On June 14, 2020, unidentified perpetrators spilled paint on the monument to Hero of the USSR Afanasy Loshakov, located at the military cemetery in Šėta, Kėdainiai District, Lithuania.
“Now we are trying to establish all the circumstances regarding this terrible incident. A Russian embassy official is now there at the scene. We also contacted the local authorities who promised the monument would be cleaned as soon as possible,” a Russian diplomat in Lithuania said.
Earlier, the picture of the vandalized monument appeared on the official district administration Facebook webpage. Valentinas Tamulis, mayor of the Kėdainiai District, reacted negatively to what has happened: “Hooliganism is something that I cannot stand. I hope that the investigation will reveal those responsible, and they will get proper punishment,” Mr. Tamulis said.
The Lithuanian authorities have been actively at war with Soviet monuments. In March of 2018, the monument to Soviet activists, killed in 1946 by the “forest brethren”, was demolished in the Marijampolė District. In October 2018, a monument to Soviet soldiers fighting for the liberation of Lithuania was dismantled in the Alytus District.
Moreover, Lithuanian authorities do their utmost to hamper the process of Soviet memorial restoration. In 2017, the Russian embassy tried to replace the crumbling monument to Soviet soldiers in the town of Obeliai with a new version. However, the Department of Cultural Heritage prohibited the replacement. No explanation was given. Alexander Udaltsov, Russian ambassador in Lithuania, opined that the Lithuanian authorities were just letting Soviet-era monuments fall into decay.