Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Putin lets children bomb – do we want another Russian monument?

Putin lets children bomb – do we want another Russian monument?

The debate is open: Vienna has one of the most ostentatious Russian monuments in Europe, intended to commemorate the heroes of the Russian army who liberated Vienna in 1945. Should the huge monument be removed because a Russian president is now having civilians fired at with rockets?

Richard Smith
26 Feb 2022 12:11

A golden shield, the flag fluttering, a martial gaze: This is how the whole of Austria knows the heroic figure high above Vienna’s Schwarzenbergplatz, designed by the Russian sculptor and lieutenant Mikhail Awakowitsch Intesaryan. It commemorates the “Battle of Vienna” in which around 40,000 Russian soldiers were killed. 15,000 kilos of bronze were used to depict the soldier on the 20-metre-high column, and the unveiling was broadcast live on the radio on August 19, 1945.

But does this monument still fit into our present? The eXXpress starts a reader debate – every hour Russia’s President Vladimir Putin provides new arguments for the removal of this monument. But there are also good reasons for leaving the massive statue on Schwarzenbergplatz.

Now at the center of a debate: the Russian monument in Vienna

“It’s a good time to ‘switch off’ the Russian monument” – that’s what eXXpress columnist Christian Ortner thinks.

The duplicating

Here are just a few reasons that speak in favor of taking down the Russian monument: The Russian army is currently shelling large cities in the Ukraine, without any consideration for civilians. Families, children must fear for their lives. Russia’s war of aggression against a neighboring country is madness under international law. Almost the entire free world condemned Vladimir Putin’s actions.

And that speaks against the removal of the heroes’ monument on Schwarzenbergplatz: the performance of the Russian army to liberate Vienna is still great, Austria should be grateful to Russia for this use of human lives to destroy the Nazi regime and will continue to be so in the future. The performance of Russian troops at the Battle of Vienna has nothing to do with the cruel war in Ukraine.

Incidentally, the preservation of the monument is also stipulated in the state treaty – which would then probably have to be changed a bit in the event of a removal …

Christian Ortner’s idea is already being hotly debated on Twitter

What do you think: Should the Russian monument in Vienna be removed?

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