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Controversial Soviet war memorial unveiled

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Controversial Soviet war memorial unveiled


As Europe commemorates the end of World War Two, a controversial Soviet war memorial whose relocation has caused a diplomatic row between Estonia and Russia has been officially unveiled at its new resting place. The statue of a Red Army soldier has been moved from central Talinn to a military cemetary in the capital.

For many Estonians, the statue is viewed as a reminder of 50 years of Soviet occupation. But Russia has called its removal a desecration of the memory of its soldiers who died to liberate Estonia. The change of location sparked riots by mainly Russian-speaking youths in Talinn last month. One man was killed. Moscow, which claims the incident is part of a wider anti-Russia policy, declined an invitation to attend the ceremony. Various Russian parties have appealed to president Vladimir Putin to impose sanctions on Estonia, an EU member since 2004.

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