Los Angeles Times

Soviet statues come down

- — times staff and wire reports

Workers in Lithuania began dismantlin­g the last Soviet statues in the capital, following calls prompted by the Ukraine crisis that symbols of the Soviet occupation be removed.

The statues, which depict Soviet- era heroes including Red Army soldiers with machine guns, have commanded a prominent position on the four corners of the historic Green Bridge in central Vilnius since1952.

Lithuania, like countries across Eastern Europe that were controlled by the Soviet Union through the communist era, began removing Soviet- era symbols when Moscow lost its control over the region a quarter- century ago.

Many of the monuments celebrate Red Army soldiers who helped defeat Nazi Germany, and their removal has often been met with outrage in Russia.

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