Estonia's Culture Ministry refused to approve a monument to Estonians who were fighting on the side of nazi Germany during WWII.
The monument was set up in summer 2002 in the centre of the city of Parnu at the initiative of local residents studying the history of the 20th SS division made up of Estonians. The monument represented a figure of a soldier in the uniform of the Estonian SS Legion holding a German-made assault rifle aimed eastward. (SS was a major tool in establishing the regime of massive terror in Germany and the occupied territories). The inscription on the monument read: "To All Estonian Soldiers Fallen in the War for Liberation of Homeland and Free Europe in 1940-1945".
On the day following its erection, the monument was dismantled and sent for storage in the City Hall.
Estonian Culture Ministry refused to approve the monument's symbolism as well as the text of its inscription as those "contravene the values universally accepted in Europe" and may seriously harm Estonia's reputation. A letter was sent to Parnu's City Hall in which the Ministry stressed that "it is impermissible to eternise the memory of Estonians fallen for their country in a way that is insulting to the victims of WWII and population of today's Germany".
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his speech dedicated to the Day of the Russian Navy, recalled the threats that Russia is currently facing from a number of countries.