✔︎ Sinimäel maeti hauda 202 langenud sõdurit
"Säilmed maeti vennashauda, kuhu on varem maetud juba umbes 12,000 Teise maailmasõja ajal Eestis langenud sõdurit. … Punaarmee ja Saksa vägede vahel peetud Sinimägede lahing on teadaolevalt kõige ohvriterohkem lahing Eesti pinnal. "
✔︎ "Americans are more willing to defend NATO Baltic allies if Russia were to invade one of them. For the first time since the question was first asked in 2014, a slim majority now say they would favor sending US troops to defend Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia (52%).” - Chicago Council on Global Affairs
✔︎ On suvi, pole mõtet Zapadi pärast muretseda. - Kaitseväe juhataja Riho Terras
Friday 11. August
✔︎ Scientists overturn 5,000 year hypothesis
An interview with Ph.D. student Lehti Saag
"An article published in the journal Current Biology in July confirms Estonians do not have a single original home in the Ural mountains from where people started moving westward to reach the shore of the Baltic Sea some 5,000 years ago.”
- Question: "You studied the bones of five hunter-gatherers and five farmers from 4,500-6,300 years ago. What did you find?"
- Lehti Saag: "That is the time agriculture reached Estonia. The hunter-gatherers we looked at lived here 6,300-5,600 years ago, the farmers some 4,700-4,500 years ago. Agriculture came to Estonia in the circa one thousand years in between."
"We wanted to know how people moved during that time as there has been a lot of talk about how Estonians have lived here for a very long time, and that we are a very indigenous people. It is true in the sense that we still have the most genetic material from hunter-gatherers in Europe. However, we are not the isolated hunter-gatherers who lived here thousands of years ago. We have seen several influxes of people over the millennia..."
- Report Summary: "Extensive Farming in Estonia Started through a Sex-Biased Migration from the Steppe"
"Here we present the results from new low-coverage whole-genome shotgun sequence data from five hunter-gatherers and five first farmers of Estonia whose remains date to 4,500 to 6,300 years before present.” - [PDF version of the full report is available for purchase.]
- Tapping and tracking Soviet Tallinn’s tourists
[I visited Tallinn in 1978 and remember the little-old-lady in the hallway by the elevator!]
- The KGB Welcomes You to the Hotel Viru. Please Mind the Hidden Bugs
(Daily Beast - July 2014)
“… the hotel entrapped visitors into occupying themselves within its premises rather than seeking entertainment outside. This was all in line with the plan of the KGB agents who listened in to every syllable and watched every step taken from their listening room hidden on the secret top floor of Hotel Viru."
- Võrumaal: Taluõues kihises ja roomas üliharuldane loodusnähtus
"Augusti alguses märkasid Võrumaal Kärgula külas jalutama läinud külalised taluõues hiiglaslikku ussilaadset moodustist, mis koosnes tuhandetest väikestest ussikestest."
"Mis on vaenuköis?”
(Postimees | Eesti Rahvaluule)
"Vaenuköis ehk vainuköis on vaenusääse (Sciara militaris) vaklade moodustatud ahel, mis on kuni 15 cm lai ja 3–4 m pikk, kirjutab Vikipeedia. Vaklade ahelat võib märgata juuli- või augustiöödel niisketes metsades."
- Arvamusfestival 2017
(ERR | Postimees)
"Kaljulaid: õmblusteta ühiskond ei ole raha, vaid õigete asjade küsimus."
- 5th annual Opinion Festival begins in Paide
“… the two-day event will feature approximately 160 discussions in Estonian, Russian and English on topics ranging from education to the economy, pornography, and veganism."
- US aircraft damaged as it practices landing on Jägala-Käravete highway - no injuries
(Postimees | Delfi)
- Estonian Air Force to get two M-28 transport aircraft from US
(The Baltic Times)
“… Estonia will get two transport aircraft M-28/C-145 worth a total of six million U.S. dollars as a present if Estonia covers the costs needed for them to conform to European flight safety regulations as well as transport costs."
- Russia: The Federal Security Service wants all data from registered instant messengers and social networks. All of it.
Thursday 10. August
- Terras: võtame Valgevene kutse Zapadile vaatlejaks minna vastu
“… ja saadab septembris algavale Venemaa-Valgevene suurõppusele Zapad oma vaatlejad."
- Estonian military to accept invitation of Belarus to attend Zapad 2017
“General Riho Terras noted that this summer Belarus and Russia have already conducted preparatory joint exercises testing communications in July and currently a demonstrative drill is taking place in Pskov, not far from Estonia and Latvia."
- Mesilased presidendi kantseleis
"Juuni lõpust asub Vabariigi Presidendi Kantselei roosiaias kolm mesitaru. Roosiaias toimetavad väga rahulikku tõugu kraini mesilased, kelle põhirass on pärit Sloveeniast ja Alam-Austriast."
- That moment when the Estonian president becomes a bee keeper
"This week, the president’s office announced that since June, the Kadriorg’s presidential palace has accommodated three beehives in its gorgeous garden."
- USA ründelennukid maanduvad Jägala-Käravete maanteel
(ERR | Postimees)
"Kümme USA Marylandi rahvuskaardi lennuüksuse A-10-tüüpi ründelennukit harjutasid neljapäeval maandumist ja õhkutõusmist Jägala-Käravete maantee laiendusel."
- U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt II Jets Practice Take Off And Landing On Highway in Estonia
- Judicial reform: Polish civil society rises up
“Protests against unconstitutional justice reforms in Poland have highlighted the weakness of opposition parties. Young demonstrators don't trust the liberals. Lech Walesa remains the only voice of authority for them."
- Chinese tourists boost Helsinki tourist trade
"Chinese tourists spend a lot of money when visiting Finland's capital. Last year visitors from China spent 214 million euros in greater Helsinki. Even more Chinese tourists are expected to come this year."
Wednesday 9. August
- Geneetika selgitab, kust on pärit eestlaste esiisad
"Erinevaid teadusuuringuid lugedes on võimalik kokku seada pilt sellest, kust on pärit meie esivanemad. Kogutud info põhjal pani Ajalugu Oskariga kokku animatsiooni, mis seletab väga lihtsalt ja selgelt, kust on pärit eestlaste esivanemad."
- Arvamus: Zapad 2017 - õppused või agressioon?
"Venemaa naabrid jälgivad murelikult idanaabri sõjalisi ettevalmistusi sügisesteks suurõppusteks Zapad 2017. Erukindral ja riigikogu liige Ants Laaneots (Reformierakond) loeb siiski kõige mustemate stsenaariumite täideminekut – sõda või järjekordset anšlussi – ebatõenäoliseks."
- On suvi, pole mõtet Zapadi pärast muretseda
- NATO Needs an Offensive Cybersecurity Policy
(Real Clear Defense)
"The designation of cyberspace as a domain of operations has far-reaching implications. As decided upon by Allied countries in the Tallinn Manual 2.0, such a label allows NATO to act only against those cyberattacks that qualify as an “armed attack.” In the case of cyberattacks, however, opponents often do not seek physical destruction. Of late, cyberattacks have moved further away from traditional warfare in pursuit of subtler influences, sometimes involving coercive political pressure."
Tuesday 8. August
- Vaata, kuidas oleme 25 aastaga muutunud
"Eestlane muutub järjest targemaks ja toob koju kunagisest umbes nelikümmend korda rohkem raha. Pere loomise lükkame järjest kaugemale, samas iseenda eest oleme õppinud hästi hoolitsema."
- Kuidas ajaloolised fassaadid kasvasid büroohooneteks
"Linn kasvab ja tiheneb, kuid ajaloolisi mälestusi valvab kaitsevöönd. Siiski on muinsuskaitseamet nii mõnelgi korral lubanud ehitada ajaloolise fassaadi ümber modernse büroohoone."
- NATO in Baltics learns from Ukraine's mistakes
"Repeatedly strong NATO approval ratings in all three Baltic states indicate support for strengthening military presence in the region. Combined with paramilitary and volunteer armed forces - such as the Riflemen's Union in Lithuania and Kaitseliit in Estonia - civil society has been mobilizing against the perceived Russian threat, just as it had formed the backbone of resistance in Ukraine."
- Poll: Increasing Amount of Americans Support Defending Baltic Allies
'American Opinion on US-Russia Relations: From Bad to Worse'
(Chicago Council on Global Affairs)
"Americans are also more willing to defend NATO Baltic allies if Russia were to invade one of them. For the first time since the question was first asked in 2014, a slim majority now say they would favor sending US troops to defend Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia (52%). And a growing minority of Americans favor sending US troops if Russia invades the rest of Ukraine (from 31% in 2015 to 39% in 2017)."
- Küsitlus: USA elanike hinnangul peaks Baltimaid Venemaa eest kaitsma
- Opinion: European Defence - difficult choices ahead for Estonia
- For Zapad 2017, Washington to deploy paratroopers in Estonia
- Estonian, Maryland National Guard cyber exercise begins at Ämari
- Consumer price index in Estonia increases by 3.6%
Monday 7. August
- Korrespondent Maria-Ann Rohemäe: ameeriklased ütlevad, et ma olen jahedavõitu
"Eks ma pean harjuma üleüldiselt Ameerikaga, ameerika inimesed on teistmoodi, mina olen nende jaoks teistmoodi. Ma ise ei pea ennast väga tüüpiliseks eestlaseks või külmaks inimeseks, aga ameeriklased kohati ütlevad mulle, et ma olen jahedavõitu, ma pean harjuma sellega, et small talk on täiesti normaalne nende jaoks. Kui sa lihtsaid vestlusi inimestega ei pea, siis pigem on see nende jaoks ebamugav ja piinlik."
- Eastern Lessons: The “old” West can learn a thing or two from “new” Europe’s progress
by Edward Lucas
"Estonia’s EU presidency for the remainder of 2017 is a salient reminder of “new” Europe’s progress. The fact that an ex-communist country with one million inhabitants is managing the EU’s agenda is taken for granted. Despite a lackluster government, Estonia is smoothly pushing ahead with its agenda, particularly on creating a digital single market. E-residency - a digital ID card for foreigners - is attracting interest from outsiders wanting to do business in the EU, not least Britons spooked by Brexit. The NATO-affiliated cyber-defense center in Tallinn has just finished its annual “Locked Shields” exercise, now the most important war game of its kind in Europe."
"Other frontline states also have plenty to teach. Ukraine, against all odds and at great cost, has fought Russia to a standstill on the battlefield, gaining vital experience about the way Russia wages regular and irregular warfare. Ukraine’s mythbusters have the sharpest antennae when it comes to dealing with Russian propaganda."
- Venemaa mõju Eestis
"Viimase 25 aasta jooksul on Venemaa mõju Eestis järk-järgult vähenenud. Tänaseks ei ole enamikes valdkondades see märkimist väärt. Eesti puhul on suhted Läänemere naabritega ja ELiga tervikuna palju tähtsamad – ja tugevamad – kui suhted Venemaaga."
- Russian Influence in Estonia
- Russia -
"Trust No One"
- Russians Mark Putin’s 18th Year in Power by Reprising Brezhnev-Style Anecdotes
by Paul Goble
(Window on Eurasia)
"In the intervening period, Putin has won enormous authority not only among those who have known no other ruler but also among their elders, but he has also suffered the fate of previous Moscow rulers who remained in office a long time: he and his regime have become the subject of Russian anecdotes that resemble those Soviets told about Leonid Brezhnev.”
Example: "Putin’s movements are a military and state secret but it is difficult to keep them that way because everyone can see where new asphalt is being put down on the roads and where houses are being repaired and painted."
- Putin's Luck has Run Out and Russians Know It: Sergey Shelin
(Window on Eurasia)
"The 18th anniversary of Vladimir Putin in power is an appropriate occasion to remember that the successes of the Kremlin leader and those of Russia as a whole aren’t “one and the same thing, however much his regime tries to promote the opposite view, according to Rosbalt commentator Sergey Shelin."
- Why the Pope ♥️ Putin
"The Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, is scheduled to fly to Moscow on August 20 to meet the Russian president and Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. The four-day visit - the first of its kind since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 - is another step in a deepening relationship that began in September 2013, when Francis wrote an open letter to Putin, who was chairing the G20, to express his opposition to a U.S. military intervention in Syria.”
- Russia's Pothole Predicament
"It’s no secret that Russia is a kleptocracy in which the state is run for profit by a criminal elite while average citizens shoulder the cost. Road corruption in this setting appears to be a logical revenue stream for all involved—from top officials who pilfer from the roads budget, to construction companies cutting corners, to local traffic cops taking bribes for the most minor traffic violations. Such bribes can be anywhere between $15 to $200. And even if bribes can be avoided, one might still have to cover the cost of a new chassis: because of this perfect storm of graft, roads are littered with holes large enough to dislodge wheels from vehicles.”
"The Soviets, upon inheriting the muddy mess of the country’s roads, sought to improve the infrastructure through labor conscription for local road improvement; such work was often poorly executed and helped to normalize an amateurish approach to what should be a sophisticated engineering endeavor.”
- More than 20 Russian Regions Now at Third World Levels Economically
(Window on Eurasia)
“… economists say that Russia faces “at a minimum, 20 years of economic stagnation.”
- Moscow Traffic Havoc
(The Moscow Times)
"If you come to Moscow this summer, 15 minutes after you leave the customs area at the airport you will hear talk of … “Моя улица” - a Moscow city program that the mayor’s office calls "крупнейший проект благоустройства в современной истории Москвы" (the biggest urban improvement project in the modern history of Moscow).”
"The reason you’ll hear about it right away is because the person who meets you at the airport will moan about the hours he or she spent in traffic jams due to road work. As proof, your driver will show you his smartphone navigator dotted with thousands of little pictograms of tiny people and miniscule shovels. The signs used to be called "дорожные работы" (road work), but now they’ve been renamed "работы по благоустройству" (urban improvement work). Doesn’t matter what you call them — it’s still guys with shovels wreaking havoc with traffic."
- Moscow's hated construction work gets a mysterious, busty endorsement
- Russian president visits Abkhazia on anniversary of brief war over the territory
"NATO criticizes Putin visit to disputed Georgia territory.”
- Putin Still in Denial over the Loss of Ukraine
"When historians look back at the collapse of Russia-Ukraine relations, they will likely pinpoint the invasion of Crimea as the decisive moment. The 2014 military takeover of Ukraine’s southern peninsula and the subsequent Kremlin-led hybrid war in the east have forced Ukrainians into a fundamental reassessment of their attitudes toward Russia. It has poisoned bilateral ties and transformed what was essentially a trade dispute into the geopolitical divorce of the century."
- Putin Heads to Occupied Georgia Territory on War Anniversary
"On Tuesday, the ninth anniversary of the war between Russia and Georgia, Russian President Vladimir Putin took time off from shirtless fishing in Siberia to pay a visit to Abkhazia. That’s one of Georgia’s two occupied territories, recognized as independent by Russia since the war - and Putin’s trip comes exactly one week after Vice President Mike Pence visited Tbilisi and gave a shout out to Georgia’s hopes of joining NATO. (Keeping Georgia out of NATO was the driver behind the 2008 war.)”
- Northwestern Russia: Village Bones Reveal Gulag's Horrors
[Anatolis is a Lithuanian man who was deported with his parents 1,721 km from Vilnius to the gulag in the northwestern Russian village of Adzherom. Bones of the camp's victims are often found in the surrounding forest. Anatolis and his wife find these bones and give them a proper burial.]