Student detained following attacks on Estonian websites
Allegedly offered DDoS how-to
A 19-year-old university student has been detained on suspicion of participating in a wave of computer attacks protesting the Estonian government's removal of a Soviet-era memorial from the center of that country's capital. It was the first arrest in the attacks, which last week shut down many Estonian government websites.
The suspect was identified only as a Russian national named Dmitri, according to numerous reports, among them carried by Radio Free Europe and the Sydney Morning Herald. A spokeswoman for the Estonian prosecutor's office was quoted saying Dmitri made online postings that called for organized denial-of-service attacks against the country's servers and included addresses and instructions for people to carry them out.
"Dmitri is the first person detained, but the investigation continues, as many of the attacks came from abroad, including from Russia," she said.
Last week's attacks were unusual in the annals of cyber crime because they appeared to be motivated by civil unrest, rather than the motivation for monetary gain that accompanies most of the computer attacks being reported. The strife stems from the removal of a bronze statute depicting a WWII Russian soldier from the city of Tallinn. Russians, many of them living in Estonia, see the memorial as a tribute to the millions of Russian soldiers who died defeating Nazism. Estonians tend to see it as a painful reminder of more than 50 years of Soviet occupation.
One man, said by Radio Free Europe to be an ethnic Russian, was stabbed to death and 150 were injured in the worst riots to grip Estonia since it gained independence in the early 1990s. The Estonian embassy in Moscow was also the scene of two days of angry protests. ®
To really clarify ...
Nope, it's not about the coffins of a few Soviet soldiers (who are buried beneath an intersection near the statue, not beneath the statue itself). It's about the Russian ethnic minority in Estonia flexing its political muscle, annoyed that they are no longer the masters in a country that they treated as a colony for fifty years. The legacy of Soviet occupation in Estonia is chiefly pollution from heavy industry, closely followed by a Russian minority that was swollen by resettlement following World War II - part of a plan to Russify outlying regions of the empire thereby creating a localised opposition against the independence demands of the original inhabitants.
Curious about the timing!
I have been going to Estonia for sometime now and what is strange is the country has been independant for quite some time now so why has it just kicked off now.
One site which I can no longer access is the Estonian newspaper www.postimees.ee which is curious as that has Estonian and Russian versions on line!
Some interesting points
1) There is a great deal of talk from Estonians about how Russians are invaders. That was certainly the case many years ago, but most Russians living their now were born there and in many cases so were their parents. I accept that many believe that people should be punished for the actions of their parents, grandparents etc. I am not one of them.
2) Most of the trouble in Tallinn has been caused by general purpose hooligans. The sort of people who in the UK would be rioting because their football team lost.
3) It is perhaps instructive to compare Estonia with Lithuania. They both have very similar 20th century histories, but everyone who was a permanent resident on the day that Lithuania gained independence became a citizen. The same is not true in Estonia where there are still a great number of stateless Russians.
4) Estonia gained independence in 1991, therefore, any Russian younger than their mid-thirties can't regret that they no longer run the country, since they never did.
5) Is Amnesty International prejudiced against Estonians? I don't know, but they certainly have plenty to say about their language laws (http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGEUR510012007?open&of=ENG-EST). In my non-legal opinion, Estonia is going to end up in front of the EU for breaching EU laws designed to protect linguistic minorities.
6) Very little known fact: Consider my wife's grandmother. She lives in Russia in the same cottage she was born in and speaks only Russian. She sounds like the sort of person that the Estonians would want nothing to do with doesn't she? But, between the two world wars, the bit of Russia where she lives was part of the first Estonian Republic. As a result of this, the Estonian government will give citizenship to her and any of her decedents. My wife's cousin doesn't speak a word of Estonian and apart from 2 short holidays has never set foot in the place, but because of her grandmother she now has an Estonian and thus EU passport. Meanwhile, many Russians who were born in Tallinn and have lived there all their lives, but also don't speak Estonian remain stateless. This seems a little inconsistent to me.