Demolition of monuments to Vladimir Lenin in Ukraine
The demolition of monuments to Vladimir Lenin in modern Ukraine started during the fall of the Soviet Union. During Euromaidan it has become a widespread phenomenon and dubbed by Ukrainians Leninopad (Ленінопад), a pun literally translated as "Leninfall", with the coinage of "xxx"+"пад" being akin to English "xxx" + "fall" as in "waterfall", "snowfall", etc.
The demolition of Lenin monuments in Ukraine happened in four stages. During the 1990s more than 2,000 Lenin monuments were demolished in Galicia and Volyn, at the turn of the 1990-2000s more than 600 Lenin monuments were removed in western and central areas, in 2005-2008 more than 600 were demolished mainly in central areas, and in 2013-2014 552 monuments were demolished.
The first wave of demolitions of Lenin monuments happened in Western Ukraine in the years 1990-1991. On August 1, 1990 in Chervonohrad a Lenin monument was demolished for the first time in the USSR. Under popular pressure the monument was dismantled, formally with the purpose of moving elsewhere. That same year, Lenin monuments were dismantled in Ternopil, Kolomyia, Nadvirna, Borislav, Drohobych, Lviv and other cities of Galicia.
In 1991 Ukraine had 5,500 Lenin monuments. By December 2015 1,300 Lenin monuments were still standing. More than 700 Lenin monuments were removed and/or destroyed between February 2014 and December 2015.
On 15 May 2015, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a bill into law that started a six-month period for the removal of communist monuments (excluding World War II monuments) and the mandatory renaming of settlements with names related to Communism. On 16 January 2017 the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance announced that 1,320 Lenin monuments were dismantled during decommunization. Two Lenin statues in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are the only two remaining statues of Lenin in Ukraine.
Communist monuments toppled during Euromaidan
Euromaidan protesters toppled several statues of Vladimir Lenin in Ukrainian cities. Some estimates said that more than 90 statues were toppled. In December 2015 The Ukrainian Week calculated that 376 Lenin monuments were removed or destroyed in February 2014.
According to Blue Shield National Committee, some of the monuments might be listed as national heritage sites, and therefore their dismantling requires checking if they were actually listed as such.
The removal of the monuments evoked mixed feelings among the Ukrainian population. In some cases, like in Kharkiv in early 2014, pro-Russian Ukrainian crowds protected the monuments, including members of the communist and socialist parties, as well as veterans of World War II and the Afghan wars. The Statue of Lenin in Kharkiv was toppled on September 28, 2014. Late October 2014, then Kharkiv Governor Ihor Baluta admitted that he thought that the majority of Kharkiv residents had not wanted the statue removed, but said "there was hardly any protest afterward either, which is quite telling".
This is a partial list:
|Statue of Lenin||Andriyevo-Ivanove||January 3, 2014||Broken in two||Police launched an investigation based on a Criminal Code article entitled "Destruction of, or Damage to, Monuments of History or Culture".|
|Statue of Lenin||Berdychiv||February 22, 2014||Toppled and destroyed|||
|Statue of Lenin||Bila Tserkva||Toppled and destroyed|||
|Statue of Lenin||Chernihiv||February 21, 2014||Toppled|||
|Statue of Lenin||Chervona Sloboda||July 8, 2014||Toppled||According to the Ukrainian Communist Party "a criminal case has been opened over the act of vandalism".|
|Statue of Lenin||Khmelnitsky||February 21, 2014||Toppled|||
|Statue of Lenin||Kiev||December 8, 2013||Toppled and destroyed|||
|Statue of Lenin||Kotovsk||December 8, 2013||Broken into several pieces|||
|Statue of Lenin||Melitopol||Broken into several pieces|
|Statue of Lenin||Zhytomyr|||
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Poroshenko signs laws on denouncing Communist, Nazi regimes, Interfax-Ukraine. 15 May 20
Poroshenko: Time for Ukraine to resolutely get rid of Communist symbols, UNIAN. 17 May 2015
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(in Ukrainian) WITH 50 THOUSAND RENAMED OBJECTS PLACE NAMES, ONLY 34 ARE NAMED AFTER BANDERA, Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance (16 January 2017)
- Revisiting Chernobyl: 'It is a huge cemetery of dreams', The Guardian (28 February 2019)
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- on YouTube
- on YouTube
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