A Soviet-era monument in a Lääne-Viru County village has been vandalized, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Monday. The incident comes as edifices commemorating the fallen of World War Two, from a Soviet perspective, are being removed or facing pressure for removal, following the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.
Local residents in Simuna, Lääne-Viru County, around 130km from Tallinn, found the monument, in the grounds of Avanduse manor and which comprises several concrete cubes which had been stacked one on top of the other (see gallery) effectively toppled.
The culprits are unknown, while no request had been filed with the local authority, Väike-Maarja municipality to removed the monument.
Village chief Indrek Kesküla told AK that: "Unfortunately, we have not received a proposal [to remove the monument], but my recommendation is that if anyone is disturbed by an inappropriate monument found in our cultural space who does not know what to do, he or she contact either the municipality or the war graves commission, who will be able to find a dignified solution."
The monument, installed in 1951, does not have any obvious Soviet insignia such as a red star, which AK reported disappeared years ago, along with name-plates and marble columns, though the inscribed text does reference World War Two according to the Soviet understanding of its timescale (i.e. 1941-1945).
Under current Estonian law, monuments and other edifices apparently glorifying World War Two from the Soviet perspective and consequently the power which occupied Estonia 1940-1941 and again from 1944 to 1991 can be removed at the behest of local government, unless human remains are an integral part of a monument site, in which case it is a matter for the national government.
This distinction has come into sharp relief in the eastern border town of Narva, whose mayor has approached the national government for assistance in the process of removing a replica tank located just outside the city. The prime minister has called for the monument's removal as soon as possible.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera'