Estonian communities around the world unite in support of Ukraine
The Estonian state, as well as its communities both in Estonia and abroad, have joined the rest of the progressive world, unequivocally condemning the aggression of Putin against Ukraine and demanding an immediate end to the war. People use the tools and ways that ordinary people have at their disposal – free speech, expression of views, financial support, and direct assistance to war refugees. Thousands of war refugees have already arrived in Estonia (20 000 as of March 14), who are being assisted both by the state and private individuals. The refugees have had a warm welcome. The Estonian Refugee Council is responsible for organising different ways to assist them. The hub for humanitarian aid to Ukraine started working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which receives information on offers of assistance from Estonian state agencies and the private sector and brings them together with Ukrainians requesting assistance.
We collected just a few examples of the activities of our communities both in Estonia and abroad.
On Saturday, 26 February, a large demonstration was held in Freedom Square in support of Ukraine and against the war. It is considered to be the largest demonstration ever that has taken place in Estonia, with about 30,000 participants. The President of the Republic Alar Karis, representatives of Ukrainian organisations, and many well-known Estonian musicians took the stage at the demonstration.
Today, several refugee centres are open in Tallinn and elsewhere in Estonian cities, dealing with the mediation of residence and work, as well as educational issues – everything that Ukrainian war refugees need. On 8 March, the Minister of Foreign Affairs visited the refugee reception centre on Niine Street in Tallinn:
On 9 March, the event ‘1944/2022’ took place in Tallinn to commemorate the victims of the March bombing in Tallinn in 1944 and those of the Ukrainian war.
On Sunday, 27 February, a massive demonstration ‘Stoppt den Krieg. Frieden für die Ukraine und ganz Europa’ took place in Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate on Pariser Platz, which the Estonian community in Berlin joined with Estonian and Ukrainian flags. They marched together for peace in Ukraine and Europe, and confronted the aggressor with the means and methods available to ordinary people. It was part of one of the largest demonstrations in Germany, which, according to some estimates, was attended by nearly 500,000 Berliners
In Sweden, Monday meetings in Norrmalmstorg at noon were revived. Humanitarian aid was collected at the Estonian House in Stockholm and Ukrainian war refugees are offered accommodation. Refugees are being helped in different ways. The Estonian House in Stockholm is the focal point for helping refugees.
Estonians marched with both Ukrainian and Estonian flags in large demonstrations in both Toronto and Vancouver.
On 26 February 2022, about a tenth of the inhabitants of the small island of Kihnu came together to express support for Ukraine