About a hundred people gathered in front of the Russian embassy in Tallinn, the Estonian capital, on Wednesday to rally in support of Ukraine, in the face of Russia’s military pressure.
The peaceful demonstration, called “Putin Hands Off Ukraine!”, was organised by members of the Ukrainian community in Estonia.
“Unfortunately, the events of the latest weeks and days do not show any de-escalation of the conflict from Russian Federation. From the speech of Russian president [on Monday], we understood that Russia was not willing to find ways to resolve the conflict in diplomatic way,” Katia Mykulyk, one of the organisers of the rally and a member of the local Ukrainian community, said.
“Russia denies Ukraine as an independent country, Russia denies Ukrainians as a nation. I believe many of you have friends, colleagues, neighbours or classmates who are Ukrainians. I hope Ukrainians showed you what beautiful, positive, smart and hospitable people we are, with authentic culture, own history and big hearts. We want to ask for your support and show that we are all against the war,” she noted.
The Russian embassy, in front of which the rally took place in Tallinn’s Old Town, was closed during the demonstration. As a precaution, a few Estonian policemen kept an eye on the demonstration.
The rally was mainly attended by local Ukrainians, but a few Estonians and members of the local Georgian community also turned up.
Approximately 27,000 ethnic Ukrainians live in Estonia, comprising about two per cent of the entire population. By comparison, there are over 322,000 ethnic Russians in Estonia – or 24 per cent of the population.
Read also: Live updates: Russia-Ukraine war – reactions in Estonia.