Learning English - Words in the News
09 May, 2007 - Published 14:55 GMT
Putin criticises Estonia over war memorial
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has criticised Estonia's decision to relocate a Soviet era war memorial. The move led to a bitter diplomatic row between the two countries. This report from James Rodgers:
Thousands of troops had assembled on Red Square to mark what many in Russia consider the Soviet Union's greatest achievement - the defeat of Nazi Germany. Mr Putin used his speech to condemn those whom Russia accuses of insulting that memory.
He said there were those today who were trying to diminish what he called 'this invaluable experience.' He said they were desecrating monuments to war heroes. It was a clear reference to Estonia. Russia has reacted furiously to the recent relocation of a Soviet era war memorial in Tallinn.
Russia sees the Red Army as liberators from fascism. Many in Estonia see them as Soviet occupiers. A bitter diplomatic row continues. Mr Putin referred to this too, saying that those who he charged with belittling the Red Army's achievements were sowing discord and distrust between states and people.
James Rodgers, BBC News, Moscow
insulting that memory
desecrating monuments to war heroes
liberators from fascism
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