Europe

Paint splashed on controversial Mannerheim plaque in Russia

  • In this Sunday, June 26, 2016 photo a plaque to Carl Mannerheim is covered with a plastic in St.Petersburg, Russia. The plaque commemorating Carl Mannerheim in the Russian city of St. Petersburg was splashed with red paint shortly after it was unveiled this month, highlighting the controversy over the Finnish soldier and statesman who served in the Imperial Russian Army but after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and Finland's declaration of independence took over command of Finnish troops and led Finland against the Soviet Union during World War II. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    In this Sunday, June 26, 2016 photo a plaque to Carl Mannerheim is covered with a plastic in St.Petersburg, Russia. The plaque commemorating Carl Mannerheim in the Russian city of St. Petersburg was splashed with red paint shortly after it was unveiled this month, highlighting the controversy over the Finnish soldier and statesman who served in the Imperial Russian Army but after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and Finland's declaration of independence took over command of Finnish troops and led Finland against the Soviet Union during World War II. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Sunday, June 26, 2016 photo a cadet walks past a plaque to Carl Mannerheim which is covered with plastic, in St.Petersburg, Russia. A plaque commemorating Carl Mannerheim in the Russian city of St. Petersburg has been splashed with red paint shortly after it was unveiled this month, highlighting the controversy over the Finnish soldier and statesman who served in the Imperial Russian Army but after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and Finland's declaration of independence took over command of Finnish troops and led Finland against the Soviet Union during World War II. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    In this Sunday, June 26, 2016 photo a cadet walks past a plaque to Carl Mannerheim which is covered with plastic, in St.Petersburg, Russia. A plaque commemorating Carl Mannerheim in the Russian city of St. Petersburg has been splashed with red paint shortly after it was unveiled this month, highlighting the controversy over the Finnish soldier and statesman who served in the Imperial Russian Army but after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and Finland's declaration of independence took over command of Finnish troops and led Finland against the Soviet Union during World War II. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Sunday, June 26, 2016 photo a man lays a flower beneath a plaque to Carl Mannerheim which is covered with plastic, in St.Petersburg, Russia. A plaque commemorating Carl Mannerheim in the Russian city of St. Petersburg has been splashed with red paint shortly after it was unveiled this month, highlighting the controversy over the Finnish soldier and statesman who served in the Imperial Russian Army but after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and Finland's declaration of independence took over command of Finnish troops and led Finland against the Soviet Union during World War II. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    In this Sunday, June 26, 2016 photo a man lays a flower beneath a plaque to Carl Mannerheim which is covered with plastic, in St.Petersburg, Russia. A plaque commemorating Carl Mannerheim in the Russian city of St. Petersburg has been splashed with red paint shortly after it was unveiled this month, highlighting the controversy over the Finnish soldier and statesman who served in the Imperial Russian Army but after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and Finland's declaration of independence took over command of Finnish troops and led Finland against the Soviet Union during World War II. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)  (The Associated Press)

A plaque commemorating Carl Mannerheim in the Russian city of St. Petersburg has been splashed with red paint, highlighting the controversy over the Finnish soldier and statesman who served in the Imperial Russian Army but later led troops against the Soviet Union.

The plaque was vandalized shortly after being unveiled by high-level Kremlin officials this month and remains covered with black plastic.

It was intended to commemorate Mannerheim's service in the Imperial Army. But after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and Finland's declaration of independence, he took over command of Finnish troops and led Finland against the Soviet Union during World War II. In 1944, as Finland's president, he withdrew his country from the war.