Prominent Estonian Russian joins conservative IRL party
Viktoria Ladõnskaja, a prolific journalist for the popular weekly paper Eesti Ekspress, announced today that she will join the Isamaa and Res Publica Party and will stand for the parliament in 2015.
Considering that IRL's politics has always titled towards conservative policies, Ladõnskaja's decision took some by surprise. But she reasoned it with by being a proponent of traditional family values, as well as with the support for the tax-free minimum increase proposal by the IRL.
“Among other things, the IRL has indicated a wish to understand the local Russian-speaking population better. I am therefore glad if I will have an opportunity to communicate the concerns and messages from the ethnic Russians to IRL,” Ladõnskaja said to ERR.
“But the relations between two ethnic groups are not my only concern. I think that there have been many wrongdoings and manipulations in the Estonian politics recently. I would like to see more advanced thinking on behalf of the statesmen, and act not for the selfish interests of political parties, but for the well-being and prosperity of every single resident in Estonia.” she added.
Ladõnskaja was born in Anapa, Russia, but her family settled in Estonia when she was a child. After studying journalism at the University of Tartu, she used to work for the now-defunct Russian newspaper Molodjož Estonii, and for last nine years for Eesti Ekspress, being among the very few ethnic Russian journalists to work in the Estonian-language media. She will now leave the paper and concentrate on the election campaign.
Ladõnskaja's move comes as positive news for the IRL, which has recently been left shaken by prominent party switches. Eerik-Niiles Kross and Yoko Alender ditched the IRL for the Reform Party. Apart from Ladõnskaja, IRL has also attracted other successful former media figures, such as Anvar Samost and veteran TV journalist Maire Aunaste.