Narva council proposal to take government to court over tank removal fails

Protestors picket Narva City Council building ahead of the vote on Wednesday, September 7 2022.
Protestors picket Narva City Council building ahead of the vote on Wednesday, September 7 2022. Source: Jüri Nikolajev / ERR

Narva City Council voted down a proposal to take the Estonian government to court by a clear margin Wednesday, with 19 voting against, and 12 for the motion.

Opposition deputies proposed suing the government over the removal of several Soviet-era war memorials last month, most notably a T-34 tank which had been located just outside the city.

The draft decision which would have required the city government to go to court was submitted by 11, mostly opposition, deputies, and was sponsored by former mayor of the city Aleksei Jevgrafov, and Mihhail Stalnuhhin, who until this week was a member of the Center Party.

Protestors (pictured) also gathered outside the Narva City Government building ahead of the vote.

Narva Mayor Katri Raik (SDE) said that she would have resigned if the motion had passed.

In office in Narva, following the departure of the sole Eesti 200 councilor there, is Katri Raik's electoral list, which she drew up ahead of the October 2021 local elections.

Raik is a former Social Democratic Party (SDE) member and a former interior minister.

Narva was traditionally a Center Party stronghold, though the party now is in opposition. Mihhail Stalnuhhin was expelled from the party on Tuesday evening, after publicly stating a few days earlier that the state and the prime minister had acted as "Nazis" and "fascists" over the August 17 removal of the tank, which has now been rehoused in a museum near Tallinn.

Several plaques commemorating the Soviet fallen of World War Two were also removed from the city center, part of a nationwide drive to remove such monuments and edifices, in the wake of Russian aggression in Ukraine.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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