The following is partially an anecdotal summary of research amongst Russian speakers in Estonia that was published in ‚Diplomaatia” in November 2015. In light of the extraordinarily low voter turnout in Estonia of Russian citizens for the Russian State Duma elections recently and numerous published opinions about the loyalty or disloyalty of Estonian Russian-speakers, it would be interesting to note how Russian media has or hasn’t influenced Russian speakers in Estonia.
Pensioner Vladimir Aleksejev in Narva turns on the TV at 6:00 am to initially watch European and American and from then on strictly Russian language news. “During Putin’s rule Russia has risen from its knees. Russia has started to understand what it is, who it is, and where it should be jheaded.”
From the above, one might conclude that Aleksejev typifies potentially a dangerous element in Estonia: he surrounds himself with Russia’s information enviroment, idolizes Putin and supports his policies. His political stance must therefore be fertile ground for foreign intrusion into Estonia. He embodies the fear that many Estonians feel and the warnings that Estonians allies express – that the Russian minority might become the excuse for Putin’s military to intervene.
Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014 were prime examples of that premise. The 2008 attack against Georgia demonstrated that the Kremlin’s pretence that ’’security’’ of Russians abroad is as vital as the security of Russia itself. In addition the use of military force by Russia became a viable and legitimate option in Moscow’s choices of international relations and for Russians it since has become a lawful alternative to a diplomatic approach.
Putin has stated that the 25 million Russians that were stranded outside of Russia’s borders after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 has created many serious problems including the break-up of families, economic hardships etc. He insists that Russians are the most geographically scattered people in the world and that this is a serious challenge. (Pikemalt Eesti Elu 30. sept. paberlehes)
Russian media and Russians in Estonia Estonian Life