The 78th anniversary of the Soviet air force's bombing of Tallinn was commemorated in the Old Town on Wednesday. The event also marked the war in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, innocent victims of the March bombing and the war in Ukraine were commemorated in Tallinn with a memorial service at the Siselinna Cemetery and a concert in the Old Town with the Church of the Holy Spirit and the lighting of candles on Harju Street.
President Alar Karis, who was diagnosed with coronavirus last week and did not attend the event, wrote on social media: "The bombs are blind, but not the people who command the bombing and who obey the order. They know that peaceful inhabitants, children, mothers, fathers live there. Today we commemorate the victims of the March 1944 bombings in Estonia and the victims of the tragedy in Ukraine."
Former President Kersti Kaljulaid attended the commemoration event and said: "Today marks another year since the Soviet bombings of Estonian civilians on March 9th 1944. Except this time we mourn differently. It's not just in memories, it's right here in Europe. Today."
Today marks another year since the Soviet bombings of Estonian civilians on March 9th 1944. Except this time we mourn differently. It's not just in memories, it's right here in Europe. Today. #StopTheWar pic.twitter.com/ZIGrRZZGfb— Kersti Kaljulaid (@KerstiKaljulaid) March 9, 2022
On the evening of March 9, 1944, the Soviet air force bombed the city of Tallinn.
A total of 1,549 buildings were destroyed and 3,350 damaged during two waves of air raids. This amounted to about a third of the city's residential buildings at the time.
Nearly 20,000 inhabitants lost their homes. Estonia, the national theatre, was destroyed and the Old Town was badly damaged in the Harju Street area.
The attack killed 554 Estonians, 50 German soldiers, and 121 prisoners of war.
Editor: Helen Wright