Russian media harkens back to 10-year-old events aiming for their possible repetition Estonian Life
On the night of April 7, 2007 the Estonian government relocated a Soviet era monument to a military cemetery. The statue of a Red Army soldier had been the site of annual gatherings of Soviet military veterans, their supporters and pro-Moscow individuals who were demonstrably insistent that on May 9, 1945 the Soviets ”liberated” Estonia from German forces.
Estonians did acknowledge the Red Army’s role in driving out the German military from the country. But Russia refused to accept the historically obvious, that for Estonians, May 9th also represented the beginning of a prolonged, politicaly stifling and brutal Soviet occupation, in which the very same Red Army, whose symbolic ’Bronx Soldier’ was removed from downtown Tallinn, was the vanguard of foreign occupation. The monument was an insult, that Estonians, for years, had demanded be destroyed. In fact, the government, with clergy, placed it in a dignified, suitable location.
What ensued were two nights of rioting by non-Estonian speaking street hooligans, taking orders from Moscow-led agitators while destroying local businesses. More importantly, Russia deployed its cyber warfare capability for the first time at maximum strength, temporarily crippling Estonia’s vitally essential government, commercial, financial computer networks.
Ten years later, the Bronx Soldier event has afforded Russian media a suitable theme, repeated consistently over the years – that Russophobic fascists, who distort history, live in Estonia. This compliments Moscow’s long-term goals in the ’information war’ - to force and widen the split between ethnic Estonians and Russians in the country, and demonstrate to Estonia’s partners in the European Union and NATO that they are saddled with a severly problematic member state.
(Pikemalt Eesti Elu 13. aprilli paberlehest)