Since local Russian extremists in Estonia were relatively dormant politically in 2009, they offered their know how and services to receptive audiencesin Finland and Latvia. The annual report of Estonia’s Security Police (Kapo)indicates that the extremists’ attention was directed more at Estonia’s neighbouring countries rather than domestic targets.
In Kapo’s estimation the Notšnoi Dozor (Night Watch) group did not produce any politically significant results in Estonia in 2009. Consequently it was difficult to discern any goal or strategy by which it justifies its current existence.
Due to the lack of activity in Estonia, Molodoje Slovo members (a sub-section of Notšnoi Dozor) often joined their political colleagues’ events in Latvia and Finland. They have been especially busy in joining efforts with Finnish extremist Johan Bäckmann, who lacks local Finnish backing, and supporting his causes. The leader of the Finnish Anti-fascist Committee, has often labeled Estonia as a fascist country and has spoken out in defense of Arnold Meri, deceased, and others, who were charged with crimes against humanity. Before dying Meri was on trial for his leading role in the deportations of families from Hiiumaa to Siberia. Bäckmann also denies that the Soviet Union occupied the Baltic states and that the countries voluntarily joined the USSR.
Without the help of Russian extremists in Estonia, Bäckmann would be unable to organize any public demonstrations. Kapo states that many Notšnoi Dozor and Molodoje Slovo members are not necessarily interested in the demonstrations in Finland as they are in the free travel tickets and meals, and of course the media attention.
The Moscow supported Estonian based extremists are closely affiliated with the Russian ultra-nationalistic youth organization Naši and its Estonian born leader Mark Sirõk. Being on the payroll of Naši, Sirõk is obligated to fulfill the agenda of his employers and organizde events both in Russia and Estonia. As example Kapo points to Sirõk chaining himself at the Ukranian and Estonian embassies in Moscow and also the demonstrations organizaed on the occasion of the Estonian WWII veterans’ reunion at Sinimäed in Estonia in 2009.
Russia officially denies the support of their diaspora’s political efforts. But actuality proves otherwise,
In 1996 an extremist Russian movemnet, the Russian National Unity, called the Barkashovists, extended its activities to Estonia. Their ideology was great Russian chauvanism which propogates Russian supremacy over other nationalities and advocates the Russian Orthodox Church. The membership was compact, numbering about 20, and the group was active until 2002 distributing the newspaper „Russki porjadok“ published in Russia, and a similar local edition „Kolovrat“ (name of the Barkashovist symbol, similar to the Nazi swastika). In 2001 the Barkashovists were criminally charged for inciting hatred and their activitiers stopped.
While the efforts and goals of Russian extremists in Estonia have been relatively insignificant and have not been able to attract wide-spread mass support, their net-working with like-minded groupings elsewhere and their non-public blessing by Moscow’s officialdom keeps Estonia’s national security capability vigilant.
Security police: local Russian extremist “helping” Finnish and Latvian Russians politically (5)