KIEV, 11 Feb – RIA Novosti. Police have detained two people suspected of desecrating a monument to Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera in Lviv, the head of the Lviv regional state administration Maksym Kozitsky said on Thursday.
On February 5, the police reported that unknown persons poured paint over the monument to Stepan Bandera in Lviv at night, and a criminal case was opened.
“Investigators of the National Police of the Lviv region suspect two people of a criminal offense for the desecration of the monument to Stepan Bandera,” Kozitsky wrote on his Facebook page .
According to him, law enforcement officers have already conducted searches at the place of residence of the suspects and seized material evidence confirming their guilt. He also said that the police are looking for a possible customer of this crime.
Also, the local edition Zahid.net, citing the police, reported that the suspects were detained.
Later, the press service of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Lviv region reported that two residents of the Khmelnytsky region, students of one of the Lviv universities, were suspected of desecrating the monument. “According to preliminary information, material benefit was the motive for the offense … Now both malefactors have been announced suspicious, and the issue of choosing a preventive measure is being decided,” the press service said.
According to the Security Council, the actions of the suspects fall under the article “desecration of the grave, another place of burial or the body of the deceased.” If proven guilty, they face up to seven years in prison.
Bandera was the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), one of the main initiators of the creation of a combat wing of the OUN, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army * (UPA *), whose goal was to proclaim the struggle for the independence of Ukraine. UPA * was formed in October 1942. She operated primarily in Western Ukraine and fought against Soviet troops, collaborating with the Nazis. In May 2015, the then president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, gave the OUN-UPA * the status of “fighters for independence” of Ukraine, and its participants – the right to social guarantees.
* An extremist organization banned in Russia.