Summary in English of events in Tallinn on April 27
Pronkssõdur 2007 28 Apr 2007  EWR
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By morning most of the streets were cleaned up. Business owners and employees spent the day cleaning up and assessing damages. By 2 pm damage estimates of 20 million EEK (approx 2 million CAD) were made known to the City. Damage included broken windows, damaged cars and stolen goods, also damage to bus stops, garbage cans and benches. (Estimates have been upped to 50 million EEK)

The Government, the President and the Police made public appeals for people to not give in to provocations, to avoid public gatherings and to not go to the downtown area just out of curiosity. Youth organisations (University Students Union, National Youth Organisations Association, Scouts, etc) also appealed to their members to do the same.

Young people were warned by the Prime Minister that it was not a good idea to begin their life with a 5 year jail sentence. Tallinn City government banned alcohol sales in stores daily from 2 pm until May 2. Neighbouring towns, Narva and Jõhvi also passed bans/restrictions on alcohol sales. Later in the day the Harju County (includes Tallinn) Government banned all alcohol sales from 4 pm April 27 until May 2.


Emails and SMS with texts from "EV Valitsus" (Estonian Government) were sent by Internet providers and Mobile phone operators to customers with the appeal to not give in to provocations and to avoid public gatherings.



In the afternoon youth started gathering. A group of approx. 20 peaceful Estonian youth gathered in Hirve Park., but they didn't really know why and what they were supposed to do.

Russian youth gathered in front of the Parliament. The youth in front of the Parliament held signs- "CCCP 4ever" and "F--k Estonian fascists" and yelling "Ansip" and "shame" in Russian. The irony is that the girl who held this sign looked to be about 16 yrs old, she was wearing designer jeans and trendy shoes. Does she REALLY understand that if this was still the CCCP that she would not have such lovely clothes and accessories? Reporters noticed adults with the kids. The group was dispersed, it headed towards the Bronze soldier.

Groups of youth started gathering in Vabaduse Väljak around 4 pm. Both Estonian and Russians, some conflicts occurred but were disrupted by the police. Estonian youth carried an Estonian flag were singing the Estonian anthem, they seemed to be mainly parading around. Police formed a protective cordon around them. some Russian youth started to move towards the Bronze soldier area. Police started dispersing the remaining youth from Vabaduse Väljak. Some of the youth became aggressive. Police were continuously making arrests of aggressive youth. Reports of middle-aged women among the Russian youth agitating the youth. One can see youth wearing red shirts with "Russia" and "CCCP" in the TV footage.

It must be marked that several reporters mentioned that the gatherings today were of significantly younger youth than the day before. On Thursday, most were in their late teens/early 20-s. Friday the groups were of youth as young as 13 but most seemed to be 16-17 yrs old.

By 7pm the crowd had grown to approx 400. By 8pm the Park beside Estonia theatre consisted of mainly Russian speaking aggressively behaving youth, the statue of Tammsaare had been vandalised. More arrests were made after aggressive acts towards the police. The crowd of youth moved back and forth between Vabaduse Väljak area and the Park next to the Estonian Theatre several times. Police were being bombarded with bottles and rocks and other projectiles. More arrests. Reporters report with surprise that many young women/girls are especially aggressive. Many in the crowds have been drinking.

Around 10.30 pm the water cannon was utilized to disperse youth.
A group of around 500 Russian youth is moving around at this point. Vandalism of windows, cars, looting of stores etc begins to escalate.


It seems that alcohol stores and expensive clothing stores are the main targets of the vandals. (they are choosing which stores to loot)


The Police continued their work. By 1:30 am, the situation was under control and the streets were quiet again. (leaving behind smashed windows and pillaged stores)

During the TV news it was noted that: (different channels)
1) In footage from the previous day it was noted that middle-aged "wrestler type" of men were the first to start throwing rocks at the police.
2) The youth gathering on Friday were notably younger than the day before, agitators (adults) were noticed among the Russian youth.
3) The group of Russian youth at the Parliament seemed to be accompanied by their teachers.

Over 500 people have been arrested since Friday morning, of these approximately 100 were underage.
Approximately 70 people injured including 6 police. A few have required hospital admission, but no life threatening injuries.


The Police are continuing their state of alert and continue to appeal to the public to not come to the downtown area out of curiosity. Downtown residents are also advised not to park their cars
on the street.


They are ready for more trouble tonight and of course on Volbri night (April 30th).
The Police are acting calmly and very openly (allowing TV interviews with detainees on the street) etc.



One can only hope that the amount of massive arrests will convince parents to keep their teenagers at home..

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On Friday night there were also disruptions in Jõhvi and Kohtla-Järve, where Russian youth gathered and vandalised stores (windows smashed etc). The situation was under control within hours. Police dispersed the youth and made many arrests.

In Narva messages were sent to gather by the war memorial. Approximately 1000 people came by and left flowers, but nothing really happened. Reports of small groups of men who didn't seem interested in the memorial and were busy speaking on the phone and looking around as if waiting for something.
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based on TV reports, internet news - www.etv24.ee, www.delfi.ee, www.postimees.ee, www.epl.ee (All Estonian language)
web camera of Vabaduse väljak on http://gw.tallinnlv.ee:11082/l...
(I've been good and stayed at home)

Of course the web portals are sometimes difficult to get into as there is such high traffic....
 
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