May 19, 2022

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Kyiv demolishes a Soviet-era monument symbolizing Russian-Ukrainian friendship

Kyiv demolishes a Soviet-era monument symbolizing Russian-Ukrainian friendship

Kyiv (Reuters) – Ukrainian authorities on Tuesday dismantled a massive Soviet-era monument in central Kyiv that symbolized friendship between Russia and Ukraine, in response to the invasion of Moscow, according to the city’s mayor.

The eight-meter (27 ft) high bronze statue depicts a Ukrainian and Russian worker on a pedestal, holding aloft a Soviet friendship system. The statue was placed under the giant titanium “Arch of People’s Friendship” that was erected in 1982 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Soviet Union.

“We now see what this ‘friendship’ is – the destruction of Ukrainian cities .. killed tens of thousands of peaceful people. I am convinced that such a monument has a completely different meaning now,” said Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv.

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The workers began to remove one of the two bronze heads that had fallen to the ground with a hollow crack.

As the monument’s crane lifted off its moorings and gradually lowered it to the ground, a crowd of about 100 people chanted and chanted “Glory to Ukraine” and other slogans.

“Russia invaded Ukraine … Can we be friends with Russia? What do you think? This is our worst enemy, which is why the monument to Russian-Ukrainian friendship no longer makes sense,” said Serhiy Mirhorodsky, one of these. designers.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, killed and wounded thousands, reduced towns and cities to rubble, and forced more than 5 million people to flee abroad.

Moscow describes its actions as a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists.

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“We should have no ties with the nation of the aggressors…no friendship, no relationships, nothing,” said Diana, a young woman who did not give her full name.

Klitschko said the arch would remain in place but that its name would be changed to the Arch of Freedom for the Ukrainian People.

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Writing by Mark Porter and David Leungren, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.