On the occasion of the Black Ribbon Day, or the Day of Remembrance for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, a Remembrance Ceremony will take place at the Maarjamäe Memorial for the Victims of Communism on 23 August at 4 pm.

23 August is the Day of Remembrance for victims of mass repressions of Stalinism and Nazism. The date was chosen to coincide with the the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, a 1939 non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany which contained a secret protocol dividing Eastern Europe into Soviet and German spheres of influence. This in turn created necessary conditions for the outbreak of the Second World War, the occupation of several independent countries and the expansion of mass repressions.

At the Ceremony, speeches will be held by Minister of Justice Lea Danilson-Järg, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in the Republic of Estonia Mariana Betsa, Chair of the Board of the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory Meelis Maripuu, and the Chair of the Board of the Estonian Memento Society Arnold Aljaste. A prayer will be held by Tallinn provost of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Jaan Tammsalu. A musical performance will be given by Marianne Leibur.

The Day of Remembrance is also an occasion of which to reflect on the need to defend freedom and democracy, and express our continued support to Ukraine, which celebrates its Independence Day on 24 August, despite Russia’s military aggression. Estonia shares Ukraine’s difficult experience of Soviet occupation and terror. Russian disinformation seeks to deny Soviet war crimes and other atrocities and justify Soviet invasions and occupations. Estonian Institute of Historical Memory’s exhibition „Ukraine in 20th century crises“ aims to broaden the public’s knowledge on Ukrainian history, and support Ukraine in standing up to Russia’s information war. The exhibition gives an overview of critical moments in Ukrainian history: the development of Ukraine’s statehood, the sovietisation of Ukrainian society, the impact of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, the struggle of the Ukrainian people in the Second World War, Ukrainian independence in 1991, and Russia’s aggression in 2014-2022.

The exhibition is available in English online: https://communistcrimes.org/en/ukraine-20th-century-crises