Kazakhstan: Officials disable 'active' WW2 exhibits

Badly damaged artillery gun in the town of Kyzylorda Image copyright Olga Davidova

Officials in Kyzylorda in southern Kazakhstan have reportedly disabled World War Two artillery pieces on display in a local park - possibly taking precautionary measures after pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine managed to restart an old tank sitting on a pedestal in the town of Konstantinovka.

The guns were part of a monument commemorating Kazakhstan's role in the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, but local news sources say the weapons were crudely disabled using a welder. "Their barrels bear visible scars and resemble badly cut sticks of salami," the Vremya newspaper laments.

Vremya says the authorities decided to act in the name of public safety after they found out that the museum exhibits could still fire shells, but adds that many residents are upset about the "ugly and barbaric" way in which the work was done.

Earlier this year separatists in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region managed to restart an old Joseph Stalin-3 tank and drive it away from the site where it had been standing as a civic monument, Russian RIA Novosti news agency says. Rebels installed heavy machine guns on the old vehicle and used it to attack a Ukrainian army post, claiming to have inflicted loses on the other side.

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