Regarding the Opinion page article "Zionism: a Model for the Russians?," July 10: As a native-born Estonian and a naturalized American citizen, I was part, with my family, of the great exodus of Eastern European peoples who fled their native countries after World War II rather than face occupation by Soviet forces. A benevolent and caring America accepted us into its mainstream. However, a few words must be expressed to clear the air on some of the author's observations.
How can a nation of 1 million Estonians truly discriminate against a next-door neighbor of 220 million? The Russians who now live there were originally sent by the USSR to colonize the country. In the past 45 years, their industries have polluted the land. They have taken the foodstuffs and livestock and shipped them wholesale to Russia. They have forcibly conscripted Estonian youths into Soviet military service. They refuse to speak the Estonian language and have required Russian to be taught in all sch ools.
When the Baltic nations recently declared their independence from the former Soviet Union, they meant it. They have simply had enough of Russian intervention in their personal lives, government, industry, education, culture, language, and heritage. They quietly but determinedly forge ahead to their own destinies. They wish to be left alone. Ivi M. Paasinen, Taylor, Mich.
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