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The Republic of Estonia is located at the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland. This strategic position close to Scandinavia and Russia has had a profound impact on its history.
Finni Ugric hunters appeared 11.000 years ago at the end of  the last Ice Age.
In the Viking Age the region was raided by Danes and Swedes from the north and Baltic tribes from the south, often as retaliation agains violent raids conducted by the Oeselian pirates from Saaremaa island.
The Livonian Crusade brought Danish control and membership of the  very lucrative Hanse League.
During the following centuries Estonia was ruled by the Teutonic Order, Sweden, Russia  and Germany untill in 1920 the country gained independence.
The Russians forcefully  returned in 1940 only to be kicked out by the German Army in 1941. After Hitler's defeat the Russians reoccupied Estonia and ruled till 1991.
Since then it is an independent country that joined NATO and the EU in 2004.
Presently Estonia is one of the fastest growing countries in the EU.