Nochnoy Dozor

Nochnoy Dozor (pressure group)

Nochnoy Dozor (Ночной дозор, Night Watch, Öine Vahtkond) is a pressure group of some Russophones living in Estonia. It was set up in the summer of 2006 to defend the Bronze Soldier memorial in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, against defacing, relocation and exhumation.

Estonian authorities have labeled the group as neo-Stalinist. They have made several anti-governmental statements and are allegedly supported by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Russian news agencies have labeled the group as anti-fascist.

The group has made a number of public statements dubbing various Estonian politicians Nazi-minded and called for their resignation. These statements are often rapidly taken up by Russian language media channels. Following the relocation of Bronze Soldier of Tallinn in April 2007, the group called for resignation of the whole Estonian cabinet of ministers. In July 2007, the group was instrumental in constructing an artificial controversy over the 50th birthday party of Rein Lang, Estonian Minister of Justice, and called for his resignation.

In November 25, 2007 the group had been accused of spreading desinformation about the secret devaluation of the Estonian Kroon. The Security Police board has started investigation. Accusation is based on a message published at organization's message board , message originated from the portal Arif where it appeared under header "Business training. This is a game's scenario". Originally, message had been posted at organization's forum without any references to Arif's website and without mentioning "This is a game's scenario" part from Arif.ee website. Later, after several speculations in local media and blogs, mentioning Nochnoy Dozor's forum as a source, a link to Arif's website has been added on Nochnoy Dozor's forum and a message describing news post as a game as well appeared. According to the Russian news portal Newsru.com, press secretary of the Security Police board let media know that organization singled out Nochnoy Dozor because of this organization's connections to Russia. He said that there's no ground for the criminal investigation, however investigation can continue on a different ground. However, in the original press release there is no mention of "singling out" Nochnoy Dozor nor are there plans to continue official criminal investigation.

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