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
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.