The first of two planned demonstrations in Tallinn held to support solidarity for ethnic Russians living in the Crimea and eastern regions in Ukraine, and to “support the possibility” of holding a separatist referendum in northeastern Estonia, passed without major incident and attracted only 40 people Saturday.
The protesters held signs signaling support for Russians in Ukraine, while one Soviet Union flag was also on display. The rally was held in front of the Russian embassy.
The men behind the events, Dmitri Linter and Juri Zhuravlyov, said the second demonstration, to be held on April 20 in front of the Estonian Parliament, will raise the question of holding a referendum for self-determination.
The Estonian National Security Agency said the individuals who organized the demonstrations are known to them as provocateurs. Office director Andres Kahar told Delfi: "We have nothing more to say but that two Russian extremists - Linter and Zhuravlyov - who are trying to ratchet up tensions, using fictitious organizations and movements as window dressing."
Both men were also involved in the April 2007 riots, although only Zhuravlyov was found guilty and received probation for stealing a half case of beer.