Estonian president to wear yellow ribbon in support of kidnapped security officer

Eston Kohver

PHOTO: Liis Treimann

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is to wear a yellow ribbon on the Victory Day on June 23 in support of Eston Kohver, the Estonian Internal Security Service officer who was abducted by Russia in September.

Ilves greeted all members of the Estonian Defense Forces who are on foreign missions. «Happy Victory Day to all members of our defense forces who are at present serving on foreign operations in Lebanon, Israel, Mali, Kosovo and Afghanistan. I hope that your service will let you think about your home and loved ones, the Victory Day and Midsummer Day, even if for just a moment. Have a good service,» Ilves wrote.

«Let us support with our thoughts the Estonian officer who is in a very complicated situation and who is abroad for the 10th month in a row -- kidnapped from homeland and thrown into prison. Eston Kohver, Estonia will do everything possible for you to return home to your family. At tomorrow's Victory Day parade I will wear a yellow ribbon thinking of you as a symbol of the hope for and expectation of reuniting,» Ilves wrote on Monday.

The Internal Security Service said on Sept. 5, 2014 that a member of their staff had been deprived of his freedom on Estonian territory near the checkpoint of Luhamaa on the Estonian-Russian border and taken to Russia by unidentified individuals coming from Russia at 9 a.m. that morning. The official, who was performing official duties related to the prevention of cross-border crime, was taken to Russia at gunpoint using physical force. The abduction was preceded by interference of operational radio communication and use of a smoke grenade from the direction of Russia.

Kohver was kept in the Lefortovo prison of Moscow from his arrest until last week. He is now being held in a prison in Pskov.