A Ukrainian lady was arrested after spray painting anti-Russian messages on rocks and benches at a popular Wichita viewpoint.
Many sites at the popular Khao Khad Viewpoint in Wichit were splattered with red spray paint, expressing anti-Russian sentiments, according to local locals.
The Wichit Police Department investigated surrounding CCTV footage, and a 34-year-old Ukrainian was detained and taken to the Wichit Police Station on Friday morning (April 7th). Thai police have not published her identity.
According to Wichit Police Chief Colonel Chatree Chookaew, the Ukrainian woman has been in Thailand for three months and expects to return to Ukraine on April 10th. She did not intend to harm Phuket’s reputation, but instead told Thai authorities that she only wanted to express her thoughts on the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. She has told police that she will not do this again if she returns to Phuket or Thailand.
Colonel Chatree told the Phuket Express that despite the woman’s apologies, she is still facing vandalism charges. Chatree went on to say that the charge is primarily for vandalism and not for expressing political ideas, and that there are better ways to convey one’s opinions and thoughts than to deface a well-known monument and viewpoint.
According to the Phuket Express, Wichit Police did not specify if she was sent to Phuket Immigration for probable yellow or red cards under a new classification system for unruly foreigners being tried in Phuket.
The vandalism incident has sparked heated debate on social media, with many Russians condemning it and many Ukrainians and Westerners applauding it. Thais, on the other hand, were largely outraged by the act of defacing an iconic viewpoint, regardless of the context of the speech.