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What Moscow Is Doing In Ukraine, It Once Did In Estonia – OpEd

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Estonia has every reason to support Ukraine in its hour of need, Estonian Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Minister Kristjan Järvan says. That is because what Moscow’s forces have been doing in Ukraine, they did earlier in Estonia. And Estonians have never forgotten that.

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In an interview with The Kyiv Post, the Estonian official says that Estonia is “100 percent for Ukraine” because it knows from experience what the Russians will do and that they haven’t changed and it knows that it must be prepared to withstand Russian attacks in cyberspace (kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/exclusive-insight-what-happened-in-bucha-and-mariupol-once-happened-in-estonia.html).

“We knew from the beginning” of Putin’s war on Ukraine that “Russia would attack us in cyberspace” because of our support for Ukraine, Järvan says. “So, we made additional investments, increasing the defensive layers of the public services. These measures paid off immensely, rendering Russia’s attempts to undermine [these] completely ineffective.

“Some attacks, however, were aimed at the private sector against financial institutions and telcos. Several weeks ago, for example, Russia attacked our three biggest media outlets, downing and slowing down them for a couple of hours. However, the state quickly got involved, helped them with extra security and the situation was solved.

“I think it is a strong message: what Russia fears the most is free media,” the Estonian minister says (emphasis supplied).

Ever more countries recognize that Estonia’s position on Russia and Ukraine is the only sensible one, and ever more Estonians recognize that the concessions Estonia made to the Soviets before World War II were “the biggest mistake Estonia has ever made … Estonia will never forget that, and this is why we are standing with Ukraine so strongly.”

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Järvan argues that the Russian people share responsibility with Putin for the war. “Even in dictatorships, if the citizens rise up, there is no way even the biggest army can help a dictator stay in power.” He continues: “You can’t blame [popular support in Russia for the war in Ukraine] all on propaganda.”

And he concludes: “Ukraine has shown that we must work to have peace,” that “war is a reality and [that] not everyone is good. People don’t change; and if you don’t take that seriously, bad things can happen.” A dawning recognition of these facts is “what’s changing the mind of many European countries.”

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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