March 29, 2009
In his message, Mr Medvedev said in particular:
“Arnold Meri was an exceptional and courageous figure, who devoted his entire life to the ideals of justice, freedom and humanism. Decorated with the Hero of the Soviet Union for his feats on the battlefields of the Great Patriotic War, he fought Nazism to the end of his days, and actively resisted attempts to rewrite history and whitewash those responsible for the twentieth century’s greatest tragedy, and their accomplices.
Russia will always remember Mr Meri as a supporter of friendly ties and mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries, and a man of generous spirit, honesty and principle”.
Mr Medvedev issued a decree posthumously awarding reserve Colonel and Hero of the Soviet Union Mr Meri, honorary chairman of the Estonian Anti-Fascist Committee, with the Order of Honour.
The award was given to honour Mr Meri's great contribution to military and patriotic education, and his efforts to combat falsified versions of the results of the Second World War.
Arnold Meri died on 27 March 2009 at age of 89. Mr Meri was given the title Hero of the Soviet Union for his participation in the defense of Pskov in July 1941 with the Red Army Estonian Rifle Corps. Mr Meri was wounded several times yet remained on the battlefield.