TALLINN - The groups of the Tallinn city council at a council meeting on Thursday initiated a joint statement condemning the crimes of the Soviet occupation regime ahead of May 9.
"At this critical moment, the representative body of the city residents of Tallinn must show a clear attitude towards the past. Celebrating May 9 as Victory Day in the current situation is a statement in support of the aggressor country Russia. The clear message of our statement is that May 9 did not mean freedom for Estonia and many other European nations, but occupation and suffering," Urmas Reinsalu, chairman of the Isamaa city council group, said.
Reform Party group chairman Kristen Michal said that the representatives of the highest decision-making body of Tallinn must say unequivocally that May 9 is not a holiday. "The Kremlin agency has turned what was once a commemoration of the fallen into a value weapon to support its aggression. For the people of Estonia, the end of World War II was not the arrival of liberators and heroes, but the beginning of occupation, deportation and suppression of freedom. This needs to be clearly distinguished together with the condemnation of the crimes of the occupation regime and the commemoration of the victims," Michal said.
"This is a question of values. Tallinn is the free capital of a free country and we must not tolerate the reversal of the events of May 9 to justify occupation and war crimes. The Tallinn city council must take a clear position on this value issue," Marek Reinaas, head of the Estonia 200 group, said.
Mart Kallas, chairman of the group of the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE), said that it is an abnormal situation in which there are still landmarks in the capital of the Republic of Estonia glorifying the acts of violence of the occupiers. "The so-called liberators committed the same atrocities as the ones currently being carried out in Ukraine, including marauding, killing and raping. These are not monuments, but landmarks that perpetuate the occupation and which are sacredly worshiped, thus showing one's contempt for the Republic of Estonia," he added.
"I call for a dignified remembrance of the end of World War II, respecting the memory of those killed in the war and refraining from actions that do not pursue these goals. We condemn all attempts to use the war and its casualties to divide the communities living in Tallinn. Russia's war against Ukraine clearly shows the significance of war in all its atrocities. I believe that everyone has a duty to stop and think about the consequences of war. We also have the right to remember those who lost their lives in the war. The whole world is in dire need of peace, Tallinn also needs peace -- let us all, the people of Estonia and the political forces, work together in the name of this," Center Party group chairman Kalle Klandorf said.