Love-bombing Estonia’s Russian Speakers

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Manage episode 329003682 series 1301291
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Can music and culture help unite Estonia? Guitar riffs lilt through the air and over the narrow river that marks the border between Estonia and Russia. It’s the first time Estonia’s annual festival Tallinn Music Week has been held in Narva, bringing coach loads of musicians from 30 countries around the world to a normally sleepy city. The organiser moved the festival when the war in Ukraine broke out in order to send a message of unity and to encourage Estonians from the capital to mix with people in Narva, where 97% of Estonians have Russian as their mother tongue. Many can barely speak Estonian at all. Across Estonia, one quarter of the population are Russian speakers, prompting many to describe this as a threat. When Putin invaded Ukraine on the premise of liberating Russian speakers there, it lead to many in the press to ask ‘is Narva next?’ but a new generation of Russian speaking Estonians are increasingly frustrated by this rhetoric and say it simply isn’t true. Russian speakers are even signing up to Estonia’s volunteer defence force, ready to fight to defend Estonia should the worst happen. Their allegiance is clear. But is music and culture enough to unite Estonia’s Russian speakers? Presenter: Lucy Ash Producer: Phoebe Keane Music Credits: Artist: Trad Attack! Track: Sõit Writers: Jalmar Vabarna, Sandra Vabarna, Tõnu Tubli Artist: Gameboy Tetris and Nublu Track: Für Oksana Writers: Pavel Botsarov, Markkus Pulk, Fabry El Androide, Ago Teppand Artist: Pale Alison Track: забывай Writers: Evelina Koop, Nikolay Rudakov Artist: Jaakko Sound Installation: On the Border / Rajalla

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