Estonia Attempts to Flex EU Muscle
After months of fierce political pressure over the removal of the Bronze Soldier monument erupted into violent riots in downtown Tallinn and elsewhere in Estonia, the small Baltic country has called upon its chums in the European Union to back it up. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet has asked the EU to "react with maximum strength" to the behaviour of Russia regarding Estonian internal matters: "The issue of the Bronze Soldier and vandalism in Tallinn is a matter for Estonia, but the coordinated activity of Russia against Estonia is a matter for the whole EU," the Foreign Minister told a press conference.
Since the announcement that the Estonian government would relocate the monument, the reaction from Moscow has been one of complete outrage, making anti-Estonian comments in the media and essentially creating an anti-Estonian propaganda campaign which drummed up unrest in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. The Estonian government has pointed the finger directly at the Russian embassy in Tallinn, claiming it met with the leaders of Russian nationalist groups (such as Nashi) prior to the riots in various strange locales such as the Tallinn Botanical Gardens. It is no mystery who several of the key ringleaders of the weekend's violence were, particularly after a Russian delegation from the DUMA in Moscow came to Tallinn insisting on meeting with some of the detainees (a request which was obviously denied). As violence spread throughout downtown Tallinn, several governmental websites were also subject to "cyber-attacks" and had to be shut-down for several days.
"Internet protocol addresses have helped to identify that the cyber attacks against the Internet pages of Estonian government agencies and the office of the president have originated from specific computers and persons in Russian government agencies, including the administration of the President of the Russian Federation," Paet told reporters, graciously refraining from dropping Putin's name directly. Did they really think they could get away with something as archaic as a "cyber-attack" against one of Europe's most tech-savvy countries?
LEARN MORE about Russia and Estonia's feud over the Bronze Soldier.