Kiev ‘behead’ statue Ukraine-Russia friendship – World

The Russian worker’s head lies on the ground, bent to one side, the hollow bronze neck almost neatly severed. It is the first piece of statue to fall under the Arch of Friendship between Russia and Ukraine, in the very center of Kiev. The 8-meter-high monument, built in 1982, depicted a Russian and a Ukrainian worker who together hold the star of the Soviet Order of Friendship of Peoples. But now, the mayor of the capital Vitaly Klitschko explains to ANSA, “it is no longer relevant: Russia wants to destroy us, it destroys relations, and shows what kind of friendship it is”. The statue is harnessed and supported by a crane, in the background the sound of the blowtorch at work.

Kiev demolishes the statue of friendship of peoples between Ukraine and Russia

In front of journalists and onlookers, the mayor puts forward his proposal: “We dedicate this place to the freedom of Ukraine. I hope that the Kyiv city council will support me”. Next to the statue of the two workers is a granite monument, surmounted by a gigantic titanium arch, 50 meters in diameter, overlooking the Dnieper River. Already in 2018, a crack sticker was applied to it, a symbol of the rift between Kiev and Moscow, in support of political prisoners held in Russia. In the intentions of the mayor, the arch will be repainted in the colors of Ukraine, yellow and blue. “It was time”. “Finally”. “We should have done it already in 1991”, are the comments among the people watching the demolition.

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“It is not known why the idea of ​​tearing down the statue has so far been put aside. But it’s the right thing to do,” says Alex, a 35-year-old interpreter. “Any other monument will be better than this one. We could dedicate it to our soldiers, to our great poet Taras Shevchenko, or to the friendship between Ukraine and Europe, and with all the other countries that are now helping us.” Mykhailo is 67 years old and few teeth, he is from Kiev but he does not remember when the Soviets erected the statue.

“I was driving home on the subway when I heard the news that it was being shot down. I jumped off and came to see. Russia has hurt us for 400 years,” he welcomes. “We didn’t really need this monument”, also comments Lisa, 19, from Kharkiv but just back from Lviv, who observes the scene sitting on the wall with two university friends. “When we used to go there …”, the three peers, colored hair and a trickle of make-up, sigh bitterly

. “When the war is over we will no longer have to look to the past, but to the future”, adds Lisa, who already has very clear ideas about her future. “I’ll tell my children about it as a lesson.” The municipality of Kiev intends to dismantle another 60 monuments linked to the Soviet Union and Russia, Klitschko then informs on his Telegram channel, following a “decommunization” plan already started for years in Ukraine. The city has compiled a list of 460 streets and testimonies to be renamed to erase any memory of the Russian invader.

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