Medical Sergeant Yelena Varshavskaya was one of 12 Soviet soldiers killed in action near the Estonian capital in September 1944. Her body was exhumed April 26, when the Soviet-era monument over their grave was relocated to a military cemetery on Tallinn's outskirts.
Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar, who conducted her reburial at the world's oldest Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, condemned statements describing the Soviet soldiers as occupants.
"Sergeant Varshavskaya's sacrifice is the symbol of today's ceremony. She bravely went into action, knowing she has little chance of survival, but she knew that there is nothing as important as saving other people's lives. This is a lesson for the whole world as well as for the Jewish people," Lazar said.
"Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to save others should not be called occupants," he said.
The monument relocation had provoked mass protests in Tallinn and other Estonian cities, during which over 1,000 people were detained, dozens injured and one ethnic Russian killed.
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The British experience can be instructive for Russia. London retains its British Commonwealth if it wants to use this as a foundation for integration in the future. That’s a valuable lesson for Russian experts who are calling for an end to “ineffective” associations like the CIS, the Russian World and others.