The war in Ukraine has brought us many refugees who need a lot of help and support. However, Tallinn Bus Station is a place for Ukrainians in need from both Russia and the Baltics, most of the refugees are in transit, but there are also those who came to Estonia for a longer period. Temporary accommodation for war refugees in transit has not been arranged and they are forced to spend the night at the bus station.
According to Airika Aruksaar, CEO of Tallinn Bus Station, the problem of accommodating refugees started to worsen when free bus lines were taken away, which took refugees from the Polish border directly to collection points.
“Many refugees are not able to sleep on the floor of the bus station due to their age, and tonight the PPA was very active in transporting people to the accommodation facilities,” said Aruksaar.
According to Indrek Aru, the head of the Internal Security Group at the Joint Staff of the Northern Region, mostly people have arrived from Russia who wants to pass through Estonia. “In most cases, they travel by bus and to Tallinn on their own to take the next bus and return to Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic or Ukraine, for example. In addition, there are people who want to travel by boat to Finland or Sweden. We have noticed that they need more support from the state, which is why we opened an information point at Tallinn Bus Station in cooperation with the Social Insurance Board, ”said Aru.
According to Kert Valdaru, the head of the Social Protection of the Social Insurance Board, transport to the collection points of the respective city will be arranged in the morning for refugees who have arrived in Estonia at night. Today, 10 extra beds were brought to Tallinn Bus Station, creating an opportunity for refugees to spend the night in better conditions.
In addition, Tallinn Bus Station, in cooperation with volunteers, has organized a place for food and drink, free toilets and the possibility to purchase bus tickets for refugees in transit, who are spending the night at the bus station, when the ticket offices, kiosks and café are closed.
Read more from the news portal Delfi! (The article and video are in Estonian.)