Back in 1918, Estonia was in a very tenuous position. The recent collapse of the Russian empire fuelled an already mounting drive for political independence, and turmoil in the newly formed USSR prompted the Estonian Constituent Assembly to vote to part ways with its old ruler. World War I was still raging however. Estonia was invaded both by German forces and later by Soviet troops in the following months. It was only after an ensuing 13-month war, in which Estonia managed (with a considerable degree of foreign help) to keep the Soviets at bay, that independence was finally realised. A generation later, World War II ended with a Soviet occupation that effectively annulled the new state, and for five decades its independence day could only be marked by Estonians living in exile. But on February 24, 1989, as part of the push to re-establish independence, the Estonian flag was raised on Toompea castle and has remained there ever since.