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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hungarians Protest Against Soviet Statue

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- About 200 far-right demonstrators protested the rebuilding of a Soviet war memorial in the center of Budapest on Monday with chants of "Knock it down!"

The obelisk-shaped memorial was dismantled last year to allow the building of an underground car park beneath Liberty Square.

A treaty was signed with Russia in March guaranteeing that the memorial will be rebuilt on its original site. Its concrete core has already been erected.

"This memorial is an affront to Hungarians," said Gyoergy Budahazi, the leader of the Hun Alliance, one of the fringe groups that organized the protest. "It is the symbol of an alien army."

He said that the groups would write parliament asking for the memorial to be rebuilt in a cemetery for Soviet war dead. The memorial was erected by the Soviet occupation authorities in 1945 to honor the more than 80,000 Soviet soldiers killed during their 3 1/2-month siege of the city at the end of World War II.