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was the first politically independent newspaper in the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic
The Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic , often abbreviated as Estonian SSR or ESSR, was a republic of the Soviet Union, administered by and subordinated to the Government of the Soviet Union...
during the Soviet control of Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state 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 Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...
. Making use of Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...
's policies of perestroika
Perestroika was a political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1980s, widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...
Glasnost was the policy of maximal publicity, openness, and transparency in the activities of all government institutions in the Soviet Union, together with freedom of information, introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in the second half of the 1980s...
, it was established as a weekly newspaper in 1989 by Hans H. Luik and others. In essentially the same format, although with a number of appendices, it is still issued every Thursday.
Success of Eesti Ekspress
led to Hans H. Luik's becoming an established media mogul.
The newspaper has broken a number of important stories and been known for its innovation-mindedness. Considerably thicker than other newspapers of the late Soviet era, it was one of the first to make use of digital publishing
Desktop publishing is the creation of documents using page layout software on a personal computer.The term has been used for publishing at all levels, from small-circulation documents such as local newsletters to books, magazines and newspapers...
technologies and photographic typesetting. Consequently, it has been notorious for popularising the incorrect usage of 'sh' and 'zh' in substitution of the characters 'š' and 'ž', which in late 1980s were rather inconvenient for computer processing but appear in a number of Estonian loanwords (e.g. garaaž
, borrowed from English garage
) and names transliterated from Slavic languages, most importantly, Russian
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...