Some Narva residents find public meetings ban incomprehensible

The location where the Narva tank memorial stood, April 14, 2023.
The location where the Narva tank memorial stood, April 14, 2023. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Some residents of Narva find the ban on public events marking holidays related to Russian war propaganda incomprehensible. Events marking the capture of Narva were not allowed to be held on Wednesday.

Narva was recaptured by the Soviet Army from Nazi Germany on July 26, 1944, and some residents of the city still mark the event as the day of liberation from fascism.

Public processions, rallies and speeches that promote the war and through symbols, words and actions support the Putin regime's war crimes in Ukraine are banned until August 2 in the eastern border town. Residents can still quietly lay flowers, but not as part of organized events.

One of those residents, Mihhail Panšin, told Wednesday's "Aktualane kaamera" he wanted to organize a public event so people could mark the day. The police did not agree, which Panšin finds incomprehensible.

"We are just laying flowers. We are not organizing parties, we are not singing songs, we are not carrying symbols, we are just laying flowers. For example, in Sinimäe, it is allowed to honor the heroes who fought on the German side, but we are somehow forbidden to celebrate July 26 as Liberation Day. Here we need to agree and find a compromise," he said.

On Wednesday, police monitored activity at several sites in the city, including the location of the former tank monument, which was removed last year.

Indrek Püvi, head of the Narva police station, said laying flowers on the day the Red Army marched into Estonia supports Russia's propaganda narratives.

"The restrictions have been established in order to ensure public order, so that there is no friction between people because the majority of Estonian society today is still of the opinion that the Russian Federation has criminally attacked Ukraine, which is why any paraphernalia with symbolic value and also events can create situations where conflicts arise," he said.

The ban on celebrating anniversaries in Narva connected to Russian war propaganda will end on August 2. Events marking the Russian navy and paratroopers will take place between now and then.

While the Soviet Union did retake the city from the Nazis, the event marks the beginning of an almost 50-year occupation. Estonia did not regain its independence again until 1991.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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