The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board expelled Sergei Chaulin, leader of the organization Russian Compatriots in Europe (affiliated with Rossotrudnichestvo), and revoked his long-term residence permit. Information about this was published on the website of the Estonian Security Police.
Chaulin had been the organizer of the Immortal Regiment rallies in Estonia. He had long spread “hostile Russian propaganda” and “incited national and political hatred under the banner of the anti-fascist movement,” the press release said.
According to the Estonian authorities, Russian Compatriots in Europe were pursuing “the Kremlin’s policy of divisiveness” in Estonia. “Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified aggression against Ukraine, which resumed on 24 February last year, explains the danger of such activities,” the security police website said.
Chaulin left Estonia on 14 February, he told the Estonian TV channel ERR that he is now in Russia. “I was deported. They summoned me to the police under the pretext of handing me portraits of the ‘Immortal Regiment’. KaPo officers were there. They presented me with a 30-page accusation, took my phone and documents, and sent me away. As I was in my work uniform, they deported me. They didn’t even give me a chance to call a lawyer,” he commented on the incident.
Sergey Chaulin has lived in Tallinn and holds no citizenship. He has repeatedly spoken out in support of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and then the occupation of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Chaulin was chairman of the board of the Night Watch movement, which in April 2007 opposed moving the monument to the “Soviet Soldier-Liberator” in Tallinn from the city center to a military cemetery, and has since organized annual commemoration events on the date of the relocation related protests.
In 2016, Chaulin, along with other organizers of the Tallinn “Immortal Regiment” procession, were brought to court on charges of organizing an unauthorized public event. The activists were fined, but they were able to appeal the fines.
This is not the first time that pro-Kremlin activists have had their activities suspended in Estonia. In May 2022, Russian citizen Aleksei Yesakov, who had collaborated with Chaulin on his projects, was stripped of his residence permit and expelled from the country. Yesakov accused the Estonian authorities of “genocide of Russians”. According to the police, he incited inter-ethnic discord, spread Kremlin propaganda, and collaborated with Russian propaganda channels.
Another Chaulins friend, Sergei Seredenko, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison on charges of anti-state activities in September 2022. Chaulin, referring to Seredenko’s sentence, accused the Estonian state of repression.