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Vandals desecrate war memorial in Ukrainian Kharkiv

April 21, 2015, 11:57 UTC+3 KIEV
The order made in the form of a star with the Moscow Kremlin in the center and the inscriptions "USSR" and "Victory" was thrown off the stele at the regional administration building
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© dozor.kharkov.ua

KIEV, April 21. /TASS/. Unidentified vandals have damaged the Order of Victory stele in Kharkiv, the biggest city in northeastern Ukraine, local media report on Tuesday.

The order made in the form of a star with the Moscow Kremlin in the center and the inscriptions "USSR" and "Victory" was thrown off the stele at the regional administration building. The order is now lying on the ground, with no reaction coming from law enforcement agencies, media say.

On April 9, the Ukrainian parliament passed a law denouncing the Communist and Nazi regimes, banning their propaganda and public use of their symbols.

Under the law, Ukrainian towns having Soviet-era names should get new ones within six months. A total of 25 Ukrainian towns may regain historic names following the parliament's ban.

In particular, the Ukrainian government could rename towns named after Soviet and Bolshevik leaders, the Novoye Vremya (New Time) newspaper said.

A new wave of violence against Soviet-era monuments came after the law was passed. Alone over the past week, vandals have damaged five monuments in Kharkov, a statue of revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin was pulled down in Kramatorsk, the eastern Donetsk region, and one Lenin statue was destroyed in the eastern Lugansk region.

According to the Ukrainian National Memory Institute, about 300 statues of Lenin have been pulled down in the country since the end of 2013, along with more than 70 statues of other Soviet era leaders.

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