Russia Slams Euronews Over Photo of Vandalized WWII Statue
Euronews television channel swiftly pulled a picture of a vandalized Soviet-era military memorial from the head of its Facebook page Tuesday in the latest incident to highlight heightened Russian sensitivity over perceived disrespect for World War II monuments.
The French-based channel, which was set up by the European Broadcasting Union, of which Russia is a member, on Monday posted the Reuters news agency photograph showing a monument of Soviet soldiers in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, that had been illegally daubed in yellow and blue paint.
The vandalistic act appeared to be a tribute to an anti-government uprising that last week led to the toppling of the Moscow-friendly president in Ukraine, whose national flag is composed of those colors.
Euronews’ decision to make the photograph of the painted soldier its Facebook cover photo drew swift criticism from Russia’s Foreign Ministry, which had already appealed to Bulgarian authorities to investigate the attack on the statue.
A Foreign Ministry statement said Euronews had “crossed a line” by using the picture.
After hastily changing the cover photo, Euronews said in a statement that the image “was in no way an expression of support for one side or another in Ukraine, not to mention an act of vandalism.”