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Kyiv authorities begin dismantling historical monument to Pereiaslav Council

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 30, 2024 3:49 PM 2 min read
Authorities began on April 30, 2024, dismantling a monument in central Kyiv commemorating the Pereiaslav Council, a 17th-century treaty between the Cossack Hetmanate and the Muscovite Tsardom. (Kyiv City Military Administration/Telegram)
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Authorities began dismantling a monument in central Kyiv commemorating a 17th-century treaty between the Cossack Hetmanate and the Tsardom of Muscovy, the Kyiv City Military Administration said on April 30.

The Pereiaslav Council of 1654 saw the Cossacks, inhabitants of modern-day Ukraine, enter into an alliance with Moscow against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The statue was erected during the Soviet era in 1982 as part of the People's Friendship Arch complex, a series of three sculptures made in honor of the "reunification of Ukraine and Russia."

The Kyiv City Military Administration said that the dismantling will likely take several days, as the sculpture consists of roughly 20 parts weighing about six to seven metric tons.

The monument will be subsequently moved to the Ukraine State Aviation Museum.

As Ukraine launched its campaign of decommunization and de-Sovietization of its public spaces, one statue of the complex was removed in April 2022 after the start of Russia's full-scale invasion.

Earlier in April 2024, the Culture Ministry removed the complex's official status as a historic site, paving the way for further dismantling.

The Pereiaslav Council has often been used in Soviet and Russian historiography as "evidence" of the supposed centuries-old affinity between the Ukrainian and Russian nations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned the treaty in his 2021 article "On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians," a propaganda piece that preceded the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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