Last week, a new monument was unveiled in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. The bas-relief mounted on Nunne Street, in Old Town, bears an inscription in three languages—Estonian, Russian, and English: “In memory of Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, to honor his role in the peaceful restoration of Estonia’s independence in 1990–1991.”
Created by Estonian sculptor Rene Reinumae, the bas-relief is based on the bust of Yeltsin by legendary Russian sculptor Ernst Neizvestny. The idea of erecting a monument to Russia’s first (and, so far, only) democratically elected leader in the Estonian capital was conceived and realized by a nonprofit group, Memory Initiative (Malestuse initsiatiiv), whose members include Heiki Ahonen, director of the Museum of the Occupations and a former political prisoner; Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the Estonian Parliament’s foreign affairs committee; and Matti Pats, the grandson of Konstantin Pats, the first and last president of interwar independent Estonia. The funds for the bas-relief were raised from individual donations.