A provocation and an act of vandalism. This is how Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described the recent incident in Svalyava, Zakarpattya region, westernmost Ukraine.
"Sad news appeared this weekend, information about the act of vandalism in the place that is crucial for Ukrainian Hungarians. It occurred at the Wailing Wall in Svalyava memorial park. This act of vandalism is a provocation, which aims to destabilize the situation in Zakarpattya; someone wants to get in our way as we overcome arguments with Hungary", Kuleba posted on his Facebook page.
Law enforcers are now looking into the incident.
"I'm sure the guilty ones will be definitely found and punished, the way it happened to the arsonists of Hungarian House in Uzhgorod", Kuleba said.
The Minister expressed hope that in spite of all verbal and physical provocations, Ukraine and Hungary are capable of coming to mutually beneficial solutions so as to settle all arguable issues, without crossing red lines by any of the sides.
"Ukraine's Hungarians, just like representatives of other national minorities are an important and integer part of the Ukrainian society. And I understand that they are just as important for Hungary. One cannot let people use provocations for another boost of the topic of anti-Ukrainian views in Hungary and amassing pressure in Ukrainian-Hungarian relations", Kuleba wrote.
Local media reported the incident on June 13, referring to Gyorgy Dupko, the Secretary of Svalyava Memorial Park. According to the official, the unknown culprits ripped off and desecrated a panel picture on the backside of the memorial in Svalyava, Zakarpatrtya region.
Dupko appealed to the police. He reiterated that the memorial and that panel picture represented the tragedy of Zakarpattya of 1944, which incorporated Soviet crimes against Hungarians and Germans. In autumn 1944, German and Hungarian men who resided there were forcefully taken to Soviet labor camps. Besides, back then, Communist officials who supervised the courts sentenced thousands of people to death in that particular region.