This Thursday (August 24), to mark Ukrainian Independence Day, a free concert entitled "Ukraina tähab!" ("Ukraine gives thanks!") will take place in Tallinn's Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak). Speaking at President Alar Karis' Rose Garden reception on Sunday, Terje Trochynskyi, the concert's main organizer, stressed that Ukraine still needs the help of the Estonian people.
Trochynskyi, who is married to Ukrainian musician Ruslan Trochynskyi, said, that while the war in Ukraine may mean there are no huge Independence Day celebrations inside the country, it is still an extremely important occasion for Ukrainians.
"People certainly celebrate it in their homes and in their hearts as a day, which they continue to fight for."
The idea for the "Ukraine Gives Thanks" concert was conceived by Terje and Ruslan Trochynskyi on February 24, the one year anniversary of the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. "The Estonian people and Estonian society have contributed so much. This is the time and place to say thank you to the people of Estonia. Thank you for being there for Ukraine and for contributing, each in your own way."
Thursday's charity concert, which features performers from Estonia and abroad, will be used to raise funds for the construction of bomb shelters for schools in eastern Ukraine.
"The issue of donations has taken a kind of painful blow here, so we felt that now was the right time and place to very openly and honestly campaign in my name - mine and Ruslan's," Trochynskyi said.
"We got the message from Ukraine that, particularly in eastern Ukraine, where there are bombardments every day, children have not been able to go to school for three years - at the beginning because of the pandemic, and after that, the war. They need [these shelters] so that they can actually go to school," Trochynskyi said.
She also acknowledged that war fatigue has set in among the Estonian people. "At the beginning of the war, when we had this kind of an announcement, a meeting, within two days everyone was volunteering to organize a concert and 30,000 people came. Understandably, that was an extraordinary situation. Now when we are organizing a concert, yes, there is sympathy, but the attitude is that it's out there somewhere and doesn't affect everyone's lives that much. We feel that's all the more reason to come to this place and express that Ukraine needs our help."
The "Ukraina tähab!" concert takes place in Tallinn's Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak) on Thursday August 24, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The first part of the concert 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