Five Reasons Why the Arvamus Festival is Awesome

  • 2019-04-12
  • Entertainment
  • By Stuart Garlick

1. Diversity of Debate With a speaking area for every taste, the Arvamus Festival has thrown up some interesting debates, on every part of Estonian public (and private) life. The discussion on the need for a Russian-language TV channel in Estonia continues to be heard, and I attended the debate run by Keskerakond (the Centre Party), which held a dis...

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A Latvian Journey To Freedom

  • 2015-07-31
  • Baltic Investor
  • Pete Zvanitajs, Ventspils, LATVIA

Aleksanders Blokmanis The church was quiet, even though a few people had remained behind to light candles. I was there with my relatives, 77-year-old Dedzis Broders and his wife Ilga. We had come in search of my great grandfather. His name was Aleksanders Blokmanis. He had once been a priest, here, at the 114-year...

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A country with three names

  • 2015-04-24
  • Baltic Investor
  • by Atis Lejins

Bharat, Hindustan, and, of course, India. During Easter I spent ten days in India together with my wife Vita as guest of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). As the chairman of the Latvian – Indian Interparliamentary Group in the Latvian Parliament (Saeima) I was able to gain insights into a fantastic country’s politics, culture, history, science and not on...

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Understanding the Latvian legionnaires' march

  • 2015-04-18
  • Global
  • by Etienne Morisseau

Every year on March 16, about a thousand demonstrators march in front of the Freedom Monument in the center of Riga, commemorating the Latvian legionnaires killed in combat during the Second World War. This event is controversial because it honours the 15th and 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS which fought alongside Nazi forces. How can we possibly understan...

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First case for Latvia's family detective

  • 2015-02-13
  • Wisdom
  • by Lauris Olups

When Marija contacted me for the first time, she had just learned the names of her parents. She was one of 74 orphaned Baltic children airlifted from a DP camp in Germany to the US in 1949, where she was adopted by a Lutheran pastor’s family. She had made prior inquiries in the 60s to the Riga orphanage where she had spent her early years, but they had reported that her mother had died...

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A year of miscalculations for Russia

  • 2015-02-06
  • CIS
  • by Anton Barbashin and Hannah Thoburn

t was supposed to have been a “year of victories” for Russia. Only twelve months ago, Russia was concluding preparations for the Sochi Olympic Winter Games, an expensive, flashy and colorful production designed to prove that Russia, led by the pugnacious Vladimir Putin, was back, fully developed, and ready to claim its place as one of the world’s most influential powers. Ru...

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An Estonian moonwalks to America

  • 2015-01-31
  • Global
  • by Heidi Toth

Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and the stars of “You Got Served” led Sven Saaretalu on a circuitous route to Lubbock. When Saaretalu, now a doctoral student in personal financial planning at Texas Tech University, was a teenager living on Saaremaa, an island off the coast of Estonia, he was a break dancer. He wasn’t focused on much else bu...

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A history of Estonia's Swedes: a minority within a minority

  • 2015-01-27
  • Scandinavia
  • by Sigrid Rausing

In 1993 I found myself living on a former collective farm in a remote border protection zone in western Estonia. The place was like small collective farms everywhere in the Soviet Union: there was a cultural hall, a school, a dining room (then closed), some rusty workshops and concrete blocks of flats, built on the field behind the former manor house, which had been left to decay. There was ...

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Getting to Yes with Putin

  • 2014-12-26
  • CIS
  • by Dominique Moisi

In the showdown with Russia over Ukraine, the weaknesses and divisions in European policy have been as encouraging for Russian President Vladimir Putin as America’s hesitant approach to Syria was. If Europe is to act responsibly, three key concepts should define its policy toward Russia: firmness, clarity, and a willingness to find an acceptable compromise. Wi...

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Latvia 25 years on from the Baltic Way

  • 2014-12-23
  • Wisdom
  • by Doug Wake

As Riga completes a year as a European Capital of Culture and Latvia prepares to take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, a recent three-month stay prompted some reflections on the remarkable developments this region has undergone over the past quarter-century, some of the key challenges still facing Latvia and its neighbors, and what this American observer sees as gene...

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TECH TALK: Estonia and Global Fintech

  • 2014-12-22
  • Baltic Investor
  • Will Ross

For fintech - the bubbling group of companies disrupting financial services with cutting edge software and hardware -  2014 has been a tumultuous and lively year.  We've seen the divorce of eBay and PayPal, the birth of Apple Pay and most recently the marriage of Snapchat's user base with the financial resources of Square in the form of Snapcash.

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SPORTS: Match fixing in the Baltics an ongoing problem

  • 2014-12-09
  • Sport
  • By Eric Roberts

Eric Roberts, LONDON — For as long as there have been competitive football matches there has also been match fixing. While this issue has been around for a while, it seems that it has grown exponentially with the advent of online betting, putting an ugly mark on the beautiful game throughout the Baltic region as well as Europe as a whole. For the continent, Eu...

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