The reburial ceremony near Tallinn today (AFP)
July 3, 2007 -- Estonia today reburied eight World War II-era Soviet soldiers whose remains were exhumed after the removal of a Red Army memorial that triggered a bitter political row with Russia.
The soldiers received military honors as their coffins were lowered into the ground at the Estonian defense forces' cemetery in the capital, Tallinn, where the Red Army memorial now also stands.
Russian diplomats did not attend the ceremony, despite an invitation from Estonian authorities.
Russians In The Former Soviet Union
Click on the map to see how many Russians live in each of the former Soviet republics.
RUSSIANS OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA: A total of some 30 million ethnic Russians remain in the republics of the former Soviet Union, including large diasporas in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. This historical legacy has often been a source of tension between Russia and its neighbors. "Support for the rights of compatriots abroad is a crucial goal," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his April 2005 state-of-the-nation address. "It cannot be subject to a diplomatic or political bargaining. Those who do not respect, observe, or ensure human rights have no right to demand that human rights be respected by others."
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