Angry Over Russia’s War, Estonia Set to Destroy Soviet Monuments
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(Bloomberg) - The Estonian government plans to remove and demolish 244 Soviet monuments that many people find offensive because they depict decades of occupation of the Baltic nation.
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A government committee formed in June reviewed and decided the fate of 322 monuments, most of which are World War II monuments being destroyed and graves being reburied in cemeteries.
Of the monuments, 74 sites were deemed ideologically neutral or have artistic merit and will therefore be preserved, the committee said on Wednesday.
The government launched its campaign to remove Soviet monuments after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. In August, authorities moved a Soviet-built tank to a museum in Narva, drawing the ire of Moscow because such monuments depict Russia's victory over Nazi Germany.
A similar dispute over the relocation of a Soviet monument in Tallinn in 2007 sparked several days of violent protests and a cyberattack on Estonian government websites, with authorities blaming the Kremlin.
Neighboring countries Latvia and Lithuania have also taken steps to rid the country of Soviet symbols. Vilnius was due to start removing a monument to Soviet soldiers in the Lithuanian capital's cemetery on Thursday.
--Assisted by Milda Seputyte.
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