Memorial to victims of Soviet repression demolished in Russia

Representatives of the Estonian Embassy at the memorial plaque to General Johan Lydoner in 2019.
Representatives of the Estonian Embassy at the memorial plaque to General Johan Lydoner in 2019. Source: Facebook/The Estonian Embassy in Moscow

In mid-October, a memorial to the victims of Soviet repression was demolished at the Knyaz-Vladimirskoye cemetery in Vladimir, Russia. One of the plaques was dedicated to the Estonian Gen. Johan Laidoner, an influential figure in Estonian politics between the two world wars.

One of the memorial plaques was dedicated to the Estonian general and statesman, longtime commander-in-chief of Estonian Armed Forces during the 1918–1920 Estonian War of Independence, Johan Laidoner, ERR Radio News reported Monday, citing foreign media.

Laidoner was removed from his position as the commander‑in‑chief on June 22 1940, after the Soviet Union occupied Estonia. A month later he and his wife were deported to Russia, where he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He died in Vladimir Central Prison in 1953 and was buried at the prison cemetery.

The plaque commemorating Klymentiy Sheptytsky, the archimandrite of the Order of Studite monks of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, beatified by the Catholic Church and awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel for saving Jews, was also torn down. As effective leader of the church, he was arrested and died a prisoner of the Soviet Union.

The demolished memorial also had a plaque dedicated to Mečislovas Reinys, who was a Lithuanian Roman Catholic archbishop and professor at Vytautas Magnus University. He was also the Lithuanian minister of foreign affairs from 1925 to 1926. He was also imprisoned by the Soviets in Vladimir Central Prison where he died the same year as Laidoner.

It is unknown who exactly initiated the destruction of the memorial in Vladimir.


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Editor: Sergei Mihhailov, Kristina Kersa

Source: ERR's Russian language news portal

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