[lg policy] Moscow rattles Estonia with talk of 'concern' for its Russian population

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at GMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 22 15:24:12 UTC 2014

Moscow rattles Estonia with talk of 'concern' for its Russian population

In the wake of Crimea's annexation, Estonia is shoring up its ties with
NATO and the United States.

By Michael Amundsen, Correspondent / March 21, 2014

   - <http://www.csmonitor.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/media/content/2014/0221-estonia/18243302-1-eng-US/0221-estonia_full_600.jpg>

  US Vice President Joe Biden (r.) and Estonian President Toomas Hendrik
met with media in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday. Mr. Biden met with Polish and
the Baltic leaders to discuss an upgrade in defense strategies for the

Alik Keplicz/AP
  Share on facebook<http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2014/0321/Moscow-rattles-Estonia-with-talk-of-concern-for-its-Russian-population#>
on twitter<http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2014/0321/Moscow-rattles-Estonia-with-talk-of-concern-for-its-Russian-population#>
on stumbleupon<http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=300&winname=addthis&pub=csmtechstaff&source=tbx32-300&lng=en-US&s=stumbleupon&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.csmonitor.com%2FWorld%2FEurope%2F2014%2F0321%2FMoscow-rattles-Estonia-with-talk-of-concern-for-its-Russian-population%3Fcmpid%3Daddthis_stumbleupon&title=Moscow%20rattles%20Estonia%20with%20talk%20of%20%27concern%27%20for%20its%20Russian%20population&ate=AT-csmtechstaff/-/-/532daa78ec0b6ced/2&frommenu=1&uid=532daa78d41598e0&trackurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.csmonitor.com%2FWorld%2FEurope%2F2014%2F0321%2FMoscow-rattles-Estonia-with-talk-of-concern-for-its-Russian-population&ct=1&pre=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.csmonitor.com%2F&tt=0&captcha_provider=nucaptcha>
on email<http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2014/0321/Moscow-rattles-Estonia-with-talk-of-concern-for-its-Russian-population#>

Tallinn, Estonia

Russia <http://www.csmonitor.com/tags/topic/Russia> says it is worried that
a former Soviet republic isn't doing enough to protect its large ethnic
Russian population. But this time, the Kremlin is not talking about
  Related stories

   Sochi, Soviets, and tsars: How much do you know about
   -  Why is 'China White' killing Estonia's Russian
   -  A first for Estonia: an elected black politician

  Ads by Google<https://www.google.com/url?ct=abg&q=https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/request.py%3Fcontact%3Dabg_afc%26url%3Dhttp://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2014/0321/Moscow-rattles-Estonia-with-talk-of-concern-for-its-Russian-population%26gl%3DUS%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dca-pub-6743622525202572%26ai0%3DCrVV8eKotU8HZDI2UlALRjICYA97F5dIEvtGy2IQBqt-mhEsQASCN8OUFUNy_qYP7_____wFgyb7jirSk5A-gAbrJuN4DyAEBqQIVYA4lbe-tPqgDAaoE0gFP0DeR1308cR2thIlIltCuOVuCFLOmCUC9r5x7bZG490AWzLf-fG6FCDQ4SA0jobfYcxZsFfLwsFUS_lAPyYbCh89pByI30YQ_7u55n0GsffhD7Hwgr3t_-iIkRMZCvA-dAua2PEJbPQrZIVIwMKzgd1AXViZxFq6hC5ofMhohY-Btz_5bfigN6SYhbP2OYZH1ARfb2wRPcjPFG7uQ8qh9Bmd7Ul1ziUtFlwAdydyHjfh126FQXB683Q9qnhH_mxmFerf_6tpprcaxLJJEkPwD03iIBgGAB662xyE&usg=AFQjCNFdVCEX_Q5lYmhq9plwq6b8U32aiw>
Call Nigeria for Free
Try Us Right Now - 100% Free Trial.
Then only 3.9¢/min. A+ Quality!

Subscribe Today to the Monitor

Click Here<https://w1.buysub.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=CSZ&cds_page_id=137455&cds_response_key=I3FZSPTL1>for
your FREE
30 DAYS<https://w1.buysub.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=CSZ&cds_page_id=137455&cds_response_key=I3FZSPTL1>of
The Christian Science Monitor
Weekly Digital Edition

It's talking about Estonia <http://www.csmonitor.com/tags/topic/Estonia>.

The tiny Baltic state is a member of both NATO and the European Union. But
the tone coming from their giant neighbor to the east - a neighbor that
just occupied Crimea on similar grounds - has Estonians nervous.

"I believe that most Estonians are neither hysterical nor surprised by
President Putin's behavior in Crimea," says Eiki Berg, a professor of
international relations at the University of Tartu, Estonia's leading
research institution.  "This is very similar to what Stalin's Soviet Union
did in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in 1939-40."

RECOMMENDED: Sochi, Soviets, and tsars: How much do you know about

Estonia enjoyed a brief independence between the world wars, ending with
invasions by the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and then the Soviets again,
who occupied the country until 1991. The post-war occupation of Estonia
brought deportations that affected nearly every family in this country of
1.3 million, and large numbers of ethnic Russians immigrated to Estonia, a
legacy which is felt today in the country's demography.

The considerable ethnic Russian population in eastern Estonia's border
region, which in some areas is 90 percent Russian speaking, came to the
fore on Wednesday, when a Russian diplomat raised
the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. "Language should not be used to
segregate and isolate groups,"  the diplomat said according to Reuters, and
Russia was "concerned by steps taken in this regard in Estonia as well as
in Ukraine."

"Estonia and Latvia have significant Russian-speaking minorities that could
be exploited in a similar way [to Ukraine], using Russian media under
control of the Kremlin," says Martin Hurt of the
International Center for Defense Studies, a security oriented public policy
think tank.

"But there are major differences with the Ukraine situation," Mr. Hurt
adds. "The NATO alliance, of course, provides a massive deterrent and
Estonia has been a member of the EU for the last 10 years. The Russian
minority understands its benefits and the lesser standard of living across
the border."

Estonia's ethnic Russians are considered to generally have far better
opportunities than their cousins across the border in Russia. But
integration has not been without problems. Most of Estonia's social
problems fall disproportionately on the shoulders of Russian speakers, from
unemployment to crime to drug and alcohol
Tallinn's concrete Soviet-era ghettos are populated largely by ethnic

Discontent occasionally boils over. In April 2007, Russian speakers rioted
for two nights after the Bronze Soldier memorial to fallen Red Army
"liberators" of Estonia during World War II was relocated from the center
of Tallinn to a military cemetery. This was followed by a cyber attack on
Estonia's computer networks generally attributed to the Russian government.
Differing interpretations of the events of World War II, which many ethnic
Russians in Estonia see as the defeat of the scourge of fascism and which
Estonians view as the beginning of a brutal occupation, are a frequent
cause of discord.

Visitors to Estonia's border city of Narva, in the industrial Ida-Viru
County, could be forgiven for feeling they were in Russia. It is dominated
by Soviet-era housing blocks and is almost 95 percent Russian speaking.
Less than half of Narva's residents are Estonian citizens and some 36
percent are Russian citizens. Another 16 percent hold no citizenship at
all. Russian-language media from across the border dominate the flow of

Katri Raik, the head of University of Tartu's Narva College, wrote in
Tallinn's Estonian-language daily Eesti Päevaleht on Tuesday that ethnic
Russians near the border are being fed a daily diet of Kremlin propaganda
that can sway opinions in its favor. She added that Estonia needs to better
reach out to its Russian minority to provide a different interpretation of
world events.

"There is always a risk that some segments of the ethnic Russian population
in Estonia, especially those living in the northeast, being intoxicated by
Russian propaganda, could easily follow Putin's call whenever this may
happen," says Professor Berg.

In the meantime, Estonia is shoring up its ties with NATO and the United
States. The leaders of the Baltic states met with US Vice President Joe
Biden in Poland earlier this week to discuss an upgrade in defense
strategies for the region.

"We we see clear parallels with the events proceeding World War II," adds
Berg. "This is neither paranoia nor just a bad dream. Welcome to our world."


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lgpolicy-list/attachments/20140322/74c2f636/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
This message came to you by way of the lgpolicy-list mailing list
lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
To manage your subscription unsubscribe, or arrange digest format: https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/lgpolicy-list

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list