For the last few weeks this masthead column has tried to unravel the misunderstandings around ‘citizen state’ and ‘nation state’, and the possible intrusion of Kremlin-approved versions of history into the decision-making of Russian-speaking Estonian politicians.
But for the record it hasn’t only been Russian-speaking politicians who have apparently adopted a slant to their understanding of the disputed areas of Estonian-Soviet relations and how history has or hasn’t played the major role in this political standoff.
Jaak Allik, former Social Democratic member of the Estonian parliament and veteran municipal politician in Viljandi had this to say in 2013: “Russia has never attacked Estonia or the Estonian Republic. There have always been major re-arrangements in Europe. Whether it be the Livonian War, the Northern War, the First or Second World Wars – these have been large pan-European wars. They have caused re-arrangements, where Estonia has been caught between the gears. Russia has had no real interest in conquering only tiny Estonia. Anything else is meant to frighten the public.”
In referring to his comments later on, Allik explained that in Russian invasions of Estonia, the circumstances have always involved other nations also. Russian threats, during the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea, have thus not been meant only for Estonia but have covered other nations as well. Thus the Russian belligerence must been seen in the context of all of Europe, not Estonia alone - an explanation that follows
perfectly the narrative that the Kremlin promotes. Vladimir Putin has, for instance insisted that the secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its execution were vitally necessary as a defensive move by he USSR. Therefore the occupation and the annexation of the Baltic states were inevitable, rendering Moscow blameless. (Pikemat Eesti Elu 1. juuli paberlehes)
Ethnic Estonian politician touts official Russian version of history Estonian Life