The Russian Bear roars again (in Tallinn this time)

Russian imperialism has been laying on the low since the dissolution of the Communistic Empire, but recently, due to growing economical progress, Russia is on the move once again. It is awake. And the Russian Bear is angrier than ever.

We’ve heard before about different countries, people and even democracy itself have had to suffer a lot due to the growing aggression of Russia under President Putin. There is the ongoing persecution against the Chechen separatists who declared independence in the early 1990s together with other countries who wanted to free themselves from the Russian yoke. Further more, there are the support for the undemocratic corrupted left-wing leader in Ukraine, persecution against Georgia and Georgians on the wrong side of the Russian border, support for the Belorussian dictator and support for the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Thousands of people have been caused by the Russian aggression even during the Post-Soviet times. And now it is Estonia’s turn to get its share.

Estonia was the first country who freed itself from the Russian yoke (joke? hehe) in the 90s after the evil empire of Soviet felled apart. Russia will never forget nor forgive that! Let me tell you all about the contemporary architectural situation of Eastern Europe. It is filled with massive iron figures and statues that were raised as a reminder of the greatness of the Russian Empire and the Communist Manifesto. But since both of these things never brought the world ANYTHING good but pain, misery and destruction, these statues are nothing but an image of lies and occupation. It is like a knife in peoples souls to see statues raised to glorify the same country, the same people who were killing your daughters, killing your friends and occupying your country, still standing in these newly democratized countries as a reminder of their own oppression. WHY should Europe want to keep this monuments? WHAT do we have to win on that? We have nothing to thank Russia for. They are saying that they freed Estonia. Well, if they were going to free the country, why the HELL did they stay there for 50 years then and united it with its own country? Germans didn’t kill Estonians – Russians killed/kill Estonians! The communists killed a loot more people than the Nazis ever killed in that region. How can they call that freedom?

Now, in the end of April, police had to use tear gas to disperse protesters against Estonian authorities’ decision to remove this World War II Soviet monument. Angry demonstrators hurled rocks and bottles at the Estonian police and in Russia the government have made some clear threats to the government of Estonia.

Six policemen and a number of protesters were lightly injured in Estonia during the first rallies but now everything seems to be under control by the police force of Tallinn.

Funniest thing is that Moscow has accused the Baltic state of encouraging Nazism and discrimination against ethnic Russians. Please, allow me to laugh! Soviet troops were the once who FIRST invaded the Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – in 1940. After the Nazis fled back to Germany in 44, Russia retook its lost possessions and a huge killing campaign followed. Thousands of people had to flee. Among them my grandmother, an Estonian-Swede from the coastal areas of the Estonian archipelago. If any, it is a blasphemy to have these statues and monuments still standing. It is an insult and a direct attack on the victims for communism in Eastern Europe and Estonia.

Tear down the Red Army statues and make a HARSH stand against our eastern gigantic neighbor.

1 May, 2007

//Carl-Mikael A. Teglund

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About tegis

This blog belongs to Carl-Mikael A. Teglund - tegis. Swedish emigrant with a heart for languages, philosophy, history, and politics (classical liberalism in the European tradition). Go ahead and look, read, or listen. I'm sure you will find it interesting.
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11 Responses to The Russian Bear roars again (in Tallinn this time)

  1. Jane says:

    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.

  2. Robin Leijon says:

    As you know, I live in Estonia since a couple of days ago. I got here when the serious riots just had finished.

    Yesterday there was alot of russian making noices with there carhorns.. well, that’s better then riot’s 😛 Other then that it has been pretty calm here the last days. Still they have a ban on alcohol until tomorrow at least.

    The 8th of May is a big day for russians, since it’s the date when they “won” over the nazis. Some people think that it’ll turn out in violence here in Tallinn, but since it haven’t been any riots the last days i doubt it!

    Well… about your text, Calle.. well written!

    Hope you get over here in the summer time, so we can go to a nice “nightclub” (stripclub) called SoHo. Haven’t been there yet, but I walked passed it yesterday.

  3. Eerik says:

    Unlike other countries that might have one enemy, tragically Estonia has always gotten stuck between two. While the Germans were no party, the Soviets were brutal. No wonder so many Estonians fought against the Soviets. As for those who think just because one fought against the Soviets, that action automatically makes them a Nazi, clearly demonstrates their lack of knowledge about history and World War II.

    It’s always amazing to observe how tiny Estonia is perceived such a threat to Russia. It’s about time the Soviet memorial was moved to a more appropriate location: a graveyard. I’ll never understand why the Soviets felt a bus-stop would be an appropriate location for a burial ground/memorial. At least now, the memory of those Soviets killed will be in a more dignified location, and apart from the billboards, automobile traffic and noise of a small plot of land in the middle of Tallinn.

  4. tegis says:

    Brooo I don’t go to stripclubs (officially). 🙂 I don’t need that! I get ass anyway. Plus Estonia is not the best country to visit a strip bar in. There are not many Estonians girls working there. Instead, you’ll end up with – Russians! 😉

    C

  5. tegis says:

    Answer to Jane:
    I want to cite a very witted Swede on this subject. And since I have great support in acknowledging you as one of the thugs from Nasij, then this cannot be wrong. So here we go. It does take a lot to write to create the fairy tales you pictured. However, it will be easier to smash them to pieces:

    “Ignore for one moment that a) it was Stalin who started the second world war in alliance with Hitler (the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact), that b) the Soviet Union supplied the German military machine with the oil and food it needed, that c) it was the Soviet Union that attacked the independent Estonia in 1939, and d) that “liberation” in 1944 meant almost half a century of occupation.

    If we ignore all of this, here is the interesting question: If they are so proud of having liberated Estonia from fascism, why are they so eager to introduce it at home?”
    (Johan Norberg)

    Aaand…fold the curtains!
    With Regards! //Carl

  6. Nothing is Free says:

    To the average Russian, Estonia holds as much interest as Greece or Albania… or Botswana. That’s a good thing. So why bait Russia and create problems where there are none?

  7. tegis says:

    I agree. But if this is so – why can’t we see any Russians taking to the streets against Putin? Why do we have so many companies in Russia that have banned Estonian products? If your former territories don’t constitute a problem for you Russians, then why does it seem to be the most urgent thing on the agenda for your Government? I mean, since it is not the opinion of the Russian people?
    That is to me a true quiz …

  8. Nothing is Free says:

    The general populace is apolitical. After the cluster**** of the Yeltsin years, any government that brings economic growth will be tolerated. Democracy is practically a dirty word, and liberals have no credibility. As for the nationalism – that’s the cheapest populist trick in the book, as far as drawing away attention from the blatant corruption and lack of political life.

    That’s why I think the plucky antics of the commie-turn-liberal Ansip are so damaging. The last think the EU needs is a spat with Russia over… nothing. Such a confrontation will stoke nationalism in Russia and may damage its economic growth. A poor nationalist Russia will never become a true democracy.

  9. Just can't keep silent says:

    I am an Estonian and though I’m generally not interested in politics, the things that are happening in Estonia during the few last years really make me worry and politically active.
    I’m really grateful that people from other countries see the need to talk about the problems that have risen due to the Pronze soldier’s removal. And that they have made an effort to learn the history and true reasons for this action.
    But. People who don’t take the time to really investigate the recent events in Tallinn and do believe word for word everything that is shown for example in Russian media are shameful and ignorant. That’s my personal opinion.
    So, as a reply to Jane’s comment, I really see the need to make some corrections. (As I’ve seen many articles and videoclips from Russian media I can surely say that the information they give is untruthful and manipulative. The frames of the riots only show how police forces take down rioters and how they use the batons and water cannon. There isn’t almost any frames how the raging crowd burns, smashes windows, steales and drinks.)
    1)I don’t understand ho the hell can you say that 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.” That is clearly an inclinated point of view or lack of knowledge.
    2) As mentioned in others’ comments, the Soviet soldiers did not “free” Estonia. The German army left Estonia before the so called “liberators” came and occupied Estonia again, deporting Estonians to Russia.
    3) The monument of the soldier was NOT “destroyed”. It was moved to a much proper place for a memorial monument (the cemetary) where the few people who want to place flowers on the foot of the monument can safely do that. And I must say that the monument was set up very quickly in its new location so there can’t be any accusations about Estonians hiding it from Russian people.
    Later, the Russian duma delegation came to inspect the monument and claimed that it had been taken apart. Ofcourse, as it cleared later, it was just the vivid imagination of their poor troubled heads, but it shows us truly how freely can sc “honourable” members of Russian duma lie to public.
    4) “Thousands of offended Estonian Russians came to a peaceful protest demonstration, demanding from Estonian officials to stop the vandalism.” The gangs that gathered on Tõnismäe were NOT peaceful. In fact, the Estonian government had planned a respectful service while the excavation take place, but the riotous crowds made it impossible, so the monument had to be removed quicker than it was planned.
    “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.” The dialogue was NOT possible, since there was no obious leader for this crowd. The police forces were NOT special, they were just ordinary police officers. The reasons for the rubber bullets and water cannon were tens and tens of shops that were broken in, stolen from and some of them burned, the broken and upside-down turned cars, the burning of Estonian flags, the plenteus bottles and rocks that were thrown at the police and the foul verbal abuse. The crowd mainly consisted of drunk teenagers (the ones who really care about the pronze soldier’s faith, are mostly elderly and/or peaceful people, who didn’t come out to vandalise) who stole (very much alcohol in fact, designer clothes and everything they got their hand on), burned, broke windows and cars so what should the police have done? Slapped their on their fingers and told them gently not to do that again? They were old enough to know what they were doing.
    5) “During the massacre the first ethnic Russian was killed, dozens were injured and hundreds were arrested just because of their Russian ethnicity.” Massacre???? Are you sure you know what you are talking about? The Russian boy that was killed got killed during the quarrel with another Russian so it had nothing to do with the police actions. The people arrested were NOT only Russians. Sadly some of the Estonians went along with the provication and got arrested as well.
    6) “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.” The police didn’t have enough manpower nor time to transport every hooligan to the arresting chambers as the crowd was raging mad. The stories of beatings aren’t true since the Estonian government started a full investigation and none of the arrested claimed to be beaten. As well as the Russian duma delegation who suddenly decided to inspect the toiletrooms in that harbour to find any evidence about fysical abuse. Well, ofcourse there wasn’t any because there wasn’t any beating.
    I want to say that I had to write this down since there has been too much lying and falce information which leads to wrong conclusion. I suggest that everybody interested in the relevant events happening in Tallinn and Estonia should gather as much information as possible from variety of sources and make their own conclusions.

    Thanks for reading,
    Riin

  10. tegis says:

    Thank you Riin!
    I will contribute my next post telling you all about what organization Jane is actually coming from. It is a jolly good story.

    Cheers!
    //Carl – as in the Swedish King Carl XII who invaded Russia in the 18th century

  11. (Cross-posted from over at “itching for eestimaa”)

    Interestingly, I saw the water cannons out driving in the streets today, over by Tammsaare/Järvevana. It’s slightly alarming for me as a Swede – where we don’t have a single water cannon. It looked exactly like the croatian ones, though solid gray. Which were involved during the riots? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Policijski_vodeni_top_CVT-6000.JPG

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