The following is partially an anecdotal summary of research amongst Russian speakers in Estonia that was published in ‚Diplomaatia" in November 2015. In light of the extraordinarily low voter turnout in Estonia of Russian citizens for the Russian State Duma elections recently and numerous published opinions about the loyalty or disloyalty of Estonian Russian-speakers, it would be interesting to note how Russian media has or hasn't influenced Russian speakers in Estonia.
Pensioner Vladimir Aleksejev in Narva turns on the TV at 6:00 am to initially watch European and American and from then on strictly Russian language news. "During Putin's rule Russia has risen from its knees. Russia has started to understand what it is, who it is, and where it should be jheaded."
From the above, one might conclude that Aleksejev typifies potentially a dangerous element in Estonia: he surrounds himself with Russia's information enviroment, idolizes Putin and supports his policies. His political stance must therefore be fertile ground for foreign intrusion into Estonia. He embodies the fear that many Estonians feel and the warnings that Estonians allies express – that the Russian minority might become the excuse for Putin's military to intervene.
August was a normal month in Estonia-related news coverage. No disasters, political upheavels, celebrity scandals etc. Andrei Kuzitškin, an immigrant from Russia and columnist for Postimees studied Russian internet sites and newspapers for content on Estonia. Some samples:
While the Estonian presidential elections campaign reached full swing and only received factual news coverage and little commentary, the appointment of Anton Vaino to the chief administrator's position on Vladimir Putin's staff received wide attention and commentary. Anton Vaino is of Estonian heritage and the grandson of the former first secratary of the Estonian Communist Party, remembered in Estonia as an autocratic, old-style communist, who, in spite of his Estonian roots, spoke broken Estonian.
Tänavune Kotkajärve Metsaülikool leidis 49. aastat järjest aset Kanadas Muskoka maakonnas asuvas eesti skautide suvelaagris, juhtmõtteks «Ehitagem eesti kojad!» ja see tähendas arutelusid nii rändeprobleemi kui presidendivalimiste üle, kirjutab kirjandusteadlane Sirje Kiin (Vabaerakond).
Seekordsed loengud ning arutelud olidki rohkem rakenduslikku ja praktilist laadi, alates arhitektuurist, sepakunstist, puitehitistest, genoomidest sünteetilises bioloogias, Estcubi projektist, mis viis Eesti kosmosemaade hulka, kuni ökoloogisema kogukondlikkuse, majanduse, poliitika ja isegi liivlaste riigi ehitamiseni.
A glimpse at the numerous different approaches to dual citizenship in just the European countries does not do justice to the immensely wide differences between countries worldwide.
Just a few examples: Pakistan allows dual citizenship with only 16 countries, only three of which, Egypt, Syria and Jordan, have Muslim populations, the rest being western, industrialized liberal democracies such as the US, Canada, New Zealand, UK, etc. Australia and Egypt do not allow those with dual citizenship to be elected to parliament.
Many countries encourage multiple citizenships. There is a practical reason for this: without the necessity for obtaining visas and in many cases, business visas, in many situations it helps citizens to travel and conduct business abroad. Countries such a Switzerland (1992) and Australia (2002) opted for dual citizenship in recent years. In fact most countries with advanced economies permit dual citizenship. There are some exceptions: Austria, Denmark, Germany, Japan. the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and Spain. A few countries allow dual citizenship up to the age of 18.
Currently it seems to be the intention of the Estonian government, interior minister Hanno Pevkur, to amend the citizenship law to allow dual citizenship to individuals who have it by birthright and deny it to those who have acquired it by naturalization. Critics say that this would be unusual, not accepted elsewhere, when in fact it is not uncommon internationally.
(The Estonian Constitution states: "Every child of whose parents one is a citizen of Estonia is entitled to Estonian citizenship by birth. Everyone who has forfeited his or her Estonian citizenship as a minor is entitled to its restoration. No one may be deprived of an Estonian citizenship acquired by birth.")
Opponents of this proposal raise questions regarding persons of dual loyalties, possible accusations about discrimination against those not allowed dual citizenship, the creation of "first'' and "second'' class citizen communities, etc..
Vladimir Putin has tapped deep into a line of dependable Soviet era nomenklatura, reaching back to the time of Stalin, to appoint his latest chief of staff, Anton Vaino.
Vaino's grandfather, Karl Vaino, was a second generation member of the Communist Party, who in 1978, was asked by Leonid Brezhnev to take over as the Party boss in Soviet occupied Estonia. The appointment brings up concerns about Vaino's existing connections to former members of the nomenklatura in Estonia.
Karl Vaino's Estonian parents moved to Russia after the Bolshevik revolution and settled in Siberia, where Karl graduated as an engineer from the Tomsk Military Railway Institute.
Recognized as a reliable Communist Party member and leveraging his Estonian roots, Soviet authorities sent Vaino to Estonia in 1947 and by 1949, he took a position working for the repressive nucleus of the Central Committee of the Estonian Communist Party. During this period, Estonians were regularly terrorized by Stalinist repression and tens of thousands of Estonians were deported to Sibera. As a member of the Estonian Central Committee, Karl Vaino would have known about and likely participated in the planning of Stalin's mass repressions.
Eesti Elu Nr. 33 - 19. august 2022 DIGILEHT
Kõik numbrid koos sisukorraga: www.issuu.com/estonianlife
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