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  Sunday, January 24, 2021
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Six members of a nationalist Russian youth movement have been deported from Estonia
Six members of a nationalist Russian youth movement have been deported from Estonia after planning and staging small-scale protests against the recent removal of a Soviet World War II monument in Tallinn. Three women, members of the pro-Kremlin movement Nashi, were arrested Monday night for standing motionless at the former site of the monument, clad in wartime military raincoats. Anne-Maarja Olei, a spokeswoman for the Estonian citizenship and migration department, said they were deported to Russia for "violating the visa regime." On Tuesday, Estonian border guards arrested another three members of Nashi on a train bound for Tallinn. The border guards said they planned to appear in Soviet-era uniforms at the monument site to protest against its transfer to a military cemetery on the outskirts of Tallinn in late April. "The young people were traveling to Estonia on tourist visas," a Nashi spokesman said. "Despite this, they were taken off the train and kept until the train pulled off." Two weeks ago, another Nashi member was arrested in Tallinn and deported after standing at the monument site for 30 minutes. The Nashi leadership issued a statement urging Estonia to release its members, saying they had been detained illegally. Nashi insisted that the protest action, dubbed "A Living Monument," was their tribute to Soviets killed fighting the Nazis in Estonia during WWII. The removed monument is seen by many in Estonia as a symbol of Soviet occupation. The Bronze Soldier's relocation sparked a wave of angry protests both in Russia and Estonia, where ethnic Russians constitute about one-third of the population, further souring relations between the two ex-Soviet neighbors.
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