Ales Shaternik created a memorial plague for Tallinn

In the morning, on March 25 2009, the day of the declaration of independence of the Belarusian National Republic (BNR), a memorial plague was unveiled on a building at 19 Vene St in the Historic Center (Old Town) of Tallinn. 

The building at 19 Vene St is famous for housing the Military-diplomatic mission of the Belarusian National Republic in Estonia under the command of lieutenant general Aleg Karchak-Krynica-Vasilkouski between 1920 and 1925.

The initiative to create the plague belongs to activists of Belarusian network of the Congress of new Belarusian Diaspora of Europe and the US. Donations for the plague were mainly raised by youth of the Diaspora and Belarus. This action was also supported by Belarusian communities in the Great Britain, Estonia, the USA and other countries. The plague was made by famous Belarusian sculptor Ales Shaternik. Representatives from Belarusian Diaspora, Estonian civil activists, and politicians were invited to the grand opening. Friends of Rada of the Belarusian National Republic Yury Yurkevich and Pavel Marozau delivered a welcoming speech.

“The personality of Korchak-Krynica-Vasilkouski is the very example which ruins the Soviet postulate declaring Belarusians to be mere locals, people without education, people without anything at all. He was a general at the court of last Russian Emperor, the youngest general of the Czar’s army. During his service as the ambassador of BNR he had good relations with the Marshal of Finland Mannerheim and the Commander-in-chief of Estonian army Laidoner. Apart from being a rich person, he was also a generous Maecenas and philanthropist. Two churches in Tallinn had been built under his support. He had been living in Tallinn till 1940 until the Soviets occupied Estonia and executed him by shooting. It is a great honor for us that Belarusians had such an embassador to Estonia,” said Pavel Marozau, head of Valgevee Uus Tee (The New Way for Belarus) organization and a friend of BNR Rada.

Deputy head of Union of Belarusians of Great Britain and a member of BNR Rada Mikola Pachkaeu came to the ceremony from London. He delivered Ivonka Survilla's (Chairwoman of Rada of the Belarusian National Republic) congratulations on the grand opening of the memorial plaque and the declaration of the Belarusian National Republic. He was also given an honor to unveil the memorial plaque.

“Today we have added another page into the history of Belarusian-Estonian relations. Since the very first day of their existence Estonia and the BNR had been always supporting each other. Special unit of the BNR under the command of general Stanislau Bulak-Balakhovich was fighting for Estonia’s independence. Estonia was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of the BNR,” noted Ihar Sluchak, representative of Belarusian-Estonian organization Valgevene Uus Tee (The New Way for Belarus).

After the event, a reception on occasion of the Independence Day of the Belarusian National Republic (BNR) was held at the Estonian Parliament. Parliament’s Vice-Speaker Kristiina Ojuland congratulated Belarusians on this memorable date. After the reception at the Parliament, a round table discussion was conducted between deputies of the Estonian Parliament and Belarusians on the topic of Belarusian-Estonian relations.

The initiator and organizer of the celebration was Belarusian-Estonian organization Valgevene Uus Tee (The New Way for Belarus.) The event was supported by BNR Rada. The following organizations and initiatives took part in creating the memorial plaque: the Third Way community, the Union of Belarusians of Great Britain, Belarusan Youth Movement of America, as well as Belarusians initiatives of Estonia.<br><br>&nbsp;<br>