This year, the 9 May celebrations were relatively calm – the placement of flowers at the bronze soldier considering the coronavirus, went smoothly and without incident. Although Kremlin activists “did their part” and organized a campaign with the help of Sputnik Media, in which the Russian media was able pick up propaganda points and wave the hammer and sickle red flag.
The organizers canceled the March of the Immortal Regiment, which had had originally been planned by Andrei Gontsharov and received permission from the authorities. The resulting gap was filled in tandem by Tshaulin and Esakov, who requested permission for a public meeting consisting of an automobile parade.
The automobile procession took place at noon on Sunday and started from the Rocca Al Mare car park, where about 50 cars decorated with St. George ribbons and flags with the sickle and hammer had congregated. The main individual at the car park was Yelena Esakova, who distributed St. George ribbons and coordinated activities.
During the day, Sputnik Media and Oleg Besedin of the Facebook group Таллиннцы, covered the actions starting in the early morning with the installation of a five-starred eternal fire at the Bronze Soldier, right up until the car action and the march in the evening.
The celebration of 9 May in Estonia reached the Russian media through the stories of Sputnik Media, from which the Estonian authorities were accused of obstructing the celebration of the event and persecuting the organizers. The stories talked about how Tshaulin and Esakov were called to the police for an interview before the beginning of the automobile parade, how two organizers in military uniform were taken to the police from the Bronze Soldier, and how an ambulance had to be called for one of them later. A separate story tried to show how Tshaulin succeeded in igniting the eternal fire at the Bronze Soldier, despite the efforts of the authorities.
In the evening, the March of the Immortal Regiment, which was supposed to be canceled, took place as a spontaneous action, in which about a dozen people took part, among whom Tshaulin, Esakov and Tydyakov were once again in the forefront.
The celebration of May 9 was highlighted by the more active role of Sputnik Media, Oleg Besedin and the tandem team of Tshaulin/Esakov.
The celebration of May 9 was peculiarly noticeable from the Republic of Komi, where you can see on the social media page of the Novikbozh Culture House how the Estonian blue-black-and-white national flag was next to St. George’s ribbons and Soviet sickle and hammer red ensigns.
Photos: from the Facebook group Таллиннцы, Novikbozhi Culture House VK page