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Falling Lenin

TUMBLING LENIN 'CHALLENGE' IN UKRAINE

The first wave of overthrowing the monuments to Lenin in Western Ukraine was held in 1990-1991 . At the same time, the monument of Lenin was removed in Kiev on October Revolution Square, which nowadays is called Independence Square.

The first time term «Tumbling Lenin» was mentioned in February 2013, when the monument to Lenin was overthrown in Okhtyrka,located in the south of the Sumy region.

The beginning of massive «Tumbling Lenin» is considered to demolition of the monument to Lenin in Kiev on Bessarabian square.

The event occurred on December 8, 2013.

More widely people started to destroy the monuments to "idol" of the Soviet Union after reports of Maidan activists deaths, who were killed during confrontations in Kiev.

Dismantling the monuments, protestors claim that in this way they "deprive their towns from symbol of the totalitarianism and pave the way for renewed Ukraine."

The police, for their part, will not start criminal proceedings brought on the fact of hooliganism or vandalism.

Some say, that to fight monuments is the same as to fight windmills. Do you remember the episode of the famous Don Quixote ?! A personality of Vladimir Lenin for ordinary Ukrainians is more than extraordinary. Above all, this historic figure is associated with the communist regime, which had prevailed more than one decade over the territory of Ukraine.

Communism in Ukraine is associated with not good emotions. First of all, it concerns with inhabitants of Western Ukraine, which had experienced , such things as relocation, deportation, political trials, executions, etc.

Therefore, during first years of independent Ukraine, the monuments, which were dedicated to totalitarian ideologies were almost completely demolished from the territory of settlements of Western Ukraine.

The East and the center of Ukraine until recently, were generously planted with granite “Lenin” and other reminders of communistic area.

The person, who organized the bloody terror in Russia, exterminated about two million people,and this only as a result of the transaction "dispossession", represented in Ukraine in thousands of copies.

Even today, according to approximate estimates there are about 2 thousands monuments in Ukraine. Is this the very thing to preserve the memory of the tyrant?

There is an opinion, that this is not the preserving of a historical tribute, but rather ordinary - propaganda. And it is rather effective one. There is a clear connection: the more monuments to Lenin in the region (that is the more propaganda), the most support there’s given to the communists and to the Party of Regions.

Society, seeing nothing wrong in this it is imposed as a bloody tyrant idol, always will be prepared for the fact to adopt a new tyrant, which it will be offered.

The monuments to Lenin - is one of the ideological traps, that firmly hold people's minds without letting off the communist deception in which they had been living for decades.

In this list is not only Lenin included. For example, the character of a banderivetc - enemy - this is also an ideological trap. Hatred for the enemies of NKVD, should be unconditional for the enemies of Soviet authorities. Only an attenuating flame of fear and hate had allowed citizens of the Soviet Union not to think about the millions of victims of repression, thousands of deported and murdered and the real causes of the rebel movement in western Ukraine.

Therefore, the majority of Ukrainians believe – “Lenins” must be ”ovethrown”. Even, if it is painful to take for the part of society. These ideological traps – are like a disease, which isn’t possible to cure in a medical way.

In any case, the past will always be the past. And living the past - does not give the opportunity to live in the future. The overthrowing of granite monuments of communism - an act of purification from the past which prevailing death, humiliation of human dignity and contempt for an individual.

The young Ukrainian people are well aware that this is only the beginning, first steps in the fight for healing against totalitarianism and humanity mode.



We chose the comments written by ordinary Ukrainians. What would they tell us?

Andrew Timchuk,front man of the musical band Flyzzza(Lutsk,Ukraine): Tumbling Lenin
"For me, this " cleaning up "has been necessary since a long time ago for Ukraine. Living in among where there’s actually no “Lenins”, I was surprised to see them so many and still "available" throughout Ukraine. I think, it's time to think about changing the names of the streets... Now, in my opinion, this is the time for "leninopadiv".

Katherine Muryn,student (Odessa,Ukraine): "I believe, that barbarian method of destroying the monuments of such historical figure as Lenin, is silly and crazy. There were such monuments for years, and they didn’t bother anybody. It is not a monument to Hitler. It is absolutely normal for the existence of these monuments in the post Soviet Union. If the local community don’t like it, then who forbid just to dismantle it like people do in normal civilized society? And people seem do not understand that the demolition of the monument does not mean anything. It's just a thing and that’s all, but the manner in which this "leninopad" was accompanied simply lead to aggravation of the situation. I am a student of one of Odessa universities, I know that people here are not pro-Russian, but they are afraid of "nationalists" who arrive screaming and begin to move Lenin's monuments away. I think, it is not European behavior at all."

Elmira Alikberova,entrepreneur (Lviv,Ukraine): "Ukraine should get rid of the monuments to Lenin a long time ago. It's like cleaning the old junk, lived out things, that carry negative energy and serve as a barrier to start a" new day". But, in general," leninopad "will do nothing until there is no change of the ideology in the East of Ukraine towards Russia ,until there is no change in authority,and till everyone for himself and in himself don’t overthrow this ”Lenin”.

Ostap Dzondza,translator (Kyiv,Ukraine): «Tumbling Lenin Challenge is a pleasant pastime for the people of the city and the country, bringing communities of Ukrainians together in a symbolic gesture of unity and solidarity. More broadly speaking, Tumbling Lenin Challenge is a sort of detoxification of the organism of the entire nation. Of course, it will not, by itself, bring about any political and economic changes, but the improvement of the aesthetics of our urban spaces is always a good thing and should be practised until the last statue, plaque, and any other monument to the dark times of Communist colonialism is demolished, dismantled, removed, destroyed, and consigned to oblivion».

Roman Guba,student (Sloviansk,Ukraine): "For me," Leninopad " is a completely appropriate reaction of the Ukrainian people on plantations of Soviet propaganda. Now Ukrainians absolutely consciously destroy these alien symbols for us. Some may feel that the destruction of monuments - this is barbarism, but this is due to the inability of removing monuments legally."

About The Author

Oleg Dorka

Oleg Dorka

Oleg Dorka is a blogger and freelance journalist based in Lviv-Drohobych, Ukraine. He works as a TV reporter and radio journalist for Ukrainian, Polish and German media companies. He does not only leads his blog at B-East Production, but also works at many others multimedia projects here. His main interests are European integration and humans right .