganda of loyalty to the government and patriotism.
You can read about it here
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-07-18-russia-putin-youth_N.htm?csp=34

But E.Lucas presented that as a "love oasis' to make more babies" and "idiotic games". That's sick and paranoidal. He and people like him, and, I guess, you too, still can not get rid of old time Cold War mentality and vision, and accept Russia not as a succesor of Stalinism. You can only see the negative, or invent it if it's not visible, and ignore the positive.

"Amnesty said quite clearly that they have no problem with 1) the unilingual state policy and 2) school reform"

- what Anesty said quite clearly right in the very title is DISCRIMINATION.
Here is the english ver.
http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engeur510022006

And if you read another thread on the page I provided, you'll find the words like "levers for discrimination"
http://www.amnesty.org.ru/pages/ruseur510012007

The genereal characterisation of Estonia concerning russians is here
http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGEUR010012007?open&of=ENG-EST

Russia is mentioned here too and I accept that we have HR abuses. But it's a large 140 mln multinational state, where this episodes are inavoidable, while Estonia is smaller and basically has only one significant (in numbers) minority.
In Russia all this is mainly particular local abuse cases, caused by particular people and\or cicumstanses, and it is generally persecuted by law, while in Estonia it is a part of state policy, accepted with a silent agreement ot hte West.

So don't paint us as the source of all evils.

cabrero said...

That's also a very exact characterization of the modern Est-o-o-nian "demokrasy".

http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/apps/s/content.asp?c=fwLYKnN8LzH&b=253162&ct=3833035

However it's a youth summer camp that you link with hitlerugent and start histeria about Russia's recuperation...

Ray D. Noper said...

Good golly, you still don't get it, do you ? Do you think, a statue which remembers German soldiers "liberating" Paris could be standing in the heart of France, like next to Triumphe Arc ?

History lesson number one: this was a statue for those, who died INVADING Estonia. History lesson number two: when Red Army invaded Tallinn, Germans had already retreated. All casualties were a) friendly fire, b) locals shooting marodeurs, c) accidents and diseases.

Now, the language problems. Do you understand, that de facto most of the persons who came here during Soviet occupations became illegal immigrants at the moment Estonian sovereignity was restored ? They never crossed the border of Estonian Republic... So far, Estonian state is going to hell and back to making it easier for those persons to become legal citizens, but that 10% just do not want it. It's not hard, I've seen the exam papers, you have to understand some Estonian, you have to be able to think. But no, some still think they do not need to understand the language of majority...
That brings us to another interesting point. A few years ago, Amnesty International Russia was screaming "discrimination!" again. Over what ? You see, you had to pass a history exam also, and that history exam had one part that was about Soviet occupation. That was considered insulting to the Great Russian Soul ! Never mind that international courts had decided - Soviet occupation was real and illegal -, that still couldn't be ! Comrade Stalin was my homeboy ! O sancta simplicitas !

OK, now another interesting thought/math experiment - let's say, I want to live in Russia, I don't speak any Russian but I want Russian citizenship with all the privileges but no obligations. I do not want to learn Russian and I consider that the Russian state history dogmas are blasphemy. How many days before I would be deported ?

Giustino said...

Here's my comments on Amnesty's notes that you provided:

In August, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination adopted its Concluding Observations on Estonia. The Committee recommended that the definition of what constitutes a minority set out in the Law on Cultural Autonomy of National Minorities should be amended to include non-citizens, including stateless people with long-term residence.

Russians in Estonia already can form a cultural autonomy. If the Finns and Swedes (far less in numbers) can do it, I don't see why they can't.

The Committee further recommended that Estonia enact anti-discrimination legislation in accordance with the International Convention on the Elimination on All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

I am not an expert on this piece of legislation. It's fine to make recommendations.

The Committee also suggested that Estonia consider providing free Estonian language courses to all those applying for citizenship.

That's already been done since Amnesty made its recommendation.

The report highlighted that person belonging to this minority enjoyed very limited linguistic and minority rights

Here I disagree with the report. I have a hard time believing that a country where both major national newspapers have Russian editions, and the major TV channel devotes time to news in Russian is providing Russian-speakers with 'limited linguistic and minority rights.'

often found themselves de facto excluded from the labour market and educational system through a system of rigorous language and citizenship requirements for employment and limited possibilities of studying in minority languages in higher education.

Amnesty thinks that Estonia (pop. 1.3 million) has the resources to provide comprehensive secondary education in Russian language.

In the Soviet era, this was possible as you could 'import' your Russophone sources from the USSR. These days though, it is not possible. My personal recommendation is that Estonia forge stronger ties with Russian universities so that pupils that wish to study Russian can go there to learn.

Most of the Swedes I met in Finland went to Sweden to study. It seems like a more logical solution.

The report maintained that comprehensive and restrictive citizenship requirements for employment both in the public and private sector, together with Estonia’s failure to effectively fulfil several linguistic and educational rights, have led to a situation in which there are disproportionately high levels of unemployment among the Russian-speaking linguistic minority.

Oh I am sure those restrictions have had a negative effect. But on the other hand, let's not forget that the people we are dealing with here were brought here by the Soviet Union to work in a state-controlled economy that disintegrated.

Let's put it this way. In 1934, Narva -- the most Russian city in Estonia -- had a population of 23,000 people. In 1989, that number had grown to 80,000 people. Today, it's about 66,000. Many of the social problems that Narva faces are the result of a mass immigration of Soviet-era workers for whom work has gone elsewhere.

I expect the population of Narva to continue to decline as it 'balances out' with the needs of the regional economy.

AI urged the Estonian authorities to become more proactive in finding pragmatic and needs-based solutions to policies towards minorities. This would, for example, involve Estonia revising its current definition of what constitutes a national minority, which currently leaves the majority of persons who actually belong to a minority without any formal minority rights or protection.

Again, some Russians in Estonia have been here since the 18th century. They should enjoy the same rights as other minorities, like Swedes and Finns. I don't agree that one minority should be 'above' other minorities, especially ones that have lived here longer.

That creates a situation where a large influx of any population -- say North Africans -- could demand linguistic minority rights. Because if Russians that have been here since the 1970s recieve them, why not immigrants that have been here since the 1990s?

The report further encouraged the Estonian authorities to review the possibilities to provide affordable, or free, Estonian language teaching for persons belonging to the Russian-speaking linguistic minority.

Like I said, that has laready been done.

Estonia was also urged to consider more proactive ways of combating unemployment amongst minority communities and legal and practical ways of including minorities into mainstream Estonian society.

Here's what our Population Affairs minister, Urve Palo, said about integration recently:

During Soviet times, Estonians were made to integrate into Russian [society]. After we got our independence, we thought that non-Estonians should integrate into Estonian [society]. By today I think we’ve realized that integration is a two-way process.
...In Estonia we have more than 100 different nationalities, 121 to be precise. And the government has given them base financing to support the development of [their] culture ...and I would say this is not so widespread [internationally].

But what has not been successful, as I said, was that Estonians thought that Russians should integrate into us. We supported with money, but not so much with open minds or open hearts.
I can understand Estonians, because there was a time when we had to integrate into somewhere. Then we got our independence. Actually we fought alongside with Russians for independence. And then we started to build up our economy. Everybody was working to get richer ...and we didn’t pay enough attention to integration. [People thought] integration was a job of some ministers and the Integration Foundation, but not everybody’s responsibility. What we mostly see today is that the non-Estonians here in Estonia don’t feel accepted enough. They don’t have roots, or maybe a better term is “state identity.”

...

If we speak about the language skills and the Language Inspectorate... At first it was hard for me to understand why a kindergarten teacher in Narva should know the Estonian language. Then when I thought it over and discussed it with other people and asked why. They explained that it’s really hard to make exceptions. If you start, it’s hard to [see] where to stop. But in general I would say that if the language inspectors are understanding some they sometimes they actually look [the other way]. We can’t write it into the law, but in real life, they don’t follow those restrictions very precisely and I think it’s okay.

The issue of stateless people is something that comes up in relation to minorities. Do you think there’s any reason to change the current regulations regarding citizenship and the language text required to get it?

...

A good example of integration is our police. We saw on the streets [during the riots] that Estonians and non-Estonians were protecting our country. Because they are working together every day, they know each other, ...and they know that there are good people on both sides.

A not-so-good example [of integration] are school teachers. Russian school teachers and Estonian teachers don’t see each other so much, almost not at all. If there are training courses, they are almost always separate. ...We should ensure that in professional training, there are non-Estonians and Estonians together. This is the first thing.

Then what is very important is the media. I think that we should always make sure that non-Estonians are represented in talk shows. And what I see today is that in the Estonian written press, there are a lot of articles about non-Estonians to show good examples [of being successful in Estonia]. But it wasn’t so common before those events on the streets.

...

After we got independence we had 500,000 non-citizens. Today we have fewer than 120,000. And 143,600 have obtained citizenship through naturalization. So more have passed the test than are non-citizens. So I don’t see the point in changing the basic rule. This is just my opinion, and not something being discussed in the government, but I think we should talk about the possibility of making an exam about knowledge of legislation in Russian.

...

What is good about the language lessons is that, before, if you passed the test, you got the money back for the lessons up to 6,000 kroons. But from the new year people will have the language lessons for free at the beginning. So if you don’t pass, then nothing happens. This is a new thing and I think it’s very good.


Like I said, we can talk about integration in Estonia all you want. But the rhetoric that it is some kind of an apartheid state (like South Africa) is false.

By the way, Russia is only 79 percent Russian. How are you managing to not force your language and culture on the other 21 percent? How is your federated system not an ethnocracy? Do you have any republics where Russophone are not president?

Giustino said...

Good golly, you still don't get it, do you ? Do you think, a statue which remembers German soldiers "liberating" Paris could be standing in the heart of France, like next to Triumphe Arc ?

The Soviet occupation of Estonia in 1940 was closer to what happened in Denmark in April of that same year.

In that case the Germans amassed their troops on the border, crossed it on April 9, 1940, and met limited resistance before the Danish government agreed to occupation by Germany -- seeing military resistance as futile.

The official line was that Germany occupied Denmark to protect it from occupation by Great Britain.

Estonia was far easier to occupy. It already had allowed the USSR to establish military bases on its territory in September 1939. In June those troops exited their bases, at the same time 90,000 uninvited Soviet troops invaded Estonia, while the Soviet government told the Estonian leadership to step down.

A pro-communist leadership was elected in a fraudulent election where all other parties were banned from participating.

The official line was that the USSR was 'protecting Estonia' from Germany. The Soviets also met resistance in 1940 in Tallinn. eleven people were killed when an Estonian battalion refused to disarm for the Soviet occupation troops.

Two occupations, two months apart, with the official line of 'protection' from an outside aggressor. We should all study World War II a little bit more. It is a very interesting subject.

cabrero said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cabrero said...

2 Ray D. Noper

History lesson number one: this was a statue for those, who died INVADING Estonia. History lesson number two: when Red Army invaded Tallinn, Germans had already retreated. All casualties were a) friendly fire, b) locals shooting marodeurs, c) accidents and diseases.

Your statement is false. If seriously think so you�re either dont� know history, don�t posses ability for rational logic thinking, hypocrit or just brainwashed by you propaganda. I hope it the last...

I�ll explain it to you by simple words then.

By 1944 Estonia was under German control, and heavy fights took place there. May be some estonians where pleased by german presense, but It�s not a question here. It is undoubtfull fact that in that war germans were bad guys and russians, fighting them, were good guys. In that war for the soldriers and officers Estonia was not an issue. All they wanted was destroy the enemy on that particular territory and keep going further to kill the devil in it�s nest, in Berlin. The soldriers, whom the Monument conmemorate, came to Estonia not come to invade it, but to fight the nazi. They had no responsibility for what was before, in 1940, or what was then in 1945, they only wanted the war to end and go home.

I repeat, those 13 people who were buried there didnt come to occupy Estonia, they came to fight absolute evil and died heroically. They only wanted the war to end, and didnt care about estonian sovereignity. And the monument was not built as a symbol of occupation but to conmemorate the heroes who fought against the nazi, as it was done in most soviet cities.
And as for occupation itself. I personally agree that it was not fair for Estonia. It is certainly sad that no one asked estonians opinion in 1939 and 1944, but that was how policy was made in that time. It was not up to small countries to deside global things. And BTW the post-war political map was set not only by USSR�s desicion, it was done with the agreement of coalition members in Yalta. But I didnt hear Estonia acusing US or GB for letting USSR keep baltic republics. And if you go even deeper in history, you�ll find that till 1917 brest-litov peace treaty Estonia was part of Russian empire, which makes questionable estonian identity as a sovereign state. So SU took back what was within pre-revolution borders.
But however it was, we did let you go and now respect your rights to make desicions, though we are not always agree with them (which is our right). And you guys should�ve acted as a respectable country - puting aside whatever bad united us before, cherishing whatever good we had and building normal relations. But what your gov. is doing now is nothing more than cheap bargaining and showing-off.

Our gov. never questioned your right to do with the monument whatever you want, it was a matter of respect to russian people and russian state. You just decided to show off, demonstrate your independance and selected the most filthy and low way.

cabrero said...

2 Giustino

If you didn�t get my point I�ll explain you. I don�t have intention for deep analysys of Estonia�s minorities problem. I�m here because smbd. is demonizing Russia, presenting it as a an intolerant shauvinistic almost faschist state. My point is that in some countries, like Estonia, serious interethnical problems do exist due a discrimination policy, and russians suffer from it. Meanwhiles people like E.Lucas and you ingnore that and attack my country, while your opinion is not based on analysys of real facts, but on propaganda and smbds. reinterpretation of reality.

What you posted about how minorities have to be treated is generally right. Yes, they have to know language and e.t.c. It�s OK for those jusy crossed the border, the newcomers. But for Estonia the whole situation was different. It declared people, who lived there for 30-40 years �immigrants�, �noncitizens�, �invadors� and deprived them of labour and educational rights that ethnic estonians received. It was all a matter of flexibility and humanistic approach to people, who didnt come to your country with bad intentions. They came to live and work, and no one could expect the disappearance of th SU. But your gov. made them hostages of cheap political ambitions and desire to demostrate its independence, went the hardest way, while there could be easy solutions satisfying all the sides

White Crow said...

Dear Mr. Lucas,

did you actually visit the camp yourself and saw that Love Oasis -- maybe there are pictures of it available? I would really appreciate to see something more than just verbal reports of a matter that is rather, well, significant.

Thank you.

Agu-Enrik Ubailves said...

Cabrero
... you�really don't� know history, don't posses ability for rational logical thinking, you are both hypocrite and brainwashed by your propaganda. There is no need to demonize Russia, just scratch your head and you will find horns, look at your back and I am sure you will find a tail. But You are projecting all your troubles to bystanders, just as your motherland does.
You find the independence of sovereign states questionable - why dont you just choose some neanderthalian forums? No time, no energy should be wasted on people like you, but you and people like you just keep repeating your nonsense, until all your "good guys" get zombified.

Giustino said...

I repeat, those 13 people who were buried there didnt come to occupy Estonia, they came to fight absolute evil and died heroically. They only wanted the war to end, and didnt care about estonian sovereignity.

I think the government did Estonia a disservice about making the monument about 'the occupation'. The reality is that it was someone's grave, under a sidewalk, in a busy intersection.

The Soviet Union was guilty of war crimes in Estonia -- they killed or imprisoned to death every single, save one, pre-war head of state, before the Germans ever arrived. There is no way that there will ever be 'warm feelings' for the Soviet Union because of those crimes.

This tombstone, unfortunately, became a rallying point for extremists. Communists went there to wave their flags, Russian nationalists went there to show off their loyalty, and Estonian skinheads went there to stir shit up.

All the while, 13 skeletons slept beneath it. I am quite pleased now that they sleep in a cemetery, not under a sidewalk, where the dead are normally put to rest. May they rest in peace.

And if you go even deeper in history, you�ll find that till 1917 brest-litov peace treaty Estonia was part of Russian empire, which makes questionable estonian identity as a sovereign state.

No it doesn't. Lenin dispatched Adolph Joffe to Tartu in February 1920 to sign a peace treaty with the Estonian government, recognizing its sovereignty in perpetuity. In October it did the same with Finland.

Estonia gained its independence the same way as other post-imperial republics, like Finland, Iceland, Ireland, and the United States. No questions of sovereignty here.

So SU took back what was within pre-revolution borders.

Except nost of Finland, blessed be Mannerheim.

But for Estonia the whole situation was different. It declared people, who lived there for 30-40 years �immigrants�, �noncitizens�, �invadors� and deprived them of labour and educational rights that ethnic estonians received.

Yeah, it's not every day your government operates in exile for 47 years. But Estonian citizenship existed de jure from 1918 through 1991, and so all of the Soviet citizens on Estonian soil had to naturalize -- like I would if I wanted Estonian citizenship, to receive it.

At first, 32 percent of the population was stateless. Today, 8.5 percent of the population is stateless. Russians still go to Russian schools, and, like I said, have Russian newspapers, Russian TV programming (all produced in Estonia). The pre-war Estonia was about 9 percent Russian. All of those Russians received citizenship in 1992. It had to do with the law, not on your ethnicity. If Estonia wanted to deprive all Russians in Estonia of citizenship it could have done so -- it didn't.

'Estonian' isn't an ethnicity -- like Mari or Yupik. It's a nationality, like Swedish or Russian. There are Jewish Estonians (like parliament member Aleksei Lotman) and Swedish Estonians (like illustrator Ilon Wikland) and German Estonians (like Karl Von Baer) and yes, Russian Estonians (like Anatoli Šmigun).

The citizenship situation is odd as far as international situations go, but that's how the state decided to do it. For their part, ethnic Russians in Estonia, as I have said, don't vote their ethncity. Even Keskerakond -- the most 'pro-Russian' party -- hasn't promised them anything special. If they want something, it might sense that they ask for it. And if Russia proper wishes to help them, it would be best if Estonia didn't feel threatened all the time.

If Estonia subconsciously didn't fear Russian genocide all the time (like what happened to the Ingrians) it certainly would have less problems listening to these arguments.

cabrero said...

2 Agu-Enrik Ubailves

I apologize if I insulted your national feelings, for by “questionable” I wanted to show the Stalin’s vision of that epoch - 1930-40’s. I should’ve used the verb “made”. Again, my apologies.

2 Giustino

I can agree that Estonian gov. had reasonable motives to displace the monument. But it is a very sensitive matter for Russians as a nation and Russia as a state. Our leaders are reasonable people and could’ve done all necessary to minimize negative reaction in our society, in exchange if yours didn’t present the displacement like it did – occupation crap and e.t.c. – with no loss to independency. But Ansip decided to do it the stupid way and as a result has multimillion immediate and consequential financial losses, worsened relations with Russia and with Russian diaspora.

“Yeah, it's not every day your government operates in exile for 47 years. But Estonian citizenship existed de jure from 1918 through 1991, and so all of the Soviet citizens on Estonian soil had to naturalize -- like I would if I wanted Estonian citizenship, to receive it”

- your government was free to choose what and how to manage: it’s de-ure based desire to demonstrate by all means it’s independence and to show-off, or to deal with the de-facto people, still with no risk to independence and democracy. But it seems like the new est. authorities decided to revenge Stalin’s goast putting living people into unjust conditions. It could’ve taken more tolerable and flexible measures.

“At first, 32 percent of the population was stateless. Today, 8.5 percent of the population is stateless” –

- sure, 16 years passed, the young people (10-16) of 1991, who obviously adapt and learn languages easily, grew up. While the rest, the elder ones, suffered discrimination, job losses and e.t.c. The same logic could’ve been applied to jewish problem in Nazi Germany – the jews would’ve finally been eliminated.

Russians still go to Russian schools, and, like I said, have Russian newspapers, Russian TV programming (all produced in Estonia).

- Schools are the key element. And from the latest news I learn that est. government continues minimizing and eliminating Russian lang. in sch. education.

And if Russia proper wishes to help them, it would be best if Estonia didn't feel threatened all the time

- till recently, Russia never threatened Estonia. And it doesn’t proclaim any clear threats now.

If Estonia subconsciously didn't fear Russian genocide all the time

- if there was any, Estonian nationality wouldn’t have existed by now…
Yes, you were deprived of independency, but there were no obstacles to conserve Estonian culture and identity.

Giustino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Giustino said...

I can agree that Estonian gov. had reasonable motives to displace the monument. But it is a very sensitive matter for Russians as a nation and Russia as a state.

The Soviet war crimes against Estonia are quite sensitive as well. No one has apologized for them.

Our leaders are reasonable people and could’ve done all necessary to minimize negative reaction in our society, in exchange if yours didn’t present the displacement like it did – occupation crap and e.t.c.

Ha. Ha. They are not reasonable people. Sergei Lavrov is not a reasonable person. They still can't admit to themselves that Saint Stalin organized a coup in this country. Putin has said so himself.

But Ansip decided to do it the stupid way and as a result has multimillion immediate and consequential financial losses, worsened relations with Russia and with Russian diaspora.

Ansip's party now has its highest approval ratings ever!!! Do you smell some electoral victory in 09? I sure do.

And besides, the Russian diaspora is already fed 'fascist Estonia' crap day in and day out. It's Russia's way of making sure they forget that they don't have a democracy anymore.

Personally, I don't mind them not having their money here. Maybe Ansip's 'evil plan' was to free up some market room so that the Finns and Swedes could buy some more stuff!

But it seems like the new est. authorities decided to revenge Stalin’s goast putting living people into unjust conditions. It could’ve taken more tolerable and flexible measures.

When the war ended in 1945, the collaborators were shot and the German settlers were deported. In Estonia in 1991 they got resident's permits and were told if they could pass an exam they could get citizenship. Citizenship isn't free. I have to take a test too to get Estonian citizenship. I could live here for 20 more years, and I would still have to pass a test. That's how it works. If I was in France, my test would be in French. In Finland, in Finnish. In Germany, it would be in German. Welcome to Europe.

sure, 16 years passed, the young people (10-16) of 1991, who obviously adapt and learn languages easily, grew up. While the rest, the elder ones, suffered discrimination, job losses and e.t.c.

All old people in Estonia got screwed, no matter what language they spoke. Trust me, old Estonians aren't living much better than their Russophone counterparts.

The same logic could’ve been applied to jewish problem in Nazi Germany – the jews would’ve finally been eliminated.

Right, because people getting citizenship through naturalization is the same as murdering people because of their religion.

Schools are the key element. And from the latest news I learn that est. government continues minimizing and eliminating Russian lang. in sch. education.

But that's what Amnesty and the COE want Estonia to do. They want Estonia to eliminate the language issue (and therefore the employment issue) using the school system so that everybody can speak Estonian and can grow up to be Justice Minister.

This school year all Russian pupils will have one class in Estonian.

till recently, Russia never threatened Estonia. And it doesn’t proclaim any clear threats now.

I was told in 2001 by the Russian Ambassador to Denmark that Estonia should 'never be allowed to join NATO.' The Russians' whole purpose from 1991-2004 was to ruin Estonia's chances at integration with Western institutions. But they failed.

Only since 2004 have they begun to treat Estonia as a semi-normal country, and yet, they violate our airspace and we receive no apology. They violate Finland's airspace, and they ring up their foreign minister to apologize.

if there was any, Estonian nationality wouldn’t have existed by now…
Yes, you were deprived of independency, but there were no obstacles to conserve Estonian culture and identity.


Dude, the proportion of Estonians in Estonia went from 88 percent in 1934 to 61 percent in 1989. Only over the last 15 years have the Estonians inched back to 69 percent.

That's what Germany had planned for the Baltics as well. Remove the 'unpure elements' and bring in the German settlers.

The Germans had areas of France cordoned off for settlement. The Soviets forbid Estonians from settling in Narva and moved Russians in instead.

Look at Königsberg. They moved all the Germans out and replaced them with Russians. What is that called? 'Population transfer'? 'Occupation'? 'Colonization'?

Whatever it is, it's majorly messed up.

cabrero said...

The Soviet war crimes against Estonia are quite sensitive as well. No one has apologized for them.

- as I stated above, the Monument has nothing to do with whatever warcrimes.

Sergei Lavrov is not a reasonable person. They still can't admit to themselves that Saint Stalin organized a coup in this country. Putin has said so himself.

- Russian state is not responsible for any Stalin�s period crimes. Dont identify Stalins bloody regime with the current Russian gov. All the ex-citizens of the USSR suffered equally from it, and russians even more then estonians. So no nation desereves any special apology, for it was a common evil, besides that USSR denounced that at the 20th CPSU conf. And if you still consider us as inheritants of Stalin, then by the same logic you should consider us inheritants of Gorbachev and Eltsin. So you if thank us first for whatever Gorb. dnd Elts. Did positive for Estonian independence, will consider it fair to apologise for Stalin.
- If you find any exact reference on any praisal of Stalin by the current russian leaders, then expose it. Without that this are pure exclamations.

When the war ended in 1945, the collaborators were shot and the German settlers were deported.

- And it was good that they were shot, for they signed pact with a devil and payed for it.



�have to take a test too to get Estonian citizenship. I could live here for 20 more years, and I would still have to pass a test. That's how it works. If I was in France, my test would be in French. In Finland, in Finnish. In Germany, it would be in German. Welcome to Europe�

- it�s absolutly wrong to equalize Estonia circa 1991 with any European country, the circumstances were not the same.


This school year all Russian pupils will have one class in Estonian.

- but the final purpuse of the gov. plan is to make all the classes in est. if I get the correct news updates.


I was told in 2001 by the Russian Ambassador to Denmark that Estonia should 'never be allowed to join NATO.' The Russians' whole purpose from 1991-2004 was to ruin Estonia's chances at integration with Western institutions. But they failed.

- who told you that it had to with Estonia? In was not Estonia, but NATO expansion itself what we didn�t want. No one cared about Estonia, don�t overestimate your importance for us.

Dude, the proportion of Estonians in Estonia went from 88 percent in 1934 to 61 percent in 1989. Only over the last 15 years have the Estonians inched back to 69 percent.

- because 300-400th. Russians moved in. And, yeah, from 90 to 70% within 55 years is surely a genocide...

Look at K�nigsberg. They moved all the Germans out and replaced them with Russians. What is that called? 'Population transfer'? 'Occupation'? 'Colonization'?

- Yalta, Potsdam conference. We were the winners and took what we deserved. Besides that I dont� hear germans questioning that, or you decided to advocate?

Giustino said...

but the final purpuse of the gov. plan is to make all the classes in est. if I get the correct news updates.

You don't. It's supposed to go to 60 percent and stop in 2012, according to the legislation. One class per year. In Ireland they mandate Gaelic for everyone. I am not sure how much Gaelic though :)

Yalta, Potsdam conference. We were the winners and took what we deserved. Besides that I dont� hear germans questioning that, or you decided to advocate?

How were you any different from the losers? The big fear for Estonia from Germany was that Estonia would be Germanized, and here come the Russians to Russify. What's the difference? It's good to recall that these two countries were allies during the first two years of the war. It helps to understand how Stalin and Hitler inspired each other. Sort of like evil soul mates.

cabrero said...

If it was our intention to "russify" you, 55 years would be more than sufficient...

And with Stalin's death there was an end of his regime. Though injustfully you were kept as a part of the USSR, the soviet authorities conserved your national identity. Could it be the same under Germans and after Hitlers' death if they won? - I doubt so, they hardly tolerated non-germans.

cabrero said...

All old people in Estonia got screwed, no matter what language they spoke. Trust me, old Estonians aren't living much better than their Russophone counterparts.

- those whom I meant were 40-50 in 1991, there were and are not old people. Making them “non-citizens” and “foreigners”, forcing to study estonian was very inhuman and unjust. Especially because communication problem did not exist, for most people still knew Russian. It was not right to deprive them of many job options because of linguistic restrictions. The example in AI seems tipical. Estonian independence wouldn’t suffer.

“Yeah, it's not every day your government operates in exile for 47 years. But Estonian citizenship existed de jure from 1918 through 1991, and so all of the Soviet citizens on Estonian soil had to naturalize -- like I would if I wanted Estonian citizenship, to receive it”

- who or what organization recognized some parallel exile Estonian gov.? How could it be technically possible with USSR recognized in it’s borders? Even if smbd. Did, who reelected this “exile gov.” all these years. So, for me existanse of this virtual Estonian state all that time is questionable.



Also what made wonder is:

Ansip's party now has its highest approval ratings ever!!! Do you smell some electoral victory in 09? I sure do.

-maybe that’s what it’s all about, not some independence/occupation retorics…

Personally, I don't mind them not having their money here. Maybe Ansip's 'evil plan' was to free up some market room so that the Finns and Swedes could buy some more stuff!

- Rus/Est trade relations is not only buying your candies and sprots. If you read this, http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/17892,

esp. the part, beginning with Estonian entrepreneurs began calculating their possible losses as a result of Russia’s de facto campaign of economic retribution against Estonia.

you’ll find that it’s not that simple. Quiet an elevated price for a higher election rating. And we didn’t yet impose real sanctions. So Ansip, still, managed the bus-stop problem the stupid way, while there could be the one based on mutual respect.

Ray D. Noper said...

2 cabrero (to keep your naming standards)

You say: "in that war germans were bad guys and russians, fighting them, were good guys"
That's half-truth - the germans were bad, true, but the russians were bad guys also...
"All they wanted was destroy the enemy on that particular territory and keep going further to kill the devil in it�s nest, in Berlin."
What they wanted was irrelevant, their superiors wanted them to invade Europe. Have you seen the propaganda maps from that time ? Red arrows go all the way to Gibraltar...

Also, about fighting absolute evil - yes, Third Reich was evil, but they represented another evil with same civilian casualties to show (artificially created famine in Ukraine - at least 3 million, mass deportations around the country - at least 5 million), not to mention Katyn, of course. But ok, let's presume they died heroically... So did many of the German soldiers ? I don't see any heroic statues for them in Russia ? Why ? Oh, the "winners" try to rewrite history, yes...
About occupation... The historical facts you give us are true, but you keep forgetting on special document - the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Go look up from Wikipedia, if your history lessons didn't include the secret protocol about "spheres of ifluence". Yes, you can see - the Europe was already divided before the war even began !
Also, in February 2, 1920, Estonia and Russia formed a peace treaty and Russia enounced in perpetuity all rights to the territory of Estonia. So, "taking back what was pre-revolution borders" is bullshit and in another words, going against their own words... I guess your history teacher forgot to mention that as well ? Go look up Tartu peace treaty.

Now, back to the statue. You say - Estonia had right to do with the monument whatever it wanted, as long it respected Russian people and Russian state ? Was it so insulting that with all due respect the statue with remains were moved to the cemetary from their previous location - in the center of a city, partly under sidewalk and a trolleybus station ?
Oh, yes. You cannot not insult Russia (NB! not Russians, Russia as a state) if you do anything without asking Kremlin.

Back to the stateless persons in Estonia - nobody is "forcing" them to study Estonian, you see. Just as residents in Russia are not forced to study Russian, you don't have to, but as all nation states, Estonia requires all persons eligible for naturalization to speak the national language at basic level. Is it easier in Russia ?

"who or what organization recognized some parallel exile Estonian gov.?"
Norway, for example. U.S. in some measure. E.U., when it was created.
About the reelection.. Those officials were "acting officials", as the free elections couldn't be arranged, so the elections weren't needed. At the first opportunity, all credentials were passed to elected officials and so the institution was continous.

Giustino said...

If it was our intention to "russify" you, 55 years would be more than sufficient...

You don't even have a two-lane highway to Vladivostock. You're not that efficient.

Could it be the same under Germans and after Hitlers' death if they won? - I doubt so, they hardly tolerated non-germans.

The Germans allowed Danish, Swedish, and, yes, Estonian authorities to function locally under occupation. Flags were not banned (as they were under Stalin). We all know of Hitler's plans, but he never got to carry them out. So what can we say about something that never actually happened.

Making them “non-citizens” and “foreigners”, forcing to study estonian was very inhuman and unjust.

Making Estonians, or even foreigners like me, speak Russian in a country where most people speak Estonian is unjust.

And they weren't citizens, so they couldn't be made 'non-citizens' because Estonian citizenship existed de jure.

who or what organization recognized some parallel exile Estonian gov.? How could it be technically possible with USSR recognized in it’s borders?

The USSR was never recognized in its borders by most Western countries. Stalin asked many times for Churchill and Roosevelt to recognize his territorial gains in the Baltics. They never recognized it.

And though you decapitated the state, the rest of the state -- the exile government -- continued to function. The ambassador in New York was still there serving as consul in 1991. It's not my fault you were inefficient and couldn't kill everybody. As I said, the Russians aren't that efficient, even at mass murder.

cabrero said...

Ray D. Noper said...
It is absolutely wrong to equalize faschist Germany and USSR. Yes, they were both bad for Estonia, because both sides never expected it to be independent. And you are right to feel insulted. But the world is larger then Estonia and goes outside it�s borders. You buy no way can deny the fact that the USSR really liberated Europe and overpayed by lives of it�s people fighting devil alone till 1944 and giving the key contribution into the common victory.

Whatever Stalin planned for Estonia, it is wrong to hold officers and soldriers responsible for that. I repeat, they died fighting nazi and not invading Estonia. All the monuments like the Bronze S. conmemorate only the fact of their heroic death fighting nazi.

You also got wrong my words about you gov. �desicions and respect�. No, they didn�t have to ask for no ones approval and formally were not obliged to show respect to anybody. Formally, yes... My point is that your authotities had a way to solve this problem, showing respect ad presrving their country�s self-esteem. It�s pure art of international relations. But your gov. deliberatly went hard and disrespectfull way, that�s what I condemn it for.

�Oh, yes. You cannot not insult Russia (NB! not Russians, Russia as a state) if you do anything without asking Kremlin�

� Kremlin never pretended that Esonia has to ask it�s permission. These are sick illusions your leaders have. If I am wrong give me exact reference on any our statement. But, yes you can not insult Russia or it�s people.


2 Giustino

�If it was our intention to "russify" you, 55 years would be more than sufficient...

You don't even have a two-lane highway to Vladivostock. You're not that efficient�

- you compare the uncomparable. It was all a matter desicion, we didn�t beacuse we didn�t wanr to. BTW it was against the SU Constitution.

�Could it be the same under Germans and after Hitlers' death if they won? - I doubt so, they hardly tolerated non-germans.

The Germans allowed Danish, Swedish, and, yes, Estonian authorities to function locally under occupation. Flags were not banned (as they were under Stalin). We all know of Hitler's plans, but he never got to carry them out. So what can we say about something that never actually happened.�

- does that mean that you would tolerate Estonia under nazi, if there were no other choise? If yes, then the further civilized dialog is over.


�Making them �non-citizens� and �foreigners�, forcing to study estonian was very inhuman and unjust.

Making Estonians, or even foreigners like me, speak Russian in a country where most people speak Estonian is unjust.�

- yes, it was unjust, though it gave you access to russian culture. But what that people�s fault, why to revenge on them?

who or what organization recognized some parallel exile Estonian gov.? How could it be technically possible with USSR recognized in it�s borders?

The USSR was never recognized in its borders by most Western countries. Stalin asked many times for Churchill and Roosevelt to recognize his territorial gains in the Baltics. They never recognized it.

- do you ubderstand what you wrote? It is absurd. I repeat, the post-war SU borders were agreed by USA and GB, and USSR was recognized by all Int. Org.

Ray D. Noper said...

Did I say Estonia ? USSR was bad for all Eastern Europe, Russia itself notwithstanding. USSR liberated Europe as much as Wermacht...

Those soldiers died invading new territories for their country. What they thought they were doing is irrelevant. They died heroically, maybe, I won't say they didn't, all I'm saying, the reasons they died weren't so heroic at all...

It wasn't hard and disrespectful until Kremlin-financed Nashists (yes, they were there - I have talked with some Russian students who were offered money to go protesting in Tallinn) went and provoked the riots and looting... I do not say all Estonian government did was absolutely right but reactions after the looting started were correct and just.

Anyway, about your answers to Giustino...
Transportation of civilians both ways, in and out of occupied territory is and was against international law. Anyway, any document - even constitution - wasn't exactly something that would have mattered when SU high officials wanted to do something...

I understand that you tolerated Estonia under Soviet occupation ? If yes, then the further civilized dialog is over.

Nobody is making noone speak no specific language. They have a choice.

And no, the borders weren't agreed by US and UK. It was accepted as a "sensible transition period" just as Austria, but as we can see from the diagram above, sensibility was not the strongest feature of Soviet Union :P

Andres Sehr said...

2 cabrero:

do you ubderstand what you wrote? It is absurd. I repeat, the post-war SU borders were agreed by USA and GB, and USSR was recognized by all Int. Org.

According to the U.S State department you are incorrect. I quote: "The United States never recognized Soviet sovereignty over Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania."

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5377.htm

The US (among others) did not recognize the control of the Baltics by the USSR and thus did not recognize the SU borders.

Ray D. Noper said...

Oh, I understood finally why the dialog here... We have different semantics, people. We mean 'liberate' as 'make free' and 'free' as 'do what we want to do'. The Soviet (and modern Russian) paradigm is that 'liberate' means 'put under our rule' and 'free' means 'do what we want you to do and be quiet or die'. Yeah, that was easy, sorry folks - cabrero, ruslana, rusak etc., just didn't understand the putinista way of doublespeak...

cabrero said...

No, we do have the same semantics. Yes, 'liberate' is 'make free'. And USSR did make Europe free of nazi, which by no way could be an option. What happened then does not eliminate the positive role of the SU and heroism of the soviet people.

“I understand that you tolerated Estonia under Soviet occupation ? If yes, then the further civilized dialog is over”

- read my initial post, I asked, if there were “no other choyse”.

“It wasn't hard and disrespectful until Kremlin-financed Nashists (yes, they were there - I have talked with some Russian students who were offered money to go protesting in Tallinn) went and provoked… “

- don’t mix-up the desire to protest and looting. Those who came to protest are not responsible for those who loot. Your police did the right thing to maintain public order, and I admit it. The situation went out of control because that’s how it often happens during mass protests. So don’t put in the same line “Nashi” and maradeurs.



Transportation of civilians both ways, in and out of occupied territory is and was against international law.

- again, why should simple people be responsible for that?


P.S.
“I understand that you tolerated Estonia under Soviet occupation” – I wont be hypocrite, and say that, yes, I did tolerate, and the disintegration of the SU was a sad thing for me. But still, I admit that it was not fair for you, and you had right for independence. So enjoy it and build normal relations with neighbors. And a deliberate demonstration of disrespect is not necessary to prove your independence again and again.

Giustino said...

What happened then does not eliminate the positive role of the SU and heroism of the soviet people.

The Soviets killed more Estonians than the Germans did. So much for heroism. Soviet battalions murdering civilian families isn't heroic. They are investigating another one of these crimes right now.

http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/18402/

Security police have launched an investigation into alleged war crimes involving the slaughter of civilians in the Estonian countryside in the summer of 1941.

The investigation was prompted after a member of the public contacted prosecutors with his own research into killings in the village of Metsakivi in Tartumaa county.

According to the researcher’s information, members of the Red Army’s so-called ‘destruction battalion’ massacred an unknown number of civilians while retreating from the German invasion. Among the dead was an entire family, including a three-year old boy.


And people really ask why they moved that monument?

cabrero said...

The Soviets killed more Estonians than the Germans did.

- I would appreciate if you give reference on some source of this number, also describing who were those estonians - civilians or nazi colaborators.

There is such a thing like presumption of innocense. You can use that Local sleuth’s research argument after the investigation is over and presents reliable proof.

rusak said...

Finally, to rub some salt in your gaping Russian wounds, Mart Laar got more than 9,000 in votes in Russian populated Lasnamäe district of Tallinn in March.

Lasnamäe is about 1/3 Estonian. You have any evidence that those 9000 votes were specifically Russian and not Estonian? Do ballots in Estonia have ethnicity of the voter on them or what?

Some ethnic Russians voted for the most right wing party in Estonia in March. Some ethnic Russians in Estonia put their kids in Estonian-language kindergartens. How do I know this? Because my kid goes to kindergarten here.

That is not a valid argument. “Some ethnic Russians”? How many, 5? We could talk about “some Estonians” and you would say that those are just national traitors, confused and mentally disturbed people.

I am on the side of Finland, Estonia, Ireland, Iceland, and all the states that emerged from the crumbling empires of the first half of the last century.

Why, what are you reasons? You on their side all the time, regardless of the circumstances or anything?

Why are you such a negative and vengeful person? I

Negative and vengeful is a pretty good way to describe Estonian policy toward the Russian minority.

And don't tell me that Russians are not citizens because, like I said, only 8 percent of people in Estonia lack citizenship, and 25 percent - 8 percent is 17 percent, son.

False. Over 16% (as of July, 2007) of the population does not have Estonian citizenship, and thus can’t vote in parliamentary elections. From various sources I’ve seen, nearly 2/3 of Russians do not have Estonian citizenship. However, I don’t even propose that all the Russian-speakers automatically be given citizenship. I think they should just go through the procedures and gain citizenship that way. It will help justify what they do later on. Although the Russian population was certainly screwed over in terms of their voting power because so many of their elderly people (who would otherwise be reliable, consistent voters) were essentially disqualified from the voting process.

So Russians are voting in Estonia. they are just not voting for pro-Kremlin parties. In fact most I have spoken with see the Kremlin is a self-interested meddler that hurts them more than helps them.
Now that's got to hurt. Your own 'compatriots' deserting you.


You are completely out of touch with reality regarding Russians in Estonia (or anywhere else for that matter). It’s really “wonderful” how you manage to get just about everything backasswards. It’s crazy and sad that you live in such close proximity to this Russian population in Estonia and yet know next to nothing about them.

That statement about “voting but not for pro-Kremlin parties" is just nonsense. You are deluding yourself. I don’t even know where to start here. I’m not even asking you to believe what I say but what I say is the verifiable truth, I can prove it. If you knew Russian, you could go online and find out for yourself, obtain at least a general sense of what this community is thinking, what their views and concerns are, etc. I have done this, but what exactly have you done? I can just imagine what your “sources” are.

0. Why does everything have to be about “the Kremlin” with you? Oh, I know, it’s a convenient non-argument – “those damn Russians don’t have any legitimate grievances or anything, it’s all just the Kremlin’s tricks…” Yeah, you keep telling yourself that.

1. What “pro-Russian” parties??? Do you mean the “Russian parties” or what? There are many reasons why the Russian voters have not supported them but their “pro-Kremlin”-ness has nothing to do with it. The main reasons I have seen given are that: they think they wouldn’t be able to change anything anyway; that this would weaken the less anti-Russian Estonian parties, strengthen the nationalists, and result in Estonian parties allying against them; that their economic program is unappealing; lack of charismatic, capable, trustworthy leadership. Many talk about how weak they are in terms of their party organization, about how they don’t have enough money. As far as pro-Kremlin or not, if anything, a common complaint is that the Kremlin hasn’t actually supported them in any meaningful way. It’s really a shame too, because the Kremlin could give them the help they need.

If the Kremlin supported any party in Estonia it is the Center party, which basically amounts to selling out the Russian minority, again. The Russians in Estonia have voted mainly for the Center party. However, I don’t see any real support for the Centrists. Their support is mainly along the lines of “the lesser evil,” “the best of a bad bunch,” “the least anti-Russian,” “the only real choice we have.” The Centrists are the only major party that has even pretended to care about the Russian minority. That’s pretty much why non-pensioners have voted for them. The word “protect” is used a lot – people hope that they will “protect the Russians here”. I mean, just think about what that says about how Russians perceive all these Estonian initiatives – initiatives that definitely aren’t for the Ests, just against the Russians. They perceive them as attacks against their community –basically part of a policy of “soft ethnic cleansing” with the intention to make the Russians feel so unwelcome and uncomfortable that most will just leave and the rest can be assimilated. And that’s basically what it is.

Some Russians voted for other parties, such as Reform. They generally explain such a choice in terms of economic considerations. They “liked their economic plans” etc. Many people wanted to believe that “economics will solve our problems”, that the Est nationalists aren’t really serious, it’s all just politics, they won’t actually go through with all that stuff, the Bronze Soldier won’t be moved, it’s against the constitution anyway, etc, etc. They tried to go along with “Estonian society” and in return it spat in their face. The Estonian apartheid state should have at least waited after May 9 to move that damn monument. It would have signaled a kind of little “nod” toward the Russian community that would have gone a long way with many. Instead it did the opposite, and that’s the story of the last 15 years.

2. Weren’t you crying not long ago about “moderate Russians” (ha-HA!) not condemning the rioting? Where were your 9000 Laar voters then? You say that at least 9000 Russians vote for Est nationalists (and presumably support them to this day?) – then I would have to assume at least 1000 of these wonderful human beings have internet access. But I’m not going to ask about thousands, just show me 5 of these individuals talking together in the same place.

3. You’re saying that Russians don’t support “pro-Kremlin parties”, vote for Est nationalist parties, basically “doing the right thing” and putting their fate in the hands of this Estonian society? So why then does this society treat them so poorly? Not one minister in the cabinet and all that. Even the Russians who can vote in parliamentary elections do not have their 10% or whatever of representation in the system because discrimination is the system in Estonia.

Ruslanas said...

Since CABRERO put some comments I would like to answer you.

'We did not suffer a defeat. Yes, we lost a lot of what we built politically and economically during the Soviet era, but it was not a defeat. It was a result of changes, initiated from inside. Most people in the new Russia initially welcomed it, saw the new perspectives, and accepted how wrong the old ideology was. In contrary, Weimar Germany was defeated in a war, totaly exhausted and forced to sign a humiliating peace treaty.'

Russia suffered a different defeat, since the Cold War was a different from the WWI. The USSR lost the Cold War, during which, you might remember, not a single shot between USSR bloc and the Western block was made. I am not talking about the battles, which were fought on the ground of the 3rd World. But defeat was total. Since Russia cannot imagine its existence without empire, the Russian minds perceived the ‘shrinking territory’ as a total humiliation by 1990, as the Germans in Weimar republic done. Only if Kremlin could stop this it would have done it. The August coup could not materialise because the Army and the Siloviki were demoralised, as a defeated armies usually is. Extent of this could be seen at the first Chechen War since the glorious Soviet army, which turned into the Russian army, could not even defeat few Chechen fighters. If you call few of the intelligentsia who in your words ‘initially welcomed’ Russia’s turn into the normal republic it is true. However, the masses in Russia did not really understand the process, and frankly, they did not care about it. And as it is shown now, they care about ‘rebuilding a glory of Russia’. What kind of nation is ‘standing up from its knees’? Simply a nation, which has been defeated. Which nations’ president is calling the ‘collapse of the USSR the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century’? The president of the defeated county, who wishes to restore it ‘past glory’, or in short its ‘empire’. We live in the 21c. The tanks are not needed for that any longer.

'-Besdies that, current Russia still lives in the middle of the globalized world, it's people have free access to information, they are self-aware and dont want to give up their personal freedoms.'

With all due respect the free information in Russia could only be found only on the Internet. Russia is following its ‘guru’ China’s way in restricting the only tribune for a ‘different to that of the Kremlin’s’ opinion. Maybe Echo Moskvy also less than a half of dozen of the periodicals could be called ‘semi free’. Only for know, give it another few years and those venues will be under control. You perfectly know that even though the usage of the Internet is growing the users of it don’t present a critical mass of the voters. The absolute critical mass of voters are watching the Kremlin controlled TV channels. This is the main provider of news to the Russian, and hence the main opinion former. I watch the Russian TV quite a bit, the debate programmes and the news. And well, the situation is getting worse…

'-I wouldn't say that Russia had embrionic democracy in 2000. It had the same 10 years of experience as other former SU republics, which by that time considered themselves as "mature" democracies.'

10 years ago Russia achieved some embryonic stages of democracy. It was not perfect but the Russians had a chance to improve it, but they are choosing ‘sovereign democracy’, third way, as BTW Nazis in Germany did.

'-What made you think that about Putin, besides your personal "logical conclusions"? He or any of his representatives never declared that.'

What made me think that? Well, let me ask you, do you really think that Putin’s ‘reforms’ are creating a liberal democracy in Russia? As far as I understand the Kremlin is creating the ‘sovereign democracy’, as the Fuhrer did back in 30’s.

'-Who told you that Russians were satisfied by dictatorship? Most people in Russia dont want Stalin or whatever Big Brother back. Or you count those born in 1920's?'

Russians will never have a Stalinist totalitarian style regime. That would be absurd to say. Nevertheless, an absolute majority of Russians are missing a ‘strong hand’. This is what they are going to get after Putin. Stalin was not only one dictator in the world.

'-After more than 10 years of almost zero funding any army would need modernization. US and other NATO countries continued that after the Cold War end, so, we have no moral or any right to do that? If you are not agree with the Weapon treaty issue post, why exactly, with reference to the reasons, declared by Russia. For me they seem to be just. Besides that RF declared itself open to renegotiate the conditions and adapt them to the modern reality.'

The Kremlin did not comply with the Treaty. Russian army is still in Goergia, and correct me if I am wrong, in Moldova.

'-In many developed countries the economies are controlled by a limited number of financial groups, especially the key sectors. You can speculate on high oil and gaz prices topic, Gazprom and e.t.c. But do you question our right to structurise these sectors the way we think it is optimal? Or extra high oil export taxes is a favour?'

I am glad that both agree on one point - Gazprom is the Kremlin and the Kremlin is Gazprom. Well, since we live in the 21c, the Kremlin changed its tactics and at least for know contains itself form using its military forces to restore its former ‘glory’. Putin has created a different type of ‘combatant’ face which is Gazprom. Furthermore, the Kremlin has passed the legislation for a private Gazprom army. Well well, maybe a private Navy for Gazprom will be a next move…

'-What jewish oligarchs do we erradicate - Vekselberg, Abramovich, Potanin or Fridman?'

What Jewish oligarchs are still left in Russia? I am not stating that in majority occasion they played a positive role in Russia’s life. But a fact is that the Russian oligarchs replaced them.

'-Please quote any example of "propaganda". We are not looking for enemies, for we have our own internal problems to solve. Our leaders are not that stupid to rush into a weapon race or any confrontation. Baltic States (at the moment Estonia) and Georgia - if a little doggie barks a lot it is a reason to be afraid, may be its' rabid... - I was talking about dogs only, no parallels with those countries...'

Please, don’t take this ironical remark personally but it seems that you have no TV at home, or if you have it you watch only the Cold War mongers BBC, CNN, Sky New and other sinful stations. I would suggest you to get a cable and turn the Russian TV channels, with its analytical programmes, talk shows, the news patriotic films etc. Then let me know if you changed your mind on your comment above. No offence.

'-May be I dont know smth. What neighbours do we "terrorise" and how?'

Ok, where should I start from… Mazeikiu Nafta, Ventspils Nafta, Georgian and Moldovian wines, oil and gaz cuts of for Ukraine, ignition of the disturbances in Tallinn over the Bronze Soldier, cyber war against Estonia, Polish meat… Welcome to the 21c and new methods of ‘terrorising’. Who are organising all those actions. I will give you an answer – the Kremlin. All of those actions caused not because of some ‘invisible hand a almighty market’, it is hand of Kremlin. If you will stand on our way towards restoration of the Empire we will find measures to fight you…

'-The only massive pogrom-like thing I remember was in Kondopoga, and the authorities prevented its repeat in neighbour cities. People involved are now in court. Besides that dont put it in the same line "pogroms". If a foreign diaspora does not respect local traditions and laws, and it results in massive fights, it is not a pogrom it is a mere result of uneasy tensed interethnic relations were both sides share guilt. And the skinhead-type guys are not accepted in our society and in most cases those who assault foreigners are prosecuted and sentenced.'

No massive pogroms in Russia yet, but wait for few years. When a university administration is advising its students with a different colour of the skin not to go to the streets on the Hitler’s birthday… I would say that there is a problem. There is nothing of such magnitude in the ‘fascist’ Baltic states, even though I don’t deny that we don’t have skin heads. Still, few days ago Russian authorities trumpeted a show trial on a Nazi who killed an antifascist in St. Petersburg. It is fare to say that it is better than nothing. But still, Russia you have to do more.

'-We dont' rewrite history, this statement is false by nature, and we have no superiority propaganda. Yes, we do proclaim that Russia is a great country and we have a lot to be proud of. Whatever negative passed in our history doesnt make us worse than other states, and we dont deserve the sense of constant guilt as others want - that was the Putins', not more not less.'

Let me remind you about the last Putin’s meeting with your historians, and his speech on the issue. Great country, well, ask Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians if it was a great country. To be proud of slaughtering of millions of its own citizens for ‘a just cause’… I suppose it is matter of taste. And regarding the guilt. After Germany apologised for what it did to the other nations it became a great nation. And Russia can even tell sorry to us. Once again the Russians are building a glory on the wrong foundations.

'-Nashi wearing the same T-shirts doesnt' make them militatnt. The resemblance between them and Hitlerugent is the same as between a tracktor and tank - both have tracks and engine.'

Well my dear friend let me remind you that there was a tractor made first and then a tank later. Just wait and see.

'-It seems that you are living in the past, not us, and don’t accept other way than US-favoured way. If you know Russian and care so much about our bilateral relations and Russia’s internal affairs don’t base your opinion on American press or Russian opposition publications only. Get out of tank and look around then!'

Let me tell you that we are looking at the West and trying to integrate there as fast as possible because we feel the pulse of Russia very much and begun to ealise that the Baltic States have not much time left. Simply, we are afraid your Putin’s Russia and what is becoming out of it. We were not afraid of Yeltsin’s Russia. And I am concerned about Russia not because I follow only the Western sources of information, I also follow the Russian media. For your information I don’t see any opposition face there. And to be frank, it is worrying us a lot.

'-Let’s clear some basic issues first:
1. US or European democracy is not a model for the rest of the world to follow, and Western democratic standards do not bear an absolute value to measure other countries.'

I agree to that. Only the mature societies could create and live in the Western liberal democracy. Hence, could you stop calling Russia a ‘democratic country’. It is simply not a democratic country. Anything else, but not a democratic, and this is a pity, even though the Russians had a chance to become such.

'-2. Every country has the right to develop in it’s own way and the primary concern are national interests like integrity, political stability, economic growth and peoples security and wellbeing. Nothing of that should be sacrificed for illusionary “values”'

You are growing and stable just because your siloviki fat cats receive enough cash from oil. Once it will finish the ‘growth and stability’ will disappear. And then ‘smuta’ again…

'-3. Being somebody in opposition to a government does not make him always right. And a government is not automatically wrong when it takes suppressive course of action.'

‘Opposition to the rulers of the Kremlin’, a government could function only in democracy. Opposition is weak in Russia, that is a fact, because Russians don’t care about the liberal values. They satisfied with sausage, nice holidays abroad, a flat screen TV, some vodka and let the state to take care about us. The ‘Social Contract’ same as in the Soviet times. But we know what this social contract brought the country to.

'-Now some general issues concerning Russia
1. In Russia there is freedom to say what you want and to express your opinion. And I assure you it is even more than in the USA. The most typical example is that a US Congress sponsored AM-station “Radio Svoboda” openly shits in the air for the last 17 years giving word to all the opposition representatives and seems to feel OK in general. No one is taking away the broadcasting license. And it’s just the most typical example.'

During one of the Radio Svoboda programmes a Russian communist exclaimed ‘you are the only one venue where we can still go on the air!’ Well, something did change in Russia since the end of the Cold War, but the Radio Svoboda is the same, venue for freedom of speech and mind. I was listening to radio svoboda since the Andropov times. And well, all ‘black male’ on the Soviet system appeared to be not blackmail at all. Think about it.

'-2. The absence of a strong opposition in Russian politics is not government guilt but opposition’s problem. This clowns had their chance in the last elections to Duma. There were no limitations (except for some insignificant local episodes) on media and money to win peoples hearts, they failed…'

I am not praising a Russian opposition, but if the freedom of speech and demonstration would exist in Russia the situation would be different. Well, if the Kremlin would allow it to happen. But who cares about it in Russia?

'-3. We are aggressive? How possibly we can be aggressive when for more than a decade we where weakening our offensive potential while you, the West was modernizing and strengthening it's own. We recently closed our last military base in Cuba while NATO is expanding , building new bases in the CIS republics. Or should I mention Yugoslavia, Iraq, missile defense complex in Eastern Europe?'

There are some questions about the speed of NATO expansion. But the fundamental fault in Russians’ thinking is that this expansion took place not because of some ‘Russian style’ subversion, or occupation. Russia has to realise that the democratic and sovereign nations voluntarily expressed their wish to join the club and had been admitted. On the other hand we also voluntarily made a decision to escape the prison of the nations, since we were occupied and hated every moment of that sentence.

It was very interesting talking to you and I wish you a very nice weekend.

Giustino said...

Rusak,

Only 8.5 percent of people are stateless. If people chose to take Russian citizenship, that's their decision as individuals. That 1/3 of Russians that are Russian citizens get to vote for whatever stooge Putin *selects* next year. If I wanted to become an Estonian citizen, I would have to relinquish my American citizenship. Those are the breaks.

As for being a minority and being treated poorly, I live in a town that is 15 percent Russian-speaking. Yet the Russians I see here go to the store and get service in Russian, fill out Russian forms at the bank, and every night can watch Russian on the evening news. What's more, I have lived here a short time and I do most of everything in Estonian because it's not that hard to learn. I don't feel treated poorly, I just accept that when I move to a new country and most people speak a certain language, it's polite to learn that language.

By the way about TV and the newspapers. How many other countries do that for their minorities? Is there Turkish news on TV every night on the most popular TV channel in Germany? How many British newspapers publish news in Urdu? Even the Finns don't do that for the local Swedes.

I wrote on my blog along time ago that Estonia should ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and name Swedish, Finnish, and Russian as minority languages that will receive equal protection. But the reality is that the Russians in Estonia already have schooling in their language, already have publicly-subsidized programming in their language, already have the right to discourse in their native language. They already have all those rights outlined by that piece of legislation. So what difference would ratification really make?

If anything it's the smaller minorities, like the Swedes who have a) been here far longer and b) are smaller in number that need greater protection. But Sweden isn't on our case about them is it. It should be. Estlandsvensk is a national treasure. It would be a shame if it died out. I don't harbor such fears about the future of Russian language in Estonia.

cabrero said...

2 Ruslanas

Thank you for answering.

I guess that you are a young man, 27-30, who part life lived abroad and never been to Russia and can only judge it the foreign press publications. In contrary, I am Russian, I lived in Russia all my life and gone through 90’s. On a regular base I watch Russian TV and read newspapers. Besides that I speak several languages, travel to other countries and read sources from different sides. And YOU are trying to explain ME how thing really and Russia are, or what Russians are, or what moods are our society?


Like I told you, Russia have gone through the critical period, when people were demoralized, though not like in Germany. And yes, we did have attempts to form paramilitary organizations, but they didn’t find any support in the society.

Currently Russia is not like that. I traveled through the country and saw people living better, getting back their jobs, factories working again, highways construction and re-construction. Even on my way to dacha for 12 years I always saw a semi-destroyed farm, now it’s new and has a cow herd. People have freedom to talk what they want, pass their free time the way the prefer and so on and so for. And no “social contract”. We have a market economy, and you have to work hard to get a flat TV screen and some vodka. And it’s not all a matter of oil prices, gradually we have growing investments in non-fuel manufacturing economy.

We have free access to information. The fact that TV is not overflowed with opposition declarations or has any 50-50 balance, doesn’t meant anything. We have a lot of debates, expressing opposite opinions, critics of Putin and e.t.c. Besides that there is such a thing like rating. People are tired of politics, they want to relax watching TV. And those who are interested in Casparov’s opinion can get anyway. We have abundance of opposition on radio and paper media.

And yes, we have strong presence of the state in many spheres, and we have more “authocrative” way of executive decision making. But these are specifics of Russian democracy. Actually, there is no ideal democracy anywhere. If you make a deep analysis on US for example this
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0705/S00096.htm you will find that it is a nearly faschist state too.

There is no ideal form of democracy. We have what our country needs now in that particular transition period from chaos to order, and people support it. We approve Putin’s policy and are interested in it’s continuation because of what I said above. And we are not supposed to disapprove it because smbd. in the west is pissed of with Russia defending it’s interests.

From what you commented on Gazprom, Siloviki, oligarchs, gazcuts I can see that you are only getting filtered and reinterpreted information. So I afraid it’s you who falls under propaganda, not me.

For example gaz cuts. Excuse me, if you receive a service for significantly lower price then the rest and don’t pay even for that, then you’ll have it cut. Here no politics, pure market economy…

As for Balts. Like I stated above, we all suffered equally from Stalin, and no nations deserve any special apology. Yes we took away you independence, but in USSR we treated you with respect and like brothers, we invested billions in your economy, popularized your culture, conserved your national identity, gave you formal, but still your own local authorities, gave to balts equal rights a the rest of the soviet citizens. Is that imprisonment, is that how occupants do? Then we accepted your desire to free with no blood shed. So we don’t’ owe you nothing.

Read this, it will seem curious for you
http://www.rpmonitor.ru/ru/detail_m.php?ID=3749

Cheers

Giustino said...

They perceive them as attacks against their community –basically part of a policy of “soft ethnic cleansing” with the intention to make the Russians feel so unwelcome and uncomfortable that most will just leave and the rest can be assimilated. And that’s basically what it is.

Since 1989 the percentage of Russians in Estonia has dropped from 30.3 percent to 25.6 percent. Where did they all go, and where are they going?

Well the reality is that many moved here for 'a better living standard' and they've continued to seek that elsewhere -- in Germany, in the UK, in the United States. Why would a 30 year pit stop in Estonia change their journey to their ultimate destination -- material wealth?

As for the others who choose to remain, they probably won't be assimilated as most other existing Estonian minorities -- like Swedes, Finns, Latvians -- haven't been assimilated. But they will be 'integrated' -- which means a knowledge of the Estonian language.

In a country where 70 percent of your populationis Estonian, it means that if you want to be a minister or a president, you better know that majority tongue. That is what school reform -- where part of the curriculum is in Estonian langauge -- seeks to achieve.

How can you criticize Russians being left out of Estonian society AND criticize efforts to enable them to succeed in Estonian society.

You seem to be requesting all Estonians to remain in perpetuity bilingual to serve the Russian minority. That's not going to happen. Most Estonians I know my age that are 30 and under don't speak Russian at all. It's totally foreign here.

So in the end -- I don;t agree with the language inspectorate, but I think that Estonia had some hard choices to make in 1991 and judging on its economic position and integration into the EU and NATO, its performed fairly well. I look very much forward to about 8 years from now, when there are no stateless persons in Estonia and the justice minister has one of those long and wily surnames of Russian origin. I don't like this situation, but Estonia was founded in 1918, not 1991. That's the de jure. The de facto is finally catching up.

Giustino said...

Speaking of Russian Estonians, I guarantee you that this guy is going somewhere. I have met him and I had that 'this guy is going somewhere' feeling.

Here's his live journal in Russian and Estonian.

http://www.krishtafovitsh.ee/index.aw/set_lang_id=3

rusak said...

Well the reality is that many moved here for 'a better living standard' and they've continued to seek that elsewhere -- in Germany, in the UK, in the United States. Why would a 30 year pit stop in Estonia change their journey to their ultimate destination -- material wealth?

Living standards are about more than just average income.

As for the others who choose to remain, they probably won't be assimilated as most other existing Estonian minorities -- like Swedes, Finns, Latvians -- haven't been assimilated. But they will be 'integrated' -- which means a knowledge of the Estonian language.

First you say that Swedish is "in danger of dying out", then this. So which is it?

How can you criticize Russians being left out of Estonian society AND criticize efforts to enable them to succeed in Estonian society.

What do you mean "how"? Very easily. The illness may be bad but the "treatment" might be worse. There is no inherent contradiction in such a position.

You seem to be requesting all Estonians to remain in perpetuity bilingual to serve the Russian minority. That's not going to happen. Most Estonians I know my age that are 30 and under don't speak Russian at all. It's totally foreign here.

You're trying to tell me that those kindly Ests are doing this for the Russians' own good, but I'm telling you that they are doing it because they know the Russians will hate it. The Ests don't need this, it's not for them, it's just against the Russians.

I look very much forward to about 8 years from now, when there are no stateless persons in Estonia and the justice minister has one of those long and wily surnames of Russian origin.

Does the discrimination have an expiration date on it or something? I don't think so.

Speaking of Russian Estonians, I guarantee you that this guy is going somewhere. I have met him and I had that 'this guy is going somewhere' feeling.

This guy is a clown. And is this what you meant by "long and wily" surnames? Krishtafovich is not a Russian surname, it's Polish or Belarusian. This Krishtafovich character is anathema to the overwhelming majority of Russians. He's basically more of an Est nationalist that the average Est, and this is what you have to offer the Russian minority?

Reading through his articles, he is just a piece of trash and a complete moron. In one of his articles, he writes: "Вы представляете себе, чтобы в каком-нибудь "чуркменистане" задержали бы солдата США и назначили ему подобное наказание?!"

Translation into English: 'Can you imagine that in some "churkmenistan" they would detain a US soldier and sentence him to a similar punishment?!' Here he uses the word "churka" combined with "Turkmenistan". The word churka is comparable to something like "sand nigger" in American English. Decent, respectable people do not use such words in polite company. Yet this was in a supposedly respectable mainstream media outlet. Just to be sure, he says this without a hint of irony or condemnation of bigotry, but rather with righteous indignation! This is without a shadow of a doubt an indecent and disgusting statement, completely out of line. Needless to say, the comments on Russian Delfi did not approve. This guy is completely unfit to represent anyone, he's a dirtbag, a ridiculous lout.

In his other articles and statements, he rambles on about some big Kremlin conspiracy and all this crap, and the only "evidence" he cites for it is "по слухам" - "according to rumors." It's nonsense. He talks about having some "dialogue" as do the likes of you, but you don't want any real dialogue. The Ests just want the Russians to agree with them and shut up. That's not a dialogue. Why don't you try talking to some Russians who don't agree with the Est nationalist line?

cabrero said...

Амиго, No pasaran!!!!

Русские своих не бросают!!!

Россия будет великой экономической и технологической державой. Сегодня мы оставили российский флаг на дне океана, завтра оставим его на Марсе вместе с пустой бутылкой из под водки и скелетом селедки.

А всяким козлам-русофобам останется только дрочить на портрет Гитлера и мямлить про извинения и окуппацию, пока мировое сообщество не пошлет их на хуй с их мудацкими проблемами и не отмахнется как от назойливых мух.

cabrero said...

2 Ruslanas

And read this below. I do not give credits to the author. His words just repeat in better english what I think.

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=24987

Agu-Enrik Ubailves said...

Yes, dear diablogers,
Депортация -не самое худшее в этой жизни. Хуже, когда на хуй пошлют.
Deportation is not the worst that can happen to you. It is much worse, when you are sent nahuj.

Ray D. Noper said...

I have a question to the resident know-it-alls here.

Given that we could not insult any nationality, could not claim that the occupation and everything with it was legal and that we Estonia should still keep its sovereignity, also considered that Estonian Republic existed de jure since 1918 (a while in exile) :
What do you suggest is the solution to the problems in Estonia with one specific minority, large one, but still way less than half of the population ?

The solution should be within international legislation, nonviolent and modern; and no, we will not change our constitution also. You wish.

ANY ideas ?

Ray D. Noper said...

Oh yeah, and deportation - like Georgians from a country that couldn't be named (because some people think everybody are trying to insult them) is not an option. It's not within international law, and that's something even sovereign countries and sovereign "democracies" should think about.

Giustino said...

You're trying to tell me that those kindly Ests are doing this for the Russians' own good, but I'm telling you that they are doing it because they know the Russians will hate it. The Ests don't need this, it's not for them, it's just against the Russians.

The Estonians living in municipalities like Kohtla-Järve have a constitutional right to interact with the authorities in the state language.

Yet most officials there can't provide them with that right. They can talk to the Russian part of the population, but not to the Estonian part. That's why eestlased need protection.

This Krishtafovich character is anathema to the overwhelming majority of Russians. He's basically more of an Est nationalist that the average Est, and this is what you have to offer the Russian minority?

I don't offer them anything. In a democracy, leaders are made organically, not by virtue of state command, like someone selects someone to 'give' to the Russian minority. Who puts these crazy ideas in your head?

The Russian minority has another outspoken populist named Dmitri Klenski, but he barely got any votes in the last election. They all voted for Savisaar. Some even voted for Ansip.

Mikhail Stalnukhin, head of Narva City Administratin said that Ansip was the best PM Estonia ever had until this past April. You can read his comments here:

http://www.regnum.ru/pressroom/english/press-stalnuhin/

I am sure he's a lout too.

First you say that Swedish is "in danger of dying out", then this. So which is it?

Most of them fled the 'Soviet liberation' in 1944. Today there's probably 300 in the whole country. They benefit from the laws on cultural autonomy. But I wouldn't characterize a minority with 300 members as being in a strong position.

Does the discrimination have an expiration date on it or something? I don't think so.

All minorities suffer from discrimination. If you ask me, the real discrimination on Estonian society is day-to-day provincialism.

Estonians might not want to do business with Russians, for example, because then they might have to do anything bilingually and that's a pain in the ass. Who wants to sign contracts in two languages?

Estonians in urban areas don't want to live near Russians because of perceived social problems like rampant alcoholism, drug use, AIDS.

The society segregates itself. That's not just because of laws, it's because of both sides refusal to acknowledge one another. Instead they ignore one another. I mean how could a Russian speaker survive in Estonia for 30 years without doing some major ignoring of the world around them.

The Estonians, for their part, enable this behavior, by thinking of Russians as 'beyond help' -- people that are either too dumb or just refuse to learn Estonian and participate in democratic society.

Both sides are too often their own worst enemy. They self-segregate. And that has more to do with the attitudes generated in the Soviet era (Russian colonialism, Estonian protectionism) than it does with any law passed by the Riigikogu.
Trust me, if the Riigikogu actually had the power to 'force' people to speak a language, this issue wouldn't exist right now.

Giustino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Giustino said...

What do you suggest is the solution to the problems in Estonia with one specific minority, large one, but still way less than half of the population?

The short-term situation is in flux. My personal opinion is that in the long-term, as the proportion of Estonians in society continues to rise and Estonian fluency increases, they will feel more comfortable with the public use of minority languages.

Because of the regional layout of the Russian minority, there are only a few municipalities where Russians are a majority. This includes some districts in Tallinn, and five cities in Ida Virumaa county -- Jõhvi, Narva, Sillamäe, Kohtla-Järve, and Kiviõli. In Jõhvi and Kiviõli they are a bare majority.

If these cities were able to ensure that Estonians' right to interact with local authorities, do business, and contribute to social discourse could be guaranteed, then I don't see why Russian couldn't be made a 'regional' language in those cities -- that is, they would have a right to use Russian, as well as Estonian.

Right now they have that right anyway, it's the inability to offer the same rights to Estonians that is attempting to be corrected. But in the long-run, say 20 years, hoping Russia doesn't kill everyone here again, it's hard for me to imagine a less paranoid, more secure Estonia not permitting the use of Russian as a co-official language in a city like Narva.

In Tallinn, administration will continue to function in Estonian, as Estonians make up the majority (56 percent) and continue to grow as a proportion of the population.

Not to mention that this is Estonia. Duh.

Like I said, this is years off, but if Estonians feel comfortable and unthreatened by the use of Russian, then I don't see why the rising generation -- one that has no memory of the Soviet era, at all -- wouldn't oversee more lenient language laws.

As a sidenote, most Russians I have met here in Estonia speak Estonian pretty well. I have met real estate agents and businessmen and IT guys and budding politicians and taxi drivers, and the situation is changing from the bad old days when people were told to 'speak a human language' (ie. not Estonian).

I sincerely hope to not slander in anyway these very talented, smart, hardworking people who unfortunately find themselves as a political tool by cynical Russian nationalists and their Estonian counterparts.

Russian Roulette with Muscovy Duck said...

Hi Ed,

I have been a fan of yours for months, ever since I found out about you.

Your article about millions of sex-crazed Hitler Youths splashing in the Seliger Lake is my absolute favourite. It should be taught and even studied in every British and American class on quality Western journalism as practiced by top editors at The Economist:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=471324

Sex for the motherland: Russian youths encouraged to procreate at camp
By EDWARD LUCAS
29th July 2007

You describe your take:

"Nashi sex camp shock horror--latest lurid plug for book"

Why such modesty? You make the Penthouse Forum look like... well, like The Econimist.

Your brutal but brilliant satire exposes Brits as the rival to Sierrans Leone for the title of the stupidest population on Earth [hopefully, nobody from Sierra Leone gets to read my insult].

Start with the article's main attraction point, its centerpiece: the big detailed photo of about 10 000 girls (not a single male anywhere!)doing calisthenics at the Nashi camp, most dressed in the free handout camp t-shirts with the Nash logo on them:

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/07_03/putinyouth270707_800x441.jpg

Remind us, from whom you stole this photo without any attribution, Ed. Was it Reuters? Or AP? I recall it was Ponomarev from Reuters but I am too lazy to check...

Now read the rest of the article and then my humble commentary:

---------------------

Why is it that so many British and American journalists dwell incessantly on the Russian alcoholism problem, and yet, the only Russian habit that they pick up from spending years in Moscow, is alcohol-dependence? Take The Economist's "Russia, East and Central Europe expert" Ed Lucas, for example. When Ed gets drunk (which appears to be a very frequent event ever since his wet dreams about the breakup of Russia back in 1999 went kaput), he can write and publish the most outlandish stuff, like the time he got drunk in the Russian countryside near a Nashi youth summer camp with 10,000 youngsters (all girls, as the accompanying photo attests), started hallucinating, and turned these 10,000 girls, dressed in baseball caps and t-shirts of various colours , into "millions of sinister young Russians discerningly similar to the
Hitler Youth", all poised to conquer him and do unspeakable Hitlerite deeds to his sensual yet fragile body. He then turned this drunk dream into a newspaper article to pay for his kids' upkeep, published in the
Daily Mail, known as the working man's version of The Economist:

-----------------------------------

Sinister: Millions of young Russians at a youth camp discerningly similar to the Hitler Youth

Nashi's annual camp, 200 miles outside Moscow, is attended by 10,000 uniformed youngsters and involves two weeks of lectures and physical fitness.

Alcohol is banned. But sex is encouraged, and condoms are nowhere on sale.

-----------------------------------

Absolutely nowhere, Ed? Tampons, condoms and other birth control are usually dispensed in public bathrooms. Did you really search each and every girls' bathroom and everywhere else in their quarters? You must be very serious about your safe sex.

And since this was a girls' camp, what Ed tells us is that lesbian sex "is encouraged". Oh, free encouraged sex with millions of those notorious sex-starved Russian Lolita nymphet lesbians without condoms! Every British man's dream, just like that Tatooshki singing duo on Eurovision. A perfect topic for the Daily Male.

Yes, Ed, that's what Hitler Youth movement was all about: wild lesbian orgies. Sinister!

BTW, Ed, did you ever consider the nature of the word "uniform"? If
some of the free camp handout t-shirts in your photo are red, some - white, and the rest - blue, black, DailyMail yellow, green, pink, and even striped, then is it really "uniform"?

Ed, next time you come to USA, try to stay semi-sober when going to spy on a girl scout camp: they are all dressed in a common brown uniform that resembles Nazi Youth much more than Nashi's summer t-shirts do. Only god knows what the Daily Mail and the Economist rags will write about "billions and billions" (copyright: astronomer Carl Sagan estate) of underage American Nazi amazons poised for the conquest of you and then of the rest of Europe. And when you go to the girls' bathrooms to check on the availability of condoms, be careful not to get caught: our American law on sex offences is even stricter than Russian.

In Ed's ominous article, Russia and Nashi in particular assume an image of a super-progressive entities, which not only recognise but heavily promote same-sex marriages. Ed writes:

"Twenty-five couples marry at the start of the camp's first week and
ten more at the start of the second. These mass weddings, the ultimate expression of devotion to the motherland, are legal and conducted by a civil official."

There is only one problem: Russians have not heard of the latest American scientific discovery that lesbian sex is highly unlikely to produce viable off-springs:

"Bizarrely, young women are encouraged to hand in thongs and other skimpy underwear - supposedly a cause of sterility... Attempting to raise Russia's dismally low birthrate even by eccentric-seeming means
might be understandable."

By lesbian sex?! Russians must be really desperate, Ed. And very-very eccentric.

Ed himself considers teen homosexuality as the greatest threat to democracy:

"But the real aim of the youth camp is not to improve Russia's demographic profile, but to attack democracy."

Sadly, Russian female homosexuals seem to be caught up in extremist forms of feminism and man-hatred and go so far as to hunt down their male counterparts:

"Other pro-Kremlin youth groups are hounding gays and foreigners off the streets of Moscow."

Ed concludes his article on Russian teen lesbianism with the following tirade, done with the famousBritish understatement and humour:

"If tens of thousands of uniformed German youngsters were marching across Germany in support of an authoritarian Fuhrer, baiting foreigners and praising Hitler, alarm bells would be jangling all across Europe. So why aren't they ringing about Nashi?"

Maybe because Putin is about to kick their asslicking asses into oblivion?

In any case, Ed, sinister, very sinister... And very brilliant. The World shall await your new jangoist doomsday revelations with baited breath.

And good luck on your latest book. I hope the publisher doesn't spare any expense and uses the best and softest, most sensual pink/yellow paper. Sell the copies in 4-packs - and you've got yourself a sure New York Times bestseller hit at summer camps all over the World, including Lake Seliger itself, where the comforts are minimal and the cut-up copies of Komsomolskaya Pravda still rule (sinister, eh?).

Your secret admirer,

Ostap S. B. M. Bender-bey, Jr.

Editor-n-chef of the new “Russian Roulette with Muscovy Duck” establishment
http://lerussophile.blogspot.com/

Russian Roulette with Muscovy Duck said...

And please help yourself to Muscovy Duck - the Great Game of the 21st century.