Moscow’s crusade against those They try to erase the Soviet trace Within its borders it continues forward. Over the past few years, Russia has witnessed former Soviet Union republics and satellite countries They have been demolishing monuments erected in honor of communist figures such as Lenin, which were destroyed as soon as the Berlin Wall fell. Years later, the few remaining vestiges of the existence of the USSR also began to disappear in those countries, as a sign of the resurgence of their national identities. In that second wave of demolitions were monuments in memory of the Red Army and their victories in relevant battles during World War II. It is no secret that the rest of the surviving sculptures and monoliths were dismantled during the last two years, coinciding with the start of the invasion of Ukraine. Each and every one of the monuments dismantled outside Russia’s borders has been shown on Russian news before the astonished gaze of those whose fathers and grandfathers were part of those battles. Prime time images commented on by political scientists and military personnel who have criticized the attempts of those countries to rewrite history and forget the costly victory of the Soviet Union against Hitler’s Army. The most notorious case took place in 2007 when the Estonian Parliament approved the removal of one of the most representative monuments of remembrance of Soviet troops, the bronze sculpture of a soldier, whose demolition already provoked complaints from the Kremlin.
The president of Russia himself, Vladimir Putin, has shown on numerous occasions his rejection of what they call the culture of Soviet cancellation, although the step taken this Monday seems definitive when it comes to censoring such acts, which Moscow considers aggression. The Russian authorities yesterday published their most blunt reaction against these “aggressions” in the form of a formal search and arrest warrant against the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, who has become part of a list of people persecuted by the Kremlin. which also includes Estonian Secretary of State Taimar Peterkoand Lithuanian Culture Minister Simonas Kairys, as well as some members of the Lithuanian parliament. The official accusation appeared early yesterday morning on the Russian Interior Ministry website and, apparently, could be considered a criminal case for the authorities. According to Russian sources consulted by the state agency TASS, the two Estonian officials and the Lithuanian minister have been formally accused of «destruction and degradation of monuments [en memoria] “Soviet soldiers” of World War II.
Kallas, who has been in office since 2021, has repeatedly asked NATO and the European Union to increase their support for Ukraine by sending more weapons, showing an inflexible stance with the Moscow regime, although a few months ago he She discovered that a company linked to her husband had maintained business in Russia during the Ukrainian war.
Precisely, on January 16, the Estonian Parliament voted against a bill presented by far-right parties for the removal of several monuments in honor of Soviet soldiers for their performance in the fight against Nazi Germany during World War II. To this day, both in Estonia and in the rest of the Baltic countries, a few buildings still stand in tribute to those who fought in the Second World War, some of them without budget for their maintenance and others vandalized.
A few weeks ago, Russia learned of the decision of the Estonian authorities to unearth the remains of Soviet soldiers from the Tallinn military cemetery without the authorization of their families, a fact that caused further friction between the two countries and led the Russian Foreign Ministry to call to the Estonian chargé d’affaires in Moscow, Jana Vanamelder. President Putin’s spokesman, Dimitri Peskov, justified his cabinet’s decision this Monday: “These are the people responsible for decisions that are actually an outrage against historical memory. And these are the people who take hostile actions both towards historical memory and towards our country.
The relationship between the Baltic republics and Russia seems difficult to mend, especially after the war in Ukraine and the threat of a possible advance of Moscow’s troops towards these countries. A recent report from the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service has set off alarm bells in the country, pointing out the growth of Russian military capacity near the border with Estonia, more specifically in the Leningrad and Pskov regions. According to the report prepared by the espionage of this Baltic country, the troops of the Russian forces could almost double soon.