After a few months hiatus, ERR News is reviving its Week in Pictures section. So, what did the 17th week of 2015 bring to Estonia?
The week kicked off with the news that Russian environmental activist Evgenia Chirikova has relocated to Estonia. In interviews given to ERR Rus and the Associated Press, she cited the political situation in Russia and the need to keep her children safe as the main reasons behind her decision to leave her native country behind and create a new life for herself and her family in Estonia.
On Tuesday it was announced that another high-profile figure, this time from the other side of the pond, will also head to Estonia. Possible US Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, the younger brother of former US President George W. Bush, will visit Estonia in June, as part of his tour of Europe. According to Reuters, Bush is hoping that his visit will allow him to distinguish his foreign policy views from those of Hillary Clinton, the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination. Many hope that Bush will take the calls for increased US presence in eastern Europe more seriously.
The past few weeks in Estonia have been dedicated to the 2,700 Estonian veterans. In support to the troops, many men and women wore blue hepatica badges - Estonia's answer to the poppy appeal, the proceeds from which will go toward buying a rehabilitation robot system for the Haapsalu Neurological Rehabilitation Center. The device is necessary for the treatment of wounded veterans and other patients with severe spinal cord and brain injuries. The events culminated with a free rock concert on Tallinn's Freedom Square, which you can watch here.
From Friday to Sunday, Tallinn hosted the ninth annual Lennart Meri Conference, this year dedicated to the challenges to the current international order. As usual, the event was attended by a host of foreign dignitaries and media experts, as well as Estonian president, prime minister and several ministers. You can read about the key discussions here.
While the top Estonians politicians were happily debating on global issues, a number of not so happy citizens took to Toompea to protest against the planned fuel excise duty increase. Tensions have ran high ever since the decision to use fuel excise to pay for the expensive election promises of all three parties was first announced. Here are parts one, two, and three of our overview of the saga.
However, of the tens of thousands who expressed their anger in social media by joining various anti-tax-hike groups, only around 1,000-1,500 turned up in person. Some were supposedly scared off by the fact that the opposition was quickly turned political, as the protest was organized by the Conservative People's Party, whose controversial representative Jaak Madison resorted to rather colorful language in his speech, calling for other parties to bring down the "purple social-liberal coalition."
The Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that one Estonian citizen had died in Nepal, which suffered a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Saturday. The ministry has now had contact with all Estonians believed to have been in Nepal at the time. British daily The Telegraph reported that in addition to local causalities, it is believed at least 20 Chinese, two French, 71 Indian, one Japanese, and four US nationals lost their lives in the tragedy.
In other news, a few environment-related events also deserve a mention: Estonian zoologists have discovered a new mosquito species, which fortunately is not a biter; several of the popular wildlife cameras, offering round-the-clock view of Estonian forests, bird nests, and feeding sites, have gone back online; the more controversial grey seals hunting season has begun again, for the time after 1970; and the Orissaare Oak, which won the popular vote for the European Tree of the Year, finally received its award in a ceremony in Brussels.
Editor: M. Oll