02 May 2007

"The European Union is under attack..."

I've not written anything about the situation in Estonia, though it's of grave concern to me and most Latvians, because many others can do it much better than I can -- see Itching for Eestimaa and, for a Latvian view, All About Latvia, as well as the Eurasia Daily Monitor for some of the better coverage. The above photograph is from Publius Pundit.

Here is last night's statement from the Republic of Estonia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Urmas Paet. It was published by Eesti Päevaleht at 23.23. Posted verbatim.

The European Union is under attack, because Russia is attacking Estonia.

The Bronze Soldier and the vandalism in Tallinn was Estonian domestic matter, but Russia’s coordinated actions against Estonia are a European Union problem. Thus, European Union-Russia relations have entered a very complicated situation.

The attacks are virtual, psychological and real.

Before the riots, representatives of the Russian Embassy met with the main organisers of the riots in Tallinn and other Estonian cities. The meetings took place in very strange locations such as the Tallinn Botanical Garden.

It has been established that cyber terrorist attacks against Estonian governmental institution websites and that of the President’s Office’s have been made from IP addresses of concrete computers and by concrete individuals from Russian government organs including the administration of the President of the Russian Federation.

The Russian State Duma delegation, which visited Estonia through the intermediation of the European Union’s Presidency, has demanded the resignation of the government and refuses to cooperate or enter into dialogue with Estonian officials. The visiting delegation only made demands and false allegations. This is interference in Estonian internal matters.

The youth organisation Nashi has surrounded the Estonian Embassy in Moscow, which also is the residence for all the employees. In essence, the employees are being held hostage. Today, Russian parliamentarians indicated that if there was a desire on Russian side, the special police would be able to free the Embassy in three minutes – however, the special police have said that their orders are to ensure only the minimum of security. Today, the Estonian flag was torn from the Embassy building. These actions are all in breach of the Vienna Convention.

The direct links of hostile Russian youth organisations like Nashi and Molodaja Gvardija to the Kremlin are well known. Just as well known is the fact that each person holding Estonian Embassy in Moscow under siege is being paid 550-1000 roubles per day by the Kremlin.

Russian television channels, whose “freedom” is well known throughout the world, do not show clips of rioters in the streets, but rather of “innocent” citizens of Russian decent being “terrorised” by police officers. They also broadcast news of Estonian police killing detainees and that the Estonian Defence Forces have been given the command to shoot Russians. These are gross lies.

I affirm to you that we have sufficient material to prove our accusations.

This all clearly shows that the future of people of Russian decent in the Estonian Republic is only being used as a rhetorical pretext for “active measures” and our compatriots are being used for greater political gains.

On Thursday, I will make a proposal to the Estonian Government as to which measures Estonia believes that the European Union should apply to Russia. These measures have to influence Russia so that it ends the attacks and its interference in internal matters of Estonia as well force Russia to fulfil its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The measures should affect EU-Russia relations in its entirety.

We believe it to be essential that the European Union react in full strength against the behaviour of Russia. This might result in the suspension or cancellation of negotiations between the European Union and Russia. The postponement of the European Union-Russia Summit must be seriously considered.

If the situation at the Estonian Embassy in Moscow has not normalised by nine o’clock tomorrow morning, Estonia will end all consular services except for consular assitance to Estonian citizens in its Moscow consulate. The services will be resumed once the situation has returned to normal. We will continue to monitor the security of our other representations in Russia.

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31 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Estonia, which has recently joined to EU and NATO, officially practices Apartheid policies and does its best to rehabilitate and legalize Fascism, for years. EU, US and other democracies preferred not to pay attention on that till now. However, it doesn't cancel the fact that Estonia carries out a policy of Ethnic Discrimination against ethnic Russians, who constitute a third part of its population. Most of these people were born in this country or live here for 30-40 years, but they were not even provided citizenship and are treated as second class people. Moreover, Estonia officially glorifies legionaries of Hitler's SS troops that exterminated Jews in Fascist death camps in Estonia during the Holocaust. Government sets up monuments to these Fascist butchers. They are allowed to march in the downtown of the capital, Tallinn. They are invited to official events; the Estonian President shakes their bloody hands, and calls them heroes of Estonia.

At the same time, Estonian government aggressively fights with any memories of millions of the Soviet soldiers, who paid with their lives to free Europe from the plague of the Fascism and to save dozens millions of Europeans of the death. And democratic countries - first of all EU and US, prefer to dissemble this again. But recently Estonian regime overstepped the limits, which makes it absolutely illegal from the point of view of common human values. On April 26, Estonian authorities have decided to finally erase the memory of the victory of Russian soldiers over the Hitler's Nazism by destroying the main World War II memorial to a Soviet warrior-rescuer, Bronze Soldier. For those Russians who live in Estonia, demolition of the memorial is not just a removal of some architectonic construction. This is the most painful insult of the memories of their fathers and grandfathers, who died in battle with the Fascism to bring freedom to the Europe.

Thousands of offended Estonian Russians came to a peaceful protest demonstration, demanding from Estonian officials to stop the vandalism. But instead dialogue Estonian authorities sent special police forces to suppress the protest. With no reason they started to fire in the protesters rubber bullets, water cannon and tear-gas, throw flash-bang grenades, and baton women and teenagers. During the massacre the first ethnic Russian was killed, dozens were injured and hundreds were arrested just because of their Russian ethnicity. Those arrested were thrown into in a harbor warehouse as they were livestock, and there they were beat by police within an inch of their life. Just think - in the heart of the Europe an Apartheid regime kills, injures and arrests hundreds people just because of their ethnicity! However, almost all of the European and American media keep hypocritical silence or even worse call this "pacifying gangs of drung vandals".

This is disgrace! This is shame not only on those European and US governments that support this Nazi state. This is shame on every European and American who keeps silence today. Keeps silence, because somewhere inside he or she is confident that rehabilitation of Fascism, and Apartheid crimes committed against those "dirty Russian" at the heart of the European Union, provide "useful lesson" to Russians and Russia. But maybe you think that this is not your business? Then let me remind you a famous phrase by German priest Martin Niemoller he said about Nazis in 1945: "First they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.... Then they came for me and by that time there was no one left who can speak up for me". Today, new European Nazis came for the Russians, and the Europeans keep silence or, better to say, silently approve. Well, you can be sure - this is just the beginning, and some day yours home-grown Nazis, inspired by your silence of the crimes of the Estonian Fascism, will come for you. And there will be no one to speak up for you. Because Russians, once rescued the Europe from the Fascism, will never pay again with millions of their lives for those not speaking up today.

02 May, 2007 11:31  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

The above piece of wretched disinformation is spam -- it has appeared in one or another form all over the blogosphere. I am not going to delete it, though -- I may as well leave it as an example of the sort of polittekhnologiya Stalin's apologists specialize in... in this case, the "artist" is so poor that all but the most gullible, and maybe George Galloway, couldn't be swayed.

02 May, 2007 11:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is "polittekhnologiya"? That Estonia glorifies fascism? Ok, here is story from Estonia on an Estonian site about monument to Estonian Waffen SS legionaries erected near Tallin. If you were Jew, you would know that Estonian Waffen SS legionaries executed ALL Estonian Jews - a few thousands - within the first year of WW2, which is officially confirmed by all the Holocaust organizations. The first "judenfrei" country as Estonia proudly reported to Hitler. And official Tallin is proud of these “brave sons of the nation”. And EU is proud to have such a “democratic” state between its nations. I would be upset if I were Jew and some “European” country would glorify butchers who exterminated my forefathers as livestock.
http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/12586/

02 May, 2007 12:01  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Dear Anonymous of Tomsk,

The facts about Estonia, the war, and the Waffen-SS are available here, with links to reputable research.

There is plenty of material about Soviet/Russian disinformation, often complete with links to serious sources, references and copious reading materials, all over my blog, for instance here, here, and here.

Neither Estonia nor Latvia glorify Nazism. We have repeatedly and unequivocally condemned the Nazis.

The Nazis, with their friends the Soviets, brought about the occupation of our countries.

Since you've recycled your disinformation throughout the blogosphere, I'll add an extract from my response elsewhere --

The frequent description of the language and citizenship policies in the Baltic states as "apartheid" policies is perfectly ridiculous -- it is also perfectly contradictory, since the other complaint frequently made by Russian chauvinists is that of "coercive assimilation." The two don't go together -- apartheid was meant to segregate, when what we are asking for is integration (not assimilation); Russophones aren't asked to forget Russian, they're asked to learn the Latvian/Estonian, languages that Russian nearly destroyed.

In reality, all that is requested of those who settled here during the occupation is that they stop behaving as conquerors. That's rather liberal. They can receive state-supported education in Russian (and other languages), they have a thriving Russian-language press, and they are better off in Estonia and Latvia than they would be in Russia -- unlike Russia, our countries are free market democracies.

Not being fond of Soviet "liberation" -- that is, the re-occupation of our countries by the same forces that invaded in 1940, when Hitler was Stalin's friend, does not make us Nazis. A simple analogy for you -- one rapist is driven off by another rapist, and the the first rapist returns to kill the second one, declaring himself a "liberator" and goes on raping for another half-century. We happen to detest both rapists and to disapprove of rape.

02 May, 2007 12:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ethnic Russians born in Estonia must prove they know Estonian language before they get citizenship. Can you imagine, that say a Hebrew-speaking Jew born in New York would not be provided US citizenship because his English is not good? This would be pure anti-semitism, apartheid and fascism and this Jew would have all the chances to sue US Gov't for a billion dollars. However in Estonia it is called "integration". Funny, don't you think?

02 May, 2007 12:48  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

I would say that you are misinformed, except that you have posted these arguments elsewhere and people have corrected you. You must therefore be a liar.

Ethnicity has nothing to do with citizenship here. Ethnic Russians (or Jews, or Poles, or Germans, or Martians)who held Estonian (or Latvian) citizenship, and their descendants, could obtain Estonian/Latvian citizenship without taking any tests. Anybody born in Eesti Vabariik or Latvijas Republika since 1991 is also entitled to citizenship without passing a language test.

In short, those Russians who were part of the legitimate Russian minorities in our countries could obtain citizenship just as easily as ethnic Estonians or ethnic Latvians could.

People who settled here during the Soviet occupation, and their descendants, never held Estonian or Latvian citizenship. Many of them were inimical to the restoration of our statehood -- and as we've learned in the last week, many still are. Again, ethnicity has nothing to do with it.

Such persons, regardless of ethnicity (they are almost a couple of thousand ethnic Latvian non-citizens in Latvia, by the way!) are invited to naturalize by demonstrating a modicum of proficiency in the language of the countries they live in -- or they could take Russian citizenship, as ca. 100 000 of the Russians in Estonia have done. Or they can stay non-citizens, which still gives them permanent resident status (and, in Estonia but not in Latvia, they can even vote in local elections).

If a person hasn't been able to acquire a couple of thousand words of Estonian (or Latvian) in the sixteen years since the occupation ended -- they don't deserve it, in my opinion. For one thing, they are condemned to live in Russian media space, which is full of the same sort of propaganda you are spouting.

I personally know Russians who've naturalized in a matter of months -- and one who studied for only a couple of weeks. In Latvia, over 100 000 people have passed the tests. There are usually free courses available.

New York hasn't been under totalitarian occupation by foreign powers in recent years, as far as I know.

02 May, 2007 13:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I told what I told. If a Russian-speaking Jew was born in 1987 in Estonia, he must prove he knows Estonian to get citizenship. This is state anti-semitism. But maybe he should thank all Estonians they don't exterminate him in a gas-chamber as their grandfathers from Hitler's Waffen SS did, and allow him to live at all?

02 May, 2007 13:26  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Here, read what the President of the Estonian Jewish Community had to say in a letter to the OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism and Intolerance --

"First of all, I would like to confirm again that there has never been anti-Semitism at the state level in Estonia [...] Our Community is much respected and honoured in Estonia," etc.

Perhaps you shouldn't speak about a place you seem to know nothing about, my dear Anonymous.

02 May, 2007 13:35  
Blogger Jens-Olaf said...

Flasher_T in Tartu, mother tongue Russian is living in Tartu. Yiddish as he said by descendent. I am wondering that so many anonymuses nowadays are claiming to be speaker for the non-Baltic minorities.
http://www.antyx.net/

02 May, 2007 14:01  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Thank you for the link, Jens-Olaf!

02 May, 2007 14:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most wanted Nazi war criminals
10b. Harry Mannil
Arrested Jews and Communists who were then executed by Nazis and Estonian collaborators
Status: Cleared by investigation in Estonia

10a. Algimantas Dailide
Arrested Jews who were then murdered by Nazis and Lithuanian collaborators
Status: Deported from US; convicted by Lithuania, which has hereto refused to implement his sentence of imprisonment
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pag...d=1176152786406


Not a single Estonian citizen who participated in the persecution and/or murder of Jews during WWII has been brought to trial by the Estonians, despite the existence of abundant incriminatory evidence in at least two cases submitted in recent years.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid...icle%2FShowFull

02 May, 2007 14:27  
Anonymous copydude said...

Desecrating a war grave is a provocative act. How anyone can suggest that this is Russia attacking the EU is beyond me.

The removal of the 'Soldier' is part of a process of cultural cleansing of anything Soviet in Estonia.

Last year, a bill was introduced in Estonia to criminalise the display or possession of anything 'Soviet'. The removal of just about every other public Russian artefact is testimony to the programme.

Following cultural cleansing, there is now a form of ethnic cleansing of the minority Russian speakers by the Language Directorate.

Russophobes like Edward Lucas would insist that Amnesty International is making this up. But it is a fact. And it's also a fact that it is against the EU Charter of Human Rights and the EU's own Treaty of Amsterdam.

No one disputes that Estonians have their grievances. But as members of the EU they have laws and obligations.

Estonia chose to pick a fight with Russia and it's more than likely they were encouraged in this. The missile bases in Poland are also part of 'baiting the Bear' - as is the programme in Latvia to push for occupation reparations. All of it is turning the clock back and not helpful to Europeans living together. The Nuremberg trials were concluded early many years ago by men of wisdom for that very reason.

As a member of another EU state, I wish neither to bail out a country which ignores its citizen's rights obligations or gets into a spat by desecrating a war grave. Or one that is having its strings pulled as a US vassal state.

02 May, 2007 14:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1176152786406
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1178020745724&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

02 May, 2007 14:30  
Blogger jams o donnell said...

Interesting stuff as ever Peteris. I've just posted something about the removal of the Bronze soldier but also the removal of a statue in khimki (and possibly one in Stavropol too).

Perhaps a touch of double standards?

02 May, 2007 22:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peteri,
the khimki incident (as reported by the Moscow TImes)was also posted by PB over on the L-online forum. Here it is for the propagandists to chew on.

Saturday, April 28, 2007. Issue 3647. Page 3.
Mystery Swirls in Khimki Over Whereabouts of War Remains
By Natalya Krainova
Staff Writer
The whereabouts of the remains of six Soviet war heroes are something of a mystery.

The World War II pilots’ remains were dug up at a memorial in Khimki, north of Moscow, last week for reburial at a different location on Victory Day. But they seem to have disappeared.

The Khimki administration, which authorized the reburial, said it did not know where the remains were, but thought they might be at the morgue in Skhodnya, a nearby town, Noviye Izvestia reported Friday.

Calls to the administration went unanswered on Friday.

But a spokeswoman for the morgue said by telephone Friday: “We don’t have them.”

Vyacheslav Nyrkov, director of Ritual, the Khimki agency that exhumed the remains, refused to comment on their whereabouts.

The designer of a new monument for the pilots, Alexander Mustafin, said he thought the remains had been hidden to calm tensions.

Khimki allowed the reburial after war veterans complained that prostitutes were desecrating the site along Leningradskoye Shosse. Authorities also want to widen the highway.

Dozens of Communist supporters held a protest over the reburial at the site last Sunday.

“These ashes belong to heroes who defended our motherland. They shouldn’t have been dug up just because someone doesn’t like the monument at this place,” one of the protesters, Pavel Tarasov, said by telephone Friday.

Tarasov, an aide to Communist State Duma Deputy Valery Rashkin, accused authorities of double standards, citing the current uproar over Estonia’s decision to remove a Soviet war memorial and exhume soldiers there.

“At least in Estonia this is largely covered by the media so people can come out and voice their protest, but in Russia all is done sneakily,” said Olga Ivanova, another participant in the Sunday protest.

Cheers,
Ints

02 May, 2007 22:31  
Blogger Andrejs said...

There is a reason why most people on the net ignore the annonymous, but sometimes you just can't. Estonia's actions are continually put into the context of Fascism and anti-semitism. They have nothing to do with that. Its a meaningless red herring, but its surprising how many people knee jerk in reaction.. The war against Fascism ended in 1945. Estonia was occupied by the "liberators" into the 1990's. Had the "liberators" left shortly after Estonia's liberation this wouldn't be an issue.
And I am always amused when Russia and Russians take up the mantle of being the protectors of the Jews. Historicaly Russia has not been kind to the Jews. The gulags probably had more Jews as a group than any other. Anti-semitic attacks and vitriol have been always been part of Russia and are only increasing in number in the present.

Just a couple cites:

http://www.adl.org/russia/russian_political_antisemitism_3.asp

http://sicsa.huji.ac.il/studies2.html

You would think the mote in one's own eye would take precedence?

I would not dispute a single (well almost) thing copydude wrote regarding Estonia's attempt at culture cleaning. Estonia has every right to rid of itself of any vestige of its occupation it deems fit.
Everything thing copudude wrote regarding ethnic cleanising is wrong. Darfur is ethnic cleansing. Chechnya is ethnic cleansing. Kosovo and Bosnia is ethnic cleansing. Surprisingly for the most part Russia has been on the side of the cleanser and not the ethnic in the above situations.
What's happening in Estonia and Latvia is asking people who have spent their entire lives in a nation and expect to be citizens of it to be fluent in and respect the indigenous languages. Not that much to ask for when all is said and done.
I was born in Latvia and spoke Russian and Latvian. I lived in Israel and spoke Hebrew. I now leave in the States, but I think you might pick up the patern by now. Speaking the language of the nation of which you are a citizen of is in no way giving up your ethnic identity.

02 May, 2007 22:35  
Blogger jams o donnell said...

Angry of Tomsk has been over at the Poor Mouth too.....

02 May, 2007 22:54  
Anonymous copydude said...

andrejs said:

'Estonia has every right to rid of itself of any vestige of its occupation it deems fit.'

Yes. But they might have stopped short of desecrating a war grave.

WW2 history is murky on all sides and largely re-written. But the human sacrifice by ordinary Russians was colossal. And without it there wouldn't be an Estonia or a Lithuania, only 'Estland'.

About Russia being unkind to Jews. Hmmmm. You mean Khordokovsky, Berezovsky, Abramovich? :-))

I'm completely convinced this whole spat was engineered and Russia has over reacted quite predictably, complete with Nashi kids and energy threats. The genuine grievances of the minority Russians will be discredited. And any rapprochement between Russia and the EU has been sabotaged for some time to come.

That would fit a US agenda.

03 May, 2007 05:16  
Anonymous Wahabist said...

There was no desecration of graves. The monument and remains were moved to a certainly more appropriate place with all due respect to international law and conventions. Maybe Copydude looks forward to being buried at the corner of some busy streets - but I dont. I would doubt other reasonable people do.

As to Copydudes other notions regarding historical treatment of Jews, oligarchs and engineered spats - yours is a particularly soviet point of view. It cant be taken seriously at its face. Were the Jewish efforts to leave the soviet union en mass a mirage ?

I'd also like to note the fact that Lithuania existed as a nation long before Russia. Lithuania was never part of any Estland. If, by chance you meant Ostland - then this was a territorial designation that was created by the Molotov Ribbentrop Soviet-Nazi German treaty of 1939. If Copydude laments that designation - then Copydude should not align with the entities responsible for its creation. That being Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

/Wahabist

03 May, 2007 05:48  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Response to Copydude (there are so many comments that I can't respond to them all, but I thank everyone for leaving them except those who obviously don't care to listen to others) --

Desecrating a war grave is a provocative act. How anyone can suggest that this is Russia attacking the EU is beyond me.

As "Wahabist" said, no war grave was desecrated. That is a mendacious accusation that is well nigh insane, Copydude, sorry. Bodies buried at an intersection in an unmarked grave were transferred to a cemetery following a church service. It was quite common for the Soviets to use their cannon fodder for propaganda purposes by burying them in parks topped with monuments -- their care was not for the dead. Here in Daugavpils, too, we have a few Soviets buried in what was basically an amusement park. When the highway was widened, the Soviets moved the monument but not the corpses, according to people I know (there were Latvians who protested this despite their lack of fondness for the Red Army). Recently, the red stars on these graves were replaced with Orthodox crosses -- did anybody even bother to wonder whether the departed would enjoy that? What if they were fervent Bolsheviks? In fact, I have heard that one of the soldier's relatives wanted the remains returned -- the Soviets refused.

You speak of a "cultural cleansing" of things Soviet -- it has always been my contention that we have little to fear from Russian culture; our enemy is the Soviet lack of culture. Unfortunately, Russia is increasingly mixing its Soviet inheritance into its 19th C Westernizer/Russophile conundrum.

To speak of desecration in reference to Soviet graves is bizarre in the first place -- the Soviets bulldozed the Jewish cemetery here and paved the main street with the headstones. The Soviets destroyed every Estonian monument during the occupation. The hill where Polish soldiers were buried in Daugavpils was leveled and turned into a quarry for gravel, then a trash dump. In a free Latvia, the area has been restored. Churches have been restored. Cemeteries have been kempt, unless vandalized, usually by young Russians raised to hate everything anti-Soviet as "fascist."

The removal of the 'Soldier' is part of a process of cultural cleansing of anything Soviet in Estonia.

See above. And I would ask you -- do you think the Czech Republic should host triumphalist Nazi monuments? Does the Russian Ambassador to Prague deny the German invasion of Czechoslovakia?

Of course we would like to cleanse our countries of the vestiges of Stalinism.

Last year, a bill was introduced in Estonia to criminalise the display or possession of anything 'Soviet'. The removal of just about every other public Russian artefact is testimony to the programme.

The artifact is Russian? It is an Estonian sculpture and the model was an Estonian.

The Estonians criminalized both Soviet and Nazi symbols, yes. Nazi symbols are criminalized in Germany, due to German history. Due to our history, we recoil at both Nazi and Soviet symbols. So should Germany, actually -- but real denazification took place only in the BRD...

There are very few Nazis around these days, but the red-brown seems to thrive in Russia, and among the Russians in the Baltics. Nasho, the Natsbols, Barkashov's droogs... all pretty popular among the adolescent and deluded.

Following cultural cleansing, there is now a form of ethnic cleansing of the minority Russian speakers by the Language Directorate.

Yeah, sure. Teaching people a language is like unto genocide. It's even worse when the language is the language of the country Russians occupied. Learning a language and treating the titular nation with respect definitely requires forgetting your roots and all other languages. It's downright Orwellian. Luzhkov had it right -- we clearly resemble Pol Pot.

Russophobes like Edward Lucas would insist that Amnesty International is making this up. But it is a fact. And it's also a fact that it is against the EU Charter of Human Rights and the EU's own Treaty of Amsterdam.

No one disputes that Estonians have their grievances. But as members of the EU they have laws and obligations.


So, sue us! Unlike Russia, the Baltic states observe such laws and obligations (many of which are not EU but CoE and apply to Russia as well). Estonia and Latvia get taken to court in Strasbourg. We lose sometimes, and we pay up and fix things. The ECHR is a CoE institution. If Estonia violates EU law, it can be taken to Luxembourg. Do it, Copydude! Hint -- your lawyer might want an advance, since it is rather obvious that Estonia has rule of law and observes all EU norms. When we joined the EU, we were thoroughly investigated by the relevant bodies. Overly thoroughly, in fact, because Russia sounds just like you -- ignorant of what standards are, it harps upon "gross human rights violations" that do not take place here... must be the log in its eye, to imagine such splinters here.

Estonia chose to pick a fight with Russia and it's more than likely they were encouraged in this. The missile bases in Poland are also part of 'baiting the Bear' - as is the programme in Latvia to push for occupation reparations. All of it is turning the clock back and not helpful to Europeans living together. The Nuremberg trials were concluded early many years ago by men of wisdom for that very reason.

Russia picked the fight, not Estonia. Russia should stop interfering in neighboring countries, realize that its days of empire are over, and try to become a normal country. Will it? Doesn't look good, no.

As a member of another EU state, I wish neither to bail out a country which ignores its citizen's rights obligations or gets into a spat by desecrating a war grave. Or one that is having its strings pulled as a US vassal state.

Citizens have citizens' rights. Non-citizens have permanent residents' rights.

As to a "vassal state" -- excuse me, but Estonia is an advanced democracy. It is less and less different from the Nordic countries, the most advanced democracies in the world. Latvia is a bit behind, but it is also less and less like the USSR/Russia. We're nobody's vassals anymore -- we chose to join NATO and the EU, and both are highly popular here. Neither of these organizations tells us what to do -- we participate in the decisions and we are part of these structures.

The oft-repeated accusation by homines sovietici that we used to lick Russian ass and now lick American ass says a lot more about the Russians' coprophilia than it does about Balts. We don't lick ass -- we're free people. Russians should try it sometime. Maybe then they wouldn't lose the corpses in the graves they are busy desecrating whilst raving at the tiny, dignified democracies next door.

03 May, 2007 07:53  
Anonymous Ints Luters said...

Peteri,
your lucid and cogent responses to people who are clearly not, prompts me to provide a response to their outlandish statements with one of my own!

The solution to this problem has been staring me in the face, so I feel compelled to post it.

The Eesti govt. simply needs to write an open letter, asking Russia if they could temporarily hire the same Russian security forces the Kremlin unleashed on their own citizens in the recent protests in St. Petersburg and elsewhere. They are incredibly adept at crackin' heads, especially of their own people.

It is somewhat flippant of an answer, but there is just too much truth in it to not post it.

03 May, 2007 17:04  
Blogger Andrejs said...

Copydude writes:

Yes. But they might have stopped short of desecrating a war grave.

Desecrating is a powerful verb. And not applicable in this case. Its not as if Estonia left the bodies on the curb for garbage disposal. They're moving them to another location for reburial. It happens all the time. For a variety of reasons. Seldom is it called desecration. War grave is a misnomer. What it is is a war memorial. There is no shortage of cemetaries dedicated to the burial of the war dead.

WW2 history is murky on all sides and largely re-written. But the human sacrifice by ordinary Russians was colossal. And without it there wouldn't be an Estonia or a Lithuania, only 'Estland'.

Murky is correct. Russia was the only one of the Allies which actually signed a treaty with Germany. Had they not signed it its possible Latvia and Estonia and Lithuania might not have needed to Russians to shed their blood. And again, just to reiterate, there was no Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania for about 50 years after Russians shed their blood in WW2. Its simple really. Liberators leave. Occupiers stay. You choose to see this monument as one of Liberation. Most Balts see this monument as one of Occupation. The historical record is certainly on the side of the Balts.

About Russia being unkind to Jews. Hmmmm. You mean Khordokovsky, Berezovsky, Abramovich? :-))

Hmmm. No. I mean...

http://sicsa.huji.ac.il/studies2.html

and I mean...

http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp414.htm

and I also mean...

http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/042707BM.shtml

I'm completely convinced this whole spat was engineered and Russia has over reacted quite predictably, complete with Nashi kids and energy threats. The genuine grievances of the minority Russians will be discredited. And any rapprochement between Russia and the EU has been sabotaged for some time to come.

You are almost correct.

That would fit a US agenda.

That's just plain stupid. This whole spat was engineered by Russia. It fits their agenda. To blame the US for this is about as far of stretch as one can make.

03 May, 2007 19:35  
Anonymous Wahabist said...

Peteris wrote:

"We're nobody's vassals anymore -- we chose to join NATO and the EU, and both are highly popular here. Neither of these organizations tells us what to do -- we participate in the decisions and we are part of these structures."

I'll add that none of these democratic structures could ever imagine issuing a resolution calling for the resignation of a democratically elected government - as Russia did to Estonia.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070430/wl_afp/russiaestoniapolitics

These types of proclamations are what one can typically expect of drunken morons acting out emotionally - but not from legislators of another government that at least on the surface accuses itself of being democratic.

/Wahabist

03 May, 2007 20:27  
Blogger Rob said...

The Anonymous guy wrote:

Can you imagine, that say a Hebrew-speaking Jew born in New York would not be provided US citizenship because his English is not good?

Although New York is known as a melting pot, and has even been called "Hymietown" by civil rights leaders such as the Reverend Jesse Jackson, it does have a history of being unforgiving to those Jews who cannot grasp the complexities of the English language. I would refer you to the works of Leonard Q. Ross which describe the travails of one H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N. Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyman_Kaplan

05 May, 2007 02:02  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Thanks again to everyone for commenting -- Int, Andrej, Robert, Vahabist, Džem (that's you, Jams, in the vocative), Jens-Olaf, et al. Thanks to Anonymous of Tomsk and Copydude, too, for their display of exactly why the Kremlin side of this debate is so hilariously crappy. Copydude has gone on to write things like "It’s unfortunate that Estonians haven’t quite been able to gas all remaining Russians yet..." at his blog. Hey, guys and gals -- if you're gonna try saturation propaganda, attend some extension of a KGB school or sumfin'. This approach makes you look even worse than you are!

05 May, 2007 10:53  
Blogger KRISTIN said...

Thank God all Russians don't think like "anonymous" and Copydude! They should maybe take up some boxing training or other kind of fighting sports and get off in a normal way.

07 May, 2007 02:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

06 July, 2007 10:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with views expressed by anonymous. I strongly believe that contemporary Estonia is pro-Nazi state, which is trying to review Nazism by allowing meetings of SS veterans and etc. This conduct is forbidden by many civilized countries members by EU. For example, penal laws of France and Germany prohibit Nazi propaganda and any assembly of ex-Nazi “worriers” who were kicked by the Soviet Army. Unfortunately, Estonia is not yet ready to be a member of civilized European Community. And as to human rights violations in Estonia, I hope some day Estonia will be sued in European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg. This is the only viable course of action to stop those God-deemed Nazis.
Lawyer, Chicago, Illinois.

03 August, 2007 04:55  
Blogger The Standard said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

03 August, 2007 19:43  
Blogger Bobbie the GrandParents Home Finder said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

06 August, 2007 06:22  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Note: I've removed only spam -- advertisements for penis enlargers, etc. I don't remove venomous comments by Kremlin penis enlargers or anything like that.

04 April, 2009 17:44  

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