Tallinn denies permission to close city street for May 9 march (2)
The City of Tallinn has denied permission for the organizers of a march to the city’s military cemetery to close a street leading to it to traffic for the march, which is scheduled to be held on the evening of May 9.
Organizers of the march had sought permission to close a stretch of Filtri Road, between Tallinn Bus Station and the Defence Forces Cemetery of Tallinn, to traffic for a march to the Monument to the Fallen in the Second World War on May 9.
The Tallinn City Transport Department, however, stated that closing roads to traffic in the area would hamper the outbound movement of both intercity and city buses from the bus station and adjoining bus stop, as well as make it more difficult for people who wish to visit the military cemetery to access it.
The city transport authority also recommended that anyone planning on visiting the cemetery park their car some distance away and proceed to the cemetery by foot in order to help avoid the congestion of nearby streets with parked vehicles.
The monument in the cemetery, better known colloquially as the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn (Pronkssõdur), is a Soviet war memorial whose April 2007 relocation together with the remains of Soviet soldiers from a central Tallinn park to the military cemetery sparked two nights of riots in the country’s capital, events referred to as the Bronze Night (Pronksiöö) or April Unrest (Aprilli rahutused).
Dmitri Linter, a pro-Kremlin political activist and one of the persons accused and later found not guilty of organizing the April 26-27 riots surrounding the monument's relocation, stated last week that he wanted to organize an Immortal Regiment march in Tallinn on the evening of May 9.
Throughout the Soviet Union, May 9 was celebrated as Victory Day, a holiday commemorating the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. It continues to be celebrated as such today in Russia and some former territories of the USSR, as well as unofficially in yet other Russian population centers abroad.
The March of the Immortal Regiment, in which crowds of people carry photographs of Red Army WWII veterans, has been introduced in Russia as a part Victory Day events in recent years.