German military cemetery in East Viru County was defaced with war symbols

Sven Randlaid
, ajakirjanik
Photo: Facebook

A person or persons unknown had vandalized the German military cemetery in Ahtme, East Viru County, by defacing memorial plaques and spraying pro-war symbols on them.

Photographs posted by a local resident on social media yesterday show that someone has smeared pro-Russian war symbols, apparently with spray paint, on the memorial plaques of the German military cemetery in Ahtme. The photos show that a five-pointed star has been drawn on at least one plate, and on several of them the letter Z used by Russian troops in the act of aggression against Ukraine.

Margus Murdsalu, head of the Jõhvi regional group of Eastern prefecture, answers:

“Yesterday afternoon, while patrolling in the area, police officers noticed that the tombstones and crosses at the Ahtme military cemetery are smeared with red paint, and among other things, the symbols of the aggressor are written on them: the letter Z and a five-pointed star. Later, we received similar reports from attentive local residents.

Police officers worked at the scene yesterday and collected evidence; the local government ensured that the tombstones and crosses have been cleaned by today.

We started criminal proceedings to investigate the incident based on the section dealing with defamation of the dead; if convicted, the perpetrator can be punished with a monetary penalty or sentenced to up to a year in prison.

We are working to identify the perpetrators. We also ask people who may have useful information for the police to let us know by calling 112 or writing to

It happens in our region that the symbols of the aggressor are scribbled in public spaces or on memorials but over time it has become less frequent, for example compared with the time at the beginning of the war or in May. We urge anyone who notices something like this in a public space to report it to us as soon as possible.

The patrolling routes of the police in our region continue to include several memorials.”