A knocked-out Russian tank captured by Ukrainian forces during the invasion which began just over a year ago will be on public display in central Tallinn from Saturday, portal Delfi reports.
The tank, a T-72 model, was taken out by Ukrainian forces in the early stages of the war, Delfi reports (link in Estonian) and will be on display, quite fittingly, in Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak) in Tallinn, from 2 p.m. Estonian time Saturday.
Since the tank was captured, it remains intact, and will provide the public with a chance to see up close the kind of weaponry the Russian military has been using in its unprovoked onslaught against Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defense tweeted that: "This is a Russian tank T-72 which was destroyed by Ukrainian defenders in March 2022. It will be exhibited in Estonia."
"This tank is a symbol of Russia's brutal invasion. It also shows that the aggressor can be defeated. Let's help Ukraine defend freedom," the post continued.
This is a Russian tank T-72 that was destroyed by Ukrainian defenders in March 2022. It will be exhibited in #Estonia.— MoD Estonia (@MoD_Estonia) February 25, 2023
This tank is a symbol of Russia's brutal invasion. It also shows that the aggressor can be defeated. Let's help Ukraine defend freedom. #StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/jwnV2XXwpE
Ukraine's Ambassador to Estonia, H.E. Mariana Betsa, noted that her country stood firm after 365+ days of the offensive.
She said: "Yesterday (Friday-ed.) marked the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine."
"The sole reason for this unprovoked aggression was the neo-imperialist and expansive ambitions of the Russian state and its upper leadership," she went on, adding that: "Ukraine will continue to fight for her freedom."
"We will fight as long as necessary against Russia's genocidal aggression; we have no choice but to win this war," the ambassador went on.
TULE VAATAMA! Täna kell 14.00 avatakse Tallinnas Vabaduse väljakul Ukraina kaitsjate purustatud Vene T-72 tanki näitus. Purustatud tank sümboliseerib rahva ja sõdurite kangelaslikkust ja ning teiste lääneriikide abi olulisust Ukraina kaitsmisel. pic.twitter.com/ZQl4u85Nge— Estonia in Ukraine (@EE_Ukraine) February 25, 2023
""We are deeply grateful to Estonia and all our allies for their support in our fight against evil," she continued.
"More weaponry is still needed, in particular artillery and ammunition, tanks, long-range missiles and fighter jets, to push the aggressor back beyond the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine and restore the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country," ambassador Betsa went on.
The tank is to remain in Freedom Square until March 2, Delfi reports, after which it will embark on a tour of Estonia, stopping off at various towns for public display.
Its ultimate resting place will be the National War Museum in Viimsi, just outside Tallinn, where it will remain on display.
The tank is one of several Ukraine has sent to all three Baltic States, and also to Germany, with the intention of their becoming museum pieces in those countries, having been captured by Ukrainian forces during the course of the invasion.
The initiative was announced by Ukraine's Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov, earlier in the week, and follows similar exhibitions of vanquished Russian tanks, displayed last summer in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Russia has lost an estimated 2,300 tanks in one year of its war on Ukraine, with the figure including as many as around half its most modern models.
The T-72 was first produced by the Russian Federation's predecessor state, the Soviet Union, from the late 1960s onwards.
Manufactured at the Uralvagonzavod plant, Sverdlovsk Oblast, around 25,000 are thought to have been built, across many different variations.
This article was updated to include the photo gallery and defense ministry comment.
Editor: Andrew Whyte