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Greetings from Estonia. I wanted to commend you on your excellent article in The American Spectator. That is exactly the kind of balanced representation of this issue our tiny country needs when faced with the PR leviathan of the Russian Federation. In the past, we have lost countless PR battles of this sort simply because we don’t have the resources to counter the flood of half-truths and lies being pumped out by the increasingly aggressive neighbor of ours.
A couple of points from a rather neutral (i.e. I’m an ethnic Estonian who respect toward the Russian culture and I did not initially support the relocation of the statue) point of view:
(1) The statue itself was not so much an issue until recently, but it was made into an issue by the blatant use of it for rallying anti-Estonian sentiment and creating ethnic tensions by … guess three times by which foreign nation’s embassy.
(2) The goal of this escalation of tensions probably served the goal of dividing the local Estonian population while uniting the Russian-speaking minority. In reality, it turned out the opposite. While almost all of the Russian speakers in Estonia did not approve of the relocation of the statue, the more intelligent part of that community clearly does not understand the looting and pillaging by the marauders in late April. The other possible goal was probably to show Estonia as a backward, Nazi glorifying country where a Russian minority is routinely discriminated against (this has been — on and off — the main rhetoric of the Russian Federation for the past 16 years towards post-Soviet Estonia) and thereby create tensions within the EU. Clear and simple divide-and-conquer politics by the newly Imperialist Russian regime, which uses stacks of dollars instead of guns to expand its influence.
However, luckily for us, the image of Russia has started to shift all over Europe and Western European governments have started to understand the ruthlessness and in general see the true face of that regime. This is evidenced by the rather neutral or outright supportive statements from European governments towards Estonia, which must be a grave disappointment for the Russian Foreign Ministry. Especially the expression of support by the German government (in neutral wording, but it’s rather clear that the Russians were expecting much more), considering that Germany starts to do gymnastics whenever the Kremlin feels it necessary to bring up issues (to pressure Germany) remotely touching on the subject of Germany’s painful past.
This is an indication above all else, that the European heavyweights at the least see that the appeasement policies and bending over towards Russia do not work. The culture is just too darn different. The concept of mutual gain is rather foreign to the rulers of Russia. If someone wins, it must mean that someone else loses. This is the defining character of Russian foreign policy and has always been, just that with the concentration of power in the hands of the ruling clique, it has become much more aggressive and multi-faceted than before.
(3) Also, I’d like to emphasize, that local Estonians don’t hate or discriminate against local Russians and vice versa. Those violent protesters don’t represent the majority of Russians in Estonia and are more of a liability to their community than to our tiny republic.
While I did not personally support the relocation of the statue (I am an ethnic Estonian, but I understand the important role of the victory in WWII to the identity of an ethnic Russian) in fear of ethnic unrest, I think the aftermath of the situation is rather interesting. The internal political situation in Estonia is probably going to remain tense for some time, but concerning foreign policy on the European level, it seems that the arrogance of the Kremlin has to some extent backfired and a process has been set in motion (Poland has declared they’re going to remove Soviet monuments) that might mean the “glorious” history of the Soviet Union might become a subject of debate in (especially Western) Europe.p>Again, thank you for your excellent article. br> — Reio Vare br> Citizen of a supposedly Hitler-loving, Russian-beating, Nazy-glorifying, un-European, history-rewriting small, evil nation (aka Estonia) /p> p> MYTH STREAM MEDIA
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In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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