After Russian War Monument Wins Approval for American Soil, U.S. Town Backtracks

March 2, 2018 AT 9:00 AM

After more than a year of tentative approvals, Elizabeth City changed its mind Monday and voted against placing a 25-ton Russian war monument in the North Carolina coastal town’s U.S. Coast Guard Park.

Critics of the council decision believe it was influenced by strained relations between the U.S. and Russia over accusations of Russian meddling in the presidential election. Matters weren’t helped when Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted this week that his country has developed a nuclear missile with unlimited range and immunity to enemy intercept.

The council voted 5-3 not to approve a “memorandum of understanding” with the Russian Ministry of Defense that would have permitted the bronze monument to be erected along the Pasquotank River. The 13-foot-tall statue would depict World War II-era pilots from the U.S., United Kingdom and Soviet Union who were part of the top secret World War II effort based in the area known as Project Zebra.

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