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Two statues of Lenin toppled in north-eastern Ukraine

September 29, 2014, 9:51 UTC+3 KIEV
"A war against monuments" began across Ukraine after a coup in the country in February 2014
1 pages in this article
© EPA/SERGEI KOZLOV

KIEV, September 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Two statues of Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin have been toppled over the past 24 hours in Ukraine’s north-eastern Kharkiv region, where half of the population see Russian as their mother-tongue.

A monument to Lenin has been torn down in Kharkiv region’s Dergachi, Ukrainian interior minister’s adviser Anton Gerashchenko wrote on his Facebook page on Monday.

On Sunday, participants in a rally for Ukraine’s unity dismantled the biggest in Ukraine statue of Lenin in Kharkiv. The 20-meter monument was pulled down with the use of cables and a crane.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has reported that an investigation into vandalism will be closed, as the monument was dismantled upon the order of Kharkiv region’s governor Ihor Baluta.

"A war against monuments" began across Ukraine after a coup in the country in February 2014. Three monuments to Lenin were torn down in Kharkiv alone in August. Four more have been destroyed in the southern Odessa region and one more in the city of Mariupol in the embattled Donetsk region.

Ukraine has been in political and economic turmoil since the end of last year, when then-President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union to study the deal more thoroughly.

The refusal triggered riots, which resulted in a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. Crimea did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities in Kiev. It seceded from Ukraine and reunified with Russia in mid-March 2014 after a referendum. Crimea’s example apparently inspired residents of Ukraine’s south-east who formed militias and started fighting for their rights.

The parties to the conflict agreed on cessation of fire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Minsk on September 5.

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