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Estonian Security Police annual report: REGNUM is leading in anti-Estonian information war

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REGNUM has received an annuall report of the Estonian Security Police (KaPo). We are publishing the full text of the report.

Foreword by Director General

Dear reader! You are holding the ninth Annual of the Security Police Board.

Publication of annuals has become a tradition. This one outlines the more important areas of activities of the Security Police Board in 2006.

Our Annual has become popular among the readers and that really pleases us. Presenting the activity of the Security Police Board it is important to speak of definite results as well as anticipatory and preventive dimension in our work, the result of which is achievement of a secure country in a wider meaning.

Looking back at the past year we see both, alarming and positive tendencies.

The main concern in counter-intelligence for the Security Police was intelligence activities of Russia towards Estonia that continued with the methods and intensity known form the previous years. Moscow has promptly taken advantage of the spontaneously burst dispute over the Tõnismäe monument, attempting to escalate a conflict by influencing counter-parties. In 2006 Russia retained its foreign-policy arsenal in the official so-called compatriot policy of Russians living abroad; the Embassy of Russian Federation in Tallinn traditionally intervened in issues connected with compatriot policy.

During last years security and security threats have increasingly become the problem that exceeds the borders terrorist attacks prevented in Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and elsewhere in Europe in 2006 confirmed once again that Islamic extremists are ready for victim- abundant attacks in all European countries, without selecting time and place.

Thus, preventive anti-terrorist measures and readiness to act in dangerous situation are among our priorities, with the keyword being cooperation. In this global combat the Security Police Board is a good ally to our cooperation partners in Estonia and in other countries. Here I want to repeat something that was already said in our previous annual: “Combating terrorism cannot and should not be organised as a campaign combating this phenomenon must be continuous, in Estonia and Europe, as well as in the whole world.”

The number of explosions in Estonia that came to its peak in the middle of the 1990s has decreased year by year, reaching the lowest level during the period of re-independence in 2006. The number of persons injured in explosions has also decreased. Four explosions, in which two persons were slightly injured, were registered in 2006. There were no explosions resulting in death in 2006.

Estonias position in the valuation table of Transparency International, the organisation monitoring international corruption, has improved year by year. Although the position in 2006 is the highest achieved during re-independence (24th-25th among 163 countries), detected cases indicate continuous danger of this kind of crime to society. Complicated cases, ever increasing sums of wanted bribes and cynicism of the perpetrators of corruption crimes is characteristic to the year 2006.

However, the small number of explosions in Estonia and our relatively high place in the valuation table of Transparency International should not give rise to complacency. We have enough challenges to intensify combat against illegal handling of explosives, as well as against corruption.

Two criminal cases previously investigated by the Security Police Board attained international meaning in 2006 and significantly secured our long-term security via international law. We are talking about the decisions of European Court of Human Rights on applications against Estonia filed by former employees of repressive organs of the Soviet Union, who were convicted in crimes against humanity. The International Court found that complaints against Estonia were manifestly ill-founded, judgements of Estonian courts are right and the crimes qualified correctly. But what is more important  a competent international court (the legitimacy of which Russia also has to admit) acknowledged for the first time that in 1940-1941 and 1944-1991 Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union by force. Reverse propaganda guided from Russia for decades has thus failed.

Guaranteeing the security of high-level state visits that took place in 2006 once again confirmed our readiness to combine continuously stricter security requirements with externally smooth organisation. We can bring forth two high-level visits from the last year: Queen Elizabeth II and President George W. Bush visited Estonia. In guaranteeing the security of high-level quests, cooperation with other services on local and international level plays an important role, like in other security areas.

The role of the Security Police Board in investigating violations of law and threat aimed towards the Republic of Estonia and local population is under justified attention of the public, adding to obligations deriving from the legislation also moral expectations of the citizens in our activity. Here I should emphasize that besides the work of security institutions and law enforcement authorities the citizens contribution into formation of the security of our state is important, also. The Security Police Board successfully continues to guarantee the security in cooperation with foreign colleagues, other public institutions and Estonian citizens.



Director General of the Security Police Board


In 2006 Security Police celebrated the 15th anniversary of its re-creation. During these years our personnel has changed considerably we are much more educated, experienced and, inevitably, also older. If we compare the statistics on our employees, then 10 years ago the average age of police officials was 28, but last year an average official of the Security Police was 34. The percentage of officials with higher education has increased by more than a half in last 10 years from 32% to 65%.

Educated, experienced and stable personnel is the basis of successful and effective special service and in certain sense gives ground for satisfaction. At the same time it sets up new requirements to the quality of personnel administration. Thus, increasing attention has been paid to the employees of the Security Police Board, because the employees and their know-how is the most valuable resource for the service.

So what is it that the employees find attractive in intensive and stressful work of the Security Police? Doubtlessly there are various answers to that question, but the most powerful motivator through years has been the possibility to realize oneself in interesting and mysterious tasks.

In order to have professional employees, devoted to do their difficult, but interesting and secret work, we have constantly paid great attention to their training. Speaking of training, there is no such vocational school in Estonia that could educate in such specific areas as counter-intelligence, protection of state secrets or combating terrorism, and here the solution is the in-house training, prevailingly carried out by more experienced employees.

However, our employees do not need only specific professional training, but frequently participate in various schoolings, seminars and conferences in Estonia and abroad, in order to keep up with numerous national and international legislations that regulate the attitudes, behaviour and everyday work of officials.

Due to permanent elevated terrorism threat in the world the Security Police continuously pays great attention to advancing various aspects and methods of combating terrorism. The year 2006 was no exception; our employees participated in several cooperative schoolings and trainings on combating terrorism and in seminars and conferences treating interstate cooperation.

Intensive and stressful work requires a lot of strength and clear head, and that is why the Security Police lives according to the rule: healthy mind in healthy body. Besides corresponding to the requirements of physical preparation set for police officials, several sports events organised by the Security Police Board have become a tradition: employees actively participate in summer and winter sports day and in the football competition held once a year. Football, basketball and volleyball are continually the most popular ball games, and have given good results in interdepartmental competitions.

Relations with Public

On last Police Day, as tradition has developed, the Security Police Board awarded two government officials, whose activity and support in certain fields helped jointly and successfully strengthen the legal order of the state.

On November 12, 2006, the Head of the special unit K-Commando of the Central Criminal Police, chief superintendent Heldur Lomp, on the basis of the order of the Minister of Internal Affairs, was awarded an inscribed firearm. With the order of the Director General of the Security Police Board the Chief Doctor of Tallinn Emergency Hospital Raul Adlas was awarded the Plate of Merit of the Security Police.

The Security Police Board is very grateful to all persons, organisations, institutions and enterprises that helped to guarantee the security of the Republic of Estonia and its citizens in 2006. We also want to express our gratitude to all our foreign partners and wish them all the best.


Information War against Estonia

Russias foreign policy towards Estonia remained unchangeable in 2006, as remained Russias desire to show Estonia as a problematic country, “overriding human rights.” It is characteristic that at the same time, when European leaders are worried about the situation of human rights in Russia, the latter reacts with its standard propagandistic attack claiming to be “worried” about predicable discrimination of Russian-speaking population in the Baltic States. When European leaders point out the extension of xenophobia in Russia, the latter instantly accuses the Baltic States in extension of Nazism.

Such foreign policy accusations of Russia are usually based on the statements of insignificant and marginal Russian-speaking pseudopoliticians/- organisations of Estonia, with which the latter attempt to draw attention (especially in Russian-language news media) and plead Moscow for money. The marginality of Russian politicians/parties/ organisations claiming to represent Estonian Russian-speaking population is not an empty phrase, but a fact: in the last parliamentary elections they gathered only 1% of the votes. This happened in the situation, where 15% of all our voters are Russian-speaking citizens. Without the support of the so-called compatriots financing received from Russia, such political consorters should have quit their activities long ago. Thus, it can be firmly stated that Estonia, as the so-called problematic country is necessary for Russias own foreign policy, in order to avoid attention on their own internal squeezes.

Russias ever more reticent media with increasing difficulties to express alternative opinions, has accomplished a vicious circle, where negative image created of Estonia influences the politicians and officials of Russia, who with their reactions contribute to even more negative attitude of journalists, and, in its turn, loud Russian-speaking politicians with extremist inclination are considered the only information sources. Due to developed influence of media attacks against Estonia and its foreign representations, carried out by various institutions, non-profit organisations, media and youth associations, became more frequent in 2006. This vicious circle probably starts notably to influence Russias Estonian policy due to tense internal policy accompanying forthcoming parliamentary elections of the Russian Federation. In shaping public opinion, Russian authorities ignore an important fact  namely that neither the “politicians fighting for the rights of Russian-speaking population” of Estonia, nor the majority of Russian-speaking population have desire to re-emigrate to Russia, because in reality Russians living in Estonia do not perceive such problems that Russian media constantly tries to depict to readers-watchers-listeners.

An important instrument for bringing forth (pseudo-)problematic issues useful from Russias standpoint is non-governmental organisations. For example, one of the executers of “scientific researches” is the NGO Legal Information Centre of Human Rights, which the Foreign Ministry of Russian Federation finances both directly and via the fund “Euroregion Livonia.” “Objective scientists,” who have no special education, receive their instructions directly from Russian diplomats. It is typical that half of the associations members belong into Constitutional Party that represents extremist ideology and has been one of the central organisations in groundless smearing of Estonias international reputation. In 2006 anti-Estonia information attack became more vigorous, with the leading role played by the Presidential Department of the Russian Federation for Inter-regional and Cultural Ties with Foreign Countries (leader Modest Kolerov) and information portal Regnum.ru. Precisely on the initiative of persons connected with these structures were published historically pseudo-scientific books “The Crimes of Nazis and Their Henchmen in the Baltic States (Estonia) in 1941-1944. Documents and Evidence” and “Estonia: the Bloody Trace of Nazism 1941-1944”. The only purpose of these books was to create “scientific basis” for Russias public and state machine for blaming the Baltic States in Nazism. The further purpose of consistent accusation in extending Nazism is justification of actions aimed towards Estonia in the future.

The official so-called compatriot policy as a foreign policy tool of Russia rallied considerably in 2006. The worldwide compatriot congress deserves mentioning. It took place in St. Petersburg in October, where among others, also Estonia was accused under conduction of Russias officials (especially expressive was the speech criticizing Estonian Government given by an extremist member of the Constitutional Party Andrei Zarenkov, who just read the text written by an official of Roszarubezhtsentr of Russia). In the framework of the so-called compatriot policy several programmes were initiated in 2006, all of them with the purpose of giving an impression of Estonia as a country of two antagonistic communities, but also to block integration processes in Estonian society.

In 2006 the United Peoples Party of Estonia, aspiring to represent Russian-speaking population, was reformed and re-named the Constitutional Party. It is a peculiar association that strives to represent the whole Russianspeaking population of Estonia, but its major financial and ideological supporters are the diplomats of the Russian Embassy in Tallinn, various departments of Moscow City Government, Russian media and various contact persons of Russian special services. Artificial formation of the Constitutional Party could be seen for example in the fact that the party, advertised in Russian media as a large organisation, has difficulties to get enough members to their meetings and due to that they charge to their account the demonstrations of other non-profit organisations. In essence the Constitutional Party is a new subversive project lead from abroad, receiving money from Russian Federation, but also businessmen.

Russia supports this party secretly, via various cultural projects and events. The concert “Vivat Rossija” could be mentioned, actually financed by the Embassy of Russian Federation. With the latters written support the Constitutional Party requests additional money from both, the authorities of Moscow and Russian businessmen in Estonia. In the summer of 2006 several businessmen received letters signed by the then Ambassador Konstantin Provalov, asking to give financial support to this project. However, between the lines the businessmen could read concealed threat to their business projects connected with Russia.

Russias taxpayers money for financing the Constitutional Party, taking care of the monuments of the WWII and justifying Soviet occupation in Estonia is not spent for the intended purpose. Small groups of interest, having good relations with Russian diplomats, use those funds, allocated for compatriot policy, in their own interest partly on the account of the actual target group of this policy. Here a non-profit association History Association Monument, financed mostly by Russian Embassy, and a well-known Russian transit businessman who applied Estonian citizenship in 2006, both connected with the Constitutional Party, should be mentioned. This non-profit organisation should deal with taking care of war graves, but in reality they buy this service from other non-profit organisations and for the price hundreds of times (!) less than it receives for this project. (A certain sum from these several millions of worth money-shots reached the former KGB intelligence officer in Estonia Vladimir Ilyashevich, the maker of the movie “Estonia at the Crossroad of History”, distributed on DVD-s). Persons connected with the Constitutional Party spend most of this money for personal purposes mostly for buying cars and real estate.

Stopping on the events of the year 2006 we should definitely mention the problems in connection with the war monument of the Red Army (called by people the Bronze Soldier) standing in the centre of Tallinn. A spontaneously flared up dispute gave both, Russian-speaking and Estonian-speaking extremists a good opportunity to spread their ideas that have not found output so far. The parties of this disagreement the radical supporters and opponents of removing the so-called Bronze Soldier divided according to national features, thus bringing painfully forth nationally important issues (fundamentally different historic approaches to the WWII and the Soviet occupation, definition of justice etc.). The dispute draw the attention of media and extremist organisations tried to adapt with it and wanted to take advantage of the situation and provoke the disagreement to continue by all means.

Russian Embassy vigorously interfered in this internal issue of Estonia; the Ambassador personally tried to influence Estonian parliament via businessmen in the process of legislation in the so-called Bronze Soldier issue. An interesting example was the status of a group (“Night Watch”) that emerged to advocate the Tõnismäe monument, claiming to be a public movement of Russian-speaking population.

The Constitutional Party immediately tried to make use of this new association, which, although it gained momentary popularity had only up to 20 activists at its peak.

The so-called Bronze Soldier dispute brought along a new situation, where radically inclined Russian politicians used various measures to involve and take advantage of Russian-speaking young people to propagate their ideology via topical community issues. By manipulating the young, Russian extremists tried to exhibit to international community keen interest of Estonian Russian population, especially young people, in war history; at the same time the same extremists, relying on war history, tried to justify to Estonian readers-watchers the Soviet occupation in Estonia in 1940-1941 and 1944-1991.

After the Ukrainian so-called Orange Revolution the number of youth organisations loyal to the powers has considerably increased in Russia. According to the information of the Security Police the special services of the Russian Federation enhanced their control over youth movements in order to avoid recurrence of Ukrainian events in Russia. In 2006 the Security Police repeatedly disclosed the attempts of Russian loyal chauvinistic youth organisations (“Nashi”,"Molodaya Gvardiya", etc.) to import their ideology and operating methods into Estonia. Attempts were made to traffic Russian youngsters, who had repeatedly rioted in front of Estonian Embassy in Moscow, into Estonia and send them to manifest at the monument of Bronze Soldier and at the Riigikogu (parliament) house on Toompea.

The main goal of Russian extremists and supporting Russian media is to create an image of split Estonia with two hostile communities noble Russians and “Estonian Fascists.” According to the Security Police the population of Estonia is not divided on the basis of ethnic features, but due to existence of two entirely antagonist information fields. The majority of population receives their information from the free press of Estonia and other European countries. The stagnate, unilingual and less-educated part of Russian-speaking population observes only the state-censored TV-channels of Russia, linguistically understandable to them, and, due to that are subjected to imperialist ideology and chauvinistic propaganda. News about Estonia reflected by Russian media are narrow, aimed and strikingly propagandistic. Material for news is usually obtained from some radically inclined Russian-speaking politician, opinion of the other side is not asked and information is not checked from other sources.

Education Reform in Estonian Russian-language Schools

In 2006 the Security Police observed ongoing attempts of Russias foreign policy institutions and extremist movements in Estonia to organise counteractions to partial transition of Russian-language-based schools to studying in Estonian language. It is another example of how some new figures in the so-called compatriot policy try to achieve personal fame among electorate. Other Russian institutions want to take advantage of this issue for foreign and domestic policy purposes, especially in the view of the 2007 parliamentary elections in Russia.

Already from the year 2005 attempts have been made in Estonia to repeat scenario similar to events in Latvia from May 2003 to May 2005. Russian extremists managed skilfully to exploit the fear of parents for their childrens future, to disseminate negative attitude towards the reform in good time and promote confusion and spreading of protest accompanying lack of knowledge. Latvian Russian language media intensified everything and reflected it tendentiously.

The Security Police has observed attempts to provoke Russian-speaking youth against education reform. The provokers are usually unilingual illiterate “activists” who have no respect for Estonian language or Estonian culture and who hope for achieving the same kind of illiteracy among current Russian youth, diminishing the opportunities of the latter to make career in Estonia and elsewhere in Europe.

Short-sightedness of Estonian Russian-language media is surprising: by supporting forces opposing the knowledge of Estonian language they actually hinder the formation of additional and restrict their ability to make ones way in society.

Economic Security

Although according to statistics the year 2006 was very profitable to the Estonian economy, integration of Estonian economy with world economy involves certain security risks. Thus, necessity to have constructive security dialogues between enterprises and state institutions increases and according to the Security Police this increase is progressive.

Characteristic and expressive is a quote from the interview given by the head of Russian Railway to the journal “Gudok” in the summer of 2006: “Vast corporations in contemporary Russia, like Russian Railways, United Energy Systems and Gazprom, are geopolitical subjects, instead of being its objects. In practice they turn into organisations or official authorities that present certain geopolitical and economic solutions to the Government and the state.”

According to the information of the Security Police there have been attempts to use such politically forced solutions in Estonia as well. For instance Russias large enterprises were involved in threatening and lobby-work of the so-called Bronze Soldier issue. Lobby-work was assigned to several “relationship managers” and “investment consultants” who wish to trade with their political influence in order to receive personal profit. Here the statements that say: money has no nation, or nation has no capital, could be replaced with the one that says: greed has no limit.

As we emphasized in our previous annual, it is not directly the economic processes that interest the Security Police, but the so-called grey zone between economy and politics. Besides increasingly aggressive invasion of Russian capital it is important to observe the contacts between the radical wing of political movements and businessmen, also financing of extremists. Enterprises which have investments with Russian background that besides realizing their economic interests could be involved into Russias foreign policy games are of most interest.

In 2006 pressure of some Russian state structures could be observed on Russian businessmen having investments in Estonia with a purpose to exploit their contacts in Estonia and to enforce decisions positive for Russia. Russian powers essentially try to use their businessmen as an alternative channel of foreign policy. According to trustworthy information received by the Security Police, Kremlin had plans with one possible aim to “export” rich and authoritative future leader to Estonian Russians. The (failed) application of Estonian citizenship by the well-known Russian transit businessman Andrei Filatov was part of these plans. Characteristic was the fact that officially Estonia was demonstrated large investments and sponsor programmes purchased with companies, while other statements tried to show Estonia as a Fascist country.

“Filatovs case” is a spectacular classic way of influence, consisting of financing of populist enterprises, contributing to certain politicians, purchasing popularity from PR-managers and publishing simultaneous “positive” interviews and alluring false news (opening car factories and other enterprises) in Estonian media. It is amazing that a businessman of such calibre is ready to sacrifice his own reputation and the reputation of his enterprise so easily in the name of questionable purposes.

Special mention should be made on the fact that in 2006, after a long time, Russia raised the subject of applying economic sanctions against Estonia again. In 2006 Russia adopted the Act “Special Economic Measures”, which gives the President of Russian Federation extensive authority and possibilities to apply economic sanctions to “unfriendly activity towards Russia”. According to discussions held in 2006 it could be stated that application of economic sanctions is quite actual especially on single articles of trade important for Estonia. The essence of the expression, frequently used by Russian politicians “application of adequate measures” is application of economic sanctions, which directly harm Estonian as well as Russian businessmen.


Leftist Extremism Classic leftist extremism became more active in Estonia in 2006. Increased interest of the Security Police Board in this movement proceeds from experiences of other countries, where an anti-Fascist movement (ANTIFA) has been quite violent in its activities and actions. Leftist extremists protest demonstrations against skinheads that have led to physical conflicts at various places in Europe conceal a risk of extensive youth demonstrations and strengthening of both movements in Estonia.

In 2006 the Security Police identified several smaller groups of leftist extremists, who tried to hinder the undertakings of skinheads, by using force, whether in the street, at the concerts or elsewhere. Although it has remained on the level of minor breaches of public order so far, the atmosphere of mutual revenge might very easily give birth to new conflicts, much more violent and thus more dangerous to society.

One of the main distributors of leftist extremist ideology is the director of Maardu Community Centre Andrei Zarenkov, who registered the so far only official leftist extremist association, the Antifascist Committee. Being concurrently the leader of the abovementioned association and the chairman of the Russian party established in 2006 the Constitutional Party he strives, without selecting means, to be the representative of all Russian-speaking population in Estonia. In 2006, following his personal ambitions and passion for power, Zarenkov, with his activity and statements, tried repeatedly to stress and provoke to the limit the so-called conflict of the Bronze Soldier, by giving effective impulse to the development of both, leftist and rightist extremism in Estonia. All Zarenkovs activities served one purpose to get elected to the Riigikogu in 2007 elections. This is no behaviour of a politician, but an intriguer.

There is one political nuance that distinguishes the activity of the Antifascist Committee from classic leftist extremism: they pay no special attention to extension of the skinhead movement, because both, Estonian and Russian skinhead groups are represented in Estonia, not to speak of xenophobic Russian Federation. By comparing the activity of the Antifascist Committee and its statements in media (repeated unimaginative Fascism-accusations on the address of Estonia) it is easy to identify that most of these statements are framed and timed according to foreign policy needs of Russia.

In 2006 it appeared that in connection with globalisation new trends of thinking have begun to spread in Estonia that have potential (considering the experiences of the rest of the world) to escalate into breaching of law. Here we are speaking of anarchism, anti-globalisation, extreme ways of protecting animals and other manifestations that, without doubt, represent an interesting activity for young people in the meaning of intellectual protest, but if let out of control, can end with violence.

Rightist Extremism

The Security Police, as usual, observed all larger groups of skinheads in Tallinn and elsewhere in Estonia. Consistent heightened interest of rightist extremists towards the activities of Estonian skinheads has undoubtedly promoted dissemination of rightist extremist views among local youngsters and led to the situation, where first attempts to unite the so far fragmented skinhead groups could be seen.

The activity of Estonian skinheads has mainly been based on group membership and appearance (clothing, hairstyle, tattoos). There has been no strong and unitary ideological connection. Dissemination of skinhead ideology is primarily promoted by common events for instance, in Estonia there is a tradition of concerts since the year 2000. An unexpected impulse to increasing popularity of skinheads was the so-called Bronze Soldier conflict provoked by Zarenkov and other Russian leftist extremists; skinheads formed the most organised force among nationalists already at the beginning of the conflict. Skinheads immediately got “suitors” namely the leaders of the Independence Party who invited those youngsters into their party. At the managing board meeting held in December 2006 several active skinheads leaders were elected into the managing board of the party.

Increasing consolidation of skinheads international contacts can be observed via personal contacts made at various concerts as well as via organising concerts together. It is a worldwide practice. Skinheads themselves call these concerts more and more frequently “private parties”. In 2006 skinheads from other countries, who have come to live in Estonia, tried to organise trans-Estonian rightist extremist organisation for the first time.

As an example of Estonian skinheads international contacts we can mention the Salem manifestation that takes place in Sweden every year at the beginning of December (in 2000 a young skinhead was killed in Sweden and local rightist extremists turned this case into a symbol of international importance), where skinheads from all over Europe gather to demonstrate their mentality. In 2006 a delegation of 11 persons went to Salem manifestation from Estonia, but got merely beat by leftist extremists in Stockholm.

The Security Police considers contacts made at such concerts and events dangerous, because they create possibilities to dissemination of even more radical ideas from the countries, where rightist extremism is much more vigorous compared with Estonia. In some European countries violence towards minorities, accompanying the underground activity of rightist extremists is not rare, but in Estonia it has not been an issue, yet.

According to several analysts West-Europe is seeing revival of neo-Nazism, and East- Europe and Russia formation of neo-Nazism. Despite Russias continuous accusations of Nazism, Estonia (unlike Russia itself) has so far not been a place of active dissemination of national socialist ideas.

In addition to the abovementioned yet another dangerous tendency appeared last year. Both, foreign and local extremists ordered or tried to order from Estonian publishers and companies publications, CD-s, souvenirs, etc. with contents that instigate national hostility. The Security Police asks the heads of enterprises to inform the Security Police Board of all such attempts by calling on following numbers: 6 121 400 or 6 121 455.


The purpose of counter-intelligence was, is and will be detection, anticipation and prevention of activities aimed against the security of the Republic of Estonia. Counterintelligence is based on gathering information reflecting the activity of hostile special services and on applying efficient measures necessary to prevent such activity.

In 2006, like previous years, intelligence activities of unfriendly foreign countries directed against Estonia continued and the targets remained generally the same. Hostile special services are continually interested in Estonias state secrets, successful enterprises and research institutions, also in issues that are connected with Estonias membership in the European Union and NATO. Estonias domestic, security and foreign policy, especially Russia-policy, are of interest, as well. As a new tendency, interest in Estonias foreign- policy contacts with former republics of the USSR (Ukraine, Byelorussia, Georgia and Moldova) could be observed.

Special services contributed primarily to gathering information on developments in domestic and foreign policy, political positions and planned political decisions. Political landscape of Estonia and its leading figures, state authorities, national associations acting in Estonia and integration issues are all on the list of important targets of interest.

The Security Police has observed interest of foreign special services in Estonian economy, first of all the energy sector. Oil shale industry and technologies connected with it, also transit problems of various energy carriers and possibilities of utilisation of nuclear energy. Special services are still interested in miscellaneous open source information about Estonian society, trying to find confirmation to it later.

A characteristic tendency in Estonia has been constantly observable ambition of hostile special services to influence the decisions, political positions and public opinion of Estonian Republic on one hand, and influence the positions of other countries and public opinion about Estonia on the other hand. Such activity is attempted via contacts in Estonia as well as via international institutions and other countries. In 2006 the central target of active intelligence and controlling activity of the special services of our Eastern neighbour was local Russian population. Attempts were also made to influence Estonian politicians, businessmen and opinion leaders, and via them the whole domestic policy of Estonia. There were attempts to influence or even pressure Estonias domestic and foreign policy via the European Union and international organisations, and political circles of their member states.

The goal of influencing activity of Russian special services in the Russian political circles of Estonia (above all politicians, businessmen and opinion leaders of Russian origin and background) was to guarantee representation of the Constitutional Party in the Riigikogu at 2007 parliamentary elections. Courses of action for next parliamentary elections (in 2011) and coming Euro-parliament elections are already outlined.

Anticipatory work of the Security Police in revealing persons, whose activity is potentially dangerous to Estonias security is acquiring increasingly important role in controlling the activity of foreign special services. This, of course, takes place in constant cooperation with various state authorities, but also special services of friendly states. Cooperation with partner-services could not be underestimated, because activities of hostile special services against Estonia do not always take place on the territory of Estonia: state secrets of Estonia are spied on the territories of friendly states by hostile intelligence residencies acting there. It should be kept in mind that hostile special services are global services in essence, operating all over the world. Although the activeness of these special services in Estonia remained on the same level in 2006 compared with previous years, above all due to anticipation measures of the Security Police, our service has observed increased activity of hostile special services in other Member States of the EU.

Activities directed against Estonia continually proceed from the home territories of hostile special services, where all persons and enterprises connected with Estonia are of interest to them. Special services try to obtain information from these people or companies to achieve their abovementioned goals. On the basis of the developments of the last couple of years the same or even increasing activity of hostile special services on the territory of Estonia, as well as of other countries, could be predicted. The special services priorities of interest, i.e. possible changes in political landscape, domestic and foreign policy, Estonia-Russia relations, international cooperation and political positions in NATO and the EU will probably remain the same in the nearest future.


Every state gathers information to protect its residents and guarantee security.

According to 44 of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia everyone has the right to freely obtain information disseminated for public use. Pursuant to law this right may be restricted to protect the rights and freedoms of others and in the interests of preventing a criminal offence, apprehending a criminal offender, or ascertaining the truth in a criminal proceeding. Thus, information stated to be state secret is not compiled in order to conceal certain data, but to protect from disclosing information that could be misused under uncontrolled circumstances.

Uncontrollable disclosure of information usually endangers defensive capability of the state or solving certain crisis situations. Defensive capability and crisis settlement, in its turn, serve the goal of protecting lives and health of citizens. Uniform requirements to processing state secrets harmonise the handling of information in various government departments and in certain cases also in private companies. Unitary rules are necessary to guarantee homogeneous security of information with similar contents in institutions handling such information.

Protection of state secrets is a complex of various measures created with the aim to prevent disclosure of classified information and its falling into the hands of such persons, who have no right to have it. The measures of protection of state secrets could be divided into four groups:

  • physical security should guarantee that state secrets are processed only in facilities specially adapted for it and where access to state secrets of possible intruder would be prevented;
  • document security should guarantee that the location of all classified data mediums and circle of persons, who have been in contact with data mediums would be identifiable any moment;
  • staff security should guarantee that persons who possess access to information are trustworthy and they have no such security risks that would discredit the preservation of entrusted state secret;
  • electronic security should guarantee preservation and security of processed state secret in electronic form (in computers and means of communication).

Each group of measures contains certain amount of special requirements that differ from the regulations of document management and operations procedure. It is important to bear in mind that security is never comfortable (although, for instance, plane passengers are disturbed by the time spent in security gates, applied security measures are necessary for protection of their own life and health).

In 2006 the consciousness of persons who come across state secret continued to increase, due to trainings carried out by the Security Police Board, but also due to persons own increasing interest. At the same time, the number of issued access certificates and official positions that makes possible to access state secret at restricted level has continually increased. All this presumes more extensive coordination and consults by the Security Police Board.

The amount of enterprises that wish to process information classified as state secret increased significantly in 2006. If in previous years certain uneasiness could be seen towards security clearance carried out in connection with acquiring access certificate, then now the number of enterprises that apply certificate itself is increasing. Security clearance in respect to legal persons is carried out in order to ascertain economic circumstances, practitioners of interest and find out, whether the enterprise has appropriate conditions to process classified information. It should be emphasized that covering security clearance is kind of additional credibility guarantee for the enterprise that enterprises themselves are interested in.

Assessing economic circumstances of an enterprise is necessary to avoid situation, where the enterprise, right after acquisition of access certificate, encounters declaration of bankruptcy. In addition to that it would be checked, whether the enterprise operates in accordance with legislation and has no tax arrears.

Technical conditions in an enterprise are created in cooperation with the Security Police Board. General requisitions for processing classified data mediums proceed from the State Secrets Act and legislation issued on its basis. Application of requirements and investments made are different for every enterprise. Due to that it would be reasonable to consult the Security Police Board before starting to make any construction works in security zone meant for processing state secrets, thus avoiding needless expenses and posterior reconstructions. The Government will expectedly issue more thorough regulation on requirements of security zones meant for processing state secrets; however, the principle that under certain circumstances some requirements could be compensated by other measures and decisions will always be made considering the needs of a certain enterprise will prevail in the future, as well. The main obstacle for enterprises in issuing legal persons access permit has been lack of wish to create necessary technical conditions for processing state secrets.

The Security Police Board finds it important that processing conditions would not inhibit issuing of access certificate and creation of conditions would go on parallel with the rest of security clearance procedures.

Procedure of access permit to state secret of a legal person, similar to physical persons access permit, is a partnership procedure in which positive outcome is achieved as a result of cooperation of both, the Security Police Board and an enterprise applying for certificate. Issuing the certificate to an enterprise indicates that the latter is a trustworthy partner to the Republic of Estonia and this in its turn should add breakthrough capacity to the enterprise.

Similar to information classified as state secret other information, important for the enterprise, should be protected, as well. Every country is interested in their enterprises capability to stay competitive and, all in all, in firm economy. Alike physical persons, legal persons are under protection of the state. The state can help enterprises to protect information important to them only via cooperation. One of the main actions of an enterprise in applying counter-measures is to chart potential attacking targets and focus on ranking threatening risks. It is clearly impossible to protect all information that seems important. Protecting presumes certain restrictions, but too many restrictions will disturb any institutions functioning. Only sectors really important for production and sustainable development should be focused on.

Specific models have been worked out to define and protect important information. In some cases certain scheme is used to ascertain, what is the secret, what is the target, what is the threat and what kind of vulnerability is possible. This model ascertains which information might need protection. This involves both, state secret and information created by an enterprise itself. As the next step, specific information that could be intriguing will be ascertained. Even the way, how the existence of such information could come to interested persons, will be considered. Then the threats endangering such information will be ascertained.

Threat could be a foreign country or a local competitor. Finally vulnerable spots will be ascertained, meaning vulnerabilities of both, enterprise and products. As for a product, it should be ascertained, if and how it could be copied. Described scheme helps legal persons to establish threats and predict potential results. This scheme also helps to plan resources and guarantee integrity of information requiring protection.

Foreign countries and business competitors are increasingly interested in non-military information involving state secret, industrial property and other important data in possession of legal persons. Previous traditional interest in military objects has more and more been replaced with non-traditional objects and business or corporate intelligence is emerging.


Internationally, the year 2006 from anti-terrorist position was remarkable in the meaning that several large-scale terrorist attacks were prevented, primarily in Europe. The utmost was the Heathrow Airport case, where, as a result of long-time joint operation of the services of USA and Great Britain, 24 persons, suspected of planning extensive terrorist act, were detained in Great Britain on August 9-11, 2006. According to information this group intended to explode up to ten passenger planes heading from Great Britain to USA.

The plan was to use small explosive devices, the disjoined details of which were intended to take on board in hand baggage and assembled during the flight.

Europe has become an attractive place for terrorist groups, where to organise attacks. The Heathrow case and other anti-terrorist operations carried out in Europe in the second half of 2006, including in the countries close to Estonia, affirm that. In Germany, on July 31, two explosive devices that were supposed to explode in the trains were neutralized; in Denmark, at the beginning of September nine persons suspected in planning terrorist attack were arrested; in Norway four men were detained in September, suspected of planning terrorist attack against the Embassies of USA and Israel.

The main reason for such considerably increased terrorist threat is increasing radicalisation of young Moslems in European Islamic communities, some of whom are also recruited into terrorist groups. Due to that new terrorist groups have emerged in several European countries, containing among others the citizens of the country of residence and/or persons who have lived there for a long time. Such groups are much more difficult to detect than terrorists from abroad. Organisers of the 2005 London metro attacks, several of the detained in 2006 Heathrow Airport case and planners of the terrorist attacks in Denmark were permanent residents of these countries.

Let us recall here the speech made by the Head of Great Britains special service M15 Madam Eliza Manningham-Buller on November 9, 2006, in which she warned against continuously increasing terrorist threat in the world. The Head of M15 emphasized that until then 30 considerable terrorist conspiracies against Great Britain had been detected, with active participation of about 1.600 persons and 200 groups of persons, the majority of whom possessed the citizenship of Great Britain. Although these worrying figures concern Great Britain, it could be claimed firmly that such is the situation in several other European countries and that the number of groups planning terrorist acts has increased in whole Europe.

Terrorist groups acting in Europe are potential threat to Estonia, as well, as it is easy for the members of such groups, who are either the citizens of the European Union or possess residence permit of some EU Member State, to come to Estonia. Although until now they are usually orientated to organise attacks in their own residence countries, due to some motive they are apt to organise attack elsewhere, including Estonia. Such motive might be some public events or state visit of international importance, Estonias active participation in the world politics or even some local event (like publishing caricatures of Mohammed in Danish media, for example).

According to the Security Police Board there were no acting terrorist groups in Estonia in the end of 2006, and no supporters or financiers of international terrorist organisations. However, already in our last Annual we referred to the fact that some fundamentalist Islamic organisations are interested in making contacts in Estonia and in our neighbouring countries. The most active among them occurred to be Jamaat Tabligh, the members of which tried to continue to propagate their religious dogmas in Estonia in 2006. “Religion advertisers,” who seek contacts in Estonia usually come from other European countries. As organisations propagating fundamentalist or radical Islam constantly extend their support in Europe, the Security Police Board considers it possible that in the nearest future such organisations start to take more interest in Estonia.

This means that todays anticipatory work is in the interest of our future security.

Guaranteeing the Security of State Visits

A part in combating terrorism for the Security Police Board is guaranteeing security at public events and during state visits. Two high-level visits emerge from the year 2006: the Queen of Great Britain Elizabeth II and the President of USA George W. Bush visited Estonia. George W. Bush is considered to occupy the first position on the danger list in the world among heads of state and due to that it was evident that guaranteeing security during his visit requires considerably stricter security measures compared with previous high-level state visits.

As guaranteeing security of the abovementioned visits meant extensive operations involving a number of different services, the Minister of Internal Affairs formed a transservices working group led by the Director of the Personal Protection Service and included also the representatives of the Security Police. Besides internal cooperation both visits required intensive cooperation with foreign partners, because on both visits the security requirements asked by partner-services had to be taken into consideration.

The main organiser, responsible for both operations was the Personal Protection Service; the task of the Security Police Board was information procurement to find out menacing threats before the visit and during the visit, compiling risk prognosis and collaboration in guaranteeing physical security (in case of George W. Bush also coordination of activity with USA officials). The Security Police role was also prevention of potential terrorist act or any other emergency situation during the visit. Thereby, it had to be taken into consideration that solving emergencies that could arise in the course of the visit should not influence the security of the visit; for this additional backup resources were provided. The Security Police Board (like other involved services), compared with previous state visits, put several times more resources into guaranteeing the security of George W. Bush.

Both visits, the visit of the Queen of Great Britain and the visit of the President of the United States, passed successfully: cooperation between services and international cooperation went well. Especially good was our cooperation with the Police.

Crisis Regulation

In combating terrorism, besides prevention activity, constant readiness of services, participating in terrorist crisis management has an important part. To promote the readiness, internal and international crisis trainings are organised. In 2006 the Security Police Board participated in two large-scale trainings NATO virtual training CMX and the Baltic States-USA-Norway-Poland co-training Shamrock Key 2006.

The Security Police Board as the service responsible for combating terrorism did prepare and carry out Shamrock Key 2006 training from Estonias side; involvement of the Defence Forces and personnel of the Police played an important role, as well. Despite the wish of foreign partners to minimize the civil part of the training, i.e. to subordinate the whole operation to the Army, Estonian legal regulations clearly specify that combating terrorism and crisis management in this field are the competence of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and its subordinate departments. Due to that military forces were subordinated to Estonian civil units during Shamrock Key training.

According to the scenario of the training, which preparations took almost one year, the events evolved simultaneously in three Baltic States and peaked in Estonia by playing through two staged practical exercises: managing hostage crisis in the building on Suur-Patarei Street and detaining terrorists on board of the passenger- ship Tallink. The purposes of the training were to practice anti-terrorist activity in peacetime Estonia in cooperation with allied forces, management of hostage drama, operation of crisis headquarters and practicing teamwork of the military units of the allied states. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Defence Forces, also partners from USA and Norway contributed to execution of the training. The part of business enterprises Tallink, NCC Construction and the State Property PLC lending the ship and buildings for the training, was important, too. Altogether over 600 people participated during different stages of the SK06 training in Estonia: the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Security Police, the Police, the Defence Forces and the Ministry of Defence, and military units of USA and Norway. Estonian quota of special units included the Tactical Unit of the Security Police Board, K-Commando of the Central Criminal Police and ESTSOF of the Defence Forces. We assessed the result of the training and planning that preceded it as good. The training was necessary for experiences acquired via cooperation with inter-service, domestic partners and foreign partners. The Training proved that the Security Police Board, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other civil structures manage with their tasks in crisis situations and it is rational to involve military resources under civil management.

Illicit Traffic of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Strategic or Dual-Use Goods

From the position of combating terrorism it is continuously important for the Security Police Board to anticipate and prevent proliferation of strategic and dual-use goods and weapons of mass destruction with what the Board deals with on two levels. First of all, the Security Police participates in the work of the Strategic Goods Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, mainly dealing with prevention of arrival of strategic goods into crisis regions or countries under international embargo. In 2006 several business enterprises were identified that had violated the law in connection with export or import of strategic goods and several criminal proceedings were initiated. Another important issue is identifying connections of organised crime with illicit traffic of the abovementioned goods. This field of activity is under special international attention via various arms control groups, as aspirations of terrorist organisations to achieve access to weapons of mass destruction with the purpose to execute terrorist acts with possibly many victims is a common knowledge. In 2006 miscellaneous information concerning illicit traffic of strategic and dual-use goods was received and according to 392 of the Penalty Code (illicit import and export of prohibited goods or goods requiring a special permit) the Security Police Board initiated proceedings in 11 criminal cases. In the course of the majority of proceedings it was established that revealed activities have not considerably harmed the security of Estonia or any other country of the EU and the proceedings were stopped on rationality considerations and compensation levies in the sum of 80.000 140.000 EEK were applied. Enterprises that have violated the law previously have learned from their mistakes and avoided them hereafter.

In 2006 Enimex Ltd. once again drew attention of the Security Police Board in connection of delivering 50 pneumatic tires for airplane AN-72 into Estonia on February 19, 2006, via Narva road customs-clearance point. As AN-72 is used in several countries as military transportation airplane, these airplanes and its spare parts (including pneumatic tyres) are considered strategic goods and require special permit, which Enimex did not have. Baltic Armaments Co Ltd., also possessing previous record of infringements, delivered accessories for combat weapons into Estonia in July 2006, without the permit of the Strategic Goods Committee and was imposed a fine of 80.000 EEK.

Prevention of proliferation and illicit traffic of strategic goods is critical due to Estonias geographic position, because parts of weapons of mass destruction and other strategic goods (e.g. radioactive materials) preserved in Russia since the times of the Soviet Union are attractive selling items for persons who deal with smuggling, and the territory of the Republic of Estonia could be used to transit and sell such goods. It should also be taken into consideration that Estonia is situated on the outer border of the European Union and it is easy to deliver strategic materials, already smuggled here, within the EU. Thus, the Security Police Board will continue active work to ascertain illicit traffic of such goods via Estonia.

Detection of Explosions and Elimination of Illegal Explosives from Circulation

According to the statistics of the Security Police Board 4 explosions, in which no-one perished, but 2 persons were slightly injured, took place in Estonia in 2006. Compared with the year 2004, when 6 explosions (2 persons perished and 13 injured) were carried out, the total of explosions has decreased. Here it is pleasant to recognize that the number of explosions and injured persons is the lowest during Estonias re-independence. It should also be said that due to longstanding common efforts of the Security Police Board and other law enforcement authorities the total of explosions has reached its probable minimum.

Analysing the motives of organising bomb explosions it can be stated that the percentage of explosions connected with quarrels between criminal groups has practically become nonexistent. The majority of explosions are carried out either with hooligan motives or due to incompetence in handling explosives. The year 2006 expressively verifies the latter, as all 4 explosions were the result of illegal handling of explosive materials:

  • On February 25, 2006, Valeri Pavlov found 4 detonator relays with detonating fuse at the transformer building in Sillamäe. In order to obtain metal from the relays Pavlov made a fire and threw the relays into the fire. Resulting explosion caused Pavlov slighter injuries.
  • On March 25, 2006, Jevgeni Andreev arranged an explosion in Kohtla-Järve by connecting electric detonator with the battery of a mobile phone, and got slight injuries.
  • On May 16, 2006, an explosion occurred under a car in Tallinn. According to the owner of the car the explosion was caused by a self-made explosive device containing detonating mixture and installed in the car to avoid stealing. Fortunately nobody was injured.
  • On October 2, 2006, an explosion took place at a farm-fence in Kulna village, Harju County. According to the resident of the farm the explosion occurred due to a training primer UZRGM, placed there to protect the property from thieves. Nobody was injured.

In relation to the last two cases it should be said that protection of property with so dangerous means might, besides charge in illicit handling of explosive material, bring along also a charge in murder and in the worst case cause serious bodily injure or death. In the practice of the Security Police Board there have been cases, where the man, who made a “thief-trap” containing explosive material, fell into it himself. For example the case in Tallinn in 2002: a man mounted a Russian offensive grenade F-1 to his basement door and later forgot about it. He opened the door, the grenade exploded and the owner got seriously injured.

Returning to the exceptionally low number of explosions in 2006 we should mention that partly it resulted from the fact that on November 11, 2005, the officials of the Security Police, after years of systematic investigation, captured Märt Ringmaa, who, according to charges, carried out 12 explosions in the dwelling district of Pae and Punane Street in Tallinn in 1994-2005, where seven persons perished and six were injured. Two explosions remained attempts, as the explosive devices did not explode. Märt Ringmaa is prosecuted in connection of these crimes.

Besides pre-trial proceeding, it is the task of the Security Police Board to identify and detain persons, who deal with (or are interested in) illegal handling of explosive substances, explosive devices, also firearms and ammunition. In 2006 the officials of the Security Police detected and confiscated all in all 33.8 kg of various explosives, 5 self-made explosive devices, 27 different grenades, 295 different detonators and primers, 44.605 munitions of different calibre, 52 firearms (including 1 board-cannon), 22 substantial parts of firearms, 4 firearm silencers and 1 night sight.

Illegal explosives confiscated from private persons last year was predominantly historic ammunition dug out at the battlefields of the WW II but also acquired from the Defence Forces and the National Defence League. Despite considerably stricter control over handling explosives in military structures there are still persons, who (motivated by money or unhealthy interest in explosives and ammunition) are ready to handle illegally explosive materials used in the army. An example of this is the searches carried out in the homes of a member of Harju Unit of the National Defence League and persons connected with him from October 2 to November 15, 2006, in the course of which 6.6 kg of different explosives, 44.058 munitions of different calibre and purpose, 21 grenades, 125 primers/detonators, 1 board-cannon, 47 firearms of different calibre, 22 substantial parts of firearms and 4 improvised explosive devices/trap-bombs were found and confiscated.

However, as a positive tendency, it could be pointed out that the amount of explosives reaching into illegal possession of persons from the northeast Estonian mines is constantly decreasing. This is, first of all, due to the recommendations of the Security Police Board and other law enforcement authorities that control over explosives used in the mines has become considerably stricter. We believe that due to occurred cases control over handling explosives in the Defence Forces and the National Defence League will become stricter and the amount of explosives falling into illegal possession decreases significantly.


In the index of corruption perception of international corruption monitoring organisation Transparency International Estonias position has continuously improved since 2003. In three years it has raised for more than one point, meaning that 6.7 points gave Estonia 24th-25th position among 163 countries in 2006. Thus, the situation has become more stabile from year to year and appearance of corruption is perceived less and less in our society. At the same time there is no reason to be satisfied, because Estonias result is the best among the former socialist East European countries, but remains behind most of the old EU Member States. Current situation indicates that the state has will to deal with corruption problems and becomes more capable to deal with it from year to year.

The Security Police has paid main attention to active acquisition of information in the areas more prone to corruption with the purpose to anticipate and prevent planned crimes. In detecting and proving crimes already committed, it is attempted to carry out special investigation technique and pre-trial proceeding possibly fast and by sparing resources. One fact deserves mentioning, namely in 2006, for the first time, a criminal procedure was initiated on the basis of a tip received by the hint-phone that after checking proved to be extremely interesting. Other corruption tips have also been of certain assistance in choosing future courses of action; however, assessment of the contents of tips allows to state for certain that effective anti-corruption combat is not possible, if we wait for messages of crime passively.

Instead, it is necessary to gather information systematically and methodically, joining two principal functions of the Security Police information gathering, characteristic of a security authority, and criminal procedure together with special investigation techniques, characteristic of a law enforcement structure. Only that way it is possible to prevent and detect complicated corruption schemes.

Court Corruption

Greater corruption risks in court system are connected with more favourable procedural decisions for bribe, but also on the basis of personal contacts. The latter is an extremely concealed and unmanageable form of corruption, because the judge does not gain direct financial profit from the decision. However, such ungrounded favouring deeply invades equitable interests of society and affects the trustworthiness of administration of justice and attitude towards court system as a whole. For that reason people get an impression that acquaintance with the judge could influence the course and result of judicial proceedings and justice can be bought.

Naturally such cases are very rare, and their disclosure and proving extremely complicated. At the same time, individual cases that have been disclosed should not lead to conclusions about the court system as a whole. In 2006 on the basis of the criminal case investigated by the Security Police the court convicted Monica Vels, the former judge of Lääne-Viru County Court of deliberately rendering the judgement non-conforming to the law, punishing her with conditional imprisonment. As could be seen in the files of the criminal case, Monica Vels, as a private person, submitted to Lääne-Viru County Court complaints for her acquaintance on misdemeanour decisions made by the Traffic Police, producing knowingly false information. Later Monica Vels deliberately rendered judgements in the same cases, nonconforming to the law, decreasing the punishment imposed on her acquaintance based on false information. The decision is binding, because the Supreme Court did not accept Velss appeal in cassation.

Dark Deals of a High-Level Public Official

In 2006 the Security Police Board continually paid great attention to disclosing bribe cases in other public institutions, as well. For example, a former high-level official of one ministry was suspected of misuse of official position and taking bribe. According to the materials of the criminal case a company tendering training service to the same ministry had given this official two leased cars in his personal use as a bribe since autumn 2003. In return the official ensured for the same company continuing procurements by the ministry since 2003, in the total value of 1.8 million EEK.

Besides, the same official is suspected of misuse of official position and channelling public finances into companies where he had concealed participation interest. If in previous years the cases, where officials made easily detectable transactions with their family members or relatives, prevailed, then today this tendency has changed. Dishonest officials have probably learned from the mistakes of caught colleagues and try to conceal their corrupt transactions behind increasingly complicated schemes. Recently, one of the most common ways is embezzling finances into companies with their own concealed involvement. The abovementioned high official is suspected of such activity, as well. He, while working in state authority, had concealed involvement in three different training and consultation companies via his friends.

In which connection the official was regularly involved in the management of those companies and his main task was to ensure public training procurements to his companies, by helping them win the underbidding and public procurements. Since the year 2003 the official channelled public procurements (trainings and project management services) worth about 3.2 million EEK into the companies with his own concealed participation. Remarkable here is the fact that the payments received for executing public orders formed the majority of the income of the mentioned companies. Preliminary investigation in this criminal case is completed and materials forwarded to prosecuting authority.

Bribe Case in Investigation Department of the Tax and Customs Board

During 2004-2006, 39 customs officials from different northeast and southeast Estonia customs points and 3 border guard officials have been convicted of committing bribe crimes. In 2006, 9 more customs officials of the Northeast Estonia Customs Point suspected of bribe crimes were added to that list. Besides corruption cases of the officials of customs clearance points the Security Police has dealt with disclosing corruption occurrences in the investigation department of the Tax and Customs Board. In 2005 the head of the Survey Department of the Tax and Customs Board Ahti Lill was convicted of taking bribe. In 2006 the Prosecutors Office prosecuted an official of the investigation department of the Tax and Customs Board, investigated by the Security Police, for taking bribe. According to the materials of the criminal case the official had asked all in all 500.000 EEK for a bribe from the director of a company under suspicion in the criminal case he was proceeding in 2003 already. In return the official promised to terminate criminal proceeding. As the director of the company did not have such money, the deal remained unfinished, but the proceeding was still terminated.

The official started to ask for bribe again in 2005, hinting the director of the company continually that criminal procedure initiated on the company was terminated thanks to him. The official also promised that in the future he might help to solve the companys problems in the Tax and Customs Board. In return for already rendered services and future services he asked for bribe in the amount of 40.000 USD. Remarkable here is the fact that the director of the company had to transfer the bribe money on the accounts of the offshore companies named by the official. Despite the fact that this official was very cautious and tried to decrease the risk to be caught with every possible measure, his entire activity was successfully recorded and the official was taken to court. Judicial proceeding is currently pending.


In 2006, for the first time, an international judicial body passed the decision on investigation of serious international crimes in Estonia (crime against humanity, genocide, war crimes). Namely, the European Court of Human Rights rejected the applications submitted against the Republic of Estonia by Vladimir Penart, August Kolk and Pjotr Kislyi, convicted of crimes against humanity (www.echr.coe.int/ECHR).

On September 2, 2003, Tartu District Court convicted Vladimir Penart of crime against humanity according to 611, sec. 1 of the Criminal Code, because as the Head of Elva District Department (1953-54) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Estonia, Vladimir Penart was responsible for the murder of three forest brothers. On December 18, 2003, the Supreme Court did not allow appeal in cassation that Penart had filed.

On October 10, 2003, Saare County Court convicted August Kolk and Pjotr Kislyi, who executed mass deportation in Saaremaa in March 1949, of crime against humanity according to 611, sec. 1 of the Criminal Code. On January 27, 2004, Tallinn District Court did not allow appeal in cassation that Kolk and Kislyi had filed, and on April 21, 2004, the Permit Council of the Supreme Court did not give leave to appeal to cassation.

Vladimir Penart submitted the application against the Republic of Estonia to the European Court of Human Rights on March 29, 2004. The applications of August Kolk and Pjotr Kislyi were submitted on June 9, 2004. In both cases the complaints were represented in the European court by Aleksandr Kustov, a “lawyer practising in Tallinn,” trying to acquire reputation by protecting suspects in serious international crimes. As the contents of the complaints and judicial argumentation of the Court were identical in both cases, the decisions could be covered together.

The applications were built on the principle of criminal law according to which a person shall not be punished for an act that was not considered a crime according to the law in effect in the time of committing the act. According to applicants, in the time of committed crimes the 1946 Criminal Code of the Russian SFSR was in force in Estonia and this Code did not provide punishment for crime against humanity. As deportation of Estonians and pursuit of forest brothers took place according to the legislation of the USSR, the applicants could not know that their activity was criminal. The applications also stated that as the Charter of Nuremberg Tribunal was created to punish German war criminals for crimes committed during the WW II, it does not apply to crimes committed after the War by Soviet authorities.

The European Court of Human Rights affirmed in its decision that murdering and deporting civilians was declared crime against humanity in 1945, in Article 6c of the Charter of Nuremberg Tribunal. Although the Nuremberg Tribunal was established with the task to punish German war criminals, Resolution No. 95 of United Nations General Assembly declared the principles of the Nuremberg Charter a rule of general application regarding all crimes against humanity in 1946. In 1968, Article 1b of the Convention on non-application of statutory limitations in relation to war crimes and crimes against humanity provides that no statutory limitations will be applied in relation to crimes against humanity, irrespective of whether they were committed during war or in peace-time (applies also in respect of genocide, even if such acts did not violate national law in the country in question).

The Court also referred that Estonia was forcibly occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940-1941 and 1944-1991. During that time totalitarian occupation regime carried out extensive and systematic repressions in relation to Estonian people. As, due to occupation, Estonia could not temporarily fulfil its international duties as a state, Estonia acceded to the Convention on non-application of statutory limitations in relation to war crimes and crimes against humanity only in 1991, and timeless international crimes were supplemented to the Criminal Code of Estonia only in 1994.

The Court came to understanding that even if the acts of Penart, Kolk and Kislyi were considered “legal” in the meaning of Soviet law, they were still crimes against humanity according to international law. As the Soviet Union participated in development and adoption of the Nuremberg Charter and Resolution No. 95 of United Nations General Assembly, it could not be claimed that these principles were unknown to the authorities of the Soviet Union at that time. The Court declared all complaints of the applicants manifestly ill-founded and rejected the application.

Thus, European Court of Human Rights, first of all, confirmed that in 1940-1941 and 1944-1991 the Republic of Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union according to international law and opposite allegations are not to be taken seriously on international level. Prolonged duration of occupation was the reason why it was not possible earlier to bring to justice persons who committed serious international crimes while serving communist regime in Estonia.

Secondly, the decision of European Court of Human Rights equalled the crimes of communism and nazism, confirming that the same international principles and sources of law apply to both of them. The Court refuted the cynical arguments of the appellants, as though one of the main sources of current international law, the principles of Nuremberg Charter, would not apply to the Soviet Union, the victor of the WW II, and as though committing crimes could be justified with any peculiarity of legal system of a criminal regime.

Since the Security Police investigated and prepared for the prosecution the first criminal cases of timeless international crimes, the persons hired by the Embassy of Russian Federation to defend the accused (the abovementioned Aleksandr Kustov, the lawyer from Moscow Vahtang Fiodorov and a member of Estonian Bar Association Anatoli Yaroslavski) have used the same arguments to defend the accused. Estonian courts have always rejected their arguments as ill-founded. Now the defence tactics denying fundamental principles of international law has failed on the highest international level, as well. This, in its turn, confirms that Estonia has managed well with its international duty to bring to justice persons who have committed serious international crimes. This makes the fact, that there is still no information about anyone being brought to justice for crimes of communism in Russia, very significant.

On the background of the decision of European Court of Human Rights, Russias propaganda attacks against Estonia in the issue of the WW II, provoked on the state level, seem especially horrifying. In 2006 it was characterised by constant media clamour and publication of several propagandistic books and movies.

In spring a book in Russian came out: “Crimes of Nazis and Their Henchmen in the Baltic States (Estonia) in 1941-1944. Documents and Evidence.” Although the compiler on the page header is the Head of the Constitutional Party Andrei Zarenkov and the publisher is the Non-Profit Association “Against Neo-Fascism and National Hostility” (the activity of these organisations is thoroughly dealt with at the beginning of the Annual), the book is actually compiled in Russia and supported by Modest Kolerov, the Head of the Presidential Department of the Russian Federation for Inter-regional and Cultural Ties with Foreign Countries, and by information portal Regnum.ru. Zarenkovs role was only to take the books across the border and distribute them in Estonia.

Publication of a book of 528 pages is an obvious anti-Estonia operation, as without comments it reproduces the Soviet propagandistic “fighting” approach to history, outdated and full of fabrications. Between the covers are practically two propagandistic publications that came out more than 40 years ago:

“12 000. Materials of the Trial of Mass Murderers Juhan Jüriste, Karl Linnas and Ervin Viks in Tartu on January 16-20, 1962” published in 1962 and “German-Fascist Occupation in Estonia. 1941-1944” published in 1963.

The so-called documentary “Estonia at the Crossroad of History” came out in September. Association of Social-Economic and Political Researches, directed by a member of the Constitutional Party Vladimir Afanasiev released this movie. Movie, distributed in Estonia on DVD-s, tries to make Estonia look like a split country with two communities, where Neo-nazism is by the state. The Prime Minister is attacked separately and the Minister of Defence is claimed to participate at the events of SS-veterans. The so-called Bronze Soldier is praised throughout the movie beyond limits.

Although it is stated at the beginning of the movie that it expresses the comprehension of the authors, the whole movie is biased and could be interpreted as instigation of hostility against Estonia. The text on the cover of the DVD says: “The seed of international hostility is being disseminated under cover of demagogy and historical revisionism. Political order in relation of Estonian youth is beginning to bear its sour fruits. A risk of vast conflict is hanging over Estonia once again.” Some paragraphs and phrases of interest from the movie:

“Without a chance to reassess the results of the WW II, Estonias politicians and national radicals try to mess with monuments put up in memory of those who fought against Fascism and nationalism. Fighters against Hitler and his henchmen are smeared in Estonia and those in coalition with Hitler are highlighted. Mass falsification of history takes place under our own eyes.” “It is sad that thousands of victims of Fascism heard the order Fire! yelled in Estonian.” “It is surprising that praising of SS-soldiers takes place right under the eyes of the whole civilised Europe and in the presence of current and former ministers. Does historic memory really play a trick on all these people?”

A Moscow publishing house “Europe” that has previously caught attention with publishing books against Estonia, the Baltic States and NATO, published after Estonias presidential elections the book “Estonia: Bloody Trace of Nazism in 1941-1944”. (In 2005 the same publishing house published the books “Non-Citizens in Estonia” and “Setu Nation: between Russia and Estonia” the latter is sooner aimed against NATO than against Estonia, namely, it was the frontier between Russia and NATO that divided the Setu nation.) It is worth mentioning in connection with the publishing house “Europe” that it was established by information agency Regnum (establisher and editor-in-chief of the latter was Modest Kolerov), the journal “Expert” and the non-profit association Russian Institute. A wellknown Putin-minded political technologist and the president of “Efficient Political Fund” Gleb Pavlovski has written forewords to the books of “Europe” and compiled collections.

51 documents from the Central Archives of FSB have been published in the book “Estonia: Bloody Trace of Nazism in 1941-1944,” mainly records of hearings of Estonians, who fought on the side of Germans. As there is no free access to FSB Archives the authenticity of these documents is almost impossible to check. The foreword of the book blames Estonias Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, but also President Arnold Rüütel in denying Fascism crimes.

The other book, which Russian Foreign Intelligence Service SVR compiled on the order of the Duma is “The Baltic States and Geopolitics: Collection of Documents (1933- 1945)”. On November 23, 2006, SVR gave a press release about coming out of this book. The book assembles 76 documents, mostly agency messages and notes of the special service of the Soviet Union, but also four documents from the Embassy of Estonia in Moscow, two British and one German document. In this book there are no references whatsoever, of places even dates, and that makes checking the authenticity of these documents practically impossible. The only reference to their origin could be found in the abovementioned press release, which says that documents originate from SVR Archives.

As the book carries access restriction “in-service use,” it is doubtlessly not meant to arise scientific debate or even disseminate information found in the book. The main information- war value was the SVR press release about its publication. A hidden threat could be found in the press release documents stolen from the western countries are now published and there could be more of these in SVR Archives, including even more discrediting ones. In addition to reminding the Baltic States of a painful era, attempts are made to drive a wedge between allies, and enforce USA and the United Kingdom to be more cautious in their statements about the occupation of the Baltic States.

On November 15, 2006, the Russian Duma adopted a statement in which several international organisations were asked to give “explicit and principal assessment to conniving of Fascism-heroizing in Estonia.”

These are typical examples of a prolonged information war of an empire, a launcher and a victor of the WW II, against a small victim-country that suffered and carried great losses due to occupation by both fighting parties.

As featured on News Now
April 2015
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