Kyiv pulls down Soviet-era monument symbolising Russian-Ukrainian friendship

KYIV (REUTERS) – A Soviet-era monument symbolising friendship between Russia and Ukraine was dismantled in Kyiv on Tuesday (April 26), a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in keeping with the town’s mayor.

The statue depicted a Ukrainian and Russian employee on a plinth, holding aloft collectively a Soviet order of friendship.

The statue was situated beneath the ‘People’s Friendship Arch’, erected in 1982 to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the Soviet Union.

“This monument… symbolised friendship between Ukrainian and Russian nations. We now see what this ‘friendship’ is – destruction of Ukrainian cities, ruining the lives of Ukrainians, killing tens of thousands of peaceful people. I am convinced such a monument has an entirely different meaning now,” Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko mentioned.

Workmen began by eradicating one of many two bronze heads, which fell to the bottom with a hole clang. 

As a crane lifted the monument off its moorings and progressively lowered it to the bottom, a crowd of round 100 individuals cheered and shouted, “Glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes, glory to the nation Ukraine.”

“Russia invaded Ukraine… Can we be friends with Russia?  What do you think? This is our worst enemy, that is why the monument to Russian-Ukrainian friendship doesn’t make sense any more,” mentioned Mr Serhiy Myrhorodsky, one of many designers. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, launched on Feb 24, has left hundreds useless or injured, lowered cities and cities to rubble, and compelled greater than 5 million individuals to flee overseas.

Moscow calls its actions a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and defend it from fascists.

Ukraine and the West name this a false pretext for an unprovoked warfare to grab territory in a transfer that has sparked fears of wider battle in Europe unseen since World War Two.

“We should not have any relations with the nation of aggressors… no friendship, no relations, nothing,” mentioned Diana, a younger lady, who didn’t give her full identify.

Mr Klitschko mentioned the arch would stay in place however be renamed the Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian People.

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