Kyiv razes Soviet monument to Ukraine-Russia friendship

The bronze sculpture of two workers was installed in 1982 to commemorate the reunification of Ukraine with Russia


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Published: Tue 26 Apr 2022, 8:18 PM

Kyiv on Tuesday began demolishing a monument symbolising historic ties between ex-Soviet Ukraine and Russia, more than two months after Moscow’s troops attacked their pro-democratic neighbour.

“We are removing the bronze sculpture of two workers installed in the centre of the capital in 1982 ‘to commemorate the reunification of Ukraine with Russia’,” Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a statement on social media.

“The dismantling has started today and we plan to finish it this evening,” he added.

“And what is symbolic is that when they tried to lift the sculpture with a crane, the head of a Russian worker fell off,” Klitschko wrote.

He explained the decision citing what he called Moscow’s “barbaric desire to destroy our state and peaceful Ukrainians,” with the full-scale war launched on February 24.


Klitschko said a second component of the sculpture would be removed later and the giant arch above the workers would be renamed and illuminated with the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

He said city authorities were working on plans to demolish around 60 monuments in the capital related to Russia and the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, Klitschko added, some 460 streets and other objects in the city are slated for renaming.

Since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and Moscow threw its political clout behind separatists in the east of the country, Kyiv has worked to remove Soviet symbols from the country in a programme of “de-communisation”.

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