Several Ukrainian cities plan to rename streets and squares associated with Russia, in a process of “de-Russification” following the Russian invasion.
On Wednesday, the Kiev City Council said it had compiled a list of 467 sites under consideration for renaming.
- Kiev topples Soviet-era monument symbolizing Russian-Ukrainian friendship
Ukraine dismantles statue representing friendship with Russia
These locations include a central square named after the writer Leon Tolstoy and a street called Lake Baical. Minsk Street, the capital of Belarus, a close ally of Russia, is also on the list.
Since Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, some cities have been renamed to erase the legacy of hated Soviet authorities. Now the authorities want to remove the names of Russian authors and poets, among others.
Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko last week warned against a blanket removal of anything affiliated with Russia.
Citing Ukrainian-born Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol as an example, he said that some “characters belong to the stock of global heritage”.
On Tuesday (26), a Soviet-era monument in Kiev that symbolized the friendship between Russia and Ukraine was torn down.
Soviet head is seen on the ground during the dismantling of a statue that represented the friendship of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples – Photo: Gleb Garanich/REUTERS
The statue showed a Ukrainian and a Russian worker on a pedestal, holding together a Soviet order of friendship. The statue was located under the “People’s Friendship Arch”, erected in 1982 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union.
“The monument symbolized the friendship between the Ukrainian and Russian nations. Now we see what this ‘friendship’ is: the destruction of Ukrainian cities, the ruin of the lives of Ukrainians, the murder of tens of thousands of peaceful people. I am convinced that this monument has an entirely different meaning now,” said Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko.
A Soviet monument to the friendship between Ukrainian and Russian nations is seen after its demolition (Photo: Gleb Garanich/REUTERS)
The arch that is positioned above the image will remain in place, but it will no longer be called “Arc of the Friendship of the People” and will receive the colors of the Ukrainian flag (blue and yellow). There are still no indications of what the new nomenclature will be.