Soviet war memorial 'disappears' from Pärnu County cemetery
A Soviet war memorial in western Estonia has been removed, local independent daily Lääne Elu reports. Exactly who removed it has yet to be ascertained.
Ene Täht, mayor of Lääneranna municipality, Pärnu County, told Lääne Elu (link in Estonian) that he received notification of the disappearance Tuesday, while a security guard working at the Mihkli cemetery, where the monument had been located, said they first noticed the monument had disappeared on Sunday
Täht said: "We haven't managed to deal with this issue yet, but we will definitely do so, and will be handing it over to the police."
Lääne Elu reports that only the monument's foundations remain, while an expanse of freshly dug soil can also be observed.
The edifice was put up in the 1960s and marks the resting place of 12 Soviet war dead, the National Heritage Protection Board (Muinsuskaitseamet) says.
The removal comes at a time of heightened tensions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine and sensitivity over anything which could be seen as glorifying Russian or Soviet militarism in a broader sense.
Authorities in Tartu have called for relocating such a monument and human remains, while, the heritage board says, the site is not protected.
Latvia's interior minister resigned Monday amid criticism of the handling of the removal of a large Soviet war memorial in Riga.
In 2007, the Estonian government relocated the "Bronze Soldier" monument from Tõnismägi, in central Tallinn, to the military cemetery to the south of the city center, where it remains.
Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!
Editor: Andrew Whyte