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"Estonians and dogs no admittance". The background is the Ribbon of Saint George, associated with the commemoration of World War II in Russia. This sign stood several days at a restaurant entrance in Yaroslavl, Russia.[1][2][3]

Anti-Estonian sentiment generally describes dislike or hate of the Estonian people or the Republic of Estonia. According to Lilia Shevtsova, Senior Associate at the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program Chair of the Carnegie Moscow Center, anti-Estonian sentiment is intentionally escalated by Kremlin in its "search for enemies".[4]
According to the President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves "We are witnesses to the information war against Estonia which already reminds of an ideological aggression".[5]


Media accounts

Anti-Estonian sentiment is present among many in Russian politics, as well as among a portion of Russian people. The seeds of a number of recent incidents in Estonian-Russian relations can be traced back to exaggerated anti-Estonian discourse in some Russian-language mass media.[6] The controversy over relations has featured in numerous media accounts.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17]

Accusations of discrimination of minorities

Most claims of anti-Russian sentiment in Estonia and Latvia regarding supposed political or economic discrimination against the large Russian minorities in these countries are made by Russian authorities, media and activists. Such accusations have become more frequent during times of political disagreements between Russia and these countries, and waned when the disagreements have been resolved.[18][19][20][21]

Accusations of sympathies with Nazism

A manifestation of anti-Estonian sentiment is make accusations that Estonia as a country, or particularly Estonain celebrities or politicians, are Nazi-minded.[22][23] In Russia, Nashi (youth movement) has been noted for anti-Estonian sentiment among its members; often, it is framed as anti-fascism activities.[24]


An anti-Estonian pejorative neologism, eSStonia, appeared in the Russian media, on Runet, and at the street protests in the midst of the Bronze Soldier controversy in 2007. The term, a portmanteau of Estonia and SS, is intended to portray Estonia as a fascist or neo-Nazi state.[25][26].

In April 2007, some participants in the protested outside the Embassy of Estonia in Moscow organized by the Russian youth organisation Nashi carried signs stating "Wanted. The Ambassador of the Fascist State of eSStonia" (Russian: «Разыскивается посол фашистского государства эSSтония»), referring to the then-Ambassador of Estonia to Russia Marina Kaljurand.[27] In May 2007, members of the Young Guard of United Russia picketed the Consulate-General of Estonia in Saint Petersburg holding up pickets with slogans such as "eSStonia–the shame of Europe!" (Russian: «эSSтония — позор Европы!»).[28] The use of eSStonia in protests by Nashi and the Young Guard determined the head of the Saint Petersburg youth branch of Yabloko to file a complaint with Yury Chaika, the Prosecutor General of Russia, asking for an investigation into a possible breach of Article 282 Incitement of National, Racial, or Religious Enmity of the Criminal Code of Russia.[27][29]

In November 2007, Komsomolskaya Pravda, the biggest selling daily newspaper in Russia, ran a campaign asking readers to boycott travel to Estonia, Estonian goods and services. The campaign run under the slogan "I don't go to eSStonia" (Russian: Я не еду в эSSтонию).[26][30][31] The Economist, in its editorial, called the term "a cheap jibe" by spelling the country's name eSStonia, President Ilves as IlveSS and Prime Minister Ansip as AnSSip, while noting the coining of the term Nashism to describe what they regard as the populist, pro-authoritarian and ultra-nationalist philosophy of Nashi, a pro-Kremlin youth movement, as an encouraging countermeasure.[32]

2007 Bronze Soldier issue

Christopher Walker and Robert Orttung allege that Kremlin-controlled sectors of the Russian media took advantage of anti-Estonian sentiment during Estonia's 2007 relocation of the Bronze Soldier, a Soviet-era statue honoring the Red Army men and women who fought against the Nazis during the 1944 battle for Tallinn during the Second World War.[33]

See also


  1. ^ Городской телеканал, 5 May 2007: В Ярославле эстонцев приравняли к собакам
  2. ^ Trud, 5 May 2007: НЕ ЕДИМ, НЕ ПЬЕМ, НЕ ЕЗДИМ
  3. ^, 17 May 2007: Без объявления войны
  4. ^ Shevtsova, Lilia (2007). Russia--lost in Transition. Carnegie Endowment. p. 200. ISBN 0870032364.  
  5. ^ Statement made by the President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, 30.04.2007 Sinisalu, Arnold. "Propaganda, Information War and the Estonian-Russian Treaty Relations: Some Aspects of International Law". Juridica International. Retrieved 2009-04-04.  
  6. ^ Socor, Vladimir (26 January 2007). [tt_news=32427&tx_ttnews[backPid]=171&no_cache=1 "Moscow stung by Estonian ban on totalitarianism's symbols"]. Jamestown Foundation.[tt_news]=32427&tx_ttnews[backPid]=171&no_cache=1. Retrieved 2009-02-12.  
  7. ^ International Centre for Defence Studies: [tt_news]=4&tx_ttnews[backPid]=71&cHash=f1a5f211bc Russia’s Involvement in the Tallinn Disturbances
  8. ^ Helsingin Sanomat May 6, 2007: Virtual harassment, but for real by Miska Rantanen
  9. ^ The Moscow News: Russian Retailers Boycott Estonian Goods by Sergei Dmitriyev
  10. ^ China Worker June 16, 2007: US-Russia tensions escalate by Rob Jones
  11. ^ Information Centre of Fenno-Ugric People August 2, 2005: Estonian students caught in the wheels of Russia's internal politics
  12. ^ Pravda April 7, 2007: Estonian Neo-Nazis regret Hitler's defeat in WWII
  13. ^ Jewish Times June 21, 2007: Estonian Jews Silent Over Statue Dispute by Matt Siegel
  14. ^ Johnson's Russia List/Interfax May 16, 2007: Removal Of War Monument Was Estonia's Way To Show Independence — Premier
  15. ^ Reason Magazine May 14, 2007: Who Liberates the Liberators? The power struggle over an old Soviet war memorial by Cathy Young
  16. ^ The U.S.–Baltic Foundation: USBF voices concern over the Russian bullying of Estonia
  17. ^ NCSJ/New York Times May 5, 2007: Friction Between Estonia and Russia Ignites Protests in Moscow by Steven Lee Myers
  18. ^ Russia and the Baltic States: Not a Case of "Flawed" History
  19. ^ Postimees 25 July 2007: Naši suvelaagrit «ehib» Hitleri vuntsidega Paeti kujutav plakat
  20. ^ "Law Assembly": The policy of discrimination of the national minorities in Latvia and Estonia
  21. ^ Russia and the Baltic States: Not a Case of "Flawed" History by Mikhail Demurin, a long-time diplomat of USSR and later Russian Federation, printed in Russia in Global Affairs
  22. ^ Postimees July 6, 2007: Rein Langi juubelipidu äratas huvi Vene meedias
  23. ^ Eesti Päevaleht July 6, 2007: Vene meedia haaras Rein Langi sünnipäeva mõnuga hambusse, edited by Tuuli Aug
  24. ^
  25. ^ Silver, Joseph (December 2007) (PDF). Technology and Culture in Modern Russia. Naval Postgraduate School/Defense Technical Information Center. pp. 61. Retrieved 2008-01-25.   Quote:Note the altered spelling of Estonia: “eSStonia” makes a reference to the Nazi Waffen SS units of World War II, effectively accusing Estonia of fascism.
  26. ^ a b "If you're a real Russian, don't have any fun in Tallinn". Tallinn: Baltic Times. 13 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-26.  
  27. ^ a b (Russian) Boronov, Alexander; Shevchuk, Mikhail (21 June 2007). "Между прокремлевскими движениями посеяли рознь". Saint Petersburg: Kommersant. Retrieved 2008-12-27.  
  28. ^ (Russian) "«Молодая Гвардия» подсчитала ненужные эстонские товары". Saint Petersburg: Rosbalt. 7 May 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-27.  
  29. ^ (Russian) "Генпрокуратура проверяет «Наших» и «Молодую гвардию» на экстремизм". Novaya Gazeta. 21 June 2007. Retrieved 2009-01-23.  
  30. ^ (Russian) Krasnikov, Nikita; Steshin, Dmitry; Babushkin, Alexander (6 November 2007). "Бронзового Cолдата перенесли за счет русских туристов!". Komsomolskaya Pravda. Retrieved 2008-12-27.  
  31. ^ Hõbemägi, Toomas (19 December 2007). "Fewer Russian tourists to stay in Tallinn for New Year's Eve". Baltic Business News. Retrieved 2009-01-26.  
  32. ^ "An ineffective bully". Economist. 10 May 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-27.  
  33. ^ Christopher Walker and Robert Orttung, "Russia: Putinism's Impact On The Neighbors". RFE/RL, February 12, 2008

Further reading

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