Police said an officer was forced to use pepper spray against a man during an altercation at the Bronze Soldier monument on March 25. The officer was attempting to remove a banner which read "Hands Off the Soldier" in Russian. According to a police spokeswoman, "expressing such political views is allowed only during registered public meetings so the banner had to be removed." The officer was attacked by a 24-year old man identified as Sergei and used pepper spray on him.
Estonia lost its European Football Championship qualifying match to Russia 2-0 during a heated game at Tallinn's A Le Coq Stadium on March 24. It is the third time Estonia has lost to Russia in football matches since independence. Estonia has defeated Russia once, during a friendly match in 2002. Police said there were some small conflicts after the game. Six people were injured in a fight on Tatari street, while 18 misdemeanor tickets were issued for drinking in public.
Prison officials foiled an escape attempt by inmates who had started digging a tunnel at the country's largest penitentiary in Murru, 30 kilometers southwest of Tallinn.Officials discovered the plot when they came across two dirt-covered prisoners in a little-used part of a cell block. The attempt was doomed to fail as there were dozens of meters between the cell block and the nearest boundary, a spokesman said.
An MP attempting to attend an independence day protest march in Belarus was denied entry at the border. Silver Meikar, a Reform Party member, said he was stopped as he tried to cross a road border from Lithuania. He was informed his visa had been annulled through diplomatic channels. Meikar has previously taken part in protests against the authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko, but said he had not encountered problems on those visits. Last year Belarusian opposition leader Alexander Kozulin was arrested and jailed for five years for organizing the outlawed independence day rally.
Tallinn now has a new air connection to the southwestern Swedish city Goteborg. The Swedish carrier City Airline opened the route on March 23, using small Embraer aircraft. The airline will operate the route on weekdays and Sundays. It is the only air connection between the two cities.