LVOV, April 11 (Itar-Tass) - Unknown vandals have destroyed a monument to Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist leader, and his associates in the town of Rudki, the Lvov region, in Western Ukraine. The town's mayor, Taras Kurylo, said on Thursday that the monument to “Fighters for Ukraine’s Freedom” had been built on donations from local residents and that its destruction had aroused great public concern.
Five monuments to Stepan Bandera and other activists of Ukraine’s nationalist movement of the 20th century have been destroyed in the Lvov region over the past 30 days. Several monuments have been damaged in the neighboring Ivano-Frankovsk and Rovno regions. Vasily Kundyk, the head of regional department of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, told a meeting of the Lvov Regional Council on Thursday that criminal proceedings had been initiated on all cases involving the destruction of monuments to Stepan Bandera. However, he said it would take some time to find the offenders because an inter-regional criminal group was operating in the Lvov region.
There are almost 3,000 monuments in the Lvov region. They are protected by up to a thousand employees of the regional Interior Ministry branch on a daily basis.
"However, we cannot put a guard at every monument and commemorative plaque,” Kundyk said. Monuments to Stepan Bandera, poet Taras Shevchenko, Yevgeny Konovalts, an ideologist of Ukrainian nationalism, the Victims of Holodomor (extermination by hunger) of the 1930s as well as the Hill of Glory (Kholm Slavy) where the liberators of Lvov are buried are protected round-the-clock. The Hill of Gory memorial is systematically attacked by vandals.