violence continues over estonia\'s removal of soviet war statue

by:YEROO     2019-10-19
Tallinn, Estonia-
Riot police fired rubber bullets in clashes with hundreds of protesters in the capital yesterday as the government\'s demolition of the Soviet war monument triggered riots the next night to prevent protesters from throwing bottles and stones in response.
Police say the police fired rubber bullets and about 100 protesters were detained.
In the Freedom Square, car horns passing through the scene of the conflict show support for protesters, mainly Russians, angry at the government\'s decision to remove bronze soldier statues from downtown Tallinn.
Russia in Estoniaspeakers --roughly one-
Ranked third in the country.
Population 3 million-
Seeing the monument is a tribute to the Red Army soldiers who died in battle with the Nazis, but many Estonians see it as a painful reminder of the suffering under Soviet rule.
A Red Army soldier in military uniform was painted on the monument. his helmet was a hand with his head slightly lowered and his rifle hung on his back.
Earlier, after the authorities dismantled the memorial, Russian lawmakers called for sanctions against Estonia.
Before the riots, the Estonian government decided to speed up 6-foot-
Tall statues dig the remains of Soviet soldiers buried nearby.
The Defense Ministry\'s adviser, Andreas caju, said the statue, which was built in 1947, was held in a secret location.
The remains have not yet been excavated.
Thursday night\'s riots were the worst in 16 years of Estonian independence.
Government spokesman Martin Jasko said one person was killed and dozens were injured, including 12 police officers.
Some 1,500 protesters rallied peacefully for hours until a small group tried to break through the cordon to protect the monument.
Protesters clashed with police in a commercial district near the monument, sparking riots.
Violence then spread to the winding cobblestone streets of Tallinn\'s medieval ancient city.
Demonstrators broke the window and threw stones and bottles at police who tried to disperse the crowd with stun grenades.
After the conflict, a bus shelter was set on fire, followed by vandalism and looting.
Some 300 people were detained. The center-
The right-wing government says the monument and the nearby grave should be moved to the cemetery because it is located near a busy intersection and is not the right place for the victim to rest.
Critics say the real reason is to cater to the nationalist movement in Estonia, where the memorial hall is a symbol of the Soviet crackdown.
Once the remains have been excavated and identified, they will be transferred along with the statue to the defense forces cemetery outside Tallinn, Kaju said.
The government had hoped to start digging yesterday morning, but was forced to postpone it due to unrest.
When authorities decided to dismantle the statue, they stepped on one of the few respectable symbols left by ethnic Russians ---
Pride in defeating Nazi Germany.
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