This article examines the situation of the Russian minority in Estonia, focusing on legal issues. It traces back the historical reasons for the current minority problem which can be found in the demographic changes that took place after the country's annexation by the Soviet Union. The author examines the Estonian laws most relevant to the minorities and their compliance with international human rights standards. He sees the cardinal point from a legal perspective in the fact that international law basically does not restrict the sovereign right of a state to regulate its citizenship. Thus the author comes to the conclusion that Estonian laws in general do not violate international law. He points out that it would be false to reduce the problem to this legal issue and shows how the involvement of international organizations helped to mitigate a situation that could potentially lead to a violent confrontation.