Demonstrators in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv have cut down a statue of Vladimir Lenin. The towering, 20-meter monument to Lenin on Kharkiv's Freedom Square was attacked shortly after a pro-Ukrainian unity march by thousands of people was held in Ukraine's second-largest city. 

The event was broadcast via live internet stream by a number of channels. Activists used a ladders to access the statue and saw off Lenin at the legs.

Activists had earlier used a jackhammer to carve "Glory to Ukraine!" into the base of the statue.

The police claimed a criminal case was filed based on an article which seeks punishment for “the destruction of or damage to cultural heritage sites and personal property.” The police officers also had a meeting with the activists “about the impermissibility of provocations and violations of the law.”

Kharkiv, which is some 20 kilometers from the Russian border, was the scene in March and April of violent clashes between pro-Russian demonstrators and Ukrainians loyal to Kyiv.

Pro-Russian separatists in Kharkiv have defended Lenin's statue during previous attempts to remove it.