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  Saturday, August 24, 2019
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Pro-Kremlin youth group disrupted a panel discussion with the Estonian consul general in Russia's second-largest city Friday
A pro-Kremlin youth group disrupted a panel discussion with the Estonian consul general in Russia's second-largest city Friday. A young woman representing Nashi ("Ours") asked Lauri Bambus, the Estonian consul general in St. Petersburg, to comment on Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip's recent remarks about soldiers buried in the WWII memorial in central Tallinn, relocated this week amid a wave of protests, during a roundtable dedicated to WWII memorials and historic memories. Ansip has been quoted as saying that the Soviet soldiers buried under the Bronze Soldier statue in the center of Tallinn were either "drunk and run over by their own tank," or "shot down for looting," or were "deceased patients from a nearby hospital." The protestor also accused a local deputy present at the panel of negligence as the Soviet memorial was being razed and would not let other media ask their questions until she got answers to hers. The moderators stopped the panel. As Bambus was leaving the office of the Rosbalt news agency, which hosted the panel, Nashi activists chanted anti-Estonian slogans and held out posters reading: "Wanted: a consul of a fascist state." The police detained several of the protestors, including Nashi's leader in St. Petersburg. Protests in Tallinn sparked by the monument's relocation, mostly by ethnic Russians, left one Russian, Dmitry Ganin, dead and hundreds under arrest. Moscow said the protests were "a natural reaction" and accused Estonian police of human rights violations. The Estonian Embassy in Moscow has been under a Nashi siege since last week. The protesters tore down a flag from the embassy building and mobbed Estonian Ambassador Marina Kaljurand Wednesday as she was about to speak at a news conference. She later left Russia, officially on holiday. Five protesters have reportedly been detained in the Russian capital.
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