A map of Estonia Estonia is the northernmost of the Baltic states, a group of countries including Latvia and Lithuania, which border the Baltic Sea. Around half of Estonia's land area is covered by forest. The rest of this low-lying country is a mixture of farmland, boggy wetlands and lakes. Lake Peipus in the east straddles the border with Russia. Also belonging to Estonia are two large islands to the west, Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, as well as about 1500 smaller ones. The climate is mild and often rainy. Winters, especially in the east, can be extremely cold.
Estonians are a Finnic people. Their language, Estonian, is closely related to Finnish, the language spoken in nearby Finland. Because of its historical connections with Russia, many Estonians also speak Russian. Under Soviet occupation, a significant number of Russians arrived in Estonia from the Soviet Union. Today, about a quarter of Estonia’s population is Russian. Since independence in 1991, there have been tensions between the two groups.
The video-calling software Skype was invented in Estonia in 2003.
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