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Ballots and instructions for the Estonian American National Council’s XXI council elections have been mailed first class to over 4,400 addresses in the U.S.

Kogu Me Lugu (KML) is an oral history initiative to collect video testimonials of people (direct witnesses or their friends and relatives) who have lived under or fled from the Soviet and/or the German occupation in Estonia or migrated as a result of acts committed by these regimes (http://kogumelugu.ee/). We expect the families of the Estonian diaspora to share their stories in Tallinn during Laulupidu (July 2-8 2014).

(Washington, DC) – Legislation designating August 23 as a “Black Ribbon Day” commemorating the victims of both Soviet communist and Nazi terror passed on May 23, in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is a culmination of an ongoing two-year effort by the Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) seeking passage of this legislation.

PRESS RELEASE  5/27/14
The Estonian American National Council

 

The Estonian American National Council is pleased to announce that it has engaged Priit Vesilind to finish the history of Estonians in the United States from the time of the World War II.  The book, which has a working title of “Estonians in America: Seventy Years of Struggle and Success,” will provide details on the history and activities of Estonian refugees and displaced persons – and their descendants – who came to the U.S. after Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union.

Priit Parming

 

Russian intelligence officers surreptitiously cross the country’s border conducting area assessment and laying the groundwork for unconventional warfare. Senior Russian officers are preparing a plan to overthrow the country’s government by utilizing local extremists led by veteran Russian officers. The locals are to be clandestinely assembled. At the same time a large force of Russian Army officers in civilian clothes inflitrate across the border in small groups. Weapons have been secretly smuggled into the country. The plan calls for the assault groups to simultaneously attack government buildings, police stations and various military facilitis and then request the assistance of the Russian Army.

 

Ukraine 2014? No! Estonia, December 1st, 1924. Initially the Russian tactics in Crimea  and Eastern Ukraine bewildered the Western powers. New dispatches called it “new tactics”. News anchors moaned: “there is nothing we can do against this type of warfare!” Apparently today’s Western leaders have learned little about welltested and previously employed Russian tactics utilizing underground operations and unconventional warfare. In reality little has changed in ninety years except the lethality of today’s weapons systems and the impact of today’s mass media systems in support of such operations.

 

In 1924 the Komintern decided to overthrow the Estonian government utilizing Estonian- born veteran Red Army officers, many with extensive combat experience in the Russian Civil War. The polkovniks (Harald Tummeltau and Karl Rim) who served in the Russian military intelligence in Moscow prepared the plan for the attempted coup. Rimm clandestinely visited the Estonian capital on three occasions to coordinate the specific requirements with local leaders.

 

About sixty Red Army officers in civilian clothes infiltrated in 2-3 men groups across the border and proceeded by trains into Estonian cities, mostly to Tallinn. The local Communist party boss Jaan Anvelt ordered his cadres to assemble in strict secrecy for an important Party meeting in numerous safe houses scattered across Tallinn. The doors of the safe houses were locked and no one was allowed to leave. Weapons were issued and the locals were introduced to their assault group commanders who had arrived from Russia. Only then were the assembled revolutionaries told of their actual mission to overthrow the government. A Revolutionary Committee mission to Pskov based GPU polkovnik Valter Klein was formed. Polkovnik Rimm was to direct the employment of the assault groups.

 

At 5:15 am the morning of December 1st the various assault groups were to proceed in darkness and seize Toompea Castle (location of he Estonian Parliament), kill the head of state and seize the War Ministry.  A large group was to attack the Tondi barracks that housed the cadets of the Military Academy and seize the large national weapons depot (to include machineguns and artillery pieces). Important transportation and communications facilities were to be occupied. The revolutionary assault groups were to capture the armored car regiment and utilize the vehicles in attacks elsewhere in the city, attack various military unit barracks and police stations as well as the military airfield where a small Communist cell existed. One group was to capture a prison and free a large group of previously arrested comrades who were to swell the ranks of the revolutionaries. Sound familiar?

 

Vladimir Putin utilized a strategic deception to mask his Ukranian operation. While many western leaders drank champagne at the Olympic Games, Russian Army  intelligence and Spetsnaz officers were infiltrated into Ukraine. Russian military units were moved to the Ukranian border to participate in “routine maneuvers”.

 

In 1924 the Russian deception was even more clever. Rumors of a Russian sponsored coup were constantly disseminated until many people didn’t take them seriously.  The evening prior to the attempted coup, the Russian ambassador in Tallinn invited numerous sympathizers and Socialists to the Russian  embassy for a large reception. At the same time a large teachers’ seminar took place in Tallinn. At the time many of the Teachers’ Seminars were under the influence of Communists and several were closed after the coup failed. After the coup, the Estonian intelligence officers believed that many of the “workers government” ministers could have come from those assembled at the two events.
Vladimir Putin had Russian weapons smuggled into  Ukraine. Several Ukranian helicopters were shot down by shoulder fired anti aircraft missiles. Machineguns and mortars have been used by the Russian “self defense” forces. Many of the leaders of these groups carried very modern weapons and equipment. Radio intercepts confirmed they were calling Moscow to coordinte activities. Some were photographed in both Crimean and Eastern Ukraine. In 1924 even US manufactured Thompson submachine guns were captured from the revolutionaries. Just as the Ukranian pro-Russian groups requested the assistance of the Russian Army, the Revolutionary Committee in Tallinn was to call for help from the Red Army after seizing the key buildings in Tallinn. A partial mobilization was ordered in the Leningrad Military District and the Estonian cadet company at the Leningrad-based International Military Academy was to be alerted. Commissar Karl Kanger of the Estonian Cadet Company infiltrated into Narva and was to assume the duties of Commissar of Narva and arrange for the reception of the Russian occupation forces.

 

Putin’s Ukranian operation included a cyber attack against Ukranian communications and the use of mass media on the international level. All Ukranians opposed to Russian objectives were described as “fascists”. Even Western news organizations repeated this Russian propaganda. In 1924 female agitators were sent into factories in Tallinn urging workers to join the “revolutionary forces”.  None did. Female agents were extensively used as couriers between the assault groups.

 

The parallels between the events in Estonia in 1924 and in the Ukraine are astounding. The attempted Communist coup in Estonia was a warning shot across the bow to all Western governments. It was a classical Russian clandestine operation that today’s Western leaders should study. Fortunately the coup failed. Six Russian Embassy employees were apprehended by Estonian security forces. Over fifty employees of the Russian owned Dobroflot maritime commercial company (which operated in the Kopli peninsula) were given weapons and ordered to participate in the overthrow of the government. Many of the coup’s participants were killed in street battles with Estonian military and police units. Many were captured and sentenced to death by military courts. Some escaped to Russia to repeat the process in 1940. This year 90 years will have passed from the attempted coup. Unfortunately the Western response to the Russian military action in the Ukraine has been meek.  Estonian security expert, Erik-Niiles Kross has pointed out that Nazi leaders faced charges in the Nuremberg court for their “Anschluss tactics during World War II”. Vladimir Putin and his inner circle “must be treated with care” lest he be “provoked”. The sanctions imposed on select Russian leaders means that instead of being able to devour steak and drink whiskey in New York, they must settle for caviar and vodka in Moscow.

patarei vanglaPhoto and text by ERR News

 

The Patarei sea fortress and prison, which has been mostly abandoned since 2002, when the prison was shut down, has attracted interest from a number of foreign investors.

May 20, 2014

 

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves will visit St. Olaf College May 25 to receive an honorary degree and deliver the charge to the graduating class.

The Estonian Ministry of Education has prepared a bill which would make all school lunches free, not just for primary school students as is currently the case.

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