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Captured from Google Maps.
Estonia, a country in Northern Europe, borders the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland. Including more than 1,500 islands, its diverse terrain spans rocky beaches, old-growth forest and many lakes. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, it’s dotted with castles, churches and hilltop fortresses. The capital, Tallinn, is known for its preserved Old Town, museums and the 314m-high Tallinn TV Tower, which has an observation deck. Capital:Tallinn; Population:1.325 million (2013); President:Kersti Kaljulaid; Sources include:World Bank.

As “Moscow” — President Putin; the New Security State; the revanchist ultra-nationalist neo-imperial combine — continues to develop as a belligerent with obvious “credits”, so far, in Syria and Ukraine, the former and now free members of the Soviet Union have been rightly sensitive to the many returns of the KGB mob.

Two items from the former Soviet state caught BackChannels attention this morning:

The Russian Federation’s diplomat, who was caught by the police in a brothel behaving curiously served in Estonia temporarily, which means that the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had not been informed of his presence. In connection with the increasing intensity of Russia’s intelligence activities the number of temporary diplomats in the European Union countries has gone up as well.

Värk, Joosep.  “Brothel patron lacked state acceptance.”  Postimees Estonian News, December 23, 2016.

The “temporary diplomatic official” had been in-country with the barest minimum of Estonian awareness (and without diplomatic immunity).  Värk Joosep’s reporting suggests there have been many such temporary figures in Estonia over the past two years.

A meeting between a member of US president-elect Donald Trump’s close circle and a pro-Putin member of the Russian State Duma in a Eastern European country was picked up by the Estonian Information Board, Newsweek wrote yesterday, based on information from several people with ties to the agency.

Värk, Joosep.  “Estonian foreign intelligence in the spotlight.”  Postimees Estonian News, January 12, 2017.

Related in Newsweek, possibly European edition, and as relayed by Estonian Public Broadcasting: “Newsweek: Estonian foreign intelligence eavesdropped on Russian official meeting Trump associate.”  Estonian Public Broadcasting, January 11, 2017.

Of course the world is at war every day, but some days — and some places — are more quiet than others.  Here on the cusp of an American Presidential Inauguration, these just beneath -the-radar activities tell a story about activity that add to what the world has seen put on display by Moscow, primarily, so BackChannels believes, in Syria and Ukraine.

The Newsweek category for Estonia relates well to the above and in this screen capture (made 1/16/2017/0930-EST) revealing:


It would appear “The Bear” has been acting aggressively and Estonia has been standing up for itself with confidence in the NATO arrangement.