Practically all Russian and a substantial part of Western media claim this. The recent election results, in spite of charges of illegal interference, give Putin a solid mandate to continue his policies.
Referring to official data released by the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) Vladimir Putin’s sizable victory in the presidential elections on March 18 can be mostly attributed to his vilification by the West, according to Kremlin insiders.
Data from the CEC revealed that Putin won a record 76.67% of the vote with 56 million favouring him. In 2012 he won 63.60% of the vote supported by 45.6 million voters. Serious accusations of election fraud is not likely to detract from his declared triumph or change the current outcome. Any exposure of election irregularities will be rejected as inevitable Western falsehoods by the Kremlin-controlled CEC.
Unchecked, Vladimir Putin will accelerate his aggression. He will continuing attacking our democracy, institutions and society through ongoing information warfare campaigns and manipulation. The risk to Canada and our upcoming elections should not be understated.
Multiple assassinations, the illegal annexation of Crimea, the downing of a commercial airliner, ongoing cyber attacks, systematic cheating at Olympic Games, meddling in U.S., French, German, U.K., Spanish and other elections, have all demonstrated Vladimir Putin’s intentions over the past decade.
Yet it is the vulgar impertinence of Putin’s latest assault that may have finally laid bare the true nature of the Putin regime to even the most skeptical observers. The chemical attack in Salisbury, England, by suspected agents of the Russian government, has proven that no government nor borders are capable of protecting citizens against the poisonous fury of the Kremlin.
When Erelt's interview appeared the Internet, while not any longer in its infancy, was not the source of information that it is in 2017. Granted, even today one must weigh the material found with caution, for just because it is available it does not mean that it is a fact. Or even close to the truth, just ask the American president.
The Estonian web site mil.ee is, however, very reliable, and as many such sites are has postings by critics of information, or postings by those who have other information sources available. Not quite a Wikipedia, but certainly, to these eyes, a credible source for much of Estonia's military history, and a fascinating site to lose oneself in for hours at a time.
In 1998 I received by mail from a friend in Estonia, who knew about my encounter with the man who claimed to be the Black Captain, a copy of an interview that appeared in Eesti Ekspress on August 28, 1998, written by Pekka Erelt. A familiar face was captured in the accompanying photograph, the gentleman was identified only by his initials, F.N. Even in 1998 FN did not wish to have his full name revealed, according to Erelt. Unusual, to say the least.
Mart Laar's magisterial work, Metsavennad: Sõda metsas reached English readers in 1992, translated into English by Tiina Ets as War in the Woods: Estonia's Struggle for Survival 1944-1956. (Foreword by Dr Tönu Parming, at the time editor-in-chief of Meie Elu, Toronto's Estonian weekly). Curiously, the Estonian version was published a year later, an instance where the original work was perhaps held back considering the uncertain tenor of the times. Not that Laar has ever been a shrinking lily as an historian. He has always written without fear and with honesty about the times when Estonia was battling for freedom and later, under occupation, when an estimated 30 000 men took advantage of the country's vast forest cover to shelter and wage an armed fight against the hated communists.
The last documented Forest Brother was August Sabe, who was killed by the KGB on September 28, 1978. A remarkable 34 years of survival in the forests of Võrumaa came to an end with his betrayal.
To the best of my knowledge in all of Laar's work about "Forest Brothers", metsavennad, the name of the legendary Black Captain was never revealed. Certainly Hirmus Ants (Terrible Ants) or Ants Kaljurand was identified, a legend who attacked Soviet soldiers until his capture in 1949, and was subsequently sentenced to death in 1951. It is a name that Estonians of a certain generation know well. Must kapten or the Black Captain, however, was a much more mythological figure, whose name was well known, but who was he? Did others take his name as well?