VIENNA, April 25. /TASS/. Unidentified vandals desecrated the Soviet War Memorial located at the Schwarzenbergplatz, a square in downtown Vienna, on Thursday. The monument’s facade was drowned in black paint, TASS reports.
TASS learnt that the Austrian police had already promised to remove the paint from the monument as soon as possible and restore it back to its original state with the help of a professional restoration artist. Moreover, Austria is planning to reapply the gilding of the engraved letters and tighten security of the monument by May 8. Unfortunately, the CCTV cameras were not operating at the time of the act of vandalism.
The Soviet troops monument in the center of the Austrian capital suffered at the hands of vandals on multiple occasions. Unidentified people drowned it in paint. The Russian embassy each time sent letters of protest demanding that immediate actions were taken to restore the damaged monument, the perpetrators were found and brought to justice, as well as guarantees were given that similar incidents would not happen again.
In early April the Vienna police set up two CCTV cameras to ensure security and prevent vandals from desecrating the monument. They were supposed to start operating in the near future.
The Soviet War Memorial at Vienna's Schwarzenbergplatz is the most well-known monument dedicated to the Soviet liberators in Austria. It was erected to commemorate 17,000 Soviet soldiers who lost their lives in action during the 1945 Vienna Offensive in World War II. The Soviet command came up with the idea for the monument, it was designed by architect Savva Yakovlev and sculptor Mikael Intizaryan.
There are more than 300 Soviet military burials and sites set up in relation to World War II in Austria. In accordance with the state treaty between Austria and allies of World War II (the Soviet Union, the US, Great Britain and France), Austria assumes the obligation of respecting, guarding and maintaining the burials and monuments of the soldiers and war prisoners from the states that were fighting Nazi Germany.