On Friday, October 18, at noon, a demonstration was held at the Estonian Embassy in Moscow, organized by Unified Russia, the ruling Russian Political Party’s youth organization The Young Guard. Hundreds of young people stood with their organization’s insignia in front of the building, holding posters calling to stop the denial of history. They requested to meet with the Ambassador, who refused to do so. Finally, a text was painted on the pavement in front of the building stating that Estonia only allows entrance to those that forget history.
The steps taken by the Estonian authorities to ban members of the youth organization entry into Estonia and the entire Schengen Visa area for a 10-year period caused the demonstration. The Estonian authorities have not disclosed the reasons for the restriction to four or six individuals depending on the source. The members of Putin’s youth organization themselves were eager to speculate on the causes; participation in this year’s May 9th actions in Tallinn, the Immortal Regiment’s march and cooperation with the Kremlin-influenced NGO Russia’s compatriots in Europe.
The demonstration was supported by the propaganda publications Rossija and Sputnik with their cameras and microphones. However, coverage of the event was limited to Russian publications, which called the event a „mass demonstration“, exaggerating the number of participants and spicing up the stories with comments about Estonia’s alleged hostility towards Russians.
An interesting detail at the demonstration was the traveling exhibition, which presents a Kremlin favourable version of the events of World War II in Estonia in 1944. Propastop issued a warning last month about the arrival of this propaganda exhibition in Estonia.
The Youth Guard probably learned about the entry ban in August. The ban was first publically written about on October 11. by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which promised to counter with responsive steps to the ban.
It is likely that the Kremlin’s response will not be limited to the demonstration but other actions will be expected. Estonia-related historical propaganda has already been exceptionally lively this autumn. We have written about the salute in Moscow, the virtual Bronze Soldier app and other Russian endeavours related to the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The afore mentioned picket line recalls the events that took place at the Estonian Embassy in Moscow in 2007 and suggests that Kremlin propaganda attacks could continually intensify right up until the 9th of May.
You can check the entry ban on the individuals on the website of the Ministry of the Interior by entering the person’s date of birth, first name and surname.
Pictures: Screenshots of the demonstration from Youth Guard Social Media accounts and fedpress.ru. Webpage