For the next attack, Moscow knows where to hit first.
That was actually the most powerful attack in the history of cyber warfare and it took the most wired nation in Europe completely offline. Estonians -- who relied on Skype more than their phone service, which was even voted over the internet -- were utterly disoriented. Just imagine how you'd feel if your smartphone abruptly bricked for a month. The lack of access to puppy GIFs alone would send most of us spiraling into madness.
Russians Are A Huge Portion Of Estonia's Population
A large number of Estonians are old-fashioned, red-blooded, Bond-hating, ethnic Russians. Russia's strategy in both Ukraine and Georgia relied on gaining the support of the local Russian population first. Not a difficult trick, as anti-Russian sentiment had been making ethnic Estonian Russians feel estranged for a while.
"When I was a kid, after we regained our independence from the Soviet Union, the Russians were the 'enemy'. They were the bad guys. Hell, telling another Estonian that they were a Russian was a good way to insult them. After occupying us, the USSR brought in a massive amount of Russians to slowly kill our culture and language, they did it in most of the countries they occupied."
They mandated that everyone get a performing bear, which was just weird.
Stalin's government killed five million Ukrainians through starvation, just to open up Ukraine for native Russians. Estonia didn't get it quite as bad, but there was no love lost, "Distrust back then was guaranteed, because it was personal."
Around 320,000 of Estonia's 1.3 million citizens are ethnically Russian, a whopping 25.2 percent. Ukraine's separatist movement/invasion kicked off in the mostly Russian eastern chunk of the country. And only 17 percent of Ukrainians are native Russians -- so on paper, Estonia is practically in Putin's pocket already.
Hendrik disagrees. "A lot of time has passed and the funky thing with time is, that in one way or another, it is a very good painkiller. Most of the heavily affected parties have either died or found understanding/peace. And, the new generations who grow up going to schools with kids who might have different ethnic backgrounds but have similar dreams have trust between them. Many of those ethnic Russians identify themselves as Estonians."
Liz West/Wiki Commons
Borscht is the ultimate melting pot.
Indeed, most Russian Estonians seem pretty happy with the freedom and comfort that Estonia offers. As you may have guessed from that "most wired country in Europe" thing, Estonian life is actually pretty sweet.
"In a conflict situation, which side would I think they'd choose? Hell, those who have grown up here, this is their home. There was this instructor (whose both parents are Russians) that gave us lessons during our NCO course, and he gave us a good way of looking at it. If someone comes into your home, kicking down doors, eating the food in your kitchen and going for your wife you don't sit idly by, or help him do it. You fight back."
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist, interviewer, and editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.
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