Russia offers condolences to Estonia on anniversary of mass deportations

Russia Ambassador to Estonia, Konstantin Prova, offers condolences to Estonia on anniversary of mass deportations of Estonians to Siberia. However Estonia has (backed by the Danish PM) for some years been demanding an apology. Setting aside the whole idea of all these political apologies is just stupid, why should Russia apologise for something done by the Soviet Union? And by a leader (Stalin) from Georgia?

And while on the subject, I’d like the US to apologise for Germany invading Denmark in 1940.

I hate to see threads get zero replies, so I’ll offer an opinion.

I don’t believe that anybody should apologize for anything, unless they’re personally culpable. With respect to the history of Estonia and Russia, however, one can understand that Estonians would resent Russians. Even though Stalin was a Georgian, the Soviet Union was heir to the Russian Empire, was established by Russians, had its capital in Russia, and was dominated by Russians for most of its existence.

Then, too, I’m sure Estonians resented the off-and-on Soviet policy of “Russification”, under which Russians were settled throughout the Soviet Union, the Russian language was emphasized, and nationalist leaders were executed or deported.

Long after 1940, and even after 1990, Soviet and Russian leaders continued to define the annexation as a merger among equals seeking fraternal assistance, rather than a conquest based on threat of invasion.

So even though I share your contempt for apologies, there’s something to be said for acknowledging historical reality, and the reality is that even though a Georgian ordered this particular deportation, it was a consequence of decades of Russian-dominated Imperial and Soviet policy. It can’t hurt to clear the air.

I would suspect that the Estonians (along with most of the other ex-soviet states) would also value any and all public affirmations by Russia that they are genuine independent states with some legitimate grievances about their past treatment at the hands of Russia and/or the Soviet Union, rather than uppity little colonies that should do as they are told and be damn grateful they weren’t ALL shipped off to the Gulags as they deserved.
Bear in mind how prickly things sometimes get between Germany and its neighbours over past history - Germany has been a much better neighbour than Russia lately.