Why does Russia need an Estonian hostage?



Analysis & Opinion

by Vitaliy Portnikov

“Over all, it’s hard to believe something like this is possible. This case breaks all the rules,” said the well-known Estonian politician Eerik-Niiles Kross commenting on the kidnapping by Russians of the employee of the Estonian Security Police on Estonian territory.

In Tallinn people are seriously worried. Estonian officials are trying to convince themselves that this is a tragic exception that has nothing to do with politics. They are contacting Russian colleagues, hoping for their assistance in the rapid release of the man who had been kidnapped   by “unknown” persons. But the most interesting part is that Russia is not even attempting to hide anything. The public relations office of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that the arrest of the Estonian employee happened on the territory of the Russian Federation despite the fact that the border police of both countries held a special meeting at the scene of the crime — on Estonian territory, naturally, not in Russia. But Moscow has already carried out a similar exercise with Nadiya Savchenko. Now it simply repeated it.

In principle, I could even agree that this kidnapping may have nothing to do with politics. The (Estonian) Security Police authorities stated that their employee was kidnapped in the line of duty while attempting to stop a corruption offense. Since the FSB and Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs serve as a “shield” for all kinds of shady dealers, (the Russians) may have disrupted that kind of operation. But it could have been something much simpler — and directly connected to politics. Since U.S. President Barack Obama came to Tallinn, Russia may have decided to teach the Estonians a lesson and remind them that Americans are far away and that Russia, if need be, can arrive in Tallinn in a matter of hours.

The bottom line is this — the West’s demonstrated caution on the Ukrainian crisis is perceived by Moscow as an opportunity to do whatever it wants in neighboring countries. A sanction here, a sanction there — what difference does it make? The neighbors will live in terror and will understand that they must go to pay homage to the real tsar and not rely on the EU and NATO.

And one more thing is clear. Putin’s appetites are not limited to Ukraine.

By Vilaliy Portnikov, Radio Svoboda, September 6, 2014

Translated by Anna Mostovych

Source: Radio Svoboda


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  • Mykola Potytorsky

    The timing of this kidnapping indeed is sending a message to the Western world, Putler like his hero hitler is spoiling for a fight.

    • sandy miller

      Mykola…Putler just won one fight he’s just taken over Luhansk.

      • rene johnson

        How true, with Putin saying his military would rather take their vacations in a war zone than at a beach.

        • Mykola Potytorsky

          just shows you how stupid the putlerites are, taking a vacation in a war zone-real smart

      • Mykola Potytorsky

        he may have won the war in the Dumbass, but can he hold onto the territory? I am talking guerrilla warfare against the invader and that is coming so hang onto your hats

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    It is a finger in Obama’s eye after his visit to Estonia, outrageous North Korean behavior that requires a tough response.

    • sandy miller

      hammmermann…why bother trying to shame…shameless people…cowards are cowards what can you do to them. It’s obvious Putler has poked them in the eye so many times and they just turn around either turn a blind eye and act like they didn’t see anything. In all my years, I’ve never been ashamed of my government.

  • Milton Devonair

    Seemingly every single day since 1918, russia provides to humans examples of why russians can never be trusted around humans.

    • sandy miller

      Milton….Russia has proven all thru history that they are savages. what do you think they were doing during the czars time? They were warmongers always have been…and now the west has shown it has no courage…Putler and his regime are the demons from the Book of Revelations come to subjegate the world..Finally, the anti-Christ has appears in religious clothing under the Russian Orthodox Church.

      • marksplinter

        I find it strange that you criticise Hitler and also call an entire nation “savages”, and condemn an entire religion. I hope Jesus will help you to see the hypocrisy of this.

        • jwz

          But it’s OK for Russia to claim that all Ukrainians are Nazis, the Poles and Lithuanians deserve to be annihilated, and the entire West is depraved and immoral And any church other than the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow) is evil and un-Christian. If there were a pictorial version of the Bible, next to the phrases Pharisees, viper’s brood, and hypocrites would be a picture of a plump, corrupt, power- and money-hungry Russian Orthodox bishop.

        • Milton Devonair

          Russia always seems to have been a retarded civilization, just like islam has retarded wherever it rules.
          As for the “entire religion” you really should study up on the russian orthodox church in russia.

      • Katabatic

        ¿Savages? I think the word you are looking for is “untermensch”

      • Milton Devonair

        True, the kgb agent kirill running the criminal enterprise called the russian orthodox church in russia is quite the anti-christ if there ever was one.

        Between muslims and russians, human civilization is surely at risk.

  • Eurogambit

    Best to recognise it for what it is, many Russian citizens have been kidnapped by the U.S. over the past few years, Russia is just daring America to make this issue live.

    • USAF5MapsUK

      Well then start naming them please Ivan.

    • sandy miller

      Eurogambit…you’re so funny…than Russia should take on America not little defenseless Ukraine. Can you imagine what kind of craziness Putin has fed the Russians. I’m embarrassed for them. I’d be ashamed to admit your a Russian. Such crazy talk I’ve never heard.

      • Eurogambit

        You obviously believe the propaganda you have been bottle fed about America being invincible, the Nazis tried the same story. You don’t look so good after Syria and Ukraine.

        • Milton Devonair

          Did you escape the zoo in moscow? They lured you out with fresh bananas?

          • Eurogambit

            WHAT ! You mean you don’t have enough Obama’s ?

          • Milton Devonair

            Being raised in a western culture, obama, while being stupid, is still miles more advanced than russian apes. Common sense.

    • Milton Devonair

      russian, true, american has been kidnapping russians…because we need them.
      With the drought in africa, it’s almost impossible to get a good supply of apes for our zoos, so we just get the more primitive, under developed apes that humans calls ‘russians’.

      The bearded ape is their pet chechens.

  • Brent

    And so it begins…Russia committing acts of provocation in the Baltics. Sticking their finger in America and Europe’s face and saying “what are you going to do about it?”

    Until Obama stops painting red lines and Merkl stops pining for her days of friendship with Putin, this will continue to escalate. The world is turning a blind eye to the numerous acts of provocation the Russian air force has committed to many countries in the last few months. That in itself is not an act of war, but the illegal annexation of Ukraine and the illegal undeclared invasion of Eastern Ukraine are. Yet, our leaders continue to talk big and do nothing. They think sanctions are going to solve this, but detention never solved the school yard bully problem either. You need to kick Putin in the teeth. Very hard, and very soon. This is only going to cost much more the longer the “Dithersons” in power keep talking tough and not acting.

    Obama, you are a fool. You are over your head on the world stage. You are a great orator, but have no presence on the world stage and have given all the tyrants out there renewed vigor and presence to do whatever they want. That is your legacy. You can name your future Presidential library in Chicago “The Feckless Institute”.

    • ronnie

      obama needs to step down he has lost the confidence of the American people. we don’t hold our hand over our heart and have never let our friends until now his watch has been decimated by non decision party politics. It’s time he step down on his own accord. he is not fit to govern a great nation like america. he would do well in the Antarctic. they love hot air down there

  • Rods

    This IMO is sadly the first shot in the battle for the control of the Baltic states, where Russia will use this to test the West’s resolve towards Estonia, which Estonia will find wanting. Estonia needs to learn from Ukraine’s situation fast and rapidly increase their armed forces with aircraft, tanks, APCs, SAMs, artillery and military training for everybody between the ages of 18 and 50. The same applies to Latvia and Lithuania.

    Ukraine has found to its cost that the west will talk a good game including the US and UK who were guarantors of Ukraine’s territorial integrity with the Budapest Agreement, but they didn’t, to their shame, play one when it mattered by supplying Ukraine with the lethal military equipment, that they desperately needed. We have a saying for this “All mouth no trousers”.

    Putin will use the Baltics to test NATO’s resolve. Ask the question, will Merkel risk a nuke on Bonn from her buddy Vlad, to save a few million people’s freedom in the Baltics? Europe and NATO will take their lead from Germany. Obama, if and when he manages to drag himself from the important things in life, like walking his dog, spending time with his family and playing golf, to consider Foreign Policy problems will make a few good speeches like the one the other day, in Estonia, and do his usual, nothing. Even if there was any sort of confrontation between Obama and Putin, which is very unlikely from appeaser Obama, Obama will always blink first and Putin knows it.

    Once Putin has faced down NATO over the Baltics then it is game on for his vision of building an Eurasian empire from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Remember to sit at the Superpower top table he needs to annex most of Western Europe so he has their GDP’s and technology, without this Russia will remain what it is a, nuclear armed, minor regional power.

    The current crop of western leaders are very weak willed, left-wing, liberal, idealists, just like Neville Chamberlain in the 1930’s. Their only allegiance is to their focus groups where they try to be the least ugly in preparation for the next round of the ugly contest, sorry General Election.

    • Katabatic

      Russia wants only his former territories (Ukranie yes, not Latvia ) and that the Baltic states remaining without foreign bases or troops.
      Is not too much to ask. Just a little respect.
      And no espontaneous demonstrations backed by NATO in Belarus, please.

    • Dean Venture

      I respectfully disagree. If NATO bails on any one country, the entire treaty is undone. They know they can defeat Russia’s conventional army, and they will do that. If Russia starts pushing around Estonia, we will see the beginning of the next world war. It will be ugly and very costly in terms of lives and infrastructure, but they won’t back down. Without NATO, every European state becomes a target.

      They may decide to target another non-NATO state – Finland or one of the Caucasian states. Perhaps they’ll finish what they started in Georgia, or maybe they want to take Azerbaijan’s oil.

      I can almost see Russia using tactical nuclear weapons, but even that would arouse such a protest, Russia would find itself as the next North Korea, almost entirely cut off from the world. Worse, it would give the Americans a just cause to use theirs.

      I agree though, the effort put in by the Western powers is thus far pathetic. After Russian troops were captured, they should have started to send weapons to the Ukraine. It also surprises me that Poroshanko accepted the ceasefire. All of the leaders of the west and in the Ukraine must know that leaving things as they stand now is a failure. The ceasefire probably wont last (it’s already being violated), so I wonder if they aren’t using its ultimate failure to build a stronger case for intervention. I think we’re watching a chess game in which we can only see half the pieces.

      • ronnie

        sorry not going to happen the free world is peeing its pants right now and poutine wants to see if they have any pee and yellow color left in their collective systems.

      • Brent

        Maybe NATO needs to be dissolved. it was formed as an organization to combat Soviet aggression…..and is doing nothing about Russian aggression. First in Moldova, then Georgia and now Ukraine. 3 strikes. I suspect they won’t do much in the Baltics either.

        Why are nations such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgara and Greece in this organization when all are against EU sanctions against Russia and supporters of Putin’s activities? NATO’s charter has never changed, yet it’s focus has. All these European countries expect the U.S. to protect them, yet they won’t lift a finger to help Ukraine.

        While we’re at it, what good is the United Nations? Think of all the conflicts like Rwanda, Syria, Somalia that they have been useless in resolving. They’ve done more complaining and fingerpointing at Canada for its supposed bad treatment of its Native population (who get billions every year) and have said next to nothing about the atrocities and ethnic cleansing that is going on in Ukraine, or has happened in other countries. If I’m not mistaken, Iran is on the Human Rights council….another useless organization. Any nation, even the U.S. and China that has a permanent seat on the Security Council can veto any resolution, even if they are the aggressor. They are the worst aggressors.

  • sandy miller

    i DON’T HAVE MUCH SYMPATHY FOR THE EUROPEANS….LET’S GIVE THE ANIMAL UKRAINE AND MAYBE HE’LL GET FULL ON HER AND LEAVE US ALONE. When does an animal ever get full enough. Putler just won and he knows it. He will sit still for a while remember he did Georgia in 2008 and didn’t act again until 2013 on Ukraine. He plans on being king of Russia for a long time. Did the europ[eans do anything but talk?

    • rene johnson

      Putin needs all ex soviet lands to accomplish his Customs Union plans, which have failed so far. So, yes, he still hungers for other sovereign countries lands and resources.

    • Mader Levap

      That will not happen, idiot.

      • Milton Devonair

        Sandy was being facetious.
        I say obama should just give him alaska and hopefully he’ll leave us alone and concentrate elsewhere……

  • tasuja

    “This case breaks all the rules,” What rules???