Mayor of Narva: Narva will not move the Soviet tank monument | New
“Neither the city administration nor the city council plans to move the tank,” Raik said in response to a Editorial EPL (Eesti Päevaleht) tuesday.
“We do not intend to paint the tank pink or transport it to Narva Fortress,” she added and pointed out that Narva Fortress is a medieval fortress museum and the 20th century battle tank does not belong there.
“The tank is not the biggest problem in Estonia. The tank is not the biggest problem in Narva. Housing, the cost of electricity, employment and the transition to all education Estonian [are the problems]”, Raik said on Vikerraadio’s “Uudis+” on Tuesday.
In response to the idea that Narva residents might be asked to sign a petition calling for a referendum on the fate of the tank, Raik said Narva city officials will certainly discuss the issue, but she doesn’t see the need for a vote because the result is very clear.
“Personally, I don’t see the point of a poll. It’s almost like asking if the weather is nice today. Yes, the weather in Narva is nice, and it also shows clearly. In all case, we are aware of what the locals are saying about the reservoir,” the town mayor said.
Raik added that the tank is part of the identity of the Russian-speaking population of Narva: “Part of the pride that lingers is that, as Russians here, they represent those who liberated Estonia from the fascists. [Nazis] and rebuilt Narva. The tank is therefore a small token of this identity and this pride.”
Despite bringing flowers to the reservoir and supporting its preservation, Narva residents love Estonia, Raik said.
“I understand the people of Narva today, who are mostly at a crossroads regarding their future and their identity. However, the people themselves are very clear about their love of Estonia, and I ‘believe it, seeing many of them on February 24 as well as June 23, the day of the Estonian victory. We lit the bonfire of the summer night of our city from the flame of the victory – it was solemnly lit by the young eagles [a youth organization of the Defense League]. So the people of Narva sincerely love Estonia. This is something I would like to point out to all radio listeners right now.
“Narva is an Estonian city, Narva is part of Estonia, and that puts an end to most of my discussions about tanks with the people of Narva,” Raik said.
Raik added that there were about a dozen other Soviet monuments in the city, some of which bothered her more than the tank memorial.
“I have to be honest, the plaques in St. Peter’s Square, with the names of military units named after Narva, are much more eye-catching to me. /—/ Or the obelisk in Castle Park. So we are not just talking about the tank in Narva, but about 20 different memorials and nameplates honoring Soviet troops,” she continued.
“I do understand those who disagree with what I’m saying right now though,” she added.
Raik further explained his reluctance to handle the dismantling of the tank memorial by referring to a interview with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform), published in the daily Õhtuleht last Tuesday, in which the head of government spoke of Russia’s imperialist ambitions to divide the societies of other nations.
“Looking at Russia’s actions in Georgia and Ukraine, the excuse for the invasion is often that there is tension and instability, and then they go to the rescue of the so-called local Russian community.
“When we are divided and at odds with each other, we are weaker against the enemy,” Kallas said.
“And it is precisely this separation that I aim to eliminate in my daily work as Mayor of Narva, so that there is no division and that we are more united. We agreed before May 9 that this n t was not the right time for a big party, and we crossed into Narva on May 9 without incident. 22,000 Ukrainian refugees passed through our city and no one slept on a park bench,” Raik said.
“At the end of the day, I consider it my job to act as a peacemaker and mediator on the Estonian border. I can’t say it’s not pro-Estonian enough,” she said. declared.
Raik also added that she expects the state, various ministries and authorities to send clear messages on how they intend to deal with the legacy of the Soviet war.