Vandalized Saaremaa Soviet memorial to be cleaned up come spring

Headstones in a Saaremaa memorial site which commemorates those who fell in World War Two fighting on the Soviet side have been cleaned, following an act of vandalism in early September.

The memorial stones name men who died fighting for the Red Army on Oct. 8 1944, a day of intense fighting between incoming Soviet occupying forces and outgoing Nazi German troops, the latter evacuating the Saaremaa capital, Kuressaare, and is located at Tehumard, about 20 km to the southwest of Kuressaare. Both sides experienced heavy losses during the action.

Saaremaa municipality opted to have the stones cleaned at a cost of over €1,000 to municipal coffers, rather than having to remove them, Saaremaa mayor Madis Kallas told Saaremaa daily Meie Maa.

The actual cleaning will take place in the spring. Initial cleaning efforts had reportedly not removed the defacing, whose nature was not reported.

The Police and Border Guard Board are aware of the vandalism and the municipality is cooperating in hunting the perpetrators.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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