Clashes as Estonia begins removing Soviet WWII memorial





TALLINN, Estonia -- Police clashed with protesters Thursday at a Soviet war memorial in Estonia's capital as authorities prepared to remove the bodies despite Russia's angry objections.

After largely peaceful rallies throughout the day, a group of protesters tried to break through a line of police officers guarding the grave and the Bronze Soldier statue next to it...

Dozens of police had formed lines to keep some 600 protesters away from the monument after workers erected a tent over the memorial to shield the excavations from public view.

Estonia's government intends to relocate the Soviet grave, believed to contain the remains of 14 soldiers, and the statue next to it.

The Baltic state's ethnic Russians -- about a third of the population -- see the memorial as a tribute to Red Army soldiers who died fighting Nazi Germany and have vowed to protect it. Many ethnic Estonians, however, say the memorial is a bitter reminder of five decades of Soviet occupation.

Late News

  • 'Bronze Soldier' statue removed (AP)


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