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Foto: Rain Kooli

Estonian Restoration of Independence

At 23:02 on the evening of 20 August 1991, during a live broadcast carried out by Estonian Television, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia voted on confirming its Restoration of Independence.

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20 August marks the restoration of the Republic of Estonia. On this day in 1991, at 23:03 in Toompea, in the hall of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia, the decision on Estonian national independence was taken.

The same document established the Constitutional Assembly, which began to draft the Constitution of Estonia. In its decision, the Supreme Council was guided by the status of the Republic of Estonia as a subject of international law.

The amendment to the “Holidays and Festivals Act” adopted by the Riigikogu on 27 January 1998 established the Day of Restoration of Independence as a public holiday and non-working day, and on 20 August of the same year it was celebrated nationally for the first time.

The restless night continued two hours later – at 01:10 – in Helsinki, resulting in an order written on a piece of paper with a pen. Underneath it all was the name of Lennart Meri. A photo published on the Estonian Foreign Ministry social media account shows, among other things, the text:

“This is an order”

"Please prepare 2-3 texts setting out the political and constitutional arguments that the Republic of Estonia is urgently seeking international recognition /-/ I ask that all other activities be considered secondary to this work. This is an order. The legal government of the Soviet Union no longer exists. Latvia MN has been invaded and Kiev is under attack. An attack on Yeltsin's headquarters is expected in a few minutes. The time for the realisation of our request under state law must be counted in hours."

RECOMMENDATION: August 1991 – A fictional documentary drama that follows the events of three days in August 1991 with chronological precision. It would be fair to say that not everything happened exactly as described in the story, but … could have been.

Cast: Tõnu Oja, Hilje Murel, Tanel Ingi, Hendrik Toompere, Andres Mähar, Peeter Tammearu, Rain Simmul.
Cinematographer and director: Ilmar Raag,
Producer: Janno-Hans Arro,
Director of photography: Gerda Kordemets.
Estonia 2005



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