Purging Soviet monuments
The week's news at a glance.
Estonia this week announced it would pass a law to allow the removal of Soviet and Nazi monuments. Nazi Germany occupied the tiny Baltic country briefly during World War II. The USSR invaded in 1940 and occupied Estonia until 1991, when the Soviet empire collapsed. Russian lawmakers are furious at the proposal to eliminate the many statues and monuments to the Soviet Red Army, which they say liberated Estonia from the Nazis. The Estonians, though, say the Soviets brought 50 years of totalitarian oppression and should not be honored. Treatment of Russians in Estonia has been a sore point since independence in 1991. Out of about 1.5 million people in Estonia, some 400,000 are ethnic Russians who have never been granted Estonian citizenship and are effectively stateless.