Estonian NGOs support free Ukraine

In the support concert held on March 16, Mall Hellam, Executive Director of the Open Estonia Foundation held a speech on Tallinn Freedom Square, demanding freedom and democracy for Ukraine, commemorating the brave Ukranians who lost their lives on Maidan and demonstrating the ongoing support of Estonian NGOs.

Dear Friends!

Estonian people have followed the events in Ukraine in the recent months with a worrying heart. We have seen the aspiration for freedom and the steadfastness of the Ukrainian people, we have seen the fight of this great and strong nation for the right to finally choose their own way.

Today’s support concert is a tribute to Ukraine. It’s a tribute to all those who this winter on Maidan in Kiew have demonstrated to the whole world how a true free spirited civic society works.

In the peaceful Europe words like self-determination and independence might sound self-evident especially for the younger generation. Aggression and occupation were believed to be topics of history books in Europe.

However for the people in Estonia and the whole Central and Eastern Europe these words still have a strong meaning. For us it’s not far history but recent past that our parents and grandparents remember very well. Let’s remember: 1939 – Tallinn, 1956 – Budapest, 1968 Prague.

And yet again is the Kremlin using its old tested tricks, this time to threaten and invade Ukraine.

We, the Estonian NGO-s demand a stop to the aggression against Ukraine to enable a peaceful and democratic development of the united Ukraine. The Ukrainian civic society can only build a new and open Ukraine freely and creatively if the human and basic rights of the people are ensured, if the freedom of speech and assembly is granted, if the independence of the media and justice system is ensured and the rule of law prevails.

Thank you to all musicians and all of you, dear friends who share these values.

Finally I want to quote the Hungarian freedom poet Sándor Petőfi, dedicating it to the young Ukrainian mother whose newborn son’s father was killed on 20th February while defending Maidan:

“ Freedom and love,
these two things I need.
For love I sacrifice my life,
Fore freedom I sacrifice my love.”

Viva Ukraine!