Since early Friday morning, May 9, hundreds of people have brought flowers to the Bronze Soldier monument in the Defense Forces cemetery in Tallinn to commemorate victims of World War Two and to celebrate Russia’s version of Victory Day, reports Public Broadcasting.
The people present listen to Soviet military music. Around noon, busloads of World War Two veterans were brought to the site but their number is getting smaller every year. They have been replaced by men who have fought in the Soviet Army in all kinds of other wars.
Russian Ambassador to Estonia Juri Merzljakov laid a wreath at the Bronze Soldier monument. He said that veterans are very much necessary today too, since again those whose acts were condemned in Nuremburg are gathering forces. He gave a short interview to Estonian public radio, in which he compared the Odessa trade union building fire to setting fire on Reichstag building in Nazi Germany.
Though his comments seem to be a gross exaggeration and misunderstanding of history, he went on to say that all need to join against evil, especially work has to be done with young people so that they would not forget the fights of their grandfathers.
Estonia on May 9 celebrates Europe Day. For most Estonians, the Soviet Union represents only oppression for their nation for almost 50 years, and is nothing worthy of respect. For them, Soviet Russia’s communist regime was the same as Hitler’s Nazi regime – both were evil.
Young people may not understand, or try to understand their history. In the Victory Day celebrations in Tallinn, one woman, Svetlana, who laid flowers at the monument, said that for Soviet people and Russians, today is the Victory Day while for others Europe Day.
No disturbances were reported at the cemetery.