Appearing on ETV magazine’s ‘Terevision’ morning show on Monday, Vaher said: “May 9 is a month away, but we are definitely ready to be there on the day, with ample resources, to ensure the rule of law and a just state.”
While the annual procession to the ‘Bronze Soldier’ statue, located at a military cemetery in central Tallinn, has been cancelled, members of the public gather at the site anyway and wear military symbols of the Soviet era, or the orange-black ribbon of St. George, from the point of view of the PPA, would act reprehensibly in the current situation, Vaher said.
Being able to commemorate the dead of World War II (which in the Russian Federation is celebrated one day after Victory Day) should not be banned, Vaher added, but should be done discreetly. “Come by all means, lay wreaths, bow your heads, remember the dead,” he said.
“However, all those public meetings and major events that show clear support for Putin’s regime are not worthy, and we are certainly ready to curb such activities on May 9. We will be in force, because the situation is not the same as the one before,” he continues.
When asked where to draw the line, Vaher said that certainly arriving near the “bronze soldier” wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the face of Vladimir Putin, for example, or with an orange-black ribbon tied to a handbag, would be beyond the line in terms of expressions of public support for Vladimir Putin.
“By doing this, you show your support for activities where children die, hospitals are destroyed and civilians are massacred,” he said, noting that Russian soldiers involved in the invasion of Ukraine are said to have sported the ribbon of St. Petersburg. George.
For that reason, Vaher said he hoped the law, currently being processed by the Justice Department, would include the orange-black ribbon, whose origins date back to the Tsarist era and whose colors are meant to represent fire and gunpowder.
The sight of children dressed in “Soviet army” uniforms, which occurred during previous May 9 events, would also be unacceptable, he said.
Vaher also said that efforts were being made by the PPA to win hearts and minds ahead of the day, adding that: “I am however not naive enough to think that there are no provocateurs, or that there are not the type of people who consciously want to bait the Estonian police.”
The so-called Immortal Regiment organization has held processions to the ‘Bronze Soldier’ monument on May 9 for many years, although the previous two events have been scaled back due to the pandemic. As it stands, this year’s event has been cancelled.
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