Russian-speakers, which make up nearly 90 percent of Narva's population, receive their information from Russian news sources, and the million-euro question is how to reach them with alternative interpretations of world events, says Katri Raik, the head of University of Tartu's Narva College.
In an opinion piece published in Eesti Päevaleht today, Raik said Russia is an expert at the information war, while Estonia is still a novice. Consolation might be found in insisting that the Crimea events are far from Estonia, but that is no longer the reality, Raik writes.
She said most of Narva's population would vote against Russia in a referendum, as they frequent neighboring Ivangorod and experience life under Russia. Life is perceived as better and more stable in Estonia, she said, and pensions are larger.
But that mentality can quickly change if Russian troops are patrolling Narva, Raik said, adding that most of Crimea was against splitting from Ukraine before troops arrived.