Russia's Monuments Keep Getting Graffitied with Ukrainian Flags

A woman poses for a picture with the figures of Soviet soldiers at the base of the Soviet Army monument, parts of which have been painted in the colors of the Ukranian flag by an unknown person, in Sofia February 23, 2014. The Ukrainian flag and the statement "Glory to Ukraine!" in Ukrainian was painted on an imposing Soviet Army Monument in Bulgarian capital Sofia overnight as an artistic support for the struggle of the Ukrainian protesters to transform the former Soviet Republic. Pierre Marsaut/Reuters

On Friday morning, two war monuments in Russia's Novosibirsk state were painted with the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The graffiti artists also wrote "Azov," the name of a Ukrainian battalion fighting pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, on the monuments.

The Novosibirsk State Ministry of the Interior told Russian News Agency Interfax that the graffiti was applied just after 8 a.m. local time and that authorities are now investigating.

Russia has faced graffiti of this kind before. A bust of Lenin in the same region was covered with swastikas earlier this year by graffiti artists. In Moscow this August, a skyscraper boasting a Soviet symbol was painted like the Ukrainian flag, then an actual Ukrainian flag was hoisted on top of it.

In neighboring Bulgaria, the Monument of the Soviet Army has been famously vandalized several times. The monument depicts a number of USSR soldiers who were painted to look like Superman, Ronald MacDonald and Santa Claus in 2011. In 2013, someone wrote "Bulgaria apologizes" on it in bright pink. This summer, it was painted red.