Captured Russian tank moves on to Viljandi
From Friday, a knocked-out Russian tank will be on display in the South Estonian town of Viljandi, regional daily Sakala reports.
The tank, a T-72 model, was captured early on in the current Ukraine war, now in its second year, and has so far been on display in Tallinn, Tartu and also Antsla, Võru County, and Valga, on the Estonian-Latvian border.
The Ministry of Defense announced that the tank will be on public display in the parking area by the Viljandi city stadium, between Järva and Aasa streets, from Friday, March 17 through to Monday, March 20, inclusive, Sakala reports (link in Estonian), though it will be attended by round-the-clock guarding and surveillance, not least due to some reported instances of inappropriate "commemoration" of actions of the Russian regime, via the placing of flowers.
Viljandi Mayor Madis Timpson (Reform) said the main purpose for bringing the tank to the town – an offer which authorities in Narva, Jõhvi and Rakvere have declined – is to commemorate the recently passed first anniversary of the invasion, while Sakala reports that the exhibit is demonstration that the current conflict is winnable, by the west, while encouraging the continued military and other aid Estonia and other European and western countries have been providing.
The tank was first on display in Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak) on February 25, a day after independence day, and mirrors similar installations in Latvia, Lithuania and other European countries, and its final resting place will be the national war museum in Viimsi.
Sakala is part of the Postimees group of papers.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte