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The smallest of the Baltic states Estonia is about
the size of Vermont and New Hampshire. Suur Nunamagi is the highest
point in all of the Baltics at 318 meters (1,043 ft). The country
has more than 1400 lakes of which Lake Peipus, the 4th largest in
Europe, is shared with Russia.
(SFC, 4/21/03, p.E3)(SSFC, 5/23/04, p.D10)(SSFC,
Heavily forested Estonia lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic
Sea, covering some 17,550 square miles. It's bounded to the east by
Russia and to the south by Latvia.
The Baltics: http://www.balticsww.com
The Baltic Times: http://www.baltictimes.com/
Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=estonia&ie=UTF8&z=6&om=1
IBS Timeline: http://www.ibs.ee/ibs/history/dates.html
Lonely Planet: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/dest/eur/est.htm
1030 The city
of Tartu was founded.
(Hem, 4/96, p.24)
1200-1300 The Danes built a castle at Narva.
(WSJ, 1/25/99, p.A1)
1270 Feb 16, In the Karusa Ice
war in Estonia, Lithuanian forces defeated the Livonian Knights of
1300-1400 The town hall of Tallinn, Estonia, was
(BN, 10/96, p.2)
1341 German Knights of the
Cross negotiated the acquisition of Tallinn from Denmark and took
over all of Estonia.
(Ist. L.H., 1948, p. 61)
1561 Poland-Lithuania gaining
control over Livonia. In response Sweden seized the territory of
Estonia with the major port of Reval. Denmark, also invested
in the war, seized the Livonian Islands.
1582 Jan 15, Russia ceded
Livonia and Estonia to Poland, and lost access to Baltic.
1632 Estonia’s Tartu Univ. was
founded in Tartu, on the banks of the Emajogi River.
(Hem, 4/96, p.23)
c1669 The King of Sweden took
over Estonia and cast his eye over to Livonija, then under
Lithuanian control. Jonas Karolis Katkus (Chodkevicius), a military
leader, gathered a small army and moved to stop the Swedish advance.
He approached Riga with some 4,000 men against a Swedish force of
14,000 and was able to repel them successfully.
(H of L, 1931, p.76-78)
1718-1736 Russian Czar Peter the Great, having
conquered Estonia in the Great Northern War, constructed the
baroque, peach and white Kadriorg Palace on the outskirts of
(Hem, 4/96, p.23)(CNT, 3/04, p.145)
1870 The Vanemuine Theater was
founded in Tartu, Estonia.
(Hem, 4/96, p.23)
1901 Nov 19, Louis Kahn
(d.1974), architect, was born in Saarama, Estonia. His designs
included the capital building of Bangladesh, completed in 1983.
1905 Herman Ammende, a rich
merchant, built the Ammende Villa at Parnu beach.
(CNT, 3/04, p.150)
1918 Feb 15, Estonia, Latvia
& Lithuania adopted the Gregorian calendar.
(440 Int’l., 2/15/99)
1918 Feb 22, Germany claimed
the Baltic states, Finland and Ukraine from Russia.
1918 Feb 24, Estonia's
Independence Day. Estonia proclaimed independence from Russia.
1918 Mar 3, Germany,
Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and Russia signed the
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World
War I. Germany and Austria forced Soviet Russia to sign the Peace of
Brest, which called for the establishment of 5 independent
countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. The
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World
War I, was annulled by the November 1918 armistice. The treaty
deprived the Soviets of White Russia.
(HN, 3/3/99)(LHC, 3/1/03)(AP, 3/3/08)
1918 Nov 19, An agreement was
signed in Riga between the chief commissioner of the German
government in Estonia and Latvia, August Winnig, and representatives
of the Estonian Provisional Government, whereby Germany transferred
supreme power in Estonia to the provisional government.
1918 Nov 28, Soviet Russia
massed Red Army units at the Estonian border and attacked Narva.
1918 Nov 29, The Provisional
Government of the Republic of Estonia declared a general
mobilization. The Estonian War of Independence began.
1918 Idel-Ural (Volga-Ural), a
1917 union of Finno-Ugric people in the middle of Russia, was
crushed by the Bolsheviks. Its foreign minister Sadri Maqsudi Arsal
was welcomed in Finland and then Estonia.
(Econ, 12/24/05, p.73)
1919 Jan-1919 Feb, Red Army
units were driven out of Estonia.
1919 Estonia established the
kroon as its currency. It continued until soviet occupation in 1940
and was restored following independence in 1992.
(Econ, 1/1/11, p.44)
1920 Estonia adopted a
1921 Feb 2, The Tartu Peace
Treaty between Estonia and the Soviet Union recognized a free and
independent Estonian Republic in perpetuity with fixed borders
recognized in the treaty.
(BN, V.15, No.55,
1921 Sep 22, Estonia became a
member of the League of Nations.
1924 Dec 1, Estonian communists
attempted a rebellion under the guidance of agents sent from the
Soviet Union. It was put down the same day.
1925 The Estonia Parliament
passed the national minorities cultural autonomy act. It allowed
Russians, Germans, Jews and Swedes to complete secondary school
education in their own language.
1926 Estonian writer Anton
Hansen (1878-1940) authored the first volume of his 5-part novel,
"Truth and Justice," under the pseudonym A.H. Tammsaare. The first
volume of Truth and Justice was translated into English 2014.
1928 Newspapers across the US
published “Visiting the World Children,” a geography aid for
American kids with pictures that were to be colored and clipped.
Book No.34 was titled “Some Children in Esthonia, the Potato
(BN, V.15, No.55, p.1)
1934 Jan 24, Estonia’s new
Constitution went into effect. It was backed by the right-wing Vaps
Movement and gave the president sweeping powers.
1934 Mar 12, PM Konstantin Päts
declared a state of national emergency and asked the leader of the
Estonian Army, Lt. General Johan Laidoner, to accept the position of
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Vaps organizations were shut
down and their leaders were jailed.
1934 Sep 12, Estonia, Latvia
& Lithuania signed the Baltic Entente in Geneva against the
(LC, 1998, p.24)(MC, 9/12/01)
1934 Oct 2, Estonia’s
government dissolved the parliament.
1937 Estonia’s Rahvuskogu
(National Assembly) was convoked and worked out a new Constitution.
1938 Jan 1, Estonia’s new
Constitution went into effect.
1938 Apr, Konstantin Päts was
elected president of Estonia.
1938 May, Estonia’s Pres.
Konstantin Päts granted an amnesty to release 183 political
prisoners from prison.
1939 Aug 23, German Foreign
Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Soviet Commissar for Foreign
Affairs Vyacheslav M. Molotov signed a Treaty of Non-Aggression, the
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact freeing Hitler to invade Poland and Stalin
to invade Finland. Secret protocols, made public years later, were
added that assigned Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Bessarabia to be
within the Soviet sphere of influence. Poland was partitioned along
the rivers Narev, Vistula and San. Germany retained Lithuania
enlarged by the inclusion of Vilnius. Just days after the signing,
Germany invaded Poland, and by the end of September, both powers had
claimed sections of Poland.
(WP, 6/29/96, p.A16)(AP, 8/23/97) (HNPD,
1939 Sep 28, The Boundary and
Friendship Treaty between the USSR and Germany was supplemented by
secret protocols to amend the secret protocols of Aug 23. Among
other things Lithuania was reassigned to the Soviet sphere of
influence. Poland’s partition line was moved eastwards from the
Vistula line to the line of the Bug. Germany kept a small part of
south-west Lithuania, the Uznemune region. A separate Soviet mutual
defense pact was signed with Estonia that allowed 25,000 Soviet
troops to be stationed there.
(DrEE, 9/28/96, p.3)(DrEE, 10/26/96, p.4)(DrEE,
1939 Oct 6, Adolph Hitler
called upon all Germans living in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy
and Russia to relocate to Germany.
1939 Oct-1940 May, Some 14,000
Germans in Estonia left for resettlement Germany.
1940 Jun 16, Soviet Foreign
Minister Molotov presented August Rei, Estonia’s envoy in Moscow, an
ultimatum to allow an unlimited number of Soviet troops, which was
accepted. Latvia received a similar ultimatum.
1940 Jun 17, The Soviet Union
occupied Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
1940 Jun 18, The Soviet
occupation of Estonia was completed. The government of PM Jüri
1940 Jun 21, Estonia’s Pres.
Päts appointed a new government led by PM Johannes Vares under
pressure from Andrei Zhdanov, head of the Leningrad branch of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
1940 Jun-1941 Jul, After a
Communist coup leading Estonian Republic officials were
mass-murdered in Tallinn.
(BN, 10/97, p.3)
1940 Jul 17, General Laidoner,
the last Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian Armed Forces, was
deported with his wife to banishment in Penza. He died in Vladimir
Prison in 1953.
1940 Jul 21, The new
USSR-organized parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania held
simultaneous sessions. They declared their countries to be soviet
socialist republics and applied for admission to the USSR.
1940 Jul 30, President Päts was
deported with his son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons to
banishment in Ufa. Päts died in a special mental hospital in Kalinin
oblast in 1956.
1940 Aug 3, The Supreme Soviet
officially registered the acceptance of Estonia, Latvia and
Lithuania into the USSR.
1940 Aug 25, The ‘parliaments’
of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania declared themselves ‘provisional
Supreme Soviets’ and adopted new constitutions that were composed
according to the example of the constitutions of already existing
union republics of the USSR.
1940 Aug, The Armies of
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were reorganized as territorial rifle
corps of the Red Army and placed under the control of the political
leaders of the Red Army.
1940 Russia seized Estonia’s
presidential seal and regalia as it annexed the country. As of 2010
Russia continued to refuse to hand the items back.
(Econ, 4/10/10, p.64)
1940-1941 The NKVD imprisoned nearly 1000 citizens
and residents of the Republic of Estonia in 1940. The NKVD and NKGB
imprisoned nearly 6000 in 1941. The overwhelming majority of them
were convicted and sent to prison camps in the USSR where most of
1941 Jan-1941 Apr, Another
7,500 individuals left Estonia for resettlement in Germany.
1941 Jun 14, The Russian secret
police gathered up some 40,000 men, women and children and exiled
them to Siberia in cattle cars. This was the first of many
shipments. Some 10,000 Estonians, more than 15,000 Latvians and
between 16,000 and 18,000 Lithuanians were herded onto cattle trains
and transported to the far eastern reaches of the Soviet Union,
where many of them died.
(WP, 6/29/96, p.A16)(http://tinyurl.com/5jxmas)
1941 Jun 14, Over 10,000 people
(10,861 according to some sources) were deported as whole families
from Estonia. About 230 Estonian officers serving in the 22nd
Estonian Territorial Corps of the Red Army were imprisoned at the
summer camp of the Estonian Army in southeastern Estonia. Most of
them were sent to the Norilsk prison camp, where most of them either
died or were executed.
1941 Jun 22, Estonians started
armed resistance against Soviet occupation.
1941 Jun-1941 Oct, Over 2000
civilians were killed in Estonia. This includes up to a hundred
so-called ‘forest brothers’ (Estonian patriotic partisans) who put
up armed resistance to retreating units of the NKVD, NKGB or Red
1941 Jul 8, Under Nazi
occupation all Jews living in the Baltic States were obligated to
wear the Star of David.
1941 Jul-1941 Aug, Some
32,000–33,000 Estonian men were gathered and taken to the USSR.
About 3000 perished on the way.
1941 Aug 19, The final German
assault on Tallinn began.
1941 Aug 27, The Soviet armada
began to move out of Tallinn. By the next day 5 ships were sunk by
German bombers and Soviet ships began to encounter minefields set by
the Kriegsmarine and Finnish Navy. The Soviets succeeded in
evacuating 165 ships, 28,000 passengers and 66,000 tons of equipment
1941 Oct, Some 243 Estonian
Roma (Gypsies) were killed in Estonia.
1942 Aug 7, The Nazi 36th
Police Battalion, made up of ethnic Estonians, massacred some 2,500
Jews at Novogrudok, Belarus (according to the Simon Wiesenthal
(SSFC, 2/15/04, p.A4)
1942 A labor camp was
established at Jägala, commanded by Aleksander Laak, an Estonian.
During 1942 several transports arrived from Terezin. Some 3,000 Jews
not selected for work were taken to Kalevi-Liiva and shot. The
Jägala camp was liquidated in the spring of 1943: most of the
prisoners were shot.
1943 Sep, A camp complex based
at Vaivara, Estonia, was established, commanded by German officers
(Hans Aumeier, Otto Brennais and Franz von Bodman). The complex
consisted of approximately twenty field camps, some of which existed
only for short periods. As the Russians advanced in autumn 1944, a
number of prisoners were evacuated by sea to the concentration camp
in Stutthof, near Danzig. At Klooga, approximately 2,000 prisoners
were shot, their bodies stacked on pyres and burned.
1943 The ballet “Kratt” (The
Goblin) by Eduard Tubin was first performed in Estonia. Tubin left
the country in 1944 and took up residence in Stockholm.
(SFC, 2/13/98, p.C8)
1943 Michael Gorshkow,
Estonian-Nazi interrogator, helped round up some 3,000 Jewish men,
women and children at Slutsk, Belarus, where they were shot to
(SSFC, 2/15/04, p.A4)
1944 Gustav Ernesaks, father of
modern Estonian choral music, founded the State Academic Male Chorus
(RAM). He directed it until 1975.
(BN, 10/96, p.3)
c1946 After WW II Narva,
Estonia, was rebuilt as a giant Soviet industrial park and tens of
thousands of immigrants came to work in the regions metal factories
and nuclear-power plant.
(WSJ, 12/2/04, p.A11)
1949 Mar, Some 20,000 Estonian
civilians were rounded up and deported to Siberia under orders from
(SFC, 4/3/04, p.A10)
1949 Sep 30, The Baltic Univ.
in Hamburg, Germany, closed. It was opened three years earlier by
170 Lithuanian, Estonian and Latvian academics in a displaced
persons camp. In 2015 Helga Merits premiered her documentary film “A
Phoenix Born of Ashes and Desire: The Story of the Baltic
1953-1954 Members of the Estonian Forest Brothers
resistance movement were killed by Stalin's NKVD secret police.
(SFC, 4/3/04, p.A10)
1959 Veljo Tormis composed his
11-minute effusion “Overture No. 2.”
1962 Estonia convicted US
resident Karl Linnas in absentia of being a Nazi war criminal and
sentenced him to death.
1982 Composer Eduard Tubin died
(SFC, 2/13/98, p.C8)
1987 Jul 2, Karl Linnas,
accused Nazi, died of heart failure in Leningrad Russia. In 1962 he
was convicted in Estonia of being a Nazi war criminal and sentenced
to death in absentia.
1989 Aug 23, Approximately two
million people joined their hands to form an over 600 km (373 mi)
long human chain across the three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia,
and Lithuania. This original demonstration was organized to draw the
world's attention to the common historical fate which these three
countries suffered. It marked the 50th anniversary of August 23,
1939, when the Soviet Union and Germany in the secret protocol of
the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact divided spheres of interest in Eastern
Europe, which led to the occupation of these three states.
1990 May 12, The presidents of
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania forged a united front by reviving a
1934 political alliance in hopes of enhancing their drive for
independence from the Soviet Union.
1990 May 14, In separate
decrees, Soviet President Gorbachev declared that the republics of
Estonia and Latvia had no legal basis for moving toward
1991 Mar 3, Latvia and Estonia
voted to become independent of the USSR.
1991 Sep 6, In the Soviet
Union, the State Council, a new executive body composed of President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev and republic leaders, recognized the
independence of the Baltic states. All three were admitted into the
UN later this month.
1991 Sep 14, US Secretary of
State James A. Baker III met with leaders of the Baltic nations,
which had declared independence from the Soviet Union.
1991 Sep 17, The U.N. General
Assembly opened its 46th session, welcoming new members Estonia,
Latvia, Lithuania, North and South Korea, the Marshall Islands and
1991 City Paper was founded in
Tallinn shortly after independence.
(USAT, 6/11/04, p.5D)
1992 Mar 5, In Copenhagen the
Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany,
Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden, in the
presence of the representative from the European Commission, opened
a 2-day meeting and decided to establish a Council of the Baltic Sea
States to serve as a forum for guidance and overall coordination
among the participating states. Iceland joined the CBSS in 1995
1992 Jun, Estonia began to mint
its own legal tender, the kroon. Deposits held in Estonian banks
were redenominated from roubles to kroons.
(Hem, 4/96, p.23)(Econ, 9/13/14, p.84)
1992 In Estonia Mart Laar (32)
was sworn in as prime minister. The fiscal conservative led the
1992-94 and 1999-2002 governments.
1992 Estonia revamped its
intelligence service with a small British-trained unit.
(Econ, 12/23/06, p.74)
1993 Estonia adopted a land
(Econ., 4/4/15, p.23)
1993 Aleksander Einseln
returned to Estonia from the Bay Area and became commander of the
military. He planned to run for parliament in 1999.
(BN, 10/98, p.6)
1994 Jun, In the infamous “June
Agreement” Estonia Pres. Meri bypassed lawmakers when he signed a
deal on the withdrawal of Russian troops and social guarantees for
Russian military retirees.
(SFC, 9/21/96, p.A10)(BN, 10/96, p.3)
1994 Aug 31, Russia officially
ended its military presence in the former East Germany and the
Baltics after a half-century.
1994 Sep 28, More than 900
people died when the ferry Estonia capsized and sank Off the Finnish
coast in the Baltic sea. 852 people of 989 onboard were killed. In
1999 evidence was reported that 3 explosive devices had been placed
on the ship's visor-like bow door.
(AP, 9/28/99)(SFC, 12/31/99, p.A16)
1994 Estonia became the 1st
European country to introduce a flat tax (26%) on personal and
corporate income. Latvia and Lithuania soon followed suit.
(Econ, 3/5/05, p.54)
1995 Royalists in Estonia
invited Prince Edward of the British Royal family to wear the
(Hem, 4/96, p.23)
1996 Sep 16, The US cut off aid
and the Estonian government threw a party.
(BN, 10/96, p.2)
1996 Sep 20, Estonia’s Pres.
Lennart Meri was re-elected to a second term of 5 years in the
largely ceremonial post.
(SFC, 9/21/96, p.A10)(BN, 10/96, p.3)
1996 Sep 27, US Defense Sec.
William Perry said the 3 Baltic nations would not be among the first
new NATO members drawn from Eastern Europe. The Estonian armed
forces number only 4,500 troops.
(SFC, 9/28/96, p.A8)
1996 Nov, In Estonia Foreign
Minister Siim Kallas of the right-of-center Reform Party was
replaced by Toomas Hendrik Ilves by Prime Minister Tiit Vahi. Kallas
had led a coalition with the Centrist Union Party and the
left-of-center Farmers Union until the “Tape-gate” scandal in the
spring of Center party leader Edgar Savisaar.
(BN, V.15, No.55, p.4)
1997 Apr, Three container ships
with military hardware were unloaded in Tallinn. They were donations
from the US of automatic weapons and small arms as well as
ammunition for the Estonian Defense Forces.
(BN, 7/97, p.3)
1997 Jun, Terms of the Baltnet
Group, an Air Surveillance System for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia,
were established in Oslo, Norway.
1997 Oct, The Estonian
Philharmonic and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra toured the US and
performed music by composer Arvo Part.
(WSJ, 10/14/97, p.A20)
1998 Jan 16, Baltic leaders
signed an agreement, the US-Baltics Charter of Partnership, at the
White House strengthening US and NATO ties with Latvia, Lithuania,
and Estonia. The leaders also established a $15 million fund with
equal contributions from the Agency for Int’l. Development and
George Soros to promote nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
(WSJ, 1/16/98, p.A1)(SFC, 1/17/98, p.A8)
1998 Jul 4, In the annual Wife
Carrying World Championships in Finland, 2 Estonian couples won top
honors in the 278 yard course in Sonkajarvi.
(SFEC, 7/5/98, p.A2)
1998 Jul, After the failure of
Estonia’s Maabank, a partly government-owned “country bank,” a third
of its deposits was turned over to Iuhispank, another bank with
(BN, 10/98, p.4)
1998 Nov 18, The Swedish bank
Skandinavska Enskilda acquired a 32% stake in Eesti Uhispank, as
well as a 36% stake in Latvia’s Latvijas Unibanka.
(WSJ, 11/19/98, p.A16)
1998 Dec 8, Estonia’s
Parliament approved an amendment to its citizenship law that made it
easier for its Russian-speaking minority to become citizens. It
granted citizenship to some 6,500 children born in Estonia of
Russian parents following the 1991 independence.
(SFC, 12/9/98, p.B8)
1998 A documentary video on the
Baltic States: “Seven years of Success and Still Growing” was
(BN, 10/98, p.6)
1999 Feb 11, The Estonian Bowed
Piano Ensemble performed in San Francisco with the Colorado Bowed
(BN, 3/99, p.5)
1999 Mar 5, Elections in
Estonia were held for the 101 seats of the Riigikogu (parliament).
(BN, 3/99, p.4)
1999 Jul 30, Mikhail Neverovsky
(79), a former KGB agent, was convicted of crimes against humanity
and sentenced to 4 years in prison in Estonia. He had participated
in mass deportations during the Soviet era 50 years earlier.
(SFC, 7/31/99, p.A7)
2000 Nov, Estonia planned a
rail transport system with Asia to replace declining Russian oil
products shipped from Tallinn.
(WSJ, 11/13/00, p.B19B)
2000 Dec 15, Under Estonian law
the cryptographic signature became legally equivalent to a manual
2000 Estonia’s government
decided to go paperless and conduct as much business as possible
online. Estonia made internet access a human right.
(NW, 5/13/02, p.72)(Econ, 2/12/11, p.68)
2001 Sep 13, The death toll
from tainted alcohol, consumed in or near the seaside resort of
Parnu, Estonia, rose to 51. At least 85 more remained hospitalized
and methanol was blamed.
(SFC, 9/14/01, p.A32)
2001 Sep 21, Arnold Ruutel
(73), a former Communist leader in Estonia, was chosen as president
by a special government assembly.
(SFC, 9/22/01, p.A20)
2001 Estonia sold its entire
rail network (Eesti Raudtee) to an int’l. consortium of investors.
(Econ, 5/28/05, p.63)
2001 A UN world population
report showed that Estonia was one of the fastest shrinking nations
on earth, with a fertility rate of 1.3.
(WSJ, 10/20/06, p.A1)
2002 May 25, The Eurovision
Song Contest was set to take place in Tallinn, Estonia.
(NW, 5/13/02, p.72)
2002 Jun 8-2002 Jun 9, A
weekend meeting was held in Tallinn for Baltic and Nordic defense
ministers. Donald Rumsfeld, US Sec. of Defense, attended.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.A13)
2002 Sep 26, NATO planned to
issue invitations in November to Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Expansion would commit
the current 19 members to defend the borders of the new members.
(SFC, 9/26/02, p.A1)
2002 Oct 9, The European
Union's executive Commission declared Bulgaria, the Czech Republic,
Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania,
Slovenia, and Slovakia nearly ready for EU membership and
recommended they be invited to join in 2004. Romania and Bulgaria
likely will be delayed until 2007 because of weak economies, the
Commission said, adding Turkey was the weakest link among
2002 Nov 21, The Baltic nations
of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania joined former communist states
Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia as the next wave of NATO
2002 Dec 13, The EU reached
agreement to accept 10 new countries in 2004. These included Czech
Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,
Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
(SFC, 12/14/02, p.A3)
2002 Estonia’s government began
issuing electronic ID cards.
2003 Mar 2, In Estonia a
center-left party depicting itself as a champion of the poor barely
won the popular vote in parliamentary elections, which could make it
difficult to form a coalition government.
2003 Apr 10, In Estonia Juhan
Parts, a 36-year-old former auditor, took over as prime minister,
becoming Europe's youngest leader.
2003 Apr 21, Estonia was
reported to rank No. 2 in Internet banking and 3rd in e-government.
(SFC, 4/21/03, p.E3)
2003 Jul 6, The annual Wife
Carrying World Championship took place in Sonkajarvi, Finland. An
Estonian team was again favored to win.
(WSJ, 7/2/03, p.A1)
2003 Aug, Skype released the
1st version of its software which allowed people to make free voice
and video calls over the internet. Niklas Zennstrom (b.1966) of
Sweden and Janus Friis (b.1976) of Denmark co-founded Skype, an
internet telephony company shortly after moving to London. The Skype
software was developed by Estonians Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu and
Jaan Tallinn, who were also behind the peer-to-peer file sharing
(Econ, 9/16/06, p.79)(Econ, 8/6/11,
2003 Sep 14, Estonians passed a
referendum to join the European Union.
2003 Estonia’s GDP for the year
was 9.2 billion euros.
(WSJ, 12/14/04, p.A13)
2004 Jan 9, Estonian
prosecutors said they have launched an investigation into whether
Michael Gorshkow, an 80-year-old former U.S. resident, took part in
the massacre of 3,000 Jews during World War II. Gorshkow (19)
allegedly helped murder Jews in the Slutsk ghetto of Belarus in 1943
while serving as an interpreter and interrogator for the Gestapo.
2004 Mar 29, Pres. Bush hosted
a White House ceremony to welcome Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania,
Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia into the NATO alliance.
(WSJ, 3/30/04, p.A1)
2004 Apr 2, In Brussels an
official ceremony welcomed Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia,
Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia into the NATO alliance.
(SFC, 4/3/04, p.A11)
2004 Apr 27, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov and EU officials signed an accord extending
the EU-Russia partnership accord to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,
Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and
Malta, which join May 1.
2004 May 1, Revelers across
ex-communist eastern Europe celebrated their historic entry to the
European Union. 10 new members (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia,
Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia)
joined. Malta joined with 70 exemptions to EU rules. Poland had 43
exemptions. Latvia had 32. The Turkish occupied area of Cyprus was
suspended from entry.
(AP, 5/1/04)(Econ, 2/28/04, p.50)(Econ, 4/16/05,
2004 Jul 3, Two Estonian
students clinched the country's seventh straight wife-carrying world
championship on Saturday, winning the "wife's" weight in beer and a
2004 Sep 2, A controversial
monument commemorating Estonians who fought in the German army
against Soviet troops during World War II was removed, after the
government said it damaged the Baltic state's image.
2004 Oct 25, In Iraq bombs hit
4 coalition and Iraqi convoys killing at least 12 including an
American and Estonian. Saboteurs blew up a pipeline feeding Iraq’s
(WSJ, 10/26/04, p.A1)
2004 Estonia began paying women
up to $1,560 for 15 months to have babies, in order to help reverse
a trend of declining population.
(WSJ, 10/20/06, p.A1)
2004-2006 Estonia expected to receive €253 million
in EU subsidies.
(WSJ, 12/14/04, p.A13)
2005 Jan 1, Estonia was
forecast for 6% GDP growth with a population at 1.3 million and GDP
per head at $9,310.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.88)
2005 Jan 20, Estonia's Jewish
community broke ground on a new synagogue to replace the house of
worship destroyed by bombing in World War II.
2005 Mar 21, In Estonia PM
Juhan parts (38) resigned after lawmakers said they had no
confidence in his justice minister, Ken-Marti Vaher, due to an
anti-corruption plan. Pres. Arnold Ruutel had 2 weeks to nominate a
new prime minister.
(SFC, 3/22/05, p.A3)
2005 Aug 10, The Sikorsky 76
helicopter on a scheduled flight from Tallinn to Helsinki, Finland,
went down with 2 pilots and 12 passengers about 3 miles off the
coast of Estonia.
2005 Sep 12, EBay has agreed to
buy fast-growing Internet start-up Skype for up to $4.1 billion in
cash and shares, in a move to tap new sources of growth and add free
Web telephone calls to its online auctions. Niklos Zennstrom of
Sweden and Janus Friis of Denmark founded Skype using a programming
team from Estonia.
(AP, 9/12/05)(Econ, 9/17/05, p.69)
2005 Sep 23, Maarike Harro,
director of the National Institute for Health Development said the
World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one in every 100
people in Estonia in the 15 to 49 age group may be infected with
2005 Estonia became the first
country to implement Internet voting in a nationwide election.
2006 Mar 14, Lennart Meri
(b.1929), Estonia’s former president (1992-2001), died overnight in
Tallinn. The writer, film director and statesman’s relentless
struggle against communist oppression helped the Baltic nation break
free from the Soviet Union in 1991. Among his most well-known films
is the 1977 documentary "The Winds of the Milky Way," describing the
lives of Finno-Ugric people, which won a silver medal at the New
York Film Festival but was banned in the Soviet Union for its
culturally sensitive content.
(AP, 3/14/06)(Econ, 3/25/06, p.90)
2006 May 26, The government of
Estonia banned rallies near a statue in Tallinn marking the Red
Army's victory over Nazi Germany, moving to ease recent tensions
between some ethnic Estonians and native Russian speakers.
2006 Aug 22, Kristjan Lepik of
Tallinn, Estonia, settled theft charges with the SEC. He agreed to
return over $550,000 in trading profits and pay a $15,000 penalty
for illegally trading on corporate information. The SEC said Lepik
and co-worker Oliver Peek made at least $7.8 million trading on
advanced looks at hundreds of press releases.
(SFC, 8/23/06, p.C2)
2006 Aug 28, Ene Ergma (62), a
Soviet-trained astronomer, failed to win enough votes in parliament
to become Estonia's next president, forcing a new vote on a second
2006 Sep 23, Toomas Hendrik
Ilves (52), a Western-leaning former diplomat and journalist, was
narrowly elected Estonia's president, ousting the incumbent who was
favored in the race.
2006 Oct 19, Queen Elizabeth II
arrived in Estonia on the last leg of a landmark trip to the Baltic
states, during which the 80-year-old monarch has repeatedly praised
the Baltic people for their determined fight for freedom.
2006 Nov 27, Pres. Bush flew to
Estonia on his way to a NATO meeting centered on Afghanistan in
(WSJ, 11/28/06, p.A1)
2006 Dec 4, The Estlink cable
connected power grids of the Baltic States with Finland. The cost of
Estlink, which measures 100 kilometers (60 miles), was around 110
million euros (132 million dollars). It was built by Swiss-Swedish
2007 Jan 17, Russian lawmakers
sharply criticized Estonia for possible plans to remove a 1947
statue that honors Red Army soldiers who helped drive Nazi forces
from the Baltic nation. Last week the Estonian president signed into
law a bill allowing for the removal of the statue. The monument
upset many in the country that suffered five decades of Soviet
2007 Feb 15, Estonian lawmakers
narrowly approved a bill calling for the removal of a Soviet war
memorial from their capital, ignoring Moscow's warning of
"irreversible consequences" for relations between the two countries.
2007 Feb 22, Estonia's
president vetoed legislation calling for the removal of a Soviet war
memorial, averting at least temporarily a confrontation with Russia.
Estonia chose Baltic herring over the pike in a government-sponsored
contest to find a fish suitable to join the blue, black and white
flag, the blue cornflower, limestone, and chimney swallow as
2007 Feb, Estonia became the
first country in the world to institute electronic voting for
2007 Mar 4, Voting stations
opened in Estonia's first Parliamentary election since joining the
EU. PM Andrus Ansip's center-right Reform Party narrowly won
parliamentary elections. Ansip's party had 27.8% of the votes, ahead
of the left-leaning Center Party led by political veteran Edgar
Savisaar, which had 26.1%. Ansip pledged to preserve the
market-friendly policies credited with the Baltic nation's
impressive growth. President Toomas Hendrik Ilves likely will ask
Ansip to form the next government of the country of 1.3 million.
2007 Apr 26, In Estonia
protesters gathered at a Soviet war grave in downtown Tallinn, as
authorities prepared to remove the bodies despite Russia's angry
objections. Estonia's government intends to relocate the Soviet
grave, believed to contain the remains of 14 soldiers, and the
Bronze Soldier statue next to it.
2007 Apr 27, Estonia removed a
Soviet war memorial from downtown Tallinn under cover of darkness,
carrying out a plan that has rankled Russia and provoked protests
that left one person dead and dozens injured.
2007 Apr 28, In Estonia
minority Russian youths angry over the government's decision to
remove a Soviet war memorial from Tallinn rioted for a second night,
with unrest spreading to at least two other towns. 66 people were
injured in the capital, including six policemen. More than 500
people, many of them adolescents, were detained overnight as vandals
prowled the streets, breaking shop windows and looting stores.
2007 May 2, Russian oil firms
rushed to re-route a quarter of their refined products exports away
from ports in Estonia after Russia's railways halted the route amid
a political dispute with Tallinn. Young Russians staged raucous
protests in Moscow to denounce neighboring Estonia for removing a
Soviet war memorial from its capital, and the Estonian ambassador
said pro-Kremlin activists tried to attack her as she arrived at a
2007 May 3, Russia lashed out
at the EU and NATO for supporting Estonia in its row with Moscow
over the relocation of a Soviet war monument.
2007 May 9, In the early hours
Internet traffic in Estonia spiked to thousands of times the normal
flow. May 10 was heavier still, forcing Estonia’s biggest bank to
shut down its online service for more than an hour. Hansabank
continued under assault and worked to block access to 300 suspect
Internet addresses. On March 12, 2009, Konstantin Goloskokov, an
activist with Russia's Nashi youth group and aide to a pro-Kremlin
member of parliament, said he had organized a network of
sympathizers who bombarded Estonian Internet sites with electronic
requests, causing them to crash.
2007 May 16, Following a
six-decade wait, Estonia's 3,000-strong Jewish community inaugurated
its new and only synagogue in Tallinn in the presence of top Israeli
2007 May 17, Estonia's defense
minister said that the massive cyber attacks that have crippled the
high-tech country's Web sites are a threat to national security, and
that it's possible the Russian government was behind them.
(Econ, 5/5/07, p.65)(AP, 5/17/07)
2007 May 24, Japanese Emperor
Akihito and Empress Michiko arrived in Estonia's seaside capital on
their first-ever visit to a former Soviet republic.
2007 Jun 6, PM Andrus Ansip
said Estonia is seeking help from Russia to find the culprits behind
a massive wave of attacks on the country's Internet infrastructure.
2007 Jun 6, Housing prices in
the major cities of Estonia, Latia and Lithuania were reported to
average around $202,375.
(WSJ, 6/6/07, p.B9)
2007 Aug 22, In Estonia
prosecutors said Arnold Meri (88), cousin of Estonia's late
president Lennart Meri, committed genocide by helping deport his
countrymen to Siberia in 1949.
2007 Sep 20, Estonia decided it
will not allow a German-Russian consortium to conduct a survey of
its exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea for a planned
underwater gas pipeline.
2007 Dec 20, Estonia, Latvia
and Lithuania along with 6 other EU members halted land and sea
border controls at midnight, becoming the first in a wave of new
members of Europe's passport-free Schengen zone.
(AFP, 12/20/07)(WSJ, 12/21/07, p.A1)
2007 James and Maureen Tusty
produced “The Singing Revolution,” a film that covered the Estonian
people’s move to re-establish independence. The film begins with
independence in 1918 and then moves to Soviet and German occupation
during WWII. The spirit of the nation is then captured with a focus
on how the singing nation moved re-establish itself in its
non-violent “singing revolution” (1987-1991).
2008 Mar 12, The United States
signed agreements with EU members Latvia and Estonia that will
enable the tiny Baltic nations to join the U.S. visa waiver program
2008 Jul 25, Estonia urged the
EU to take stronger action against Somali pirates attacking cargo
ships bound for Europe, after an Estonian sailor was held hostage
for 41 days.
2008 Jul 25, Energy companies
in the three Baltic states and Poland agreed to set up a joint
venture to develop a nuclear power plant in Lithuania.
2008 Sep 21, Hermann Simm, a
middle ranking civil servant in Estonia’s defense ministry, was
arrested along with his wife and charged with spying for an unnamed
foreign power. He had set up and run a system for handling top
secret documents from NATO allies and handled security clearances
for Estonian officials in the military, security and intelligence
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.68)
2008 Dec 12, Estonia’s
parliament passed a law making it the first country to allow
(WSJ, 12/13/08, p.A1)
2009 Jan 22, Estonia said it
will end its nearly six-year military mission in Iraq after it
failed to agree with the Iraqi government on terms for its troop
2009 Feb 25, An Estonian court
convicted a former top security official of treason for passing
domestic and NATO secrets to Russia, the Baltic country's biggest
espionage scandal since the Cold War. Herman Simm (61), the former
head of security at the Estonian Defense Ministry, pleaded guilty
and was sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison. Russia’s
foreign service (SVR) had recruited Mr. Simm on his holiday in
Tunisia in 1995.
(AP, 2/25/09)(Econ, 2/28/09, p.56)
2010 Apr 23, NATO ministers
meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, agreed to begin handing over control of
Afghanistan to the Afghan government this year, a process that if
successful would enable President Barack Obama to meet his target
date of July 2011 for starting to bring US troops home.
2010 May 27, Israel officially
joined the OECD club of rich economies. PM Benjamin Netanyahu
attended a ceremony at the Paris headquarters of the Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development as it welcomed Israel along
with Estonia, Slovenia and Chile to the 31-nation grouping.
2010 Aug 30, In southern
Afghanistan 7 US troops were killed in two Taliban-style bomb
attacks. An 8th soldier, a 20-year-old Estonian, died of his
injuries after insurgents set off an improvised explosive device
(IED) in Nad-e-Ali in Helmand province. A bomb blast in Jalalabad
killed a district chief and wounded up to five others. A French
soldier was killed when the armored vehicle he was travelling in
tumbled into a ravine.
(AFP, 8/30/10)(AP, 8/31/10)
2011 Jan 1, Estonia became the
first former Soviet republic to join the euro, Europe’s common
(SFC, 1/1/11, p.A2)
2011 Feb 20, In Estonia 8
disabled children (7-16) and 2 adults (20-21) were killed in an
orphanage fire in the coastal town of Haapsalu. The orphanage was
built in 1996 with help from Swedish and Finnish donations.
(AP, 2/20/11)(AP, 2/21/11)
2011 Mar 6, Estonia’s
center-right, 2-party coalition government of PM Andrus Ansip won
elections. Ansip’s free-market Reform Party gained 2 seats giving it
33 in the 101-seat parliament.
(SSFC, 3/6/11, p.A4)(SFC, 3/7/11, p.A2)(Econ,
2011 Mar 23, In Lebanon 7
Estonian tourists were kidnapped while cycling in Zahle.
(SFC, 3/24/11, p.A2)
2011 May 20, The Embassy of the
United States of America announced the official opening of the
Office of the U.S. Secret Service in Estonia. The Secret Service
office will work closely with its law enforcement partners within
the criminal investigative infrastructure in the Baltic nations of
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
2011 Jul 14, In Lebanon 7
Estonian tourists abducted nearly four months ago while cycling
through Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley were released in good health.
Harakat al-Nahda wal-Islah, or the Movement for Renewal and Reform,
had claimed responsibility for the March 23 abduction and demanded
an unspecified ransom. Two men suspected of involvement in the
kidnapping were killed in a September 20 shootout with police.
(AP, 7/14/11)(AP, 11/2/11)
2011 Aug 11, In Estonia a
gunman armed with explosives entered the Defense Ministry and opened
fire, but police stormed the building and killed him. No one else
was hurt. Officials identified the attacker as Karen Drambjan, an
Armenian-born lawyer who has held Estonian citizenship since the
early 1990s. He was a member of the small, left-wing Estonian United
Left Party that is not represented in Parliament.
2011 Aug 29, Estonia's
parliament re-elected US-educated President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
(57) for a second 5-year term as head of state. It was the first
time a presidential candidate has managed to get the required
two-thirds majority since Estonia declared independence in 1991.
2011 Nov 2, A Syrian security
official said Syria has arrested Wael Abbas, a top suspect in the
kidnapping of 7 Estonians, freed four months after their abduction
in Lebanon, and handed him over to Beirut.
2011 Nov 9, US federal
officials said an Eastern European pack of cyber thieves, known as
the Rove group, hijacked at least four million computers in over 100
countries, including at least half a million computers in the US, to
make off with $14 million in "illegitimate income" before they were
caught. The accused hackers, six Estonian nationals and a Russian
national, rerouted the internet traffic illegally on the infected
computers for the last four years in order to reap profits from
internet advertisement deals.
2012 Jan 13, In Estonia
volunteers from 83 countries converged on Tallinn to launch World
Cleanup 2012, a voluntary 6-monthy rubbish collection effort to
begin on March 24.
(Econ, 1/7/12, p.52)
2012 Jan 20, In Japan Estonian
sumo wrestler Baruto won his first tournament, logging an unbeatable
13th straight victory with only two bouts to go in the New Year
2012 Feb 8, NATO said it has
decided to extend until 2018 an operation to protect the airspace of
Baltic members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with fighter jets.
2012 Mar 3, In Libya Estonian
technician Kaido Keerdo (31) working for Danish church Aid was
killed while examining unexploded munitions scattered near a police
compound in Ad Dafniyah.
2012 Mar 21, Estonia
legislators passed measures to make human trafficking a crime
punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
(SFC, 3/22/12, p.A)
2012 Jun 2, In Latvia several
hundred activists from the Baltic states and neighboring countries
braved rain and hail to participate in an annual parade in defense
of gay and lesbian rights. The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and
Lithuania have largely proven to be intolerant toward gays and
lesbians despite having joined the European Union in 2004.
2012 Finnish writer Sofi
Oksanen (b.1977) authored “When the Doves Disappeared.” It was set
in Estonia as the country was caught between Stalin’s hammer and
Hitler’s anvil. In 2015 it was translated to English by Lola Rogers.
2013 Jan 1, Tallinn, Estonia,
launched free public transport for all of its citizens.
2013 May 30, It was reported
that Estonia, a country of 1.3 million people, gets more than 90% of
its electricity needs from oil shale — by far the world's most
shale-dependent country. A board member at Eesti Energia said the
country has 100 years' experience working with oil shale.
2013 Oct 15, Eurocrats and
transport industry folk began a two day train ride from Vilnius to
Talinn. Rail Baltica, an idea to build a proper rail way connection
from Helsinki to Tallinn, Riga, Kaunas, Warsaw and continuing on to
Berlin was on the agenda in a conference onboard the train.
(www.balticsea-region-strategy.eu/item/486861)(Econ, 10/19/13, p.60)
2013 In Estonia Markus Villig
(19) founded Taxify, a taxi app, in Tallinn. The company was later
renamed Bolt and focused offering rides through the smartphone app
in a business model similar to Uber. By 2019 Bolt was operating in
more than 100 cities and 30 countries.
(SFC, 4/29/19, p.D2)
2014 Feb 26, Estonian Foreign
Minister Urmas Paet told EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in
a phone call that the Ukrainian opposition to president Viktor
Yanukovych may have been involved in sniper attacks (Feb 18-20).
News of the call was leaked in early March and prompted Russian
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to call for an OSCE investigation.
(AFP, 3/8/14)(SFC, 3/8/14, p.A4)
2014 Mar 4, Estonia's
three-term PM Andrus Ansip submitted his resignation in a
long-planned move to pave the way for his successor to lead a new
government into a general election next year.
2014 Mar 14, Estonia's
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves nominated cabinet minister Taavi
Roivas (34) to form a new government and seek approval from
parliament to lead the small euro zone country. Roivas is set to
take over from PM Andrus Ansip, who resigned on March 4.
2014 Mar 21, France said it is
suspending military cooperation with Russia as Defense Minister
Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Baltic states in a trip designed to
reassure them as tensions mount with Russia over its seizure of
Ukraine's Crimea region.
2014 Jun 12, Jordan said it has
reached an agreement with Enefit, an Estonian firm, and its partners
on a $2.1 billion contract to build a 540 MW shale-fueled power
(Econ, 6/28/14, p.58)
2014 Jun 20, Estonian PM Taavi
Roivas urged NATO to establish a permanent presence in the Baltic
state in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine.
2014 Sep 3, President Barack
Obama arrived in Estonia in a show of solidarity with NATO allies.
He vigorously vowed to come to the defense of NATO allies that fear
they could be Vladimir Putin's next target.
2014 Sep 5, Estonia said that
security service officer Eston Kohver was abducted by unknown gunmen
and taken across the border, but Russia said the man was detained on
its territory and suspected of being a spy.
2014 Sep, Estonia carried out a
dry run of its digital continuity project in conjunction with
Microsoft. It aimed to ensure that even if the government is
sabotaged it would continue to operate over the internet.
(Econ., 3/7/15, TQ p.3)
2014 Oct 9, Estonia became the
first former Soviet nation to legalize gay partnerships.
2014 Oct 24, Turkey's president
said that Ankara would allow hundreds of Syrian rebels to travel to
the embattled border town of Kobani in order to help Kurdish
fighters there fend off an Islamic State onslaught. During a state
visit in Estonia, Erdogan said the Western-backed Free Syrian Army
would send 1,300 fighters to the Syrian town. A spokesman for the
Western-backed Syrian opposition in exile, Kenan Mohammed, said
there were no plans to send fighters to Kobani.
2014 Oct 27, In Estonia a boy
(15) shot and killed a teacher (53) of German in Paalalinna school
in the town Viljandi. The weapon was registered to the father of the
2014 Nov 13, Eight northern
European nations (Britain, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia,
Lithuania, Norway, Sweden) agreed to step up cooperation to counter
an increase in Moscow's military activity that has included a
tripling of NATO intercepts of Russian jets this year.
2014 Sigrid Rausing authored
“Everything is Wonderful: Memories of a Collective Farm in Estonia.”
(Econ, 5/10/14, p.82)
2015 Jan 21, In Estonia Mart
Laar, ex-PM and current supervisory board chairman of Estonian
central bank, proposed his own ideas of what kind of reforms Estonia
2015 Jan 30, NATO said it will
deploy small units in six Eastern European nations to help
coordinate a spearhead force set up in response to Russia's actions
in Ukraine. The units in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland,
Bulgaria and Romania will be the first of their kind there.
2015 Feb 13, In Virginia Andrus
Nomm of Estonia pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit copyright
infringement in federal court in Alexandria. He was sentenced to a
year and a day in prison. Nomm, one of seven men indicted in a
massive copyright-piracy scheme run through the now-defunct website
Megaupload three years ago, was the first to be brought to the US to
2015 Mar 1, Estonians voted for
a new parliament in an election dominated by economic issues and
security concerns due to Russia's actions in Ukraine. PM Taavi
Roivas’ pro-Western Reform party won the election, but lost seven
seats giving it 45 seats in the 101-seat parliament. Roivas quickly
ruled out cooperating with the pro-Russian Center Party and planned
to form a coalition with his current partner, the Social Democrats.
(AP, 3/1/15)(SFC, 3/3/15, p.A2)(Econ., 3/7/15,
2015 Mar 9, The United States
delivered more than 100 pieces of military equipment to vulnerable
NATO-allied Baltic states in a move designed to provide them with
the ability to deter potential Russian threats.
2015 May 30, In Estonia a
racing car plunged off the road during the local Harju Rally,
killing 2 men and a woman who were watching the competition on the
2015 Jun 1, US-led NATO drills
began in the Baltic states and Poland, a move intended to reassure
Russia's nervous neighbors amid tensions over Ukraine.
2015 Jun 23, US Defense
Secretary Ash Carter announced that the United States will
pre-position tanks, artillery and other military equipment in
eastern and central Europe, moving to reassure NATO allies unnerved
by Russian involvement in Ukraine. Carter, during a trip to Tallinn,
said the Baltic states - Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia -- as well as
Bulgaria, Romania and Poland agreed to host elements of this heavy
2015 Aug 12, Estonia’s
Agriculture ministry spokeswoman Karin Volmer said a total of 15,700
pigs have been killed to prevent the spread of African swine fever
since the first case was reported there on July 21.
2015 Aug 19, Russia sentenced
Estonian intelligence officer Eston Kohver to 15 years in jail,
drawing ire from the EU after Tallinn said he was kidnapped
September 5, 2014, at gunpoint on its territory.
2015 Aug 28, Estonia said it is
planning to cover a 136-km (84-mile) stretch of land along its
border with Russia with state-of-art technology to combat illegal
border-crossing and illicit traffic.
2015 Sep 26, Russia exchanged
Estonian Eston Kohver, who had been convicted of espionage, for
Aleksei Dressen, a former Estonian policeman convicted of treason
for passing state secrets to Moscow.
2015 Sep 28, Estonia launched
its first full-scale Russian-language television channel in an
attempt to lure the country's sizable Russian-speaking minority away
from Moscow's sphere of influence.
2015 Oct 7, In Estonia a small,
anti-immigrant opposition party called for a referendum to make sure
the tiny Baltic country doesn't increase the number of refugees
(550) it has agreed to take in.
2015 Oct 15, Poland signed a
landmark $636 million deal to build the first EU gas pipeline to
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, reducing their uneasy reliance on
Russian supplies. Construction is set to begin next year on the GIPL
(Gas Interconnection Poland-Lithuania) pipeline.
2015 Nov 7, Estonia's flagship
airline announced its bankruptcy after the European Union ruled it
would have to pay back 85 million euros plus interest of state aid
pumped into the struggling business to keep it flying. Authorities
in Tallinn moved to absorb the shock by immediately setting up a new
carrier to take over key routes.
2015 Nov 19, In Estonia
thirty-three countries attended NATO's largest ever cyberdrill,
focusing on malware in tablets and how infected devices may
compromise data privacy for staff of the world's biggest military
2016 Jan 1, In Estonia a law
allowing gay partnerships took effect, but same-sex couples are
being advised to hold off on getting hitched until a series of legal
issues have been worked out.
2016 Mar 8, It was reported
that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are tightening ID controls and
erecting fences on their eastern borders, worried the Baltic region
will become a new entry point for refugees as migrant routes through
the Balkans becomes harder.
2016 May 7, Estonian border
officials detained seven Iranian migrants who managed to cross the
Narva River separating Russia and Estonia in an inflatable boat.
2016 Jun 13, NATO's
secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance will
agree this week to send four multinational battalions to the Baltic
states and Poland to boost their defenses against Russia.
2016 Oct 7, Estonia said a
Russian jet violated its airspace, hours after neighboring Finland
said two similar planes passed over its territory as it prepared to
sign a defense pact with the United States.
2016 Nov 8, Estonian PM Taavi
Roivas refused to step down a day after his three-party coalition
collapsed and faced a confidence vote in parliament that he is
unlikely to survive.
2016 Nov 9, Estonian PM Taavi
Roivas lost a parliamentary vote of no confidence vote after his
junior coalition partners deserted him, possibly opening up the path
for a traditionally pro-Russian party to gain power.
2016 Nov 20, Estonia's Pres.
Kersti Kaljulaid nominated Juri Ratas, the new leader of a
center-left, traditionally pro-Russian party, as prime minister who
promised to leave foreign policy unchanged in a region worried about
possible Russian aggression. Ratas (38) headed a 3-way coalition
consisting of his own Center Party, the left-leaning Social
Democrats and the Conservative IRL party.
(Reuters, 11/20/16)(SFC, 11/24/16, p.A2)
2016 Nov 23, Estonia said
Captain Sten Sepper, the commander of its Navy, has resigned.
Customs officials found smuggled alcohol and cigarettes aboard the
Estonian minehunter Sakala taking part in NATO operations on the
Baltic Sea earlier this month. Sakala Lt. Cmdr. Ott Laanemets also
announced his resignation.
2016 Dec 14, The defense
ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia renewed their call for a
strong US engagement in the Baltic region amid concerns over the
attitude of the incoming Trump administration.
2016 Dec 14, US and Polish
defense officials said the United States has decided to accelerate
the deployment of troops to Poland, the Baltic states and Romania as
part of raising the security of the region.
2016 Dec 27, In Estonia US Sen.
John McCain pledged US support to the security of Russia's three
Baltic neighbors amid worries that the US may not be fully committed
to the defense of NATO allies following statements by
President-elect Donald Trump.
2017 Jan 24, An Estonian
defense official said his country is experimenting with the idea of
cyberconscription, a move that gives draftees with tech skills the
chance to work shoring up their military's electronic
2017 Feb 8, The head of
Estonia's foreign intelligence service said that Russia was "the
greatest source of a threat" to Estonia in cyberspace because
Estonia is a member of both the EU and NATO. He also said Estonia
has teamed up with the US Secret Service ahead of its first EU
presidency to train local officials to handle cyber threats.
2017 May 26, The Estonian
foreign ministry said it had expelled two Russian diplomats. A
Russian foreign ministry official said the expulsion will not go
2017 May 31, Russia's Foreign
Ministry said it had ordered two Estonian diplomats to leave Russia
within five days, a move it said was retaliation for Estonia's
expulsion of two Russian diplomats.
2017 Jul 1, Estonia assumed the
rotating presidency of the EU’s Council of Ministers.
(Econ 7/8/17, p.48)
2017 Jul 17, Denmark’s Defense
Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said Danish troops will get
training in how to deal with Russian misinformation before being
sent to join a NATO military build-up in Estonia in January.
2017 Jul 31, US Vice
President Mike Pence met with the presidents of Estonia, Latvia and
Lithuania in the Estonian capital of Tallinn and strongly pledged
America's commitment to protecting NATO allies against attacks.
2017 Aug 2, Spanish police
arrested Yyacheslav Gulevich (57) a Russian gang boss who headed up
the Kemerovo organization which dealt in drugs, weapons and human
trafficking, as well as prostitution in Estonia. Three other group
leaders were also detained in the Estonian capital Tallinn.
2017 Sep 29, French President
Emmanuel Macron said European Union leaders agreed during a summit
dinner in Talinn that they should push ahead more quickly with
reforms of the bloc. Macron won backing from Angela Merkel for plans
to reform the European Union after Brexit.
2017 Oct 15, Estonia's ruling
Center Party won local elections in a key litmus test for PM Juri
Ratas, who has seen his party split into two rivaling factions since
he took up the job less than a year ago.
2017 Nov 7, Estonian
prosecutors said a Russian citizen was detained over the weekend
over suspicions of spying and preparing a computer crime on behalf
of Russia's domestic security agency.
2017 Estonian police choked off
the supply of fentanyl. Drug users turned to cocktails of other
kinds of synthetic drugs, including amphetamines, alpha-PVP, a
dangerous stimulant also known as flakka and prescription drugs.
2018 Jan 12, Japan’s PM Shinzo
Abe arrive in Estonia kicking off a five-day European tour that will
also take him to Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania —
becoming the first-ever head of the Asian nation to visit these
2018 Jan 13, Latvia’s PM Maris
Kucinskis met with Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe. It was reported that Japan
has entered into a pact with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to boost
economic and political ties.
2018 Feb 7, A feasibility study
by Estonia and Finland said the world's longest undersea rail tunnel
(103 kms) between the two countries could cost up to 20 billion
euros ($24.7 billion) and be opened for traffic by 2040.
2018 Feb 10, Estonia and Russia
exchanged two men convicted of espionage at a border crossing
between the two countries. Raivo Susi, an Estonian found guilty of
espionage and sentenced to 12 years in prison in Russia, was
exchanged for Artern Zintsenko, who had been given five years by
Estonia for spying for Russia in May.
2018 Feb 24, Estonia celebrated
100 years of independence.
2018 Mar 9, The Vatican said
Pope Francis will visit Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in September
in the first papal visit to the Baltic states in 25 years.
2018 Mar 30, Russia ordered new
cuts to the number of British envoys in the country, escalating a
dispute with the West over the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain.
Scores of foreign ambassadors streamed into the Russian Foreign
Ministry in Moscow to receive the notices given to 23 nations:
Albania, Australia, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia,
Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Romania, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine.
2018 May 22, Estonian President
Kersti Kaljulaid told local broadcaster ERR that she will only visit
Moscow after Russia ratifies a border treaty that must be approved
by both countries' parliaments. The treaty was originally signed by
Russia and Estonia in 2005 but it fell through. It was re-signed in
2018 May 25, Estonia's police
Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) said that besides more than $6
billion laundered via Estonian banks in schemes discovered by
national financial inspection agencies, a further unreported 7.3
billion euros was channeled via Estonian banks through the sale of
Russian stocks and bonds.
2018 Jun 3, A major US-led
military exercise with 18,000 soldiers from 19 primarily NATO
countries kicked off in the alliance's eastern flank involving
Poland and the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.
2018 Jun 26, Estonia signed a
deal to buy South Korean artillery in a 46 million-euro ($54
million) deal. The contract with Seoul-based weapons producer Hanwha
Land Systems is for 12 K9 Thunder howitzers, training, maintenance
and spare parts.
2018 Jun 29, James D. Melville,
the US ambassador to Estonia, resigned over frustrations with
President Donald Trump's comments about the European Union and his
treatment of Washington's European allies.
2018 Aug 24, Israel's Benjamin
Netanyahu asked Baltic state leaders for help in convincing the EU
to step up pressure on Iran and slammed a Brussels aid package for
Teheran at a news conference in Vilnius with his Estonian, Latvian
and Lithuanian counterparts.
2018 Sep 3, Estonian officials
arrested former military officer Deniss Metsavas (b.1980) and his
father Pjotr Volin (b.1953) on suspicion of treason and spying for
2018 Sep 19, The chief
executive of Denmark's largest bank, Thomas Borgen, resigned after
an internal report into allegations of massive money laundering via
an Estonian subsidiary showed that "the vast majority" of
transactions were deemed to be "suspicious."
2018 Sep 25, Pope Francis
arrived in Estonia and wound up a trip to the Baltic states. He said
that nations should not measure their strength by their military
capability to prevail over others. Estonia has only about 4,500
Catholics, or about 0.4 percent of the population of 1.3 million.
2018 Dec 7, Pete Shelley (63),
the lead singer and songwriter with influential British pop punk
band the "Buzzcocks", died at his home in Estonia. The band helped
create the New Wave genre, fusing punk's energy with a more melodic
2018 Dec 19, It was reported
that ten former employees of the Estonian branch of Danske Bank have
been detained in connection with a probe into a major money
laundering scandal that allegedly involved money from Russia and
former Soviet states.
2018 The grey wolf was voted
Estonia's national animal by nature organizations.
2019 Feb 6, Estonia extradited
to the United States a man suspected of trafficking hundreds of kg
of heroin to the New York area and using the profits to fund the
Taliban. Haji Abdul Satar Abdul Manaf was detained in Tallinn on
2019 Feb 11, A court in Estonia
found former Estonian military officer Deniss Metsavas (38) and his
father, Pjotr Volin (65), guilty of treason for spying for Russia.
Metsavas passed information along for a decade and was sentenced to
15½ years in prison. Volin worked with the GRU for approximately
half as long and received a six-year prison term.
2019 Feb 19, Estonian
authorities said that the local branch of Danske Bank must close
after the financial group admitted that massive amounts of money
from Russia and former Soviet states had been laundered through the
2019 Mar 3, Estonians voted in
a general election with the center-left coalition fighting for
survival in a duel with its traditional liberal rivals and a surging
far-right party buoyed by a backlash from mostly rural voters in the
Baltic eurozone state. Estonia was on track for its first woman
prime minister after the opposition liberal Reform party, led by
Kaja Kallas (41), won a general election with 28.8 percent of the
(AFP, 3/3/19)(AFP, 3/4/19)(SFC, 3/5/19, p.A3)
2019 Mar 6, In Estonia Liberal
party leader Kaja Kallas, on track to become the country's first
female prime minister, announced talks for a grand coalition with
the center-left party of outgoing PM Juri Ratas.
2019 Apr 4, Henn Polluaas of
the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE), known for its
anti-immigration and euroskeptic stance, was elected speaker of
parliament in the 101-seat Riigikogu assembly.
2019 Apr 6, Estonian PM Juri
Ratas unveiled a detailed plan for a three-party coalition,
including the far-right EKRE-party, which could see him hold power
despite his party having come second in an inconclusive election.
2019 Apr 12, Estonia's
intelligence agency said a Russian state-controlled television
station has been portraying members of the Jehovah's Witnesses in
Estonia in "a hostile and ridiculing" way.
2019 Apr 15, Estonia's
parliament rejected the leader of the center-right Reform Party,
Kaja Kallas, as prime minister and President Kersti Kaljulaid was
expected instead to tap Center Party head Juri Ratas to lead the
2019 Apr 17, Estonia's Center
party leader Juri Ratas secured parliament's support to continue as
prime minister and form a new government that will bring a far-right
party into the cabinet for the first time.
2019 Apr 18, Estonia's Pres.
Kersti Kaljulaid met with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in
Moscow for talks on trade and global relations, during the first
such Russian visit in eight years.
2019 Aug 23, Thousands of
chanting Hong Kong protesters joined peaceful "Baltic Chain" links
of hands, with almost three months of anti-government demonstrations
showing no sign of let-up across the Chinese-ruled territory. In
1989, an estimated two million people joined arms across the three
Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in a protest against
Soviet rule that became known as the "Baltic Way" or "Baltic Chain".
2019 Sep 25, Police in Estonia
discovered the body of Aivar Rehe, who ran the Danish bank's
Estonian business between 2007 and 2015 and had been among those
questioned as a witness in a probe by Estonian prosecutors. Rehe had
not been seen since he left his home in Tallinn on Sept. 23.
2019 Oct 29, Estonia's state
prosecutor's office said police and prosecutor have launched a
separate criminal investigation of Swedbank over alleged money
laundering in 2011-2017.
2020 Feb 7, President Vladimir
Putin ordered payments to be made to Russian World War II veterans
in Russia and the Baltic States as well as to those who were held in
Nazi concentration camps. The one-time payments of 50,000 rubles to
75,000 rubles ($790-$1,200) will also go to the widows or widowers
of veterans in Russia as well as Russian citizens in Lithuania,
Latvia and Estonia.
2020 Mar 27, In the Baltic
states Estonia reported 575 coronavirus infections and one death,
Latvia reported 280 cases, Lithuania reported 344 cases and four
(Baltic News Network, 3/27/20)
2020 Apr 2, The US Embassy in
Talinn, Estonia, said the US has delivered 128 anti-tank javelin
missiles as part of a larger contract with the NATO member.
(SFC, 4/3/20, p.A2)
2020 May 6, Estonia, Latvia and
Lithuania said they will open their borders to each others' citizens
from May 15, creating a Baltic "travel bubble" within the European
Subject = Estonia
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