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Russia indignant over desecration of WWII memorial in Vienna

April 13, 2012, 15:36 UTC+3

The assault operation ended in the defeat of a large group of the Nazi troops and hundreds of settlements were liberated

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MOSCOW, April 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia is indignant with the desecration of the memorial to Soviet liberator-warriors in Vienna and sent a note of protest to Austria, Russian Ambassador to Austria Sergei Nechayev said on Friday.

“The memorial to Soviet liberator-warriors on the Schwarzenbergplatz Square in the centre of the Austrian capital was desecrated on April 13 that is the holiday of the 67th anniversary of Vienna’s liberation from Nazi invaders by the Red Army. The facade and the basement of the monument were defiled with paint,” the diplomat said.

“We voice indignation over this incident and take it not only as a blatant act of vandalism, but also as the attempt to disrupt a festive ceremony to lay the wreaths to the monument scheduled on this day. The veterans of the Second World War, compatriots, employers from the embassies of the CIS states and Austrian public were expected to attend the ceremony,” Nechayev said. The Austrian Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs “sent a note of protest with the demands to the Austrian law enforcement agencies to take urgent measures to remove the damage from the monument, find and punish those guilty and avert similar incidents in the future in view of Vienna’s international and legal commitments,” the ambassador went on to say.

“We take into consideration deep regrets voiced by Austrian officials to Russia over the incident,” Nechayev said. “Meanwhile, over repeated acts of vandalism we appeal insistently once again to the Austrian authorities to take all the measures to provide for the proper protection of the memorial on the Schwarzenbergplatz Square,” Nechayev said.

Meanwhile, public veteran delegations of paratroopers and officials from the Command of the Airborne Troops laid down the flowers and wreaths to the Tomb of Unknown Soldier at the Wall of the Kremlin on the occasion of the 67th anniversary of Vienna’s liberation in Moscow.

The Vienna Assault Operation was carried out from March 16 to April 15, 1945. The assault operation ended in the defeat of a large group of the Nazi troops and hundreds of settlements were liberated. The total losses of the Red Army reached 167,940 people during the operation, the irreparable losses amounted to 38,661 people.


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