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Defenders of the Bronze Soldier are closing ranks before the decisive battle for the monument.
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Apr. 19, 2007
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Estonia to Begin Removing Soviet Monument in Tallinn
Estonias Defense Ministry said on Wednesday excavation work at a war grave in central Tallinn would begin this month, a move that is sure to spark more diplomatic protests from Russia. On Tuesday, a governmental commission classified all information on excavation and removal of the Bronze Soldier, a much-debated WWII memorial.
The excavation will attempt to number and identify the remains buried beneath the Bronze Soldier statue, Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo said in a letter addressed to the Tallinn city council. The letter came one day after a session of the governments security commission which reportedly discussed the excavation of the remains and removal of the monument. The government has decided to classify information on the excavation work.

The statue was erected in 1947 as a tribute to Soviet soldiers who were killed fighting Nazi Germany, but many Estonians see it as a reminder of what they call Soviet occupation of 50 years.

The Tallinn city hall had filed several legal motions against excavation work, saying the idea would damage Estonias international image. A court, however, rejected the motion.

The Estonian capital will see several rallies on May 8 and 9 of those supporting and protesting the removal of the Bronze Soldier.

www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of Apr. 19, 2007

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