Estonian Authorities Start Removal of Major Soviet Monument

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Excavations at a common gravesite near the monument to Soviet soldiers in Tallinn apparently started early on Thursday, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

The area surrounding the monument has been cordoned off by police, who have blocked access to both vehicles and people.

Activists of the non-governmental organization Night Vigil who tried to defend the monument were removed from the scene by a special police task force, and one woman suffered a head injury and was taken to hospital, Night Vigil told Interfax.

Night Vigil leader Dmitri Linter said policemen attacked three activists who were monitoring the developments around the monument from a car parked nearby.

"They broke a window, flattened the tires, and beat the people right in the car. They injured our activist Larisa Neshchadimova on the head and broke her glasses. All three people are at a police department now. They were shocked by such arbitrariness," Linter said.

The people offered no resistance, Linter said. "They had been clearly instructed not to put up any resistance and leave the territory if police demanded so. I don't know why such cruelty should be used against innocent people," he said.

"We are a non-governmental organization and act within the law. But what the police and the Estonian authorities are doing today is beyond the legal framework," Linter said. He qualified the beating of Night Vigil activists as unlawful and groundless.

"Our actions will be the following. We will convene the board of antifascist organizations and discuss these issues today. I think we will have a clear understanding of the situation by noon. We definitely did not expect the authorities to come down to such, I dare say, cretinism and that they would brutally beat people who have not violated the law," Linter said on Vesti-24 television channel.

Witnesses said that about ten police vans carrying some 200 police arrived on the site at about 4:30 a.m. local time (1:30 a.m. GMT). Police put two cordons around the area, one of them around the monument itself.

Workers put a covering on the metal fence around the monument to conceal what is happening behind it, the Interfax correspondent said. Flowers and burning candles near the monument have been removed as well.

Groups of people are gathering not far from the monument. Night Vigil activist Dimitri Klensky described the developments as "state terrorism and the revival of Nazism."

"Most Estonian residents are against the dismantlement of the monument, and these actions do not meet the people's interests," he said.

In the morning police let people walk in the park surrounding the monument, but the area was still blocked to traffic. An Estonian government spokesman said traffic through the square would be opened by midday. -Source: http://www.mosnews.com

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Finally soviet monument named "aljoša" has been removed. Perhaps russians now stop gathering this area on the 9th of May every year. But what has again revealed during events at night is that russians are very vulgar and act like real occupants if in gangs. But alone russian is a very fearful and silent:))))

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
My grandfather was sent to soviet death-camp (sorry, I don´t know the right word), where almost naked people every day made killing work (3000 - 4000 kg of frozen earth - dig it and move it away per day); "food" was 300 g something like bread and "soup" (dark water with nettles, sometimes some rotten vegetables). Every day some people died by exhaustion and some people were shot down, some people were stabbed by thieves. When my grandfather returned, he had weight 39 kg. He was something like living dead. And why he vas captured? Because he was estonian and he had farm, made by work of my grandwathers wather and himself. There are no estonian families, who are not damaged by takeing away a father, mother, children or other relatives. Soviet soldiers destroyed our lifestyle with people, who carried it. That is our history and that matters.

Submitted by Estonian (not verified) on
I'm sorry, but this article has only one side of the view.. it gives the thoughts of an estonian communist, who is himself on the provocative side.. side who is burning the Estonian national flag and crying 'russia, russia'..

Submitted by estonian will decide (not verified) on
Russians in Estonia act like cavemen. The statue has been a place where russians burn Estonian flags, fight and drink vodka. The ONLY way was to remove it. LAVROV, STOP LYING! RUSSIA, STOP OCCUPATION IN CHECHNYA! RUSSIA, STOP AGGRESSION TOWARDS THE WORLD!

Submitted by Triinu (not verified) on
I am also happy that the monument has finally been removed. My grandfather was killed by the so-called liberators and I, as a schoolchild, was forced to commemorate it during the schoolyears under the Soviet occupation. Not to mention 10 % of the Estonian population deported to Siberia together with small children/infants who died already during the journey. It is quite convenient way to Russia to draw attention to somewhere else, then people do not think about economic and social problems inside Russia. In Russia, In Himki - the monument was removed and 6 corpses where put inside the plastic bags and now they are just missing. Estonia acts in a civilized way reburing the corpses (If there are any at all, because many sites like that where artificially created in the Soviet Union as the reminders of power). Estonians are loyal to their Government who during yesterday sent SMS' to all mobile phones not to gather in Tallinn in order to avoid provocations and people followed the message. So one could see only the drunken and rioting Russian gangs stealing luxury goods from the shops in the city centre, throwing bottles and shouting Russia.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Here You can see what russians did on thursday night in our capital Tallinn. <cite>http://www.postimees.ee/galerii/index.php?picture=18697&galoffset=0</cite> And what happened last night: <cite>http://www.postimees.ee/galerii/index.php?picture=18870&galoffset=0</cite> They call it defending the bronze soldier, but we call it vandalism and stealing. The area of bronze soldier was empty while young russians were carrying out clothes from Hugo Boss store or alcohol from liquor stores. (Remember, in 1940s those estonians, who had a bit more property than they "should have", were killed or sent to Siberia.) They were young school children, most of them don´t know anything about the history of the bronze soldier. Most offending for estonians was of course burning our national flag. Several police officers have been injured, their bones were broken. One russian stabbed another russian to death and Russian government uses the one victim for propaganda against estonians. As if we killed the poor guy. But they forget that russians have been stealing and killing each other and estonians every night here in Estonia, for years. Estonian government has tried for 16 years to integrate young russians to our society. And we really have tried to tolerate them living here and to become friends wiht them. But it seems that it has been useless ... And forgive me, but I really can´t understand why dead soldiers had to be buried to the city center, where everybody steps in their graves. By the way, the soldiers were first (in 1940s) buried to the cemetary, but later re-buried to the city center by russians. It is painful for us to see the soldier, who killed our grandparents, in our city center and to see how russians bring flowers to him every year and how they glorify the statue. When we go outside Tallinn, then other Russian war memorials have been forgotten, its hard to find them from brushes. No one remembers them ... And russians tend to forget that when they came to Estonia, in 1940s, they distroyed all the german military graveyards and Estonian freedom monuments. Estonians, who showed resistance, were instantly killed.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
All what happened in Tallinn last 2 nights hadn`t nothing to do with removing statue? This wasn`t protest act, but simply vandalism, robbery, stealing... Pls, believe your own eyes... http://www.postimees.ee/galerii/index.php?picture=18885&galoffset=0

Submitted by Valja (not verified) on
Well this article is less then objective, becuse it is only broadcasting Russian media, which is under Kremls control and thereby a pure propaganda machine. Why i didnt see ANY citate from Estonian authorities. And believe me these so called "victims" of Night Vigil and Linter are pure provokers. And none of them were smashed or beaten by the police. DESPITE the calims of Moscow, we are living in a democratic society and that is what angers the Russian goverment, they dont want any democratic institutions to the near.by neighbours, Because they fear that this "disease" could spread to their country. And i have nothing against the russians as a people, but i do hate russian goverment because they arent interested of their own peoples well being, they are interested of pure POWER.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
http://www.eechan.net/ -check this out (click the word PRONKSSÕDUR AT RIGHT CORNER OF THE PAGE)you should see some interesting images about "liberators" preview at http://www.eechan.net/pronks/src/1177961162855.jpg

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Russia is igniting internal conflicts in neighboring Estonia This has happened never before in Estonia, small peaceful country in Northern Europe, member of NATO and EU since 2004. A Bronze Soldier, the statue in Soviet Red Army uniform standing until last Friday on small green square in centre of capital Tallinn, was for Estonians the symbol of harsh Soviet occupations from 1940 - 1941 and 1944 to 1991. Ten's of thousand people were deported without court decision to Siberia or killed in Soviet state-terror during that regime as a part of ethnic cleansing. But part of the Russian community, migrated here within same Soviet occupation in search of better and European-style life, is following cold-war time Soviet history concept. For them these events and statue meant memorial of "liberation" of Baltic States Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as whole Europe in WW II. Nazi equals Soviet The problem is that Baltic States, but also Poland have suffered both from Nazi-Germany and Soviet occupations in WW II. And defeating the Nazi-Germany did not mean that Baltic countries were liberated, but that German occupation was changed by other, Soviet occupation, which in some cases was even worse. Therefore Bronze Soldier was a symbol of Soviet empire and simply could not been tolerated any longer in centre of capital of EU and NATO member country. Especially because within last years it was increasingly used by Putin propaganda-machine as a Russian symbol to generate tension in Estonia between whole society and less integrated smaller part of Russian community. So it was inevitable to relocate it from Tallinn city centre, leaving still chance for those, who have different opinions, chance to visit the statue on military cemetery in Tallinn, where also the remains of dozen Soviet soldiers will be reburied. Heavy violent propaganda and co-ordination from Russia Government planned to relocate the statue last week in peaceful manner with holy memorial ceremony. But about thousand people, demanding not to touch the monument at all as it was symbol of Russian power, started to attack police and throw the stones. This confrontation coordinated by Russian embassy in Tallinn and turned on heavily by numerous Russian TV-channels frequent and unbalanced emotional reports, widespread quickly and turned into street violence, vandalism and shop raiding, never taken place in Tallinn before. Almost everybody and everything, not being Russian origin, was labeled to be "fascist". Also, the windows of Estonian National Opera and main square located St. John's Church were stoned. Shouting: "Russia! Russia!" the shop raiders were stealing the alcohol, premium brand clothes (Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani, Gucci shops were raided). About hundred shops were raided and stoned, dozens of cars beaten. As a result, almost 1000 people were arrested in three days, amongst them number of experienced criminals with long track record. Considering the situation, the Bronze Soldier statue was relocated on Friday morning and is standing now on Defense Forces cemetery where it's accessible to everyone. But this has not stopped the propaganda war from Moscow. Massive hostile media campaign from Russia against Estonia has now reached advanced stage, accusing Estonia in re-evaluation of WW II results, of course not speaking a single word about Soviet-run mass crimes, killings and deportations in Baltic States during Soviet occupation. Also, shop robbers are shown in Russian TV as "fighters for our memory and against fascism" and Estonian government and police are accused by Russian TV as "state repressive organs, humiliating rights of Russians". It's No. 1 news topic in all Russian TV channels already for three days. The fact, that statue of Bronze Soldier has been removed and erected already in new place (Defense Forces Cemetery) where everyone can visit it, has not changed the attitude. Hysteric reactions from Russia Russian Parliament has demanded to place the statue back to where it was before, also that Estonian Government has to step down. Needless to say, this is clear interference to Estonian internal affairs by all means. The Russian state accusations by now (Tuesday, Wednesday) have become absolutely hysterical and expressing complete lies. The member of Russian Parliament, Gosduma, Mr. Kovaljev accused after seeing the monument yesterday on its new location, that "statue has been sawed and holy memory disgraced". According to workers, giving an interview in Estonian TV, nothing such has happened as statue was relocated in one unit and as soon as possible. Also, massive scam and internet attacks against Estonian state authorities’ websites and media channels IT-systems have been started from Russia. "It's identified now that in some cases IP-addresses are related directly to Kremlin-run organizations and structures related presidential authorities of Russia," said Urmas Paet, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, yesterday on press conference. Also, it's proven that many people confronting police forces before events went violent, were paid by Embassy-run organizers a 80 EEK (app. EUR 5) per hour. Estonian embassy in Moscow is on under heavy 24h protest waves, psycho terror and attacks of Kremlin-supported youth organization "Nashi", getting minimal formal defense from Russian Militia. Estonian ambassador Mrs. Marina Kaljurand was attacked physically today (Wed, May 2) while trying to give a press conference. "Nashi" even declared that demolition of Estonian embassy in Moscow will start on June 12! Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Vice Chairman of Russian Parliament said yesterday: "Russia should organize major military campaign next to border with Estonia. And some troops may be mistakenly happen to be in Estonia and demolishing many cultural and historic sites. After which we will apologize, of course." It's important to note that despite all of this, most of the people in Estonia are still calm and there are no cases of violence from Estonian community. The importance of situation is illustrated by fact that almost 2000 people by now in Estonia have applied to become a member of Police Support Organization to protect the country from internal conflicts, coordinated from abroad. Soviet monuments not relocated, but demolished in Russia As a curiosity, Russian overreaction is hypocritical because on very same time, WW II monuments for Russian soldiers are demolished (not replaced) in Russia itself. It has happened in Moscow satellite city Himki a few weeks ago, also in Stavropoulos in southern region on last autumn. So all in all - it's symbolic war against Europe and another clear evidence of former KGB agent Putin tactics to show the world that Russia has not changed and need to show a power. We hope that all people reading this information will make their move on their home countries by demanding Russia stopping interfering immediately to Estonian /EU internal affairs. Also passing this info to as many people and media channels as you can, because Russian (population 150m people) TV propaganda is exceeding Estonian (1,3m people) explanations.

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