ozens of demonstrators in Kiev defaced a monument to KGB (Soviet Russia’s security agency) officers on Sunday, covering it with graffiti and smashing an inscription from its base with hammers.Soviet Russian icons and monuments have been under attack in Ukraine in recent days, seen by many opposition protesters as symbols of the Russian influence they have fought to overthrow in the past months. Emotions mounted around statues of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin, after angry protesters took them down in several towns and cities. Statues of Lenin across the former USSR are seen as a symbol of Moscow’s rule. The monument to KGB officers was regarded in the same way. “I think nobody needs this monument. I never see people coming to this monument, laying flowers on it. I live not far from here. But I don’t have any positive emotions about it. It’s like an empty place for me,” said Alyona Havrylyuk, standing in front of the defaced monument. “It reminds me of (Soviet founder Vladimir) Lenin, (Soviet revolutionary and head of Soviet secret police, Felix) Dzerzhinsky and the starvation in 1933 (killing millions of Ukrainians, regarded as result of Soviet policies). This is the same as what happened in Mezhyhirya (invasion of President Viktor Yanukovych’s residence),” she said. The opulent residence of President Viktor Yanukovych, known as Mezhyhirya, has always been a closely guarded secret – and a symbol of the alleged corruption at Ukraine’s highest levels. On Saturday, after he fled the capital and its gates were thrown open, thousands streamed into the compound to get a first-hand look. Inside the walled compound, posh mansions stood amid manicured lawns. There were parks dotted with statues, ponds with fountains and wild ducks, a tennis court, a golf course and a colonnaded pavilion. Many expressed disgust as they wandered the grounds. Ukraine is deeply divided between eastern regions that are largely pro-Russian and western areas that widely detest Yanukovych and long for closer ties with the European Union. Yanukovych’s shelving of an agreement with the EU in November set off the wave of protests, but they quickly expanded their grievances to corruption, human rights abuses and calls for Yanukovych’s resignation.