Vandals in Crimea have smeared with yellow paint a memorial sign honoring Crimean Tatars deported from the region by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, news reports said.
Residents of Crimea's village of Koreiz found the memorial sign vandalized on Wednesday morning, and utility workers arrived to clean off the paint, Krym.Realii news agency reported Wednesday.
The police were called and security officials have recorded the incident, but it is not known whether a criminal investigation will be launched, Krym.Realii reported.
Before the attack, the sign showed an image of a family looking out from behind a barbed wire, and a line that read: "On May 18, 1944, from the yard of the Koreiz village council, Crimean Tatars of Koreiz and Miskhor were subjected to criminal repressions and sent into an indefinite exile into Central Asia, the Urals and Zavolzhye," according to photographs published by Crimea's Argumenty Nedeli news portal.
Crimean Tatars have opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last year, expressing fears of a return of the persecution they faced during the Soviet era.