A free concert entitled "Ukraine gives thanks!" ("Ukraine tänab!") is set to take place in Tallinn's Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak) on Thursday August 24, Ukrainian Independence Day. During and after the concert, hotlines will be open to collect donations, with the funds received to be used for the building of bomb shelters for schools in towns near the frontline in eastern Ukraine.
Ruslan Trochynskyi, trombonist, Svjata Vatra member and concert organizer, told ERR that: "The main purpose of the event is to express our gratitude to all the people of Estonia, who have supported Ukraine and to celebrate together the day of Ukraine's restoration of independence."
"At the same time, there is no escaping the fact that unfortunately, Ukraine today has to fight for the freedom of its state. The spiritual and material support of the Estonian state and people continues to be important and very much appreciated," he added.
The concert organizers , in cooperation with both Estonian and Ukrainian state institutions as well as trusted non-profit organizations, have been working on a charity project to build and equip up to eight bomb shelters for schools in the town of Dobropillia in eastern Ukraine.
"September is coming and the school year is about to start, however many Ukrainian children have not been able to physically attend school for a third year running. First, because of the coronavirus restrictions and now for a year and a half because of the frequent rocket and bomb attacks. The construction of bomb shelters near schools in areas closer to the front is, in the long term, a case of providing quality of education for these children, and in the short time, a matter of life and death in," said Trochynskyi.
Donations to support the construction of bomb shelters for Ukrainian schools can be made between August 17 and 31 via all Estonian telecoms networks by calling 900 7911 (€10); 900 7912 (€25) and 900 7913 (€50). The fundraising campaign will be carried out and the money raised will be sent to Ukraine by the NGO MTÜ Kultuuride Ristmik (Cultural Crossroads), which was founded by Ruslan and Terje Trochynskyi.
The project of building and furnishing the bomb shelters will be implemented on the ground together with the city authorities by representatives of the Ukrainian social crowdfunding platform "Moe misto" (My City) and the NGO "Create Dobropillya," which is active in the city.
In September, Ruslan Trochynskyi will also visit the project to check on its progress.
Ukraine's Ambassador to Estonia Maksym Kononenko said: "Estonia and all other supporters of Ukraine have played a crucial role in Ukraine's ability to resist Russian aggression and maintain its independence. I invite everyone to join us for the concert in Tallinn's Freedom Square - a symbolic place where we can celebrate Ukraine's Independence Day together. On behalf of the Ukrainian state and our citizens, I express my deepest gratitude to Estonia for its understanding, international support, military assistance, humanitarian aid and for offering asylum to Ukrainians seeking safety here. This humanitarian gesture will remain in the hearts of Ukrainians forever."
The first part of the concert on August 24 features the Tallinn Police Orchestra, conducted by Siim Aimla, as well as Elina Nechayeva, Stefan, Tanel Padar, Silver Sepp, Ruslan Trochynskyi, Rute Trochynskyi and the band Svjata Vatra.
The Estonian men's national choir will then be joined by all the artists above, to perform a rendition of patriotic Ukrainian hymn "Oi u luzi chervona kalyna" ("Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow"), one of the best known songs to have emerged during Ukraine's current fight against Russia, though it originally dates back to 1875.
The concert starts at 7 p.m. Estonian time on Thursday, August 24, and ends two hours later. The concert is free to enter and will also be broadcast live on ETV here.
Editor: Michael Cole