Man who mocked Estonian national anthem in Russian faces trial

Kivit is facing trial for a video he posted last fall.
Kivit is facing trial for a video he posted last fall. Photo: Youtube

The Tallinn-based Harju County Court on Monday held a preliminary hearing in the criminal case of producer Juri Kivit, who released a mocking version of the Estonian national anthem in the Russian language.

Immediately after the preliminary hearing, Kivit published another line of poetry on his social media channel, where he compares judges and prosecutors to macaques.

Kivit is facing trial for a video he posted last fall.

«You are made of s---, stones, swamp and moss. Thanks to the Red Bolsheviks who gifted us independence. Thanks to Lenin for everything!» Juri Kivit, who manages a children's creative music studio in Tallinn, sang to the tune of the anthem. The main message of Kivit's Russian-language version is «My country has gone crazy.»

Lyrics also included the lines «We robbed the Germans and everything went to the Estonians. We killed Jews here and we were very successful in that. There will come a day, there will come an hour when we say to all Russians: f--- off...».

Although Kivit initially gladly accepted the praise received on social media himself, a reference to the alleged author was later added to the video description.

Police launched criminal proceedings against the 54-year-old man to determine whether the video constituted defamation of the national anthem.

According to the Penal Code, tearing down, damaging, profaning or otherwise defaming the Estonian flag, national coat of arms or any other official symbol of the Republic of Estonia or defaming the national anthem is punishable by a pecuniary punishment or up to one year of imprisonment.