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Estonia Recognizes Killings as Genocide and Russian Foreign Ministry Expels German Diplomats

April 21-27, 2022 | Issue 5 - EUCOM

Martyna Dobrowolska, Benjamin Brooks, Pètra van de Gevel, EUCOM Team

Maisie Beavan, Editor; Demetrios Giannakaris, Senior Editor

The Ukrainian city of Bucha[1]

Date: April 21, 2022

Location: Estonia

Parties involved: Estonia; Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu); Estonian law enforcement; Estonian population; EU; Ukraine; Ukrainian civilians; Russia; Russian military; Russians residents of Estonia; pro-Russia protesters; China; India

The event: The Estonian Parliament was one of the first EU countries to recognize the killing of Ukrainian civilians in Russian military-occupied areas of Ukraine as an act of genocide, although Russia denies targeting Ukrainian civilians.[2] Russian disinformation campaigns have developed since the start of the conflict.[3] Estonia prohibited public meetings with Russian military symbols during the Victory Day celebrations on May 9. Victory Day is celebrated by the country’s ethnic-Russian population, forming about 25% of Estonia’s population, to observe the end of World War II.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Disinformation campaigns will likely accuse Western countries of fabricating stories to slander Russia and almost certainly prompt Russian supporters in Estonia to protest the government’s decision. Russia supporters will very likely organize riots on Victory Day, very likely targeting government buildings. The riots will very likely result in clashes between pro-Russia protesters and Estonian law enforcement, very likely threatening public safety.

  • Other EU countries will very likely declare the killing of Ukrainian civilians an act of genocide. The EU will almost certainly distance itself politically from Russia, very likely impacting any future partnerships. This will very likely increase tensions between Russia and the EU, almost certainly shifting future Russian political and economic ties toward countries such as India and China. Russia will very likely attempt to utilize political and economic incentives in Asia to garner political support for its objectives in the Ukraine conflict.

Date: April 25, 2022

Location: Moscow, Russia

Parties involved: Russia; Russian diplomats; The Russian Foreign Ministry; Germany; German diplomats; German citizens in Russia; France; Latvia The event: The Russian Foreign Ministry expelled 40 German diplomatic staff members from Moscow. Germany suggested this was a retaliatory move as Germany and other European countries such as France and Latvia also expelled Russian diplomats for allegedly committing war crimes in the Ukrainian city of Bucha. The expulsion of diplomats highlights the deteriorating relations between Germany and Russia.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The expulsion of German diplomats will very likely weaken negotiations surrounding the Russia-Ukraine conflict. As diplomatic relations between the two countries will likely worsen, future economic and political ties between Russia and Germany will very likely be impeded. This will almost certainly negatively impact Europe as Russian energy supply chains will likely be disrupted, almost certainly further increasing European energy costs and inflation.

  • Russia will very likely reciprocate any expulsion of their diplomats, almost certainly negatively impacting diplomatic relations. The expulsion of diplomats will likely prompt Russian authorities to revoke residence permits of foreign researchers and analysts. Expulsions will also affect German citizens in Russia, who will very likely be unable to exercise consular rights and services.


The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[2] 'Massive war crimes': Estonia accuses Russia of genocide in Ukraine, Euronews, April 2022,

[3] Ukraine war: Europe’s army of Elves fights real-world Russian disinformation, Euronews, April 2022,

[4] Live updates | US set to send more military aid to Ukraine, AP News, April 2022,

[5] Russia expels 40 German diplomatic staff in tit-for-tat move, Reuters, April 2022,



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