Ivo Jurak laid to rest in Tartu

Ivo Jurak (1977-2023).
Ivo Jurak (1977-2023). Source: Kärt Liekis/Kaitsevägi

The funeral of the first Estonian known to have fallen in the war in Ukraine took place place at the Raadi Cemetery in Tartu on Saturday, regional daily Tartu Postimees reports.

Ivo Jurak fell in heavy fighting in the Bakhmut area of eastern Ukraine last month, and had a send-off from comrades in Kyiv, before being cremated.

His ashes were repatriated to Estonia by a comrade for the funeral on Saturday and, while April fool's day may on the surface seem like an inappropriate date for the event, Jurak's brother, Paul Kadaste, told Tartu Postimees that in fact the reverse was the case, since he was the life and soul of the party, and often joking.

"He must be smiling somewhere because of the date," Kadaste told the daily, and described his brother as a cheerful and helpful person who hailed from Tartu County, despite living and working in Tallinn in more recent years.

Ivo Jurak turned 45 last October and, though he had no children of his own, spent much time with his sister's children, the paper reports.

A former Estonian Defense Forces intelligence officer who had seen service in Afghanistan, Jurak had volunteered to serve with the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine, after Russia's invasion of Ukraine began.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Tartu Postimees

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