Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree naming the 23rd fighter aviation regiment the "Tallinn" regiment, after the capital of neighboring Estonia.

The decree, which was signed on January 29, was published on the Kremlin website on January 31.

It states that the name has been bestowed "to preserve glorious military traditions." The 23rd fighter aviation regiment is based in Far Eastern Khabarovsk Krai.

Putin's decree has sparked concern in Estonia, a NATO member that has often had strained ties with Russia since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Soviet Union occupied the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in 1940 as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact signed with Nazi Germany in 1939 on the eve of World War II.

The three countries were later incorporated into the Soviet Union, a move that was never recognized by the United States.

The Soviet Air Force bombarded retreating German forces across Estonia in 1944.

In March 1944, Soviet planes destroyed more than 90 percent of the city of Narva.

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