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Tensions Flare Up Over Soviet Memorial

Published: January 26, 2007 (Issue # 1240)


MOSCOW Russian lawmakers launched a scathing attack on Wednesday against the Estonian governments plans to relocate Soviet soldiers graves and a monument to the Red Army in downtown Tallinn.

Estonia is meddling with victims and memorials. This is a historic mistake, Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov said after the upper house voted unanimously in favor of a resolution condemning the relocation, Interfax reported.

In its resolution, addressed to the governments of all former Soviet republics and European countries the Federation Council called a law permitting the relocation of military graves an attempt to legalize fascism.

This will obviously lead to the further alienation of the peoples of Russia and Estonia, the resolution stated.

Lawmakers were not alone Wednesday in blasting Estonias intention to move the graves and a Soviet-era bronze statue of a Red Army soldier that hails the Red Army as liberators of Estonia from German occupation.

On Manezh Square, hundreds of members of the United Russia party and the pro-Kremlin youth organizations Young Russia and Nashi protested the proposed move.

The removal of the memorial amounts to the destruction of the memory of the liberators, Nashi spokeswoman Anastasia Suslova said.

Suslova said that if the statue were removed, a member of Nashi would stand in place of the statue as a living monument to the liberator.

In Tallinn on Wednesday, the Estonian parliament considered a bill on the removal of forbidden structures, which would have given authorities the right to move the Red Army statue, where many people gather to celebrate Victory Day each year.

Raivo Jarvi, a member and acting spokesman of the Estonian Reform Party, said by telephone Wednesday that the bill would also ban structures that glorify the occupation of the Republic of Estonia, such as the Red Army statue.

Jarvi insisted the statue would not be destroyed, however, but moved to a Soviet-era seaside military cemetery. People are offended by the presence of the monument in the center of the city, he said.

The bill failed on a second reading, however.

The bill was rejected in its present form, Estonian parliament spokesman Gunnar Baal said.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldnt miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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