Kyiv demolished a Soviet-era statue representing its friendship with Russia

Children pose for a photo on the pedestal of the Soviet monument to Ukraine-Russia friendship dismantled by workers in Kyiv on Tuesday.
The statues from the Monument of People’s Friendship are taken down during its demolition on Tuesday in Kyiv, Ukraine.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv officials announced earlier this week that they would dismantle part of a monument symbolizing the friendship with the Soviet Union, specifically Russia.

A bronze statue of two men jointly raising up a Soviet order of friendship has stood under the iconic titanium People’s Friendship Arch in the city center since 1982.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Monday that the statue would be dismantled. On Tuesday, workers pulled it apart — starting with the men’s heads — while a crowd of onlookers cheered.

A young woman poses next to one of the heads from the now-dismantled monument.

Reuters reports that a crane lifted the statue off its base and gradually lowered it to the ground, as around 100 observers applauded and shouted slogans like “Glory to Ukraine.”

A man puts a rope across figures from the People’s Friendship monument during its demolition.

Several people in the crowd told reporters it was a fitting move, given the toll that Russia’s war has taken on Ukraine’s people and infrastructure.

“Russia invaded Ukraine … Can we be friends with Russia? What do you think? This is our worst enemy, that is why the monument to Russian-Ukrainian friendship doesn’t make sense any more,” said Serhiy Myrhorodsky, one of the statue’s designers.

The Friendship Arch — on which activists had painted a large crack following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea — will remain in place.

Klitschko says it will be painted in Ukraine’s national colors of blue and yellow and renamed the “Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian People.”

The monument is removed Tuesday to the cheers of onlookers and shouts of “Glory to Ukraine.”

4 comments

  1. Been on that hill numerous times, enjoying the sight over the river and Podil. Those statues were always a part of the scenery up there, like the arch. I’m glad they’re gone. There is NO friendship between the two people anymore…

    Liked by 5 people

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