Vladimir Lenin monument, Kiev
Vladimir Lenin monument in Kiev became noticed as being directly involved in the Euromaidan events when it was violently toppled from its pedestal and crushed by angry mob on December 8, 2013. Later in its place, there was installed a golden toilet atop the pedestal as a symbol of state corruption, and then, the plinth has become a site of political artwork.
The larger than life-size (3.45 meters [11.32 feet]) Lenin monument was built by Soviet sculptor Sergey Merkurov from the same red Karelian stone as Lenin's Mausoleum. It was displayed at the 1939 New York World's Fair and erected on Kiev's main Khreshchatyk Street (at the intersection of Shevchenko Boulevard, opposite the Bessarabsky Market) on 5 December 1946.
According to the decree of the former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, this monument of the Soviet Union and the associated Communist period should have been removed after Ukraine gained independence.
On December 1, 2013 a group of masked men attempted to topple the statue during the surge of the Euromaidan protests. Police immediately reacted by deploying a small Berkut riot police unit which was attacked, overwhelmed and forced to flee. Euromaidan leaders immediately denounced both the monument attempt and the clash with police as an action of unaffiliated "provocateurs".
Subsequently, on December 8, 2013, several Ukrainian individuals subsequently claimed to be affiliated with the Svoboda political party, toppled the statue, as Kiev police silently looked on. The statue then broke from impact with the ground.
The removal or destruction of Lenin monuments and statues gained particular momentum after the destruction of the Kyiv Lenin statue. Under the motto "Ленінопад" (Leninopad, translated into English as "Leninfall"), activists pulled down a dozen communist monuments in the Kyiv region, Zhytomyr, Chmelnitcki, and elsewhere, or damaged them during the course of the EuroMaidan protests into spring of 2014. In other cities and towns, monuments were removed by organised heavy equipment and transported to scrapyards or dumps.
A member of the Ukrainian parliament from the party UDAR, Valeriy Karpuntsov, announced that Ukrainian police had started arrests of people present in the area during the fall of the last monument to Lenin in Kiev.
The governor of Kharkiv Oblast, Mykhailo Dobkin, tweeted on 8 December 2013 about starting a crowdfunding campaign to restore the monument "“Tomorrow I will open the account for restoration of the monument to Lenin in Kiev… Everybody, who hates Guzuls for their stupidity, join". He stated that he would allocate the sum of 100,000 hryvnias for the restoration of the monument.
Most residents of Kiev (69%) had a negative attitude to the removal of Lenin’s monument during the mass protest actions, while 13% had a positive attitude and 15% remained indifferent.
- Singer Ruslana (one of the leading figures of the protests) was critical of the event, saying, "We do not need any barbaric actions. We condemn acts of vandalism, savagery, violence and anything that can divide and split Ukraine [...] doubling monuments and calls for aggression is nothing but a movement in the opposite direction of European integration and humane society."
- Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the Svoboda party, dismissed the event as a "meaningless suicide".
|Pictures of the aftermath|
- List of communist monuments damaged during Euromaidan
- List of communist monuments in Ukraine
- List of statues of Vladimir Lenin
- Monument of the Great October Revolution
- Decommunization in Ukraine
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Yet the Euromaidan, as the protest campaign is known, is serious enough to give President Viktor Yanukovych a serious scare.
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- Poroshenko signed the laws about decomunization. Ukrayinska Pravda. 15 May 2015
Poroshenko signs laws on denouncing Communist, Nazi regimes, Interfax-Ukraine. 15 May 20
Goodbye, Lenin: Ukraine moves to ban communist symbols, BBC News (14 April 2015)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Destroying of Lenin's monument in Kiev.|
- Full Video of Protesters In Kyiv Toppling, Decapitating Lenin Statue
- Ukraine Protest: Tearing Down Lenin's Statue in Kyiv - New York Times
- Goodbye, Lenin: Protesters topple monument in Kyiv - Russia Today
- BBC | Ukraine commits statue-cide
- Map of Lenin statues decapitated or totally fallen during the Leninopad in Ukraine