|Estonia or Esthonia (ɛˈstəʊnɪə, ɛˈsθəʊ-)|
|a republic in NE Europe, on the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic: low-lying with many lakes and forests, it includes numerous islands in the Baltic Sea. It was under Scandinavian and Teutonic rule from the 13th century to 1721, when it passed to Russia: it was an independent republic from 1920 to 1940, when it was annexed by the Soviet Union; became independent in 1991 and joined the EU in 2004. Official language: Estonian. Religion: believers are mostly Christian. Currency: kroon. Capital: Tallinn. Pop: 1 308 000 (2004 est). Area: 45 227 sq km (17 462 sq miles)|
|Esthonia or Esthonia|
Republic on the Baltic Sea, bordered by Latvia to the south, Russia to the east, and, separated by the Gulf of Finland, Finland to the north. Estonia also includes several hundred small islands in the Baltic. Its capital and largest city is Tallinn.
Note: Although more closely related by race, language, culture, and history to Scandinavia and Germany than to Russia, after 1721 Estonia was subject to Russian rule. The country briefly achieved independence in the years between World War I and World War II. It resisted integration with the Soviet Union but was forcibly annexed in 1940. In 1991, Estonia was one of the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence as the communist system and the Soviet Union collapsed.