Police detain eight as Soviet monuments in Narva removed Tuesday

The removal of Soviet memorial plaques in Narva's Peetri plats on Tuesday. August 16, 2022.
The removal of Soviet memorial plaques in Narva's Peetri plats on Tuesday. August 16, 2022. Source: Aleksei Gorpintšenko/ERR

Police in Estonia have detained eight people during the removal of several Soviet monuments in Narva on Tuesday, confirmed Narva Police Station Chief Indrek Püvi.

"Of these, seven are local men, who were detained this morning," Püvi said. "They were already familiar to us, and have previously attracted attention with various calls [to action] and violations. For example, they've disseminated symbols of war and actively called on others to violently resist the removal of the [Soviet 'Tank T-34' monument]."

One had also threatened someone connected to the removal of the tank monument, he continued.

"To prevent the possibility of mass unrest being organized, we detained them pursuant to the Law Enforcement Act, and they are currently at the police station," the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) official explained.

"We detained one local man by the Narva tank this morning, where he was acting provocatively and inappropriately," he said. "He was likewise detained pursuant to the Law Enforcement Act and is currently at the police station."

Overall, however, Tuesday has been relatively peaceful in Narva, and they haven't seen any serious incidents, the official said, adding that most situations to come up have been resolved verbally.

In an appearance on a special edition of ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" broadcast on Tuesday afternoon, Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) thanked the people of Narva for staying calm.

Läänemets also acknowledged that there will certainly be people who come out in the border city on Tuesday evening.

"Some people will likely come — how many, we don't know for now," he said. "If we compare this with the Bronze Night, the difference between Tallinn and Narva is that no Estonian-Russian conflict can erupt here. We'll see how people will take out [their feelings] or what they'll do, but we're prepared for that."

Narva's Soviet memorials removed

Due to a lack of consensus, Narva City Council on Monday opted not to make a decision regarding the fate of the "Tank T-34" monument, following which the Estonian government announced early Tuesday morning that it would be removing a total of seven Soviet monuments in and around Narva that day.

The removals began with that of the Narva tank, which was located halfway between Narva-Jõesuu and Narva's city center in Siivertsi and marked the spot on the left bank of the Narva River where Soviet forces had crossed the river to drive occupying German forces from the city during World War II.

The Narva tank arrived at the Estonian War Museum in Viimsi, just outside of Tallinn, that same afternoon.

Among other Soviet monuments slated for removal Tuesday were memorial plaques in Peetri plats, adjacent to the border checkpoint, a monument in Meriküla and the "Three Bayonets" monument in Narva-Jõesuu.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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