Yeltsin Plaque to Be Unveiled August 22 ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Reuters/Scanpix

A relief sculpture honoring Russia's first president Boris Yeltsin will be inaugurated on August 22 in Tallinn's Old Town on Nunne street, near the central train station.

An inscription in Estonian, English and Russian runs around a likeness of Yeltsin, mentioning his role in the "peaceful restoration of Estonian independence" in 1990-1991.

Raivo Vare, a member of the group that organized the initiative, said the text stressed Yelstin's support for Estonian independence over several years.

"It was crowned by the visit of Yeltsin to Tallinn on January 13, 1991 and naturally recognition of the re-independence on August 24 of the same year," said Vare.

"No one idealizes his controversial persona, just like it is not possible to idealize anyone who has reached the absolute summit in world politics," Vare added.

Estonian government offices and the Yeltsin family had been notified of the event, but invitations have not been sent yet, said Meelis Kubitsa, director of the MTÜ Mälestuse Initsiatiiv group, which was behind the plaque.

Yeltsin's widow Naina Jossifovna Yeltsina is expected to attend.

Both Lithuania and Latvia have paid tribute to Yeltsin for his support of the re-establishment of the Baltic states' independence, posthumously in the case of Lithuania while Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga thanked Yeltsin in 2006.

The relief sculpture was designed by New York-based sculptor Ernst Neizvestny and young Estonian sculptor Rene Reinumäe.