Finland removes statue of Russian revolutionary as country seeks to join NATO

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Finland made the decision to move a controversial statue of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin from the streets to a museum.

While the statue in Kotka in southeastern Finland has often been vandalized, it has since received increased attention Russiathe invasion of Ukraine.

The monument was given as a gift by Kotka’s twin town, Tallinn, in 1979, and was sculpted by Estonian artist Matti Varikin. Estonia was then part of the USSR.

Proposals submitted to town and city councils said the statue was offensive to the memory of those killed in Soviet war crimes.



Reports have claimed that the removal means there are no major monuments to Lenin left in Finland (AP)


© Provided by The Independent
Reports have claimed that the removal means there are no major monuments to Lenin left in Finland (AP)

The statue’s new home, the Kymenlaakso Museum, originally wanted the statue to be kept in its place with an additional plaque describing its history. The museum also suggested that the statue be moved to the Lenin Museum in Tampere.

But delegates voted 41 to 9 in favor of removing the statue from the streets of Kotka. Reports have claimed that his removal means that there are no major monuments to Lenin left in Finland.

Video: Putin backs down from hard line on Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids (Reuters)

Putin backs down from hard line on Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids

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Calls to remove a Lenin statue and plaque in the southwestern city of Turku were also recently granted. The monuments were donated to Turku in 1977 by authorities in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, and were the center of controversy for several years.

Lenin went into hiding in Finland in 1917, fleeing the Russian government after it banned his Bolshevik party, before returning to help lead the revolution later that year.

Tensions between Finland and Russia have been simmering since the Nordic country announced it would seek NATO membership after Vladimir Poutinethe invasion of Ukraine.

In May this year, Russia halted gas exports to its neighbor in a highly symbolic move that likely marked the end of nearly 50 years of natural gas trade between Finland and Russia.

Finland shares a 1,340 kilometer (830 mile) border with Russia, the longest of the 27 EU members, and has a history of conflict with the nation.

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