Soviet statues destroyed

KHARKIV, Ukraine – Masked men have toppled three statues of Communist leaders in Ukraine’s city of Kharkiv, days after Parliament moved to purge Soviet-era symbols countrywide.

A video posted on YouTube by an anti-Russian militant group called “We’ve had enough” shows the men smashing three large monuments glorifying Bolshevik leaders in Ukraine’s second largest city.

The Russian-speaking city of 1.4 million people close to the northeastern border with Russia is about 200 kilometres away from the conflict zone in Donetsk and Lugansk regions, where pro-Russian insurgents are fighting the Kiev government in a conflict that has killed more than 6000 people.

The video shows the men using a ladder to hook the statues with a cable tied to a white van which pulls away, bringing them down, with the police in one instance looking on without attempting to intervene.

There was no immediate comment from the authorities on the incident that comes less than 48 hours after parliament adopted controversial legislation designed to shed Ukraine’s Soviet past.

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