Soviet war memorial in Estonia removed

Estonia removed a Soviet war memorial from downtown Tallinn under cover of darkness early Friday, carrying out a plan that has rankled Russia and provoked protests that left one person dead and dozens injured.

Soviet war memorial in Estonia removed
Estonia removed a Soviet war memorial from downtown Tallinn under cover of darkness early Friday, carrying out a plan that has rankled Russia and provoked protests that left one person dead and dozens injured.

The government would not say where it took the 6-foot-tall Bronze Soldier but spokesman Martin Jasko said the statue ultimately would be relocated to the military's Defense Forces cemetery in the Estonian capital.

The removal brought more angry words from Russia, which called on international organizations to take action to "cool the ardor of the Estonian authorities," RIA-Novosti news agency quoted the Foreign Ministry as saying.

Many ethnic Estonians consider the memorial a painful reminder of the hardships they endured under Soviet rule, and wanted it removed from the city center.

But Estonia's ethnic Russians — roughly one-third of the country's 1.3 million population — see the statue as a tribute to Red Army soldiers who died fighting Nazi Germany and had vowed to protect it.

Last Mod: 27 Nisan 2007, 12:51
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