Ukrainian given suspended sentence for cooking on eternal flame

KIEV Fri Oct 5, 2012 1:44pm EDT

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KIEV (Reuters) - A Ukrainian court has handed down a suspended three-year prison sentence to a student who fried eggs over the eternal flame at a World War Two memorial to protest against government policies.

Hanna Sinkova was found guilty of desecrating The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Kiev.

Sinkova, 21, a member of radical youth movement called The Brotherhood of St. Lucas, said her actions were meant to draw attention to the plight of impoverished war veterans.

"Its symbolical meaning was that soon, very soon, veterans, old people, poor people will queue up in front of this flame to cook food there because they will have nowhere to live, nothing to cook on and nothing to eat," she said on Friday.

The average monthly pension in the former Soviet republic was about $140 last year, according to official statistics.

Sinkova said she would challenge the court ruling. State prosecutors said they wanted an actual jail sentence and would do the same.

(Reporting by Sergei Karazy; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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