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30 Mar, 2007 13:53

Estonians start removing Soviet WWII monument

Estonians start removing Soviet WWII monument

Work to relocate a World War II monument for Soviet soldiers in Estonia has begun. The controversial statue will be moved from central Tallinn to the city’s military cemetery, where the remains of the soldiers will also be re-buried.

Authorities say they plan to finish relocation work by May 9.

Hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers perished in Eastern Europe fighting Nazi Germany.

The Russian-speaking minority calls the removal of the memorial discriminatory, and an insult to the memory of the soldiers.

But Estonian authorities say the measure is necessary, as the statue has become a rallying point for extremists.