While people still took flowers to the Soviet Bronze Soldier monument at the Defense Forces Cemetery in Tallinn on Saturday to mark the passing of 75 years from the allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, attempts were made to avoid mass gatherings and visitors did not linger.
There were already plenty of flowers adorning the monument before noon. Visitors took measures to avoid spreading the coronavirus by simply placing flowers at the base of the monument, taking a picture and leaving soon after, "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.
The police estimate that some 5,000 people visited the monument on May 9, which is approximately eight times fewer than last year.
People couldn't imagine not coming. "It is the most sacred holiday of the year for me, and there was no way for me to miss this. I believe everyone here is observing quarantine rules. Every Russian has a grandfather, grandmother or great-grandparents who fought in the war," Anna said.
Some sympathized with people in Russia. There was no parade in Moscow this year, while quarantine rules are keeping people from taking flowers to monuments.
"The Russian government should have made it possible to take flowers. People would have followed the so-called 2+2 rule – kept their distance. Even our government in Estonia – they told people they were free to go and place flowers at the monument," Ljubov said.
Politicians and diplomats, including the ambassadors of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and Estonian MEP Yana Toom, laid their wreaths at the base of the Bronze Soldier on Friday.
Kristjan Lukk, a spokesman for the Police and Border Guard Board, told ERR on Saturday morning: "The situation is calm both in the city and in the Defense Forces Cemetery. In order to stop the spread of the virus, the police are advising [people] to avoid movements that are not necessary and to avoid places where crowding could occur."
Editor: Marcus Turovski