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Soviet coat of arms removed from Kyiv's Motherland Monument

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 1, 2023 6:06 PM 2 min read
This aerial view taken on Aug. 1, 2023, shows the Motherland Monument as steeplejacks dismantle the coat of arms of the former Soviet Union from the shield of a 62-meter (102 meters with pedestal) Motherland Monument in Kyiv, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Sergii Volskyi/AFP via Getty Images)
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Photographers captured the moment on Aug. 1 when the Soviet coat of arms was removed from Ukraine's tallest statue, the Motherland Monument, making way for the installation of a trident – Ukraine's coat of arms.

The 102-meter-hight statue was built in 1981 when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. It depicts a woman holding a sword and a shield emblazoned with the Soviet hammer and sickle symbol.

According to Ukrainska Pravda, the work on the monument began with the dismantling of the coat of arms' wreath a few days ago.  

The work will reportedly be finished by Ukraine's Independence Day on Aug. 24.

The statue will also be renamed the Mother-Ukraine statue.

In April 2015, the Ukrainian parliament outlawed most Soviet and communist symbols, street names, and moments as part of a decommunization policy.

As the monument stands on the site of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II, the statue was exempted. However, in a 2022 survey, following the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, 85% of respondents supported the idea to replace the Soviet emblem with a trident.

On May 3, 2023, Ukraine's parliament voted on a law to remove the remaining Soviet and Russian Empire monuments left in the country.

The State Inspection of Architecture and Urban Planning announced on July 13 that it issued a permit to replace the Soviet emblem.

The project is set to cost Hr 28 million ($762,000). Oleksandr Tkachenko, who was culture minister until his dismissal and resignation at the end of July, stated that the funding for the project comes from private businesses and the state budget will not be used.

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