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Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic Republics, which were the first to break away from the Soviet Union. The Estonian language is a Finno-Ugric language, closely related to Finnish, more distantly related with Saami (Laplandic) and Hungarian, and not related to any major European languages.

Although a former Soviet republic, Estonia feels itself to be more Nordic than anything else, and has joined the European Union, contributing troops to the "Nordic Battle-Group" and stating a desire to join the "Nordic Council".

Historically, the area has always been one where East met West - the German Teutonic Knights crusaded here against the pagans in the Baltic area (a vicious little war with much brutality on both sides) and Pskov and its lake, made famous in the legend of Alexander Nevsky, are just on the Russian side of the border. After centuries of domination by either Germany or Russia (with occasional interludes of Swedish overlordship), Estonia finally declared its independence from the ashes of the Russian Empire in 1918. It wasn't to last - the Soviet Union re-occupied the Baltic states in 1940. When the Germans rolled into town a year later, the Estonians initially greeted them as liberators, before realising that the Nazis were no better than the Soviets.

Finally, in 1991, Estonia gained independence again, and had been building up to this during the Glasnost/Perestroika era with a campaign of ... singing. Estonia has always had a strong folk music tradition, and protests expressed themselves universally in song.

Estonia is a land of forests and lakes, again much like Finland, with the addition of a Soviet era legacy of industrial pollution but has been in many ways the success story of the former Soviet republics in terms of economic growth and westernisation. It is one of the world's fastest growing economies.

the estonian flag

File:FlagOfEstoniaBorder 7286.png

Fictional Estonians

Estonia in Film

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