MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. Russia has sent a note of protest to the Estonian Foreign Ministry in connection with the dismantling of the monument to the Soviet T-34 tank and six other monuments in Narva, Ivan Nechayev, Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's information and press department said in a commentary distributed on Thursday.
The diplomat drew attention to the fact that contrary to the mass protests of local residents, the Estonian authorities dismantled this monument and six others, including the memorial plates on the central Petrovskaya Square, the monument to the Hero of the Soviet Union Igor Grafov, the obelisk of the Red Army soldiers, the memorial to the landing troops in Merikule and two monuments in Narva-Joesuu town on August 16 in the outskirts of Narva.
"In this regard, we sent a corresponding protest note to the Estonian Foreign Ministry," he pointed out.
Nechayev noted that recently in total about 15 objects of Soviet memorial heritage have been dismantled in this country. "At the same time, Estonian politicians declared a course on total elimination of all memorial heritage of the Soviet period," the diplomat added.
According to him, it is indicative that the shameful action in Narva was held as a "police operation", with the Estonian Police and Border Guard Department’s support. "Even Special Forces and Defense Forces units were involved, access to roads was blocked and the work of the border post Narva - Ivangorod stopped. Later, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, who led this provocation, stated that the goal was ‘to ensure internal security'," Nechayev said.
The diplomat stressed that the Estonian leaders' fear of local residents’ protest seems quite justified, "the situation in Narva is heated to the limit, the opposition of the city council has already stated their intention to sue for anti-democratic actions of the Estonian state."
"In this situation, the Estonian authorities have found nothing ‘better’ than to voice threats to supporters of the preservation of the monument up to cancellation of residence permits. The legendary T-34, now in the military history museum, will of course be used by Tallinn in the spirit of the ‘Soviet occupation’," Nechayev pointed out, "Despite this cynical action, no one will take away from Estonians their legitimate right to keep the historical memory of the decisive role of the Soviet army in liberating Europe from fascism."