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Estonia begins work to re-locate controversial statue

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Estonia begins work to re-locate controversial statue


Estonia’s government has begun work to re-erect in another location a controversial statue that sparked rioting in the country. Work to heal the grievances of ethnic Russians inflamed by the monument’s removal has also begun. A Russian parliamentary delegation is meeting with local politicians to discuss the complaints of mistreatment by the 300,000 strong minority population.

The memorial at Tonismagi commemorated Soviet troops who died fighting Nazi Germany during World War II. Officials have begun exhuming the remains underneath it, believed to be the bodies of Soviet soldiers. They are to be moved to a cemetery for servicemen in Talinn along with the monument.

Police detained hundreds of people during the past three nights of riots. Ethnic Russians say they are discriminated against and paid lower wages than locals. Amnesty International says Estonia excludes them from the labour market and education system. Talinn denies the charges, saying it works to boost their integration.

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