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KIEV, August 17. /TASS/. No statues of the former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin have been left across Ukraine, the head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, Vladimir Vyatrovich, said in an interview with Liga edition issued on Thursday.
"A total of 2,389 monuments have been pulled down, including 1,320 statues of Lenin. As far as we know, there are no more (statues of) Lenin in the cities - on the territory controlled by Ukraine," he said. According to Vyatrovich, some monuments may still have survived in certain Ukrainian villages or at enterprises. "The fact is that they have never existed in inventories, they can be dismantled only if they are spotted," he added.
Vyatrovich said statues made of plaster don’t have any monetary or historical value, and were destroyed. Bronze busts have been either melted or went to museums. He also said that before the end of the year, a museum of "monumental propaganda of the USSR" may be opened at Kiev’s exhibition of economic achievements (VDNkH), where statues of Lenin will also be featured.
In May 2015 Kiev adopted decommunization legislation aimed at denouncing the Communist regime and outlawing Soviet symbols. The decommunization crusade requires that all facilities bearing the names of Soviet figures regardless of status be renamed. Also in the crosshairs, anything mentioning communism, Soviet power, or its institutions, is deemed illegal as well.
One of the greatest uproars of late was fueled by Ukrainian parliament members, when they decided to rename the city of Dnepropetrovsk to Dnepr and the city Kirovograd to Kropivnitsky. According to the Ukrainian authorities, 987 settlements have been renamed across the country.
In practice, in the course of this campaign the new authorities are doing all to get rid of all that reminds of Soviet times, but also everything reminding of ties between Ukraine and Russia. Thus, the Moskovsky Avenue was renamed to Bandera Avenue. Besides, the Institute of National Memory published the list of 520 historical names whose activity falls under decommunization legislation.