Moscow has condemned a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Estonia that called the Soviet air attack on Nazi-held Tallinn in 1944 an act of "foreign occupation," the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
“It is regrettable that American diplomats in Tallinn are once again conniving in the attempts by certain powers in the Baltic States to distort the historic truth and set the Russian and Estonian people at loggerheads,” the ministry said in a statement. Russia's reaction came after the U.S. Embassy in Estonia issued a statement on March 9 announcing a ceremony commemorating the 1944 Soviet bombing of Tallinn that called the attack “tragic both in its devastating loss of life and its military inefficacy.” Over 300 Soviet bombers raided Tallinn on March 9, 1944 in an attempt to destroy the Nazi forces occupying the city. However, the bombing mainly claimed the lives of civilians, killing over 500 people and injuring almost 700.
The attack, seen by many Estonians as an act of Russian aggression, remains one of the most controversial issues in the history of the World War II.
The U.S. statement also said the bombing failed to “break the spirit of the Estonian people,” a phrase that Moscow views with “condemnation and outrage.” It argues the attack has been “taken out of the historical context” and that the bombing was part of Soviet military actions to liberate the Baltic States from Nazi troops, the Foreign Ministry said.