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Estonia to acknowledged 99 people with national decorations on the eve of Independence Day

Estonia to acknowledged 99 people with national decorations on the eve of Independence Day
Order of the White Star, Class III
© Jelena Rudi


President Toomas Hendrik Ilves today signed the resolution to award national decorations on the eve of the 98th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia in gratitude to people whose commitment to their professional work or community has helped make Estonia a better place.

"The purpose of decorations is to acknowledge Estonian people and our supporters in foreign countries for their determination in their activities and loyalty to principles that modern Estonia relies upon – openness, democracy, knowledge, innovation," wrote President Ilves in the introduction to his resolution.

Estonia extends its gratitude to teachers whose work and commitment has given us wisdom and contributed understanding to the world. Decorations will be awarded to the Director of Pärnu Sütevaka Humanitarian Gymnasium and promoter of civic society, Andres Laanemets; the Haapsalu Viigi School craft teacher of children with special needs and initiator of many craft workshops, Villu Baumann; to the Director of Studies of Tallinn Lilleküla Gymnasium, Anu Luure, who is one of the pioneers in distributing information to Estonian schools about teaching students from immigrant families and Tiina Idla from Suure-Jaani, who has served for 55 years as a chemistry teacher.

Estonia acknowledges excellent doctors and nurses on the eve of Independence Day. Orders of the Estonian Red Cross will be awarded to Artur Klett, Head of the Eye Clinic of East-Tallinn Central Hospital and ophthalmologist, who performed the very first transplant of corneal endothelial tissue in the Baltic states; Jüri Teras, Head and Chief Surgeon at the General Surgery and Oncology Surgery Clinic of the North Estonia Medical Centre and promoter of health care, President of Baltic Association of Surgeons and a surgeon who has taken part in various international humanitarian missions; Eva-Kaisa Zupping, Treatment Quality Manager of Pelgulinna Maternity Hospital in Tallinn and a gynaecologist who has been in this profession for half a century; Valentin Tšužmarov, surgeon at the North Estonia Medical Centre who has contributed considerably to the development of oncological surgery during her 44 years in the profession; Koidula Trummer, medical nurse at Tartu University Hospital and long-term organiser of home-based supportive treatment for cancer patients; and also Auli Lõoke, an assistant to people with mobility impairment and Manager of the Estonian Union of Persons with Mobility Impairment for the last 12 years.

The Republic of Estonia will thank scientists and research specialists, whose research has helped to make Estonia bigger. Orders of the White Star will be awarded to the Vice President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, academician Ergo Nõmmiste, whose research in the sphere of electron and ion spectroscopy at the Institute of Physics of University of Tartu may result in the creation of new super cells and nano-materials in the near future; Toomas Saat, ichthyologist, developer and Director of the Estonian Marine Institute of University of Tartu, researcher of Baltic Sea fish populations; Tõnu Lehtla, Director of the Institute of Electrical Engineering and Chair of Robotics at Tallinn University of Technology, Professor of robotics and author of several books on robotics in the Estonian language; Rain Ottis, founder of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and also the Centre of Cyber Forensics and Cyber Security of Tallinn University of Technology, and information technology scientist; Jaan Raik, computer scientist, professor of the Institute of Computer Technology of Tallinn University of Technology and Head of the Research Group for the Design of Reliable Computer Systems; professor of bioorganic chemistry of the Department of Chemistry of Tallinn University of Technology, Nigulas Samel, who has discovered a new 15R-specific cyclooxygenase; forest scientist and long-standing forest management lecturer at the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Eino-Endel Laas, whose research on forest renewal and forestry represents an important contribution to the promotion of sustainable forest management in Estonia.

Orders of the White Star will be awarded to the following people for long-term activities that have affected many people: anthropologist Leiu Heapost, the founder of the systemic population genetics of Estonians, long-standing Senior Research Fellow of Tallinn University; researcher and introducer of handicraft traditions, Vaike Reemann, who has worked for over 30 years at the Estonian National Museum on collecting, maintaining, studying and teaching national/folk culture; professor of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Kristel Pappel, researcher of history and theoretical issues of musical theatre; Academy Research Professor and a Professor of Personality and Social Psychology at the Department of Psychology, University of Tartu Anu Realo, whose research work focuses on personality and personal traits, emotional experiences, individualism-collectivism, social capital, subjective welfare and who has also studied the influence of the cultural environment and family on the development of personality, as well as the background and causes for the emergence of national stereotypes; Head of Archaeological Research Collection of Tallinn University, archaeologist Ülle Tamla, who has dedicated more than 40 years to the projection, collection, studying and popularisation of Estonian archaeological heritage.

Estonia recognises its civil servants who have stood for the interests of our country. For successful public prosecution representation on litigation in complex criminal matters related to economic affairs, money laundering and organised crime, a decoration will be awarded to Ene Timmi, Senior Public Prosecutor and Head of Jõhvi Department of Viru District Prosecutor's Office; to important permanent shapers of the Estonian foreign services and foreign communications and affairs, Undersecretary for Political Affairs of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kyllike Sillaste-Elling, and permanent Estonia's permanent representative to the European Union, Matti Maasikas. Orders of the White Star will also be awarded to the Director of Consular Department of Estonian Embassy in Russia, Signe Matteus, whose determination and tenancy allowed a defence police officer, Eston Kohver, who was imprisoned in Russia having been taken from Estonia, to keep in contact with his next of kin and his country, and to the Director of Eastern Europe and Central Asia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and promoter of foreign relations, Martin Roger, who has committed himself, with outstanding professionalism and consistency, to ensuring international support for Estonia's foreign policy objectives.

Orders of the Cross of the Eagle will be awarded to Police Major Toomas Kuuse, who has helped to ensure surveillance over aliens who stay illegally in the country for years and has seen that the police can rely on professional threat assessment; police officer Priit Lehtmets; Lieutenant Colonel Kalmer Kruus, Commander of the Rear Battalion of the 1st Infantry Brigade, who has contributed to everyday logistical support for the allied forces and the success of the large-scale Siil (the Hedgehog) exercise; Senior Warrant Office Ahtos Pärnik, who has contributed to the development of the special operation capabilities of the Defence Forces and served in complicated foreign operations; one of the re-establishers of the Põhja-Tartumaa Single Company of the Estonian Defence League, active member of the Defence League, reserve Junior Warrant Officer Risto Pool.

Decorations will also be awarded to the Head of Rescue Area and Head of Rescue, Jüri Soovik, for 35 years in the rescue service of Viljandi county, and Deputy Director General of the Estonian Rescue Service, Ene Hauvmann, who was one of the people involved in making preparations to introduce common emergency call number in Estonia.

Orders of the White Star will be awarded to one of the promoters of entrepreneurship and e-governance, Deputy Secretary General for Communications and State Information Systems of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Taavi Kotka, who has made a considerable contribution to the promotion of cross-border cooperation in the sphere of information society; Head of Domestic Policy Department of the Office of the President of the Republic, Erki Holmberg, as one of the supporters of the consistency of the Office of the Head of State since the term of Lennart Meri; Toomas Mattson with his socially acute writing acumen, who contributed greatly to national coverage reached by the Postimees newspaper and has committed more than ten years to the popularisation of the audit efforts of the National Audit Office of Estonia and has taken part in compiling and editing several books that shed light on Estonia's history in the 20th century; and also to the Head Representative of the trade union of Kiviõli Keemiatööstus (Chemistry Concern), electrician Viive Kravinski, who plays an active part in local social life along with socially tenuous trade union affairs.

Orders of the White Star will also be awarded to long-standing judge of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, Ott Järvesaar, who made a major contribution to shaping court practice in his sphere, information security expert Toomas Nurmoja, and supporter and promoter of e-governance, City Secretary of Tartu Jüri Mölder.

On the eve of Independence Day, Estonia acknowledges cultural persons whose creative efforts have offered pleasure and bright moments for many of us. Decorations will be awarded to Helen Sildna, concert organiser and promoter of cultural life, initiator of new music and the Tallinn Music Week urban culture festival; Pille Lill, opera singer and founder of a support foundation for musicians, named after her; Tanel Padar, musician and singer; composer and orchestration lecturer of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tõnu Kõrvits; Lembit Saarsalu, saxophone player, band leader, composer and exponent of jazz music; director and actor Hendrik Toompere from the Estonian Drama Theatre; Raivo E. Tamm, who is both an actor and an active member of the Estonian Defence League; Liidia Golovataja, prima donna of the Russian Theatre; Tiit Ojasoo, founder of Theatre NO99, director and actor; actor and organiser of charity events, Märt Avandi, from Theatre Endla; theatre and film actor Mait Malmsten from the Estonian Drama Theatre; Vladimir Taiger, designer of the kroon, the Estonian currency, and designer of many postal stamps; fashion designer Reet Aus, who is well known as a designer of clothes that add value to recycled materials; gallery keeper, Olga Temnikova, who is a promoter of Estonian art in the world; higly renowned interpreter of architecture Ülar Mark, who is well known for his many interesting and outstanding works; Nadežda Pchelovodova, Udmurtian writer and translator, one of the authors of Estonian-Udmurtian dictionary and introducer of Estonian literature in Udmurtia; poet and prose writer Kristiina Ehin; popular contemporary children's author and book illustrator Piret Raud; Ilvi Liive, Director of Estonian Literature Centre, one of the organisers of the translation and introduction of our literature in the world.

Order of the White Star will be awarded to the CEO of Ilmamaa Mart Jagomägi, who runs a publishing company that publishes a national series, "Eesti mõttelugu" (Story of Estonian Ideas), which brings together the most valuable part of Estonia's mental heritage.

Estonia extends it gratitude to entrepreneurs who have helped to make our country and the lives of people more successful. Decorations will be awarded to member of the Management Board of textile company AS Svarmil, Svetlana Heino, from Kiviõli; IT entrepreneur and founder of Fortumo, a company that offers mobile payment solutions, Rain Rannu; Priit Alamäe, one of the founders of Nortal, a company with 650 employees and customers in 22 countries that has become global; Ando Jukk, CEO of UPM Kymmene Otepää AS, one of the largest employers in Valga county, a company aimed at the export market; Björn Anders Bengtsson, owner of the Stenströms Swedish shirt brand who bought a factory in Elva 22 years ago and is a supporter of Estonian disabled children and children with special needs; Priit Tamm, a member of the Management Board of Mistra-Autex AS, an industrial company competitive at global level, who has developed the company for a quarter of century, and Vello Saar, Chairman of the Management Board of AS Värska Sanatoorium (Värsks Resoirt), promoter of local sports life and a supporter of Maarja Village, a community for young persons with intellectual disabilities.

On the eve of the Independence Day, Orders of the White Star will also be awarded to Raikküla farmer Tõnu Rahula, an agricultural entrepreneur and CEO of a progressive private limited company, and Lembit Paal, CEO of Pajusi ABF AS, a company involved in dairy and beef production, who both also contribute to the promotion of local life; also to forest economics engineer Kadri-Aija Viik, Chairman of the Management Board of one of the largest Estonian forest management cooperative, Ühinenud Metsaomanikud (Forest Owners United), promoter of citizenship education and long-term Chairman of Surju Rural Municipality Council, and Käde Kalamees, breeding specialist, CEO of the Estonian Association of Breeders of Estonian Aboriginal Dairy Cattle and the creator of an extensive monograph, "Eesti maakarja arengulugu" (the Story of the Development of Native Estonian Dairy Cattle).

Order of the White Star will be awarded to research specialist Otto Kubo, who has worked at the Kalev Estonian national confectionary company for 60 years, and has systematically recorded and introduced this part of the history of our food processing industry.

Estonia thanks its promoters of local life, whose efforts have enriched many of our areas. Orders of the White Star will be awarded to Urve Kaasik, long-standing Chairwomen of Tartu Union of Rural Women, leader of Sootaga Society of Rural Women and choir elder of Lähte women's choir; initiator of the Estonian Bicycle Museum, promoter of local life and self-employed IT expert-consultant Valdo Praust from Järvamaa; Head of Maarja civic centre and one of the initiators of local cultural life in Jõgeva county, Tiia Pärtelpoeg; one of the initiators of the village movement in Rapla county and researcher of native places in Kodila region, Ester Kulagina; Valga county veterinarian with a professional record of more than 30 years, Urve Laidvee, who also initiated cross-border co-operation with Latvia in the sphere of veterinary medicine.

The Republic of Estonia expresses its thanks to journalists whose creative passion has served to enrich our media landscape. Orders of the White Star will be awarded to long-standing programme host of ETV, producer and initiator of a charity programme "Jõulutunnel" (Christmas Tunnel), embodiment of good journalistic practice, Margus Saar; journalist with an agile mind, publicist and poet, head of the opinion editors of the Pärnu Postimees newspaper, Kaupo Meiel; long-term promoter of professional Russian journalism, editor in chief of Radio 4, a man of true words – Ildar Nisametdinov.

Decorations will be awarded to the former captain of the Estonian football team and a man who has been crowned as our best football player several times, Raio Piiroja; fencing promoter and trainer Tõnu-Peep Nurk; promoter of sailing and one of the initiators of the restoration of the historical wooden boat – folkbood – flotilla, Mikk Köösel; and sports education specialist, lecturer and promoter of skiing sports, Kaarel Zilmer.

Orders of the Estonian Red Cross will be awarded to voluntary blood donors who have donated their blood more often than 100 times, caretaker of Pärnu Hospital, Lilia Vagul; caretaker of Vändra Social Welfare Centre, Eha Lelov, and Professor of the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Veiko Uri.

Estonia also says thank you to its friends and supporters abroad. Decorations will be awarded to General Philip Mark Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander of Europe of NATO Allied Command Operations, who ensures the implementation of collective defence; safekeeper of the Estonian mindset in Russia and the head of the Estonian Cultural Society in Krasnoyarsk, Vera Oinets; safekeeper of the Estonian mindset in Canada, journalist and musician, Peeter Kopvillem; Director of the Library of Stanford University, Michael Keller, as a promoter of relations with the Estonian Museum of Occupations and supporter of the work of the Council of the Kistler-Ritso Foundation and the initiator of the programme of Baltic studies at Stanford; President of Kistler-Ritso Foundation and supporter of our memory institutions and Estonian cultural events in the United States of America, Sylvia Kistler Thompson; supporter of Estonian-Japanese relations and IT promotion between the two countries, Takuya Hirai; supporter of learning opportunities of Estonian young persons at Columbia University, lecturer of international relations, Jenik R. Radon; former Dean of International Education of Bentley University, Jerome Bookin-Weiner, as a promoter of international education among young Estonian people; Russian political scientist and analyst, supporter of civil freedoms, Lilia Ševtsova; Polish journalist, former activist of opposition to the communist regime and current analyst at the Polish Centre for International Relations, Eugeniusz Smolar; and also an official of the European Foreign Services, Gunnar Wiegand, for his long-term contribution to the European Union Eastern Partnership and the euro-integration of our Eastern Neighbourhood countries.

President Ilves will hand the decorations over on the eve of the Independence Day, 23 February.

The resolution of the Head of State on granting the decorations is here.

Office of the President
Public Relations Department