Monday, February 25, 2008

Latynina: Estonia taught Russia a lesson

Julia Latynina (Wiki), the leading opposition opinion-writer (after Ms Politkovskaya, assassinated) published a piece about the results of pro-Kremlin movement's Nashi anti-Estonian campaign (

"Разновидность Новости Без Продолжения - осада эстонского посольства "Нашими". Нам показали очень увлекательный мини-сериал на тему: "Как "Наши" победили Эстонию". Съемки закончились, статисты разошлись, и нам забыли рассказать о последствиях. А они весьма серьезны. В частности, Эстония запретила строить по своему дну трубопровод, а Михаил Маргелов не стал главой ПАСЕ. Таким образом, зрители сериала остались в неведении относительно цены, которую Россия заплатила за съемки. В последнее время Новости Без Продолжения посыпались, как из ведра."

"A kind of a "News Without Followup" was the siege of the Estonian Embassy by "Nashi". We were shown quite entertaining miniseries on "How Nashi defeated Estonia". After the end of the film they forgot to tell us about the results. But the results were serious. In particular Estonia forbade construction of the pipeline in her seabed and Mihhail Margelov did not become the head of PACE. Thus, the viewers again were left clueless about the price Russia had to pay for shooting the film. Lately these News Without Followup became frequent."

Ms Latynina is opposition opinion-writer and as such she tends to see things in a way not favourable to Kremlin and his puppet youth movements. There are signs however, which strongly back up her assessment. One of such signs could have been the sacking of Modest Kolerov from the Kremlin administration in Fall of 2007. Mr Kolerov was the person responsible for various activities related to "sphere of geopolitical influence", including those of the youth groups, perpetrated in the countries of the so called "near abroad", including Estonia. Some analysts saw Mr Kolerov as too confrontational figure.
Finally he was denied entry into Estonia. Then, after some time, the Kremlin fired him. Mr Kolerov wouldn't have been fired had his efforts of bringing the Baltics back into the Russian sphere of influence been successful.
Second sign was "re-structuring" of the youth movements, including the one, which became infamous for anti-Estonian attacks, Nashi. This "re-structuring" was aimed at getting rid of their political role as it was announced in January. Again, the Kremlin did it. For details see past entries of this blog.

Of course, Ms Latynina was right in saying that Estonia rejected, bluntly, the pipeline Nord Stream, viewed as strategic project both in terms of energy and politics by the Russians. Estonian rejection caused losses in billions of dollars in both direct construction costs and time related costs, as admitted by certain commentators in Russia.

Of course, Ms Latynina was right in saying that Estonia did everything to undermine Mr Margelov's position in PACE, despite Mr Margelov's standing as a moderate among the foreign politics figures in Putin's party and the fact that Mr Margelov may otherwise have influential friends among Estonian political establishment (we know their names). Thus, a historic opportunity for a Russian to become a head of an important independent Western organization was lost.

Of course, Ms Latynina would be right if she said that Estonia threatened the Kremlin's youth movements by blocking certain vocal anti-Estonian leaders, with a tendency to break Estonian laws, from traveling abroad. The threat of getting cut from traveling in the Schengen increased the costs of involvement in this organization for promising Russian young public figures.

Of course, Ms Latynina would be right if she said that thanks to Russian cybernetic attacks, Estonia now has unique NATO cyber defense centre under command of maj-gen Johannes Kert (read this lengthy overview in British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph). For the Kremlin this is significant as under the pattern of thinking of the Russian generals the Western willingness to protect its Eastern European allies is directly connected to the existence of military bases, established in each particular country.
So, thinks Kremlin, once Czech Republic obtains a significant USA military base (missile shield installations) the USA will have to go to war on the Czech side - against anyone - if there's a direct military conflict. This rule in the rule book is the one, which is crystal clear for the generals. That's why in their view Russia should oppose such military bases, because once established they would cut Russia off from possible intervention or exercising softer forms of influence in particular region.

Estonia now has got its first and so far the only official NATO base, in which a number of NATO countries participate. To put it bluntly, the Russians can't seriously think anymore about bombing Tallinn, without having to consider the repercussions of the risk of killing several senior NATO countries' military officials, in addition to the usual toll in several thousands of our friends from Finland, touring shopping malls and Keskturg, daily. They know they can do it - fire missiles - in the case of Georgia, where there's no such risk present. So they do. But in the case of a NATO member country, a formal ally, a part of a bigger picture, it is impossible.

It sounds cynical and even primitive, but that's how our Russian "friends" see it.


stalker said...

Congratulations, ivan vs jaan! (Do you have a proper name, byw?) You're featured in my post Top 10 Russophobe Myths ( In fact, you've won first place!

bathmate said...
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