Decommunization: Soviet symbols and bas-reliefs on the building of the Odessa railway station were replaced with a trident and views of the city

The building of the railway station in Odessa is finally being decommunized . The monumental structure of the early fifties of the last century was literally crammed with paintings and bas-reliefs with Soviet symbols. Banners, orders and stars of the Stalin period of the USSR met and saw off passengers of the Odessa railway. The correspondent of “Dumskaya” watched the process.

Spouses Elena and Oleg in just three days were able to change all the bas-reliefs of the Stalin era for Ukrainian tridents and the coats of arms of our city. According to them, about a hundred decorative elements were replaced in total – about 50 outside and the same number inside the building.

“We started the work the day before yesterday in the morning, we will finish it by this evening,” says Oleg. “There are only six bas-reliefs left to cover. Today we are already very tired, but I think that we will manage by the evening.

The work in general is not difficult, but it takes a lot of time and effort. The fact is that outside the building, Stalin’s bas-reliefs are located on two levels – the first at a height of about four meters, the second – about eight, so the installers use a special lift to work.

Inside the building, all columns on four sides were also plastered with Soviet symbols, but they have already been replaced.

Interestingly, they decided not to destroy the old decor by knocking it down with a hammer, but simply covered it with new products. According to Elena, this decision helped to solve many organizational problems and significantly reduced the cost of the process.

“In order to knock down old bas-reliefs, we would have to obtain permission from many city authorities, including the department of architecture and cultural heritage protection. Firstly, it takes a long time, and secondly, it was necessary to make a reconstruction project that costs more than one million hryvnias. We decided that the money would now be useful for the needs of our Defense Forces, so we took a simple path – we simply covered the old bas-reliefs with new ones, ”Elena explained.

Two large medallions with images of Red Army soldiers – a sailor and a soldier, located in the ticket office from Starosennaya Square, were also replaced. Instead of them, images of the Potemkin Stairs and the Opera House now flaunt.

Photo — Sergey Smolentsev


  1. I’m waiting for the shield of the Ukrainian Motherland Monument to be changed. But, that won’t be an easy task.

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