Kiev, April 27, 2014
Unidentified vandals have attacked a bas-relief monument to St. Vladimir, the Baptizer of Rus’ and pride of Kievans. The monument was built less than a year ago on the banks of the Dnieper River, where the Slavs of Kievan Rus’ were baptized in988, marking the beginning of Christian civilization in the Russian lands. In the time of St. Vladimir, before the razing of Kiev by the Mongol Tatar Hordes, Kiev was the center of Russian Slavic civilization. The memorial to St. Vladimir, affectionately called “Beautiful Sun” by his Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian spiritual progeny, was erected in anticipation of the 1025-year anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’.
Archimandrite Alipy (Svetlichny) reported the incident on his Facebook page.
The face of the bas-relief was mutilated, the hands severed, and the cross held in his hand was broken off.
“People who hate our city and all the [Orthodox] lands have now attacked Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles St. Vladimir—the bright Sun,” wrote Archimandrite Alipy on April 24.
“For the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’ (in the summer of 2013!) a bas-relief (by sculptor Alexander Morgatsky) of Grand Prince Vladimir and St. John the Baptist was erected on the river bank at the site of the Baptism of Rus’.
“They had become the calling card of this holy place on the Dnieper, and could be viewed from the river. Adorned with ornamentation and angels, they literally continued their sacred work of Baptism.
“And now! Take a long look, admire it, Ukrainians! How much hatred for sanctity does a person have to harbor in order to so mock an image so precious to our people!
“To make it even more obvious—the prince held a Cross in his hands!
“Who would not say now that the Grand Prince of Kiev’s wrath is not upon us?”