President to bestow 99 state decorations ({{commentsTotal}})

Piret Raud, Margus Saar, Kristiina Ehin, Märt Avandi - just a few of the recipients of this year's state honors Source: (ERR)

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves will award 99 state decorations for special services to Estonia in 2015. Among the honored are General Philip Breedlove and Japanese politician Takuya Hirai.

On February 23, a day before Estonia celebrates its 98th anniversary, President Ilves will hand out honors to civil society activists, IT pioneers, entrepreneurs and many others from Estonia and abroad.

Commander of US European Command General Breedlove will be bestowed with the Order of the Cross of the Eagle first class.

Nine people will be given the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana for the special services rendered to the Estonian state by foreign citizens. Among the recipients are Japanese politician Takuya Hirai for developing the Estonian-Japanese bilateral relations; Swedish entrepreneur Björn Anders Bengtsson for his charity work in Estonia; Jerome Bookin-Weiner, the former Dean of International Education at Bentley University for his support to Estonian students and education; Jenik Radon, the founder and director of the Eesti and Eurasian Public Service Fellowship; Stanford University librarian Michael Keller for cultivating relations with the Museum of Occupations in Tallinn and supporting the work of the Kistler-Ritso Foundation, which manages the work of the museum; and Sylvia Astrid Kistler Thompson, president of Kistler-Risto foundation.

Journalist and musician Peeter Kopvillem and head of the Krasnoyarsk Estonian Society Vera Oinets will be awarded an Order of the White Star fifth class for preserving and introducing Estonian culture in Canada and Russia respectively.

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.