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Few days ago unknown persons stole bronze details directly from the tombstone of Lesya Ukrainka’s grave. In the past six months, such cases are not rare, vandals do not disdain neither cemeteries, nor memorials to the dead soldiers, situated right in the center of the city. At the same time, they are spoiled not only for the sake of extraction, but also for the purpose of expressing protest - an ancient Saint Vladimir Monument has been damaged for three times. We have collected cases of damage to the capital's monuments, which took place in the last six months.
The unknown have stolen bronze elements from Lesya Ukrainka’s grave. This became known on April 24. The memorial was installed on the Baikove cemetery in 1931, its author is sculptor Halyna Petrashevych. The pedestal is made of granite, the main part is made of bronze. Since 1951, the place of burial of the poetess is a monument of history of national importance.
The grave of Lesya Ukrainka at Baikove cemetery, archival photo
In early April, vandals stole four bronze details of the Eternal Flame in the memorial complex of Eternal Glory. At the moment, a temporary grid is installed instead of them, and by May holidays the stolen elements should be restored. The memorial on the grave of the Unknown Soldier was opened in the park of Eternal Glory in 1957. It consists of an obelisk and an Alley of fallen heroes, where 34 graves of soldiers, who died during the Second World War, are located.
Eternal fire before and after damage by vandals
A few days before the loss of the details of the Eternal Flame, it became known that the vandals stole a cane, which is part of the monument to Mikhail Panikovsky - the character of the book "Golden Calf" by Ilya Ilf and Yevgeny Petrov. The cane has been stolen for several times already. For the first time the monument was damaged a month after its opening. The unknown people doused it with black paint, and after a while, they stole the cane. The similar cases repeated, and it was even suggested to replace the bronze cane with a wooden one. The bronze monument was erected on Prorizna Street in 1998. The figure is a blind man with a cane and in a hat, with dark glasses and a spoon on a chain in his pocket.
Monument to Panikovsky before and after damage by vandals
In the same month, another famous monument was damaged. So, on March 20 it became known that the horse, which is part of the bronze monument of Shchors, situated on Shevchenko Boulevard, sawed off part of the foot. A few days before that, it was reported that the deputies of the Kyiv city council had agreed on a draft decision "On measures to move the monument to the military leader Shchors". To date, the monument is the only great monument in Kyiv, which has not yet been dismantled in the framework of the law on decommunization. At the same time, Ukrainian nationalists several times attempted to demolish it. To prevent such cases, the monument was closed with a frame. The opening of the monument took place in 1954 and was timed to coincide with the 300th anniversary of the reunification of Russia and Ukraine. Before the Revolution, a monument to Oleksiy Bobrynsky was at the same place - the organizer of railway construction in Kyiv.
Monument to Schors in Kyiv
On March 17 of the current year, a monument to the poetess and member of Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), Olena Teliga, was doused with red paint. It was installed in Babyn Yar less than a month before the incident. The next day the monument was washed. After this incident, the mayor's office declared that they were equipping the monument with a video surveillance system. The cost of the monument is about 8 million UAH.
At the end of February, a memorial sign to ATO heroes was also doused with paint. The board was cleaned by the city's communal workers. This was the third case of damage to this sign.
In just six months, the Vandals have damaged Saint Vladimir Monument for three times, which was opened in 1853 and is the oldest monument in Kyiv. So, unknown people doused the monument with red paint at the end of September 2016 and on March 18 this year. In October 2016, the pedestal was painted with provocative symbols and inscriptions, including the Nazi swastika. The communal workers admitted that they could not completely wash the red paint off the monument, as it had ingrained into the bronze. Restoring of the monument began in March this year. After washing, scientists together with communal workers promised to cover the monument with special paint to prevent further mechanical damage.
For each of the cases, the police opened criminal proceedings under Part 1 of Art. 296 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("Hooliganism"), but those involved in the commission of hooliganism have not been detained.