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Ukraine's coat of arms raised onto Motherland monument's shield

by The Kyiv Independent news desk August 6, 2023 11:29 AM 2 min read
Steeplejacks began to assemble the raised coat of arms of Ukraine, the Tryzub (Trident), on a shield of the Motherland Monument on August 6, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine. The monument is expected to be completed by August 24, when Ukraine celebrates Independence Day. (Photo by Yan Dobronosov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's coat of arms, the trident, has replaced the Soviet hammer and sickle on the Motherland monument's shield in Kyiv on Aug. 6.

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

The Soviet coat of arms was removed from the shield on Aug. 1 but work on dismantling it began a few days prior. The refitting of the shield is expected to be completed before Ukraine's Independent Day on Aug. 24.

The Ukrainian parliament outlawed most Soviet and communist symbols, street names, and monuments as part of decommunization policies back in 2015. However, since the Motherland statue is a World War II monument, it was exempted.

In a survey conducted after the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, 85% of respondents supported the idea of replacing the Soviet emblem on the Motherland statue's shield with a trident, Ukraine's coat of arms.

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, voted on a law last May to remove the remaining Soviet and Russian Empire monuments left in the country.

The State Inspection of Architecture and Urban Planning announced in mid-July that it had issued a permit to replace the emblem of one of Kyiv's most significant landmarks.

Former Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko, who was dismissed from his position and resigned at the end of July, previously said that the funding for the project comes from private businesses and the state budget will not be used. The project is set to cost Hr 28 million ($762,000).

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 19 – Ukraine’s struggle to dump Soviet legacy
Episode #19 of our weekly video podcast “This Week in Ukraine” is dedicated to Ukraine’s national decommunization policy. Host Anastasiia Lapatina is joined by the Kyiv Independent’s culture reporter Kate Tsurkan. Listen to the audio version of the podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, and other pl…

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