Vandals Desecrate Armenian Monument in Budyonovsk

KRASNODAR (Combined Sources)–An Armenian monument in the southern Russian town of Budyonovsk was desecrated for the second time in less than six weeks on July 16–reported Yerkramas–a weekly paper published by the local Armenian community. The monument–dedicated to the town’s Armenian founders–had first been vandalized in February 2005. The newspaper reported that lampposts surrounding the monument and a cross-stone were damaged this time–while a dead cat was placed under its arch.

The fence surrounding the church was also set on fire–although it was quickly put out. Yerkramas editor Tigran Tavadyan said–"We are indignant at the inaction of the local police for whom it seems to be easier to find and deport labor emigran’s from Armenia than to catch real criminals."

The monument was inaugurated on October 17–2004 as a token of Armenian-Russian friendship. Budyonovsk was founded in 1799 by Armenia’s from Karabagh who were given a charter by Russian Emperor Paul I. The monument represents a 16-meter cross-topped dome symbolizing the first name of the town–Soorp Khatch.

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