Justin Petrone

Justin Petrone is an Estonia-based American expat. He has been blogging and writing about Estonia for years, including the books called My Estonia and Mission Estonia.

So bloody heavy: the exploits of an Estonian accordionist

Justin Petrone sat down with the Estonian folk musician, Tuulikki Bartosik, in Viljandi to talk about her albums, her life as a musician and how, despite practical difficulties as an accordionist, playing the instrument is liberating and like an extra pair of lungs for her. Tuulikki Bartosik is one of the …

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Justin Petrone: Rõivas and Ratas – mere lieutenants

Estonia’s “pro-NATO” government was not toppled in favour of a “pro-Russian” one. The forces guiding former prime minister Taavi Rõivas and his successor, Jüri Ratas, are very local and are rooted in differing concepts about what Estonian independence is actually supposed to mean, Justin Petrone writes. The previous Estonian coalition …

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Justin Petrone: Toomas Hendrik Ilves – a new national folk character

By becoming president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves was able to reconcile Estonia’s twin past – of those who stayed and those who fled when the Soviet Union occupied the country; his presidency meant that the Estonian nation had to redefine itself as a whole, to accept that there were people who …

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