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MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. Moscow condemns blasphemous desecration of graves at the Russian Orthodox cemetery in Sydney, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
In the early hours of Thursday, unidentified persons vandalized 76 graves of Russian immigrants to Australia in the Russian Orthodox section of Sydney’s Rockwood Cemetery. The police of New South Wales are investigating this inhumane act of vandalism, the ministry said.
On Thursday Cossacks, residents of Australia, offered a reward $5,000 worth for information about vandals. The chief of Australia’s branch of the Transbaikal Cossack Host (formed in 1851 in the areas beyond Lake Baikal) said that vandals smashed the graves of Russian officers and privates, many of whom fought during World War One, as well as of clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Cossacks have taken the cemetery under their guard.
According to the Transbaikal Cossack Host, Australia is home to at least 10,000 descendants of Baikal Cossacks who immigrated there after the Bolshevik Revolution and the Civil War that rocked Russia in 1917-1922.