Russia, Tiny Trains a Nation of
Excerpt: “We just have to stay alive,” Ms. Barnabas said of the main idea behind the Jarva District Patrol Competition, a 24-hour test of the skills useful for partisans, or insurgents, to fight an occupying army, and an improbably popular form of what is called “military sport” in Estonia. The competitions, held nearly every weekend, are called war games, but are not intended as fun. The Estonian Defense League, which organizes the events, requires its 25,400 volunteers to turn out occasionally for weekend training sessions that have taken on a serious hue since Russia’s incursions in Ukraine two years ago raised fears of a similar thrust by Moscow into the Baltic States.
Excerpt: The Forest Brothers (also Brothers of the Forest; Forest Brethren; Forest Brotherhood; Estonian: metsavennad, Latvian: meža brāļi, Lithuanian: miško broliai) were Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian partisans who waged a guerrilla war against Soviet rule during the Soviet invasion and occupation of the three Baltic states during, and after, World War II. Similar anti-Soviet Eastern European resistance groups fought against Soviet and communist rule in Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, and western Ukraine. The Red Army occupied the independent
states in 1940–1941 and, after a period of German occupation, again in 1944–1945.
As Stalinist repression intensified over the following
years, 50,000 residents of these countries used the heavily forested
countryside as a natural refuge and base for armed anti-Soviet resistance.