Russia Escalates Political War on West

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Russia has designated the Prime Minister of Estonia as a wanted criminal, due to her removal of Soviet War memorials in her country.

The countries between Germany and Russia have a complicated view of World War II, having been occupied by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Anti-Russian sentiment is high for that reason, but it can sometimes steer certain factions into pro-Nazi sympathies. Forbes reports:

Russia has placed Kaja Kallas, the prime minister of NATO member Estonia, on a wanted list after the country began toppling monuments built while the nation was a member of the Soviet Union, heightening tensions in Eastern Europe just days after former President Trump said Russia could do “whatever the hell they want” with NATO members who are behind on payments.

Kallas was one of three Baltic leaders Russia placed on their wanted list for “desecration of historical memory,” alongside Estonian Secretary of State Taimar Peterkop and Lithuanian Culture Minister Simonas Kairys, Russia’s TASS news service reported on Tuesday.

Placing the Baltic ministers on an arrest list is another escalation in the political war between Russia and the West. Putin himself already has an arrest warrant out for him from the International Criminal Court.Time continues:

The move appears to reflect Moscow’s increasing attempt to pressure NATO allies. Though the three Baltic politicians would face arrest if they crossed into Russia, in practical terms contact has frozen since Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

In 2022, Kallas called for the dismantling of 200 to 400 Soviet-era monuments in Estonia to prevent them “from mobilising more hostility in society and tearing open old wounds,” the government said at the time. Estonia, alongside the Baltic nations of Latvia and Lithuania, were the last to join the Soviet Union and the first to gain independence in 1991 following its collapse. The three nations are also NATO and E.U. members. 

This amount of tension between regimes is unseen since World War II. While Communism and Capitalism were at odds during the Cold War, there was a baseline respect between sides not to arrest their opponent’s politicians.

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