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Eesti in brief - 2007-05-09

May 09, 2007

Central criminal police have detained and released a man who is believed to have been instrumental in the recent cyber attacks against government websites. Prosecutors identified him only as Dmitri, 19, a resident of Tallinn and a student working on a technical degree. Prosecutors say Dmitri took part himself in massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against numerous servers and instructed others on forums to do the same. After the attacks, which coincided with the April 26 and 27 unrest, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said he had proof that IP addresses used in the barrage belonged to Russian government servers.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet has denied claims by the Financial Times Deutschland that Russia agreed to stop the siege of the Estonian embassy in Moscow in exchange for the ambassador leaving the city. The embassy had been surrounded by supporters of the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi since the Bronze Soldier monument in Tallinn was moved on April 27. The siege was lifted a week later after Ambassador Marina Kaljurand departed for a holiday. Citing unnamed diplomatic sources, FT Deutschland claimed that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had promised to guarantee lifting of the siege if the ambassador left Moscow.

The number of trucks crossing the Estonian-Russian border declined significantly in the one-and-a-half weeks since the unrest in Estonia. Compared with 167 trucks that crossed the border in Narva on April 26, only 85 used the crossing on May 7. The respective figures for the Koidula checkpoint in southeastern Estonia were 107 and 35. Lines have also become significantly shorter on the border between Latvia and Russia.

Twenty young Estonian and Russian speakers launched an appeal on May 6 proposing that, as an act of reconciliation, Estonians and Russians bring white flowers 's carnations, roses or snowdrops 's to places of importance for the others' community. Artur Taevere, manager of Heateo Sihtasutus (Good Deed Foundation), told BNS that the initiators would not dictate when and where flowers should be brought. "If there are any doubts, we recommend you should simply take flowers to your friends and relatives," he said.

The Bronze Soldier monument, whose relocation at the end of April sparked the worst civil unrest Estonia has seen in years, has now become a tourist magnet, Postimees Online reports. The monument was opened to the public at its new location in Tallinn's Garrison Cemetery on April 30. When the Bronze Soldier stood in its original location, it didn't attract interest from foreign tourists, but now visitors to the capital are rushing out to get their photos taken in front of the famous monument, Postimees quotes from the Finnish daily Ilta-Sanomat.
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