Lenin down and out in Ukraine

On the 8th of December 2013, nationalist Svoboda (Freedom Party) activists meticulously planned and pulled down a statue of Lenin in Kiev. In the last 48 hours, however, a dozen or more Lenins have been toppled across the country, even in stereotypically regime-aligned Dnipropetrovsk.

Apparently, at least 16 Lenins were brought down on the 21st alone.


Inevitably, it has become part of a meme (and a promising part). I can’t remember where the underlying photo was actually taken, but now Lenin is not so much forlorn as panic-stricken. ‘Psss, lad, hasn’t that Maydan ended [псс, парень, там Майдан не кончился]?’

The Golden Throne (3rd February 2014)

Long before the first Lenin was toppled, resisters had opened the Museum of Yanukovych’s Promises – in a tribute to President Viktor Yanukovich’s wealth and wastefulness, a golden toilet. After the first Lenin was toppled, Yanukovich was immortalised through the installation of a golden toilet on the empthy plinth, and (by Lilia Klimova) through the creation of a golden model of a giant Yanukovich urinating while being guarded by tiny toy soldiers (Berkut police gunmen).

Symbol, souvenir, commodity

Within hours, someone had inevitably wondered ‘what a toppled Ukrainian Lenin statue would fetch on the open market‘.

Zhytomyr (20th February 2014)

Poltava (21st February 2014)

Dunaivtsi (21st February 2014)

Brovarach (21st February 2014)

Slavuta (21st February 2014)

Pryluky (21st February 2014)

Krasilov (21st February 2014)

Dnipropetrovsk (21st February 2014)

In Dnipropetrovsk, they tried for hours before they finally succeeded.

EuroMaidan mixtape (21st February 2014)

EuroMaidan’s PR team put together a montage of removals of Lenin and set it to music. Amongst others, it features Bila Tserkva, Fastiv, Khmelnytsky and Berdychiv.

In Khmelnytsky, at least, they smashed him to smithereens.


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