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Ukrainian War Photography Vandalized at Moscow Human Rights Center

Moscow’s Sakharov Center Alexandra Mudrats / TASS

A photography exhibition dedicated to the conflict in Ukraine has been vandalized at Moscow’s Sakharov Center for Human Rights.

A man threw paint on the photographs — taken by Sergei Loiko and Alexander Vasyukovich — which were displayed as winners of the “Direct View” photography competition, the center announced in a statement Wednesday.

The vandal called Vasyukovich “a fascist” and left the exhibition before security guards could apprehend him, the Moskva news agency reported, citing law enforcement sources.

The photography competition, which featured the categories “problem, conflict and compromise” had been organized “to enable conversation about ways to resolve conflict,” the center said. Their statement read: “There are people so poisoned with hatred that public conversation about the tragedy of war becomes impossible.”

The center will not be putting the vandalized works back up as they cannot guarantee “their preservation nor the safety of visitors.” The exhibition's other photographs will remain on display until Oct 19.

The exhibition’s organizers were currently deciding whether to make a formal complaint to the police.

Later the same day, cossacks and men in camouflage carrying what they called "the blood of Donbas children" in a jar broke into the center. Writing on its Facebook page, the center's employees wrote: "Sorry, we can't answer phone calls, because we are being attacked. Who came: a deputy with a "jar of blood", people in camouflage and cossacks. They are shouting "Save Russia".

The Sakharov Center, which documents Soviet-era repressions, is named after physicist Andrei Sakharov, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975 for his opposition to the abuse of power and his work on human rights.

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