A Russian court has sentenced two young men to two years in prison for painting Soviet statues in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and daubing them with pro-Kyiv graffiti.
The pair -- Kirill Korzhavin and Vladislav Shipovalov -- were among four men found guilty of smearing a statue of Vladimir Lenin in the Siberian city Novosibirsk with Ukraine's national blue and yellow colors and writing "Glory to Ukraine" on it.
Novosibirsk's Leninsky District Court said on September 16 that the men also vandalized the local offices of the pro-Kremlin United Russia and Communist parties, along with a World War II monument.
The two monuments were found painted in December 2014. Vandals had also written "Azov," the name of a far-right volunteer battalion fighting on the side of Kyiv in eastern Ukraine, and spray-painted Azov's Wolfsangel symbol.
For vandalism and desecration of a monument, Korzhavin was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in a penal colony and Shipovalov to two years.
Two other defendants, Sergei Belov and Ivan Kollektsionerov, who was a minor at the time of the crime, were not given jail sentences but instead subjected to tight restrictions on their movements.
Based on reporting by AFP and International Business Times