Thursday, 03 May, 2007 Current Events

Timeline of the events in Tallinn, Estonia


Note: Current chronology covers mainly the latest events with a small introduction of events leading to them.

September 26, 2006 - Estonian Prime-Minister Andrus Ansil intends demolition of the Soviet Soldier monument, standing on the central square of Tallinn. He claims that in 1944 the Soviet army did not free the Estonian capital from fascist occupation. The Government said that the fascists have left Tallinn by themselves and the monument is a symbol of Soviet occupation.

January 11, 2007 - Estonian President signs a law, which allows disassembly of the Soviet monuments and replacing the mass grave of the Soviet soldiers.

January 15, 2007 - Russian Liberal Party suggests placing the bronze monument to the Soviet Soldier in Moscow, instead of Tallinn.

January 15-17, 2007 - Russian Parliament suggests sanctions against Estonia, though Russian Economy Minister does not agree with the idea. EU does not interfere with the Estonian Government disassembling historical monuments.

April 10, 2007 - Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves says that the Russian - Estonian relationship will not be affected by disassembly of the monument to the Soviet soldier-liberator.

April 17, 2007 - Within a secret meeting the Estonian Government is deciding the destiny of Soviet war monument.

April 18, 2007 - Defenders of the bronze monument are seeking support with Estonian President.

April 19, 2007 - Tallinn authorities say that excavating the Soviet soldiers' grave is to start within a week.

April 22, 2007 - Hundreds of people bring flowers to the Soviet war monument.

April 23, 2007 - Estonian police officers are being called from their vacations.

April 24, 2007 - The digging of the Soviet soldiers' grave in Tallinn are planned for April 25. Estonian side is temporarily making the customs control on the country's border stricter.

April 25, 2007 - The defenders of the bronze monument are ready to protect against its disassembly night and day.

April 26, 2007 - The Estonian police blocked access to the monument. The police forced the members of the organization "Night Watch", guarding the monument, while clearing the area around the monument. Moscow, in response to the police actions in Tallinn, states that it will be taken into consideration in further relations between the two countries. Estonian authorities blocked access to the monument on the 9th May, the World War II Victory Day. Citizens of Tallinn are bringing flowers to the fence around the central square in Tallinn.

April 27, 2007 - After police used tear gas against the defenders of the statue, riots broke out, where six police officers were injured. The city-council of Tallinn banned alcohol sales in the capital. The bronze statue was disassembled during the night. During riots a 20-year old young man was stabbed to death and other 44 were injured; an employee of the Latvian embassy injured. On the Kamchatka peninsula Estonian products are off sales as a sign of protest. Estonian embassies in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg are put under intense security. Protests begin in front of the Estonian embassy in Moscow. All around the CIS veterans of World War II expressed their opinions, which were all against Estonian actions in Tallinn. One of the leaders of the "Night Watch" arrested in Tallinn.

April 28, 2007 - Hackers attack the Estonian official web-page and the site of the ruling Estonian party. Over 500 people arrested over this night, about 100 of them teenagers: 10 people injured. Moscow demands punishment for people involved in the death of the young Russian in Tallinn. An inflatable tank installed in front of the Estonian embassy in Moscow. The "Nigh Watch" reports severe police violence against arrested people. Xavier Solana concerned about police actions in Tallinn. Estonian consulate in Moscow stops working. Estonian authorities informed the Russian side about the investigation on the death of the Russian in Tallinn. New protests arise in Russian cities: Volgograd, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsk, Saint-Petersburg and other cities. Putin expressed his concern about the situation in Tallinn during his meeting with Angela Merkel, Germany's Councilor. Moscow stores boycott Estonian products. Estonian authorities say that the statue is sound and safe; earlier they said it had been broken to pieces. Protesters settle a small tent town in front of the Estonian embassy in Moscow. Finnish Prime-Minister supported the actions of the Estonian authorities. Every arrested was taken a blood sample for a DNA test. The situation in Tallinn is relatively calm.

April 29, 2007 - A wave of protests in Estonia itself: 150 people arrested in Narva. Russian speaking police officers in Estonia quit. Authorities say that the monument will have free access on its new place on 8th May. Mass-media accused of arousing tension around the situation in Tallinn. Estonian opposition suggests investigation of police actions. Poland expressed solidarity with Estonia.

April 30, 2007 - Other 125 people arrested in Estonia. Russian delegation arrives in Tallinn. Tallinn drivers demand retirement of the Prime Minister - the police threatens to fine them for that. The protesters in Moscow have organized a "shame hall" in front of the Estonian embassy. The monument is installed on the military graveyard in Tallinn. Activists are signing a petition to disassemble the Estonian embassy in Moscow as a response to their disassembling the bronze soldier.

May 1, 2007 - Russian delegation was kept away from the excavation site on the central square of Tallinn. The delegation reported signs of sawing on the monument. Protests continue demanding retirement of Ansip. People are still bringing flowers to the excavation site. Estonian flag ripped off from the embassy in Moscow during protests. Embassy employees duck taped it back. 100,000 signatures for disassembly of the embassy in Moscow gathered. Estonian authorities accused the Russian side of cyber-attacks against sites of Estonian organizations and political structures. The excavations are over.

May 2, 2007 - Reports come that the deceased young man did not receive a corresponding health care during an hour. People start collecting financial support for Dmitri Ganin's (the deceased young man) mother. Another cyber-attack - this time against an Estonian newspaper's web-page. Estonian ambassador in Moscow is being haunted for by people gathered around the embassy. Special Forces interfered to let the diplomatic convoy pass by. Russian-Estonian border open again. The Estonian ambassador in Moscow expressed an opinion that Russian authorities support the actions of the protesters near the embassy. People threw dandelions at the ambassador's car. The Estonian President states that the history of the bronze soldier is over. The members of the Estonian ambassador's family evacuated from the Russian capital. Spammers spread mail propaganda for gathering financial support for further protests.

May 3, 2007 - In Moscow hooligans are throwing stones into Estonian embassy. Bush administration expressed concern with the situation around the employees of the Estonian embassy in Moscow. In Sweden Russian embassy was bombarded with stones.


May 3, 2007 - Russia demands investigating the human rights violation in Estonia in the recent days. Estonian Prime-Minister says the economical blockade will not do much harm to the country. Russian retailers refused selling Estonian candies and other goods. The activists stop blockading the embassy in Moscow. Estonian ambassador left Russian territory. Condolisa Rise expressed her support to Estonian authorities, in relation to calling the Russian and Estonian sides for a constructive dialogue to solve the conflict.

May 4, 2007 - Social organization intend discussing possible ways of settling the conflicts between Estonian and Russian people.

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The chronology is based on the materials of the RiaNovosti News agency.


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