Visitors to a botanical garden in the Crimean city of Yalta have allegedly carved pro-Russian slogans and crude words against U.S. President Obama into 100-year-old cacti, news reports said.
Photographs posted online Monday showed crude carvings, one of which reads “Moscow” and the other “Obama [is a] scam.”
The damage to the plant will be permanent, the botanical garden's deputy director Andrei Pashtetsky was quoted as saying by Varlamov.Moslenta portal.
“Tourists arrived and, let's put it this way, have immortalized themselves,” Pashtetsky was quoted as saying. “Now this will not disappear from the cactus.”
He blamed Russian tourists, adding that vandals have not been apprehended, the report said.
“There is a group of Russian tourists, there are many of them — it's impossible to keep track of which particular one has done it,” Pashtetsky said, Varlamov.Moslenta news portal reported Monday.
The account of the vandalized cacti was widely reported by Ukrainian media, including the Novoye Vremya newspaper, and by some major Russian news agencies, including Rosbalt. The Moscow Times was unable to independently confirm the report.