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Vandals Deface Monument To Yeltsin

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev unveiling the monument to Boris Yeltsin, to mark the 80th anniversary of his birth in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, February 1, 2011.
A monument to Boris Yeltsin, the first president of an independent Russia, has been vandalized in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, Yeltsin's hometown.

Vandals splashed purple paint across the statue and cracked letters spelling his name on the base.

Police have opened an investigation.

The monument was unveiled last year by then-President Dmitry Medvedev on what would have been Yeltsin's 80th birthday.

Yeltsin, who rose to power following the August 1991 coup, presided over Russia's rocky transformation into a market economy as the Soviet Union dissolved.

Based on Reuters and Interfax reporting