Estonia took away the controversial statue of a Red Army Soviet soldier from the center of the capital early yesterday after violent riots against its removal in which one man was killed.
The 2m high bronze statue of a World War II Red Army soldier was spirited away overnight after the worst violence seen in years in Estonia, including vandalism and looting by mainly Russian-speaking protesters.
"The aim of the government decision was to avoid further possible actions against the public order," the Estonian government said, and the president called for calm.>
Like the statues in Taiwan, the statue in Estonia is a symbol of the former authoritarian government controlled by outsiders:
Estonia has said the monument is a public order problem as it attracts Estonian and Russian nationalists. It also said it is more respectful to the dead for it to be moved to a cemetery.
Removing it angered some Russian-speakers, a large minority of around 300,000 in the country of 1.3 million. Estonians tend to view it as a reminder of 50 years of Soviet occupation.
Like Taiwan too, the huge neighboring power which has connections to a minority of locals who identify with it, and nurses dreams of annexing it, got angry:
Russia's upper house of parliament yesterday approved a resolution calling for a break in diplomatic relations with Estonia in retaliation for the removal of a Soviet war monument from central Tallinn.There many other parallels -- after
The non-binding resolution was approved unanimously by the senate and comes amid furious reactions from Moscow after the removal of the monument, which sparked violent clashes in Estonia.
The senate "calls on the leadership of the Russian Federation to adopt the toughest possible measures, including a break in diplomatic relations," it said.
Russia's reaction should "show that modern Russia categorically does not accept the barbaric attitude of Estonian authorities to the memory of those who were victorious against fascism," it said.
The case of the post-Soviet states in Eastern Europe shows how normal it is, in the transition to democracy, for the emerging democratic institutions to sweep away the monuments the colonial regime erected to itself and rename its institutions and organizations. What's happening in Taiwan is normal.
Jim Mann makes an interesting point in his new book on China, The China Fantasy, which describes how people in Washington rationalize away the repression in China. One way, he notes, is that dissidents in the Soviet world were cool, whereas dissidents in the Chinese sphere...are not so cool. One need only contrast the patronizing commentaries on Taiwan's name changes with the widespread cheering for exactly the same events in post-Soviet eastern Europe to see his point.
[Taiwan] [Estonia] [name rectification]