Extremists blew up a controversial monument to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin on New Year's night in southeastern Ukraine in an "act of terror", the local Communist Party said on Saturday.
The bust in the city of Zaporizhia, unveiled this May, caused a heated controversy in Ukraine which is still split between its nationalist west and the more Russian orientated east which fondly remembers the Soviet past.
"A criminal broke into the grounds of the Communist Party regional headquarters, and laid an explosive charge which detonated after a few minutes," the Communist Party said.
"The statue of Stalin was destroyed as a result of the blast," the Communists said in a statement. It said that the explosion inflicted serious damage on the building but there were no casualties.
The explosion took place at 10:40 pm (2040 GMT) on New Year's Eve, it said.
"By a pure chance there were no casualties. Most probably the explosive was filled with the metal items," lawmaker Oleksiy Baburin, head of the Zaporizhia Communists told a press conference.
"This is not a hooliganism but a terrorist attack," he added as quoted by Communist party press service.
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