1) Associated Press: Arnold Meri, a decorated Red Army veteran charged with genocide for deporting hundreds of his Estonian countrymen to Siberia in 1949, has died. He was 89.
Note: Justin’s got some more commentary on this.
2) Tallinn’s Airport has now been renamed for the late President Lennart Meri (cousin of the aforementioned Arnold Meri).
3) Estonian Air will begin flights from Amsterdam and Berlin’s Tegel (TXL) airport to Tallinn starting in June 2009.
4) I finally watched “Detsembrikuumus” (December Heat), the docu-drama about the failed December 1924 coup by Soviet agents against the nascent Estonian Republic. Former Prime Minister Mart Laar told me about this historical episode back in 2007 and how he was trying to get it made into a film. Big ups to the film’s producer, Artur Talvik, for sending me a screener, and to Kris Haamer for helping me get in touch with him.
I loved the film — I thought the shots of old Tallinn were great. The Estonian traitors though were portrayed as a bit one-dimensional — why did they turn their back on their new country? I did wonder though, how true to the actual history the story was. How much of it can be attributed to actual history and how much of it is inference? All in all, I truly enjoyed it.