Yeltsin monument paint-bombed, Communists approve

Image: RF MIA
Unidentified vandals have thrown paint and broken the lettering on the monument to Boris Yeltsin in Yekaterinburg.

Officials from the Yeltsin Center have already voiced their indignation over the incident, but local communists said they were ready to support the vandals.

A police detail only discovered in the morning that the 10-meter monument was covered with paint from top to bottom. According to the local police press service, the incident itself must have taken place between 3am and 8am local time.

Those who committed the act of vandalism could face up to three months in detention if found.

Deputy head of the Boris Yeltsin Center in Yekaterinburg, Vadim Naumenko, has told the press that he and his colleagues were deeply outraged by the act of vandalism. He also urged the authorities to find and punish the vandals.

“The most important thing now is to prevent such incidents from happening again because the monument to the first president of the Russian Federation is a site of federal importance,” Naumenko said.

The creator of the obelisk, sculptor Georgy Frangulyan, has said that it was difficult to describe his feelings with words, but added that he had warned the city authorities about the possibility of such an act and requested guards be stationed to protect the monument.

“For a lot of Russians the person of Boris Nikolayevich [Yeltsin] is too diverse,” the artist said.

He added that the incident must have been pre-planned as throwing paint at a 10-meter structure required the use of special devices, possibly a construction crane.

At the same time, the local branch of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) said they understood and shared the vandals’ feelings and were ready to sponsor the lawyer who would defend the culprits if they are put on trial. In addition the Communists promised to support them by public actions.

"We share the feelings of these political vandals and fear that their rights to a fair trial will be violated," the member of the political bureau of the regional branch of the KPRF, Aleksandr Ivachev, told the Interfax news agency.

“If the obelisk remains in its current place, the city authorities should consider allocating a dedicated budget to pay workers who would regularly clean up the Yeltsin monument," the Ivachev added.

The monument was opened in Yekaterinburg in 2011, almost three years after Yeltsin’s death. Yeltsin was born in the Urals and commenced his political career in Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk in Soviet times), in time reaching the top regional post in the Communist Party hierarchy before moving to Moscow to become a deputy of the parliament.

Image: RF MIA
Image: RF MIA
Image: RF MIA
Image: RF MIA
Image: RF MIA
Image: RF MIA