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Kyiv authorities dismantle controversial Pushkin statue

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 15, 2023 1:42 PM 2 min read
Kyiv city authorities remove a statue to Russian writer Alexander Pushkin on Nov. 15, 2023. (Dmytro Belotserkovets / Facebook)
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Kyiv city authorities have removed the statue of Russian writer Alexander Pushkin that stood on one of the city's main streets, Kyiv Mayoral Adviser Dmytro Belotserkovets posted on social media on Nov. 15.

"Pushkin is not part of Ukrainian culture,"  Belotserkovets posted, noting that it took until "the end of the second year of the full-scale war" for the government to agree to remove the monument.

The Ukrainian Government withdrew the statue from the state register of monuments of national importance on Nov. 10, allowing for its dismantling.

The statue had been the scene of protests over recent weeks. During the night of Nov. 7, unknown protesters painted the words "decolonization cannot be stopped" over the base of the statue and threw red paint over the Pushkin's face.

A number of other monuments of Russian and Soviet figures were also removed from the list, including a statue of Red Army commander Mykola Shchors in Kyiv and a statue of Russian nobleman Prince Vorontsov in Odesa. They have not yet been removed.

The government also withdrew monuments to Pushkin in Zhytomyr and Kharkiv from the list, both of which have been taken down.

"A small step for the Kyiv community, a big step for Ukraine," replied one person commented under Belotserkovets' post.

Last spring, monuments to Pushkin were dismantled in cities like Ukraine’s southern port city of Mykolaiv, Ukraine’s western city of Ternopil, and in the western Zakarpattia Oblast.

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