"CNN apologizes for the unintended offense caused by an article from a contributor that was intended to be a humorous look at monumental architecture worldwide," a statement reads.
The statue at the Courage Monument in Brest is at the site of the first major fighting between Soviet Union forces and the German army in 1941. It depicts a Soviet soldier emerging from a mountain of stone.
The site is a symbol of Soviet resistance during the war.
The author of the CNN article wrote that the soldier looked like he was "about to thump the West into submission before hurling North America at the sun."
The CNN report led to outrage in Russia and Belarus, RIA Novosti reported.
"It's a slap in our face ... and everyone who fought here," Brest Fortress Museum Director Grigory Bysyuk said.
CNN said it withdrew the story.
"We recognize that the Courage Monument carries deep and significant symbolism in honoring the soldiers who gave their lives defending their nation," the CNN statement says.