Sitting in her office in Stenbock House, a well-appointed neoclassical building in the heart of Tallinn’s medieval Old Town, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas wanted to discuss the last 80 years of European history. But she had only 20 minutes.
An attorney by training and a former member of the European Parliament, Kallas was in a tenuous position when she met with Yahoo News on July 8, so much so that she nearly had to cancel her interview. “There’s a chance I won’t be here tomorrow,” she said, referring to the collapse of her coalition government days earlier and her round-the-clock negotiations to cobble together a new one, something she managed to do on July 18 after briefly resigning.
Despite the turmoil in her own government, Kallas was intent on sending a message to the rest of the world about yielding to Russian demands on Ukraine.
“I think a fundamental mistake was made after the Second World War,” she said, sitting beneath a painting of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments. “While the Nazi crimes were widely condemned, the communists’ crimes never were. So we see a strong revival of Stalinism right now in Russia. Seventy percent of Russians support Stalin, despite his having murdered 20 million people, despite the deportations, the prisons camps, war, everything. History books in Estonia were rewritten after communism, whereas Russians are still being taught the same history that we had to read during the Soviet period, which was total crap.” [Continue reading…]