Captured Russian tank moved from Tallinn's Freedom Square

The captured Russian T-72 tank being removed from Tallinn's Freedom Square.
The captured Russian T-72 tank being removed from Tallinn's Freedom Square. Source: Aleksandr Semjonov / ERR

On Thursday, the Estonian Ministry of Defense removed the war-damaged T-72 Russian tank from Tallinn's Freedom Square (Vabaduse väjlak), where it has been on display since February 25. The tank, which was brought to Estonia from Ukraine, will soon be displayed in other cities throughout the country.

On February 23, Estonian Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) wrote to local government leaders, explaining that the ministry wanted to exhibit the damaged tank in several cities across Estonia between February 25 and the end of March.

After spending a week on display in Tallinn's Freedom Square (Vabaduse Väjlak), the ministry had planned for the tank move on to Rakvere, Narva, Jõhvi, Tartu, Võru, Viljandi and Pärnu, where it could also be seen by the public.

However, those plans have since been altered, and the tank will no longer go to Narva or Rakvere. Instead, it has now been placed into temporary storage before being displayed in Jõhvi for just one day on March 9.

The tank had been scheduled for display in Narva, from March 8-11. However, the city's mayor Katri Raik said, that will no longer be the case. Raik wrote on social media, that after spending much of the last six months thinking about the removal of another tank, Narva now wants to move on to a "tank-free" future.

In Raik's view, it would be better to open a photography exhibition in the city showing the suffering and destruction caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine.

In a similar development, Mayor of Rakvere Triin Varek (Center) said, that the proposed timing of the tank's arrival in Rakvere is far from ideal. Varek added, that the message the war-damaged tank conveys is neither clear nor strong enough to warrant its display in Rakvere at this time.

"(The tank) is currently in storage and further displays will be announced soon," said Hellar Lill, director of the Estonian War Museum.

The museum declined to disclose the exact location where the tank is being stored.

After the tank has been exhibited in cities around Estonia, it will be taken to the Estonian War Museum in Viimsi. Similar displays of Russian tanks captured in Ukraine are also taking place in Latvia, Lithuania and Germany.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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