Feature

Former ambassador Harri Tiido: Belarus as a national project

01.10.20 ... The first episode of the Vikerraadio series "Harri Tiido taustajutud" (Harri Tiido's background stories) deals with why Belarus' national movement to get rid of Aleksandr Lukashenko and achieve fair elections is so restrained, why the nationalist element is not pronounced and why the movement is decidedly Russia-friendly in its statements and refrains from using EU symbols in its protests.

'Insight' lifts veil of secrecy surrounding sunken submarine

27.09.20 ... The submarine M-200 sank near the city of Paldiski around 60 years ago – during peacetime, in the conditions of good visibility and with an experienced captain on board. The findings of the investigation were classified. ETV+ program "Insight" helped shed light on the circumstances.

Pealtnägija: Ski coach Alaver was 'the general' of illegal doping scene

23.09.20 ... Disgraced national ski coach Mati Alaver was nicknamed "the general" within the international doping fraternity, an episode of ETV investigative show "Pealtnägija" due to broadcast Wednesday evening finds, and former ski star Andrus Veerpalu was instrumental in providing doping – essentially the illegal removal of an athlete's blood ahead of a competition, only to replace it shortly before a race to boost performance – to his son, Andreas, a skier caught up with several others following a police swoop at least year's world championships in Austria.

Analysis: Fewer than 7 percent of ERR's news stories are original

18.09.20 ... Of the stories published on public broadcaster ERR's online news portal (err.ee), 6.7 percent constitute original content, while the weight of original articles by entertainment portal Menu editors is just 0.5 percent, a study by University of Tartu research fellow Marju Himma suggests.

Feature | Late-night alcohol sales ban hits Tallinn, Tartu bar owners hard

07.09.20 ... Late-night alcohol sales have been banned in several Estonian counties in recent weeks including the three most populated – Harju, Tartu and Ida-Viru counties - following coronavirus outbreaks. ERR News caught up with bar owners and managers to see how the ban has affected them so far.

Feature | How Estonia is helping Ukraine develop e-governance

04.09.20 ... It's well known that Estonia is a leader in e-governance, but what it does to help other countries implement their own e-services is perhaps less well known. ERR News spoke to Hannes Astok from the e-Governance Academy (eGA), about how Estonia has helped Ukraine in the e-governance sphere over the last decade.

Feature | Estonia launches coronavirus exposure notification app 'HOIA'

20.08.20 ... Estonia's coronavirus exposure notification app "HOIA" launches today (August 20) and is now available to download. ERR News spoke to Priit Tohver, Ministry of Social Affairs adviser in the field of e-services and innovation, to find out what the app does and how you can use it.

Feature | First Estonian nominated for British LGBT leadership award

02.08.20 ... Ian Gustav Ahlberg is the first Estonian to be nominated for a British LGBT Award, and has been recognised for his leadership skills promoting the voices of the Financial Times' LGBTQ+ community. ERR News caught up with Ahlberg last month to discuss his life, work and the differences between LGBTQ+ rights in the U.K. and Estonia.

Feature | FAQs: Applications open for Estonia's Digital Nomad Visa

01.08.20 ... On August 1, applications will open for Estonia's Digital Nomad Visa, which will allow people to come to Estonia and stay as a tourist, while continuing to work for a foreign employer or as a freelancer.

Feature | ETV 65: An insight into then and now with director Jüri Pihel

19.07.20 ... Estonian National Television (ETV) is turning 65 today (July 19) and ERR News celebrated the occasion by interviewing the legendary director and producer Jüri Pihel.

Feature: Estonians starting to have more kids — because they can

11.07.20 ... While many first world countries are becoming childless, Estonians are finding ways to halt their long decline in fertility, Marian Männi writes for Research in Estonia.

Graphics: Most popular majors at Estonian universities in 2020

08.07.20 ... Nearly all universities in Estonia received more applications this year than last. The popularity of various degree programs, however, remained largely unchanged on year.

What happens to UK citizens in Estonia post-Brexit? Essential FAQs answered

20.12.18 ... With Brexit day finally arriving, on January 31 2020, many United Kingdom citizens resident in Estonia are still concerned what happens next. We've put together this list of FAQs, in conjunction with government ministries and other authorities, to help answer some of the most important questions. Please note this is an updated piece which first appeared on December 20 2018.

Infographic: Strict weapons laws in Estonia, Europe have proven justified

11.06.20 ... Based on an international survey, Estonia is one of the countries where relatively few people have died, or die, in firearms accidents. The number of violent fatalities has decreased by at least half in the last decade. According to the Ministry of the Interior, the strict conditions for applying for the weapons permit have therefore been justified.

Study: Half of all victims of sexual abuse do not report incidents

27.05.20 ... Half of the victims of sexual abuse do not tell anyone about what happened to them, and around a tenth of the victims did not know anyone to talk to or turn to, ERR's Novaator portal reports. A fall in reported numbers during the coronavirus pandemic was largely because teachers and educators – those who report incidents and suspected incidents to the police the most – had been away from the children under their charge due to quarantining requirements.

Gallery: Thousands of KGB-snapped singing revolution photos enter archives

21.05.20 ... 6,000 original camera negatives were given to the film section of the National Archives (Riigiarhiiv) on May 20. The negatives are from snaps by the KGB - the Soviet Union's main internal security organ - during the Singing Revolution era, and concerns mass eventsbetween 1987-1991. ETV show "Pealtnägija" had the chance to see the photos.

Coronavirus home quarantining behind uptick in home sauna products boom

15.05.20 ... While the coronavirus pandemic has brought disruption and downturn to swathes of the Estonian economy, particularly the transport, tourist and hospitality sectors, one area which seems to have bucked the trend so far is the home sauna business.

Feature: Tallinn cafes face challenging times during emergency situation

06.05.20 ... When the emergency situation was introduced in Estonia to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many businesses closed their doors - but not all. ERR News has spoken to cafe owners, who would usually rely on passing trade, commuters and tourists to keep them busy, about how they have coped during this difficult time.

Feature: Resilience, connection with nature will see Saaremaa rebirth

07.04.20 ... Such a precarious global event can have many people questioning if there is anywhere on earth yet to be significantly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, writes Australian journalist Ben Jones, who lives on Saaremaa, the worst affected region of Estonia in the coronavirus pandemic so far.

Timeline: How Saaremaa became the epicenter of Estonia's COVID-19 outbreak

06.04.20 ... Saaremaa has become the epicenter of Estonia's coronavirus outbreak after overtaking Harju County as the region with the highest number of cases. ERR News has created a timeline which helps to explain the chain of events which led to this situation.

ERR News looks back at 2019 in Estonia

30.12.19 ... The last year of the 2010s has almost drawn to a close, and turned out to be as eventful a year in Estonia as it has been elsewhere.

Jüri Ratas' year-end interview: I don't want to be president

28.12.19 ... Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) gave a year-end interview to ERR's Russian-language TV channel ETV+, covering a range of topics including the status of native Russian-speaking politicians in a coalition including the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), the future of oil shale, the influence of big business in the country, and his relations with the president.

'How do you shoot people?': Remembering Afghanistan, 40 years on

27.12.19 ... December 27 marks the 40th anniversary of the outbreak of the nine-year Soviet-Afghanistan war. ERR's Toomas Sildam met one of that war's Estonian veterans, who recalled the opening salvo of what was supposed to be a short operation, just three days later on December 27, with the assault on the Tajbeg Palace, near the Afghan capital, Kabul, and the assassination, after more than one previous failed attempt, of the Afghan leader Hafizullah Amin, who the Soviet Union had lulled into a false sense of security but who was suspected of being a United States spy.

Gallery: Researcher finds 30 new ways to see Estonia

20.12.19 ... Have you ever wondered where the majority of road accidents take place in Estonia? Or how about places that contain blue, black, or white in their names? Or what would happen if you flooded Estonia up to 100 meters? If so, University of Tartu senior researcher Evelyn Uuemaa has some answers for you.

Pealtnägija's unsanctioned portrait of Margus Linnamäe

28.11.19 ... Last week, Ekspress Group named Margus Linnamäe Estonia's most influential person, ahead even of the president and prime minister. The total turnover of all his companies is nearing a billion euros, with interests ranging from diapers to the media, not to mention political influence. Despite this, the tycoon has remained so mysterious that most of his employees would not recognize him on the street and goes to considerable lengths to make sure that remains the case. That is why Taavi Eilat presents an unsanctioned portrait of the man also described as Estonia's first oligarch in Pealtnägija on Wednesday.

Head of the Catholic Church in Estonia on life in a secular world

18.11.19 ... One of the more common statements you hear about Estonia is that it is more or less the most secular, or least religious, country in Europe. Despite this, the country has a small but active Roman Catholic populace, numbering a few thousand, also getting somewhat of a boost by Pope Francis' visit in 2018.

Feature: Lohusuu School defines itself not by language, but by small size

17.11.19 ... While the majority of public schools in Estonia provide Estonian-language education, Russian remains the primary language of instruction at a substantial number of schools, particularly in cities and regions with significant Russian-speaking populations. As educators, experts and lawmakers continue to debate whether and how to transition to a fully Estonian-language model, one tiny school in a rural borough on the northern coast of Lake Peipus continues to operate bilingually — as it has for more than a century already.

Interview: Finnish Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen in Tallinn

09.11.19 ... Who Estonia's next prosecutor general will be is still up in the air at the time of writing, as current incumbent Lavly Perling comes to the end of her first five-year term. In Finland, the appointment has no such shelf-life.

Feature: Foreigners face challenges buying real estate in Estonia

04.11.19 ... As 2020 approaches, there are few major bureaucratic processes left in Estonia that even now cannot be done online. Getting married is one — closing on a home is another. Despite this, thousands of non-locals are buying real estate in Estonia, among them Finns, Russians, and even diaspora Estonians. ERR News spoke with representatives from banks, real estate agencies, the Ministry of the Interior and a few buyers themselves about what the process of finding home, sweet home in Estonia looks like.

Operation Tractable introduces British Army personnel to the sauna

03.11.19 ... Operation Tractable, the large-scale, Europe-wide NATO exercise running from late October to early November, has brought hundreds of NATO personnel to Estonia, including paras from the 16th Air Assault Brigade, who took part in the largest ever military parachute drop in Estonia on Friday.

Feature: Remembering Estonian political prisoner Kalju Mätik

28.10.19 ... Former political prisoner Kalju Mätik passed away this month and is to be laid to rest in Tartu on Monday. Journalist and consultant Jüri Estam looks at the siginficance of Mätik's life and actions, and hopes that future generations will honor those who gave up practically everything to keep the spark of Estonian independence alive during the decades of Soviet occupation.

Feature: Feminist forum to shine a light on sustainable social movements

27.10.19 ... Next weekend, on Nov. 2, web magazine Feministeerium is to host its first Feminist Forum, TALFF. The event will offer a space for people to gather, listen to debates, and meet like-minded people. ERR News caught up with two of the web magazine's founders Aet Kuusik and Nele Laos, to discuss Feministeerium, feminism in Estonia, and equality.

A closer look: Supreme Court decision in teenager cancer treatment case

06.10.19 ... Late last month, the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court of Estonia established Estonian precedent with its rejection of an appeal in which the plaintiffs, a 15-year-old girl diagnosed with cancer and her mother, sought for courts to be able, upon the request of a patient or their next of kin, to compel healthcare providers to opt for certain, specific methods of treatment. ERR News took a closer look at the details and context of the ruling.

Rene Kokk: We need to talk about both the nuclear plant and pulp mill

25.09.19 ... Minister of the Environment Rene Kokk (EKRE) believes climate warming is partially anthropogenic but does not think highly of electric cars, is skeptical of Rail Baltic, vows to reduce the size of clearcut areas, is against a green tax on airline tickets but in favor of bio-additives in motor fuel, wants nesting peace for birds in conservation areas and is not planning to replace the ministry's secretary general.

Interview: Jaak Juske on politics and the history of Pelgulinn

24.09.19 ... Jaak Juske occupies an unusual place in Estonia in being both an active, sitting MP for the Social Democratic Party (SDE), and an avid local historian, with published books and a popular social media page, mostly focussing on the Pelgulinn district of Tallinn, though other areas and other aspects of history are also very much in the picture for him. He kindly agreed to taking time out for a written interview with ERR News, which follows.

Interview: Toidupank ('Food Bank') founder on initiative's first decade

22.09.19 ... Poverty in Estonia seems to be a topic that never goes away. In spite of the huge material leaps forward made since independence and particularly since EU accession, there are those who have been left behind, under a social security system which, it would be fair to say, is underfunded.

Feature: Kai Art Center opens in former submarine factory

21.09.19 ... Kai Art Center opened in a former submarine factory in Tallinn's Noblessneri sadam (Port Noblessner) on Friday. The new center will be the first permanent home for Estonian contemporary art.

Estonian Language House to offer language training, guidance, home in Narva

15.09.19 ... Nine months after officially relocating from the capital to Estonia's northeasternmost city, the Integration Foundation and its second subsidiary Estonian Language House will be opening its doors at its new, permanent location in Narva. The custom-planned environment and static address are hoped to provide much longed-for stability for its employees, clients, language students and other city residents alike.

Looking back: ESTO 2019 program brings together youth from 25 countries

06.08.19 ... From June 27 through July 3, Estonians from across the world came together to celebrate their Estonian culture and identity at the 12th ESTO festival. ESTO 2019, dedicated to the theme "Our Future," took place immediately prior to the XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival, beginning in Helsinki and moving through Tartu before concluding in Tallinn. Toronto Estonian Juku Gold takes a look back at the festival through the eyes of a youth delegate.

Gallery: NATO Battlegroup members lend hand relocating Narva cat shelter

09.06.19 ... Whether moving across town or across the country, moving day is dreaded by many. Moving 200 shelter cats and a handful of dogs across Narva in 30-degree heat? Surely a feat like that would take an army. On Thursday, the many volunteers of the nonprofit Narva Kassituba MTÜ (Narva Cat Room) got an extra hand from just that — six members of the British Army currently serving in NATO Battlegroup Estonia.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves: The blue, black and white flag, then and now

04.06.19 ... Today, on June 4, the Estonian flag turns 135 years old. This is a speech that I gave 15 years ago, at a conference held at the EÜS House in Tartu dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the Estonian flag, and unfortunately it is more relevant now than it was then, writes former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

Couple to flee Russia still seeking to build life, contribute in Estonia

02.06.19 ... Exactly half a century after the Stonewall Uprising in New York, many communities worldwide are celebrating LGBT Pride in June, whether with a day, a weekend, a week or a month of events. Baltic Pride, which is hosted in the capitals of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on a rotating basis, is taking place in Vilnius this year. A writer and an artist in one Northeastern Estonian town, however, are keeping busy as always just trying to eke out a living — and to live in peace together.

Interview: Lord Mayor of London on links with Tallinn, both old and new

28.05.19 ... The Lord Mayor of London, Peter Estlin, was in Tallinn at the beginning of the week, and very kindly met us, providing a snapshot of what he was doing here, his role, and how he sees future relations between both the City of London and Tallinn, and more broadly, the United Kingdom and Estonia.

Feature: Europe's moment for a new solution

17.05.19 ... The European Union is not perfect, but it is the most successful experiment in managing relations between nation states, writes former prime minister and foreign minister of Finland, Alexander Stubb.

Feature: Beware the underworld merchant-adventurer

16.05.19 ... While the Russian gangs of the 1990s concerned themselves with a simpler brand of crime, since the 2000s they have adopted a new approach: one of suppliers, investors—and, on occasion, helpers of the Russian mobilization state. Analyst and expert on the Russian underworld, Mark Galeotti, describes how the thugs of post-Soviet Eastern Europe returned as outright merchant-adventurers in the new millennium.

Gallery: ERR settling into its new Narva studio

12.05.19 ... Next weekend will mark two months already since Estonian Public Broadcasting's Narva studio relocated from its longtime location on the arterial Puškini Street to a new space on the smaller Linda Street, in what can be described at Narva's own up-and-coming Telliskivi Creative City (Tallinn) or Widget Factory (Tartu). Earlier this week, ERR's Russian-language radio news editor Jüri Nikolajev took some time to show his English-language colleagues around.

Day in the Life: Natalya the British Army corporal

11.05.19 ... When you hear fighter jets fly overhead or see tanks roll through your small village as you are picking up your child from kindergarten, you might remember that a military exercise is going on in the area today, but your young child or elderly neighbor might be startled or confused. This is where I come in, and not just to explain about us, but also ask you about local life too. My name is Natalya, and I am a corporal in the British Army on a six-month deployment to Estonia.

Estonian Pastor-cum-Rabbi enjoys huge following in Ghana

24.04.19 ... ETV current affairs show Pealtnägija has featured a 66-year-old Estonian self-styled prophet and pastor, who has allegedly worked miracles both in the West African nation of Ghana, and at home in Estonia, concocting his own messianic Judaism-style faith along the way.

The XIV Riigikogu: Why those seated were not always those elected

15.04.19 ... On 3 March, Estonian citizens elected 101 new members to the XIV Riigikogu in the 2019 general election, 13 of whom received a personal mandate. Just over a month later, on 4 April, only 92 of those elected were present to give their oath of office as MPs on the day of the first sitting. Where were the rest? And who had taken their seats?

Day in the Life: Tatjana the cucumber grower

07.04.19 ... Springlike weather has finally arrived in Estonia, but for me, it is 23.5C every day. My charges at work grow three times my height in as many months, and provide fresh vegetables — which are technically actually fruits — for families across Estonia all year long. My name is Tatjana Maftulyak, and I am a cucumber grower at Grüne Fee Eesti in Lohkva.
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