Vandals damage monument to late Russian leader Yeltsin

Print version
Aug. 24, 2012, 3:51 p.m. | Russia — by Reuters

Dmitry Medvedev pays tribute in front of a newly opened monument to former Russia's president Boris Yeltsin in Yekaterinburg on February 1, 2011. Vandals defaced one of Russia's few monuments to Yeltsin on Friday, Aug. 24, covering it with blue paint and chipping the letters of his name on the pedestal, police in his home region in the Ural Mountains said.


Reuters is an international news agency headquartered in London, UK and a division of Thomson Reuters.

MOSCOW - Vandals defaced one of Russia's few monuments to its first post-Soviet president Boris Yeltsin on Friday, Aug. 24, covering it with blue paint and chipping the letters of his name on the pedestal, police in his home region in the Ural Mountains said.

Yeltsin gained popularity by challenging the Soviet Union's Communist bosses with calls for faster reform, but he is reviled by many Russians who accuse him of hastening the Soviet collapse and have dark memories of his rule in the chaotic 1990s.

The monument, a tall stone slab with a carved relief of a stern-faced Yeltsin, was unveiled in the Sverdlovsk regional capital of Yekaterinburg 18 months ago by then-president Dmitry Medvedev.

State television showed workers hosing the paint off the monument from a cherry picker after the pre-dawn attack, whose culprits face up to three months in jail if found.

"We are deeply outraged by this act of vandalism," Vadim Naumenko of the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center told RIA news agency, urging city authorities to ensure it is not repeated.

"Dialogue and dispute should be conducted in a civilised manner, otherwise we will move from rebellion to rebellion in Russia, from revolution to revolution," Naumenko said.

Yeltsin was elected president of Russia in June 1991, when it was still part of the Soviet Union, and emerged as the undisputed leader of a new Russia after he stared down the tanks of a hardline communist coup attempt that August.

Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as president of the Soviet Union in December 1991, sealing its break-up.

Yeltsin was re-elected in 1996 and stepped down in 1999, making Vladimir Putin Russia's acting president after nine years in power marred by economic hardship, war in Chechnya and a decline in Moscow's global clout.

Yeltsin, who suffered health problems and bouts of public drunkenness, died in 2007 at the age of 76. Putin was elected president in 2000 and 2004, and again in March of this year after four years as prime minister.

The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively public debate through the Disqus system. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. The Kyiv Post will ban flagrant violators. If you think that a comment or commentator should be banned, please flag the offending material.
comments powered by Disqus


© 1995–2016 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.