February 24 is Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Estonia from the Russian Empire in 1918.
Following centuries of successive Teutonic, Danish, Swedish, and Russian rule, Estonians experienced a national awakening that culminated in independence from the Russian Empire towards the end of World War I.
In the aftermath of World War I and the Russian revolutions, the Estonian Declaration of Independence was issued in February 1918. The Estonian War of Independence ensued on two fronts between the newly proclaimed state and Bolshevist Russia to the east and the Baltic German forces to the south, resulting in the Tartu Peace Treaty recognizing Estonian independence in perpetuity.
However in 1940, Estonia was occupied and “illegally” annexed by the Soviet Union as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. During the war Estonia was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1941, then reoccupied by the Soviet Union in 1944.
Estonia regained independence in 1991 after the collapse of the USSR and joined the European Union in 2004.
Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia, and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia. Across the Baltic Sea lies Sweden in the west and Finland in the north.