PThe ruling coalition of Narva has agreed to move the monument in the form of a T-34 tank to a closed place, the deputies count on the support of the opposition. The Estonian Prime Minister called for the removal of all 400 Soviet monuments
The T-34 monument is located on the left bank of the Narva River. It marks the place where the Soviet troops crossed the river to push the German troops away from the city. The monument was opened in May 1970.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaya Kalas will arrive in Narva on August 8 to resolve the issue of his future. She noted that she would discuss with the local authorities why monuments erected by the Soviet government should be removed from public space. Earlier, she stated that there are 200–400 Soviet monuments in Estonia that should be moved from public space.
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The head of the Estonian Foreign Ministry, Urmas Reinsalu, called for the tank to be removed within a month, writes ERR. According to him, the negative side of the story about the “Bronze Soldier” was that “the conflict matured for a year”, as a result of which thousands of people gathered to express their attitude to what was happening. “Russian agents of influence were given the opportunity to raise dust, so everything ended in such a crisis,” the minister is sure. Procrastination is not in the interests of Estonians and the Estonian state, he added.
Reinsalu urged “to solve the issue as a whole”, because if you just remove the T-34 tank from the pedestal, another communist monument may soon be in its place. “The tank has become a symbol, but symbols have their own magic. The symbols are used to judge who we are and what the values of society are,” the minister stressed.
In April, the council of the Ogre Municipality in Latvia decided to demolish a memorial sign in the village of Madlien in honor of liberation from the German army. The monument was a massive stone with the inscription “On September 26, 1944, the Soviet army liberated Madliene from the Nazi invaders”. The dismantling was carried out on April 26. There were no soldiers’ burials located next to the stone. The authorities considered the monument to be the bearer and mouthpiece of the imperial ideology of Russia, undermining the foundations of Latvia’s independence.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called the incident a “blatant incident” and a “fanatical trick”. “The followers of those who during the Second World War, instead of fighting fascism, sided with Hitler’s Germany, are becoming more and more audacious,” said Maria Zakharova, a representative of the ministry.
On August 8, the monument “World Peace” (Maailman rauha), donated to Finland by the Soviet Union in 1990, was dismantled in the Finnish capital. The sculpture was a group of people from different continents of the Earth, each of them holding a globe framed by branches with one hand. A sidewalk will be laid on the site of the monument and a tram route will be organized that will connect the center of Helsinki with the island district of Laahasalo.
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