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Monument to Lenin in Kharkov will not be pulled down without authorities’ decision

February 25, 2014, 7:53 UTC+3 KIEV
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© ITAR-TASS/Andrei Avdoshin

KIEV, February 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Opponents of the incumbent authorities in the northeast city of Kharkov representing the coordination council of the protest movement have given up the idea of pulling down a monument to Vladimir Lenin and to wait for an official resolution on the issue, Vladimir Chistilin, the leader the of coordination council’s Kharkov branch said.

“Coordination Council of the Kharkov Euromaidan has decided to take account of the opinion of public quarters and it will not initiate a dismantling of the monument to Lenin on Tuesday, February 25,” he said. “We abide by the European value and are ready to heed the position of the residents of Kharkov.” 

“We decided to discuss all aspects of the matter with the territorial community and that is why there will be no works to pull down the monument to the tyrant on Freedom Square (in Kharkov) on Tuesday, although we’ve received a full package of documents on dismantling from specialists,” Chistilin said.

Mass dismantling of the monuments to Lenin in different parts of Ukraine began February 8 but the residents of Kharkov have offered mass resistance to the attempts of local groups of Maidan supporters to do the same in their city.

Overnight to Tuesday, defenders of Kharkov against Euromaidan set up a tent camp near the monument to Lenin on the other side of the square. While on Sunday the crowd around the monument did not exceed a hundred people, by in the small hours of Tuesday it obviously numbered several thousand.

Two row of metallic fencing separated by a buffer zone have been erected around the monument. The activists were making campfires, bringing the necessary implements and foodstuffs.

Initially, the camp was erected as a reaction to the plans of Euromaidan proponents to pull the monument down. Then the reports appeared on an ostensible agreement with the local authorities to dismantle it.

Defenders of the monument believe that this might be the beginning of a campaign of “marauding the destructions, which will be committed but those who’ve come from Kiev and Ukraine’s Western regions.”

In addition, participants in the action are strongly opposing any attempts by the far-right Ukrainian nationalists to restrict the use of the Russian language on the country’s territory or to ban it altogether.

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