Photo by RIA Novosti. The moment of the transfer of the tank column "For Soviet Estonia" to the 221st Division Tank Regiment. May 6, 1943.
On January 22, the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, supported by the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio and the Institute of Military Heritage, will hold the 11th session of the International Public Forum “Grateful descendants in memory of the 80th anniversary of the formation of the Estonian military units of the Red Army in the Urals”.
Formed after Estonia incorporation into the Soviet Union, the Estonian formations entered the first battle already on July 9, 1941 near Porkhov. It is here Arnold Meri accomplished his feat. And in August 1941 he became the Hero of the Soviet Union - the first of the representatives of the Baltic States.
He raised the battalion in a counterattack and, being wounded four times, continued to fight without leaving the battlefield. In the village of Polonoe near Porkhov, a memorial sign was erected to the soldiers of the 22nd Estonian Rifle Corps; it commemorates the special courage and bravery of Estonian soldiers and officers.
In June 1941, 36,972 people were mobilized in the Red Army in the Estonian SSR, with the outbreak of war they were evacuated deep into the territory of the Soviet Union. These combat formations were formed in the Ural Military District, in the Sverdlovsk Region.
In February and September 1942, the second Estonian 249th Rifle Division and the 8th Estonian Rifle Corps were formed.
The Estonian Red Army was formed by more than 80% of Estonians; the remaining 20% included Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Jews, etc.
In December 1942, the corps was sent to the Kalinin Front and became part of the 3rd Shock Army, participating in the battles to liberate Velikiye Luki.
The next important task of the Estonian corps was the operation to liberate Narva, in which the best combat formations of the corps participated. The assault on the city began on July 25, 1944. A day later, the task was completed; Narva was cleared of the enemy. For these battles, the 85th Artillery Regiment was given the name "Narvsky" on August 9.
On September 17, 1944, the corps entered the territory of the Estonian SSR with battles. Having crossed the Emajõgi River, the Estonian divisions and regiments successfully developed the offensive. On September 22, Tallinn was liberated by the forces of the Estonian Corps and the 8th Army.
Ten days continued fighting for the mainland of the Estonian SSR. During this period, the gratitude of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief was twice declared to the soldiers of the Corps.
The operation to liberate the Moonsund Archipelago began on September 27 and lasted until November 24, 1944. After the transfer of reinforcements on November 18, a powerful assault was launched. It brought victory. On November 24, 1944, the 249th Estonian Rifle Division, together with other formations of the Red Army, liberated Estonian lands from the Nazi invaders.
In the spring of 1945, the Estonian Corps, as part of the 2nd Baltic Front, took part in the battles against the Courland grouping of the Wehrmacht.
In 1941-1945, a total of about 70 thousand soldiers and officers fought in the Estonian national formations of the Red Army, of which 21,200 died and 19,600 were wounded. Five fighters of the Estonian Corps were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union for special military merits. Orders and medals were awarded to 20,042 servicemen.
The 11th session of the International Public Forum will be attended by representatives of five countries - Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Germany.
The theme of the forum will be the international work carried out by historians, representatives of public organizations to preserve the historical memory and heritage of the Estonian military units of the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Army and counteract attempts to revise history and justify the crimes of the Nazis and their allies.
- Valery RUZIN (Russia), Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly,
- Yurijus TRAKSHELIS (Lithuania), Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Chairman of the NGO "Institute of Military Heritage".
Alexander PETROV, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Estonia, will make a welcoming speech.
Andrey BELYANINOV, Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, will address the forum participants with an opening speech.
The forum will be attended by:
- Vladimir CHUIKIN (Estonia), representative of the Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots in Estonia.
Veterans and heroes of the Great Patriotic War in my life.
- Nikolay BYSHOK (Estonia), Chairman of the Presidium of the Union of Veteran Organizations of Estonia.
- Nina PAVLOVA (Estonia), Chairman of the Board of the Tallinn Society of Participants of World War II.
Veterans of the Estonian Rifle Corps.
- Andrey LAZURIN (Estonia), Head of the military-historical association FRONT LINE, representative for international relations of the Tallinn Society of Participants of the Second World War.
"The history of the formation of the Estonian rifle divisions and the Estonian Rifle Corps of the Red Army."
- Vladimir VITAL (Germany), military historian.
"Estonian rifle corps of the first formation: from formation to the battles of 1941".
- Yulia KALININA (Estonia), Member of the board of the Tallinn Society of Participants of World War II.
"The role of people from the Estonian Corps in the formation in post-war Estonia."
- Leonid KUSHNAREV (Estonia), Chairman of the Saaremaa Society of War Veterans and Compatriots, participant in international search expeditions and the Memory Watch.
"Estonian Rifle Corps in the Moonsund landing operation".
- Konstantin BELOV (Russia), Chairman of the Council of the Youth League of the Pskov Region.
"Participation of the Estonian Rifle Corps of the Red Army in the liberation of the city of Velikiye Luki, Pskov Region."
- Yuri SAKKART (Estonia), Union of Veterans of Wars, Labor and Russian Compatriots of Kiviõli.
"Maintaining the historical heritage of the Estonian Rifle Corps".
- Sarkis MATEVOSYAN (Estonia).
"Maintaining the historical heritage of the Estonian Rifle Corps".
- Ramazan NAZAROV (Latvia), Chairman of the Board of the Liepaja Society of Military Pensioners, Member of the Board of the Search Center "Libau".
"Participation of the Estonian Rifle Corps of the Red Army in the liberation of Courland (Latvia)".
- Dmitry RYBNIKOV (Latvia), Deputy Chairman of the NGO “Daugavpils Branch of the Russian Community of Latvia”.
"Combining the efforts of the public organizations of the Baltic States is a guarantee of preserving the historical truth."
- Irina BABRAUSKIENE (Lithuania), Executive Secretary of the Board of Russian Citizens' Organizations in Lithuania.
"The feat of the national military units of the Red Army formed from the peoples of the Baltic States is a positive example for the descendants - fighters against fascism."
- Jurijus TRAKSHELIS (Lithuania).
"Book of Memory. Estonia" is an example of preserving the memory for posterity of the exploits of Soviet soldiers."
The 11th session of the International Public Forum "Grateful Descendants in Memory of the 80th Anniversary of the Formation of the Estonian Military Units of the Red Army in the Urals" will be broadcast on the official Facebook page of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly.