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Kyiv authorities begin dismantling prominent Soviet-era statue in city center

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 9, 2023 10:15 AM 1 min read
Workers dismantle a statue of Mykola Shchors, a Red Army commander who fought against the short lived Ukrainian People's Republic, in a photo posted on Dec. 9, 2023. (Kyiv City Administration)
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Authorities in Kyiv have begun dismantling a statue of Red Army commander Mykola Shchors located on one of the main streets in the center of the capital, the Kyiv City State Administration announced on Dec. 9.

Ukraine's parliament outlawed most Soviet and communist symbols, street names, and monuments as part of a decommunization process in 2015. A number of statues commemorating Soviet or Russian figures have come down since then.

Shchors was a Ukrainian communist who fought with the Soviet Red Army during the Ukrainian War of Independence following the 1917 Russian Revolution. He is known for leading troops in the fight against the short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic, established in 1917, and other anti-communist forces.

The Shchors monument on Taras Shevchenko Boulevard in central Kyiv has long been largely neglected and covered in graffiti, even before the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Earlier in August, the Soviet hammer and sickle emblazoned on Kyiv's Motherland monument, the tallest statue in Ukraine, was removed and replaced with Ukraine's coat of arms, the trident.

President Volodymyr Zelensky also signed a law in April 2023 prohibiting naming geographic sites in Ukraine after Russian figures or historical events associated with Russian aggression.

Titled "On Geographical Names," the law aims to address the "decolonization of toponymy" and to regulate the use of place names in Ukraine, according to the text of the law.

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