Russian dissident in Estonia willing to be swapped for Kohver ({{commentsTotal}})

Russian opposition member and blogger Maxim Efimov, who has been granted asylum in Estonia, said he is willing to return to Russia and face charges if abducted Estonian official Eston Kohver is released in exchange.

“In my opinion Russian authorities have committed a horrific crime against an Estonian citizen. I think the innocent Eston Kohver should be released immediately and sent back to Estonia. Is the FSB [Russian Federal Security Service] ready for it? If not, I propose a swap,” Efimov wrote in his blog.

“I am a Russian citizen, a political refugee, wanted by the federal government, I am also on the list of extremists and terrorist and have lived in the Republic of Estonian for three years, I am ready to return to Russian and for immediate arrest,” he said.

“Eston Kohver has a wife, who is waiting for her husband, and four children, who are waiting for their father. So I am ready to put my life in danger and return to Russia right now, but only on one condition – that in return, the innocent Estonian citizen Eston Kohver is released immediately,” said Efimov.

Efimov led a youth organization named Agora in Russia, which criticized Russian authorities and the Russian Orthodox Church on corruption in 2012, saying the rebirth of the church has come hand-in-hand with increased corruption and authority of Russian special services.

The Russian Prosecution began a criminal investigation against Efimov on hate crimes and extremism paragraphs.

Efimov received asylum in Estonia in May 2012.

Editor: J.M. Laats

Sociologists issue joint statement prompted by social research nonprofit

Sociologists at Estonian universities have recently drawn attention to the fact that organizations exist which are presenting the results of what appear to be sociological research, however these organizations' objectives and competence should be examined critically.

Opinion digest: Our plans do not have to bend to distorted Russophobia

In a recent opinion piece in Postimees, small business-owner and Reform Party member Vootele Päi responded to criticism sparked by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' plans to attend a commemorative concert-service at the Estonian church in Saint Petersburg next month.