A newly built statue in the Russian republic of Tatarstan has burned down after four teenagers used the nearby eternal flame memorial to set fire to a wreath on the memorial. The ‘fireproof’ monument was erected just last year.
The monument, dedicated to the ‘Warrior-Liberator,’ is in Zainsk, a town around 1000km east of Moscow.
As seen on a video posted by online news outlet Baza, four children on Tuesday night were playing with sticks, setting them alight using the ‘eternal flame,’ a World War II memorial found in almost every Russian city.
Then, using one of the sticks, the kids are seen setting fire to a wreath on the ‘Warrior-Liberator’ monument. The situation very quickly gets out of control, as the statue itself suddenly bursts into flames.
Speaking to the press, Ruslan Galiev, a media spokesman for the senior public prosecutor of Tatarstan, the authorities are now checking whether the monument was built using required fireproof materials. It was unveiled last year in May 2020 for the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II.
According to local newspaper inkazan.ru, the statue was built for 1.65 million rubles ($22,000). The contract stated that it must be made from a material “non-flammable, insensitive to changes in temperature and hydrometry.”
Writing on Instagram, local politician Alexey Serov called the scene “a profound and symbolic picture.”
“It contains all of today’s Russia. In which memory, the continuity of generations, honor, conscience, respect, and knowledge are burned,” he said. “Now, I would like to hold the officials to account.”
In Russia, the age of criminal liability begins at the age of 16. If those responsible are found to be of age, they could be fined up to 5 million rubles ($65,000) or imprisoned for 5 years.
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