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Russia places Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on wanted list

Russia has placed Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on its list of wanted criminals over the removal of Soviet monuments Photo by Olivier Matthys/EPA-EFE
Russia has placed Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on its list of wanted criminals over the removal of Soviet monuments Photo by Olivier Matthys/EPA-EFE

Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The Russian government on Tuesday placed Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, on its list of wanted criminals.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram that Kallas and Estonian State Secretary Taimar Peterkop were placed on the list "for the destruction of monuments to Soviet soldiers."

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She said they were specifically responsible for "crimes against the memory of those who liberated the world from Nazism and fascism."

"There must be accountability! And this is just the beginning," Zakharova wrote.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also told reporters that the officials designated were "responsible for decisions that are essentially a desecration of historical memory."

"These are the people who undertake hostile actions both against historical memory and against our country," he said.

Kallas wrote on X that Russia's actions were "nothing surprising."

"This is yet more proof that I am doing the right thing -- the EU's strong support to Ukraine is a success and it hurts Russia," Kallas wrote."

"The Kremlin now hopes that this move will help to silence me and others -- but it won't. The Opposite. I will continue my strong support to Ukraine. I will continue to stand for increasing Europe's defense."

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Estonia, which was a republic of the former Soviet Union from 1944 to 1991, has grappled with the presence of Soviet World War II monuments.

However, since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Kallas has led a movement to clear out the monuments, removing the Soviet tank memorial from the city of Narva near the Russian border, saying at the time they "must be removed from public and we will do it as quickly as possible."

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