In 2020, seventy-five years will have passed since the end of World War II. The anniversary celebration, that Kremlin propaganda calls the European liberation from fascism, is one of the cornerstones of Russia’s self-consciousness and the main narrative of the regime of that country. During the past six months, Propastop has repeatedly written about salutes, exhibitions, concerts and virtual projects that keep this narrative alive in Estonia. This includes accusations that regularly circulate around Soviet monuments.
One of the Red Army monuments that has recently undergone a restoration process is a memorial stone in Tallinn’s Järve forest. The object, located at the crossing of Viljandi Road and Valdeku Road in the Nõmme district was „reopened“ on December 26, 2019. The Russian Embassy in Estonia, which condemns Estonia’s expostulation of Soviet monuments, orchestrated the whole effort.
What monument are we talking about? This memorial stone has been in the same place since Soviet times and it has not been included in the list of Estonian heritage sites. Propastop could not confirm the information distributed by the Russian Embassy that the remains of 1,500 individuals were buried nearby. If our readers have any information about this, please share it on your Propastop Facebook account.
When comparing the photos of the memorial stone before and after the restoration, it is difficult to see why the object needed to be repaired and re-engraved at all. The action gets its justification when viewed from the perspective of the Kremlin’s information war. Propaganda narratives related to Soviet soldier liberators can be circulated and attached to the memorial stone. The object is also a potential trigger for a media attack on Estonia should an incident occur in connection with the memorial.
Propastop honours the memory of all those who have died in war, but opposes the use of memorials as a trigger for propaganda attacks against Estonia. The opportunity to change the propaganda text „Eternal memory of the fallen in the fight against fascism“ during the restoration and replacing it with a neutral phrase such as „ Eternal memory of the fallen in World War II“ was unfortunately missed at the memorial in Järve forest.
Pictured: screenshot from the Russian Embassy’s Instagram account.