05:10 GMT +322 November 2019
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    Group wants to destroy Moscow monument to Nazi allies

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    MOSCOW, August 31 (RIA Novosti) - Although Russia has repeatedly voiced its concern over the construction of monuments dedicated to Latvian and Estonian Nazis, a monument to Nazi allies and war criminals has stood at Moscow's Church of all Saints since 1998, a respected Russian daily reported Wednesday.

    Izvestia wrote that an initiative group headed by attorney Iliya Kramnik had claimed it would destroy the monument to the leaders of the anti-Bolshevik White Movement and Cossack atamans, since names of war criminals are engraved on the monument.

    According to Kramnik, the 15th Cossack cavalry corps, which is depicted on the monument, fought against the Soviet Union under the control of the feared SS from 1944, committing war crimes in the USSR, Yugoslavia and several European countries. General Helmut von Pannwitz, the wartime leader of the corps, was executed as a war criminal.

    The paper wrote that the leaders of the Russian public organization that built the monument had said it would stand forever, adding that those people in favor of destroying it were "communists, acting in interests of businessmen who were targeting land belonging to the church." Izvestia cited the organization's leader, Yanis Bremzis, as saying that accusations of sympathizing with the Nazis were absurd, as the memorial was built on the initiative of Soviet WWII veterans, and Orthodox believers.

    Bremzis said the Moscow prosecutor's office and Russia's Federal Security Service investigated the monument, but had not established that the law had been broken.

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