History lessons: why the Baltic states are closing their borders with Russia

History lessons: why the Baltic states are closing their borders with Russia
Opinion

23 September, 11:46
Алексей Макаркин
Политолог
More than a hundred years ago, white officers who fled from Soviet power to the Baltics continued to consider the countries that gave them refuge as part of "Great Russia".

Alexey Makarkim,political analyst

The Baltic countries do not want to accept Russians who seek to avoid mobilization. This approach is a continuation of the policy of maximum closeness from Russia. This approach has historical roots dating back to the time of the civil war more than a century ago. Then Russian emigrants fleeing from the Bolsheviks - civil and military - ended up on the territory of countries that declared independence. Soviet Russia then had a border with Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine - refugees left there. The Ukrainian consuls in Russia, representing the government of Hetman Skoropadsky, briefly became very influential figures - Russian nobles, born in the Kyiv or Chernigov provinces and long lived in Moscow or Petrograd, used every chance to get out of the Soviet of Deputies and lined up for Ukrainian citizenship. Estonia was the base for Yudenich's army advancing on Petrograd.

But all these people, once on the territory of the new states, found themselves in a dual position. On the one hand, they were glad that they had escaped the Bolsheviks. But at the same time, they remained Russian patriots when Russia was “ours”, and the neighbors - for all their gratitude, however, quickly waning, the longer a person remained safe - still “not ours”. Under strong pressure from England, the government formed under General Yudenich was forced in 1919 to recognize the independence of Estonia, but this cabinet did not enjoy any authority among the officers who advocated a "united and indivisible" Russia. And besides, everyone - both officers and ministers of this government, and the Estonian authorities - knew very well that Admiral Kolchak, the official leader of the white movement, did not recognize the independence of Estonia.

Therefore, after the defeat of Yudenich’s troops near Petrograd, the Estonian authorities immediately interned the Whites, seeing them as a threat to themselves (after Bermondt-Avalov, who also belonged to the White movement, tried to capture Riga in 1919 with the active support of the Baltic Germans). And they agreed with the Bolsheviks on peace - Soviet Russia, weakened by the civil war, could not go into conflict with England, especially in the face of the weakness of the Baltic Fleet.

Now, of course, the situation is completely different from the military-political point of view. But parallels related to human psychology can be drawn.

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