Demolition of monuments to Vladimir Lenin in Ukraine

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Destruction of the statue of Lenin in Kiev.

The demolition of monuments to Vladimir Lenin in modern Ukraine started during the fall of the Soviet Union. During Euromaidan it has become a widespread phenomenon and dubbed by Ukrainians Leninopad (Ленінопад), a pun literally translated as "Leninfall",[1] with the coinage of "xxx"+"пад" being akin to English "xxx" + "fall" as in "waterfall", "snowfall", etc.

The demolition of Lenin monuments in Ukraine happened in four stages. During the 1990s more than 2,000 Lenin monuments were demolished in Galicia and Volyn, at the turn of the 1990-2000s more than 600 Lenin monuments were removed in western and central areas, in 2005-2008 more than 600 were demolished mainly in central areas, and in 2013-2014 552 monuments were demolished.[2]

The first wave of demolitions of Lenin monuments happened in Western Ukraine in the years 1990-1991. On August 1, 1990 in Chervonohrad a Lenin monument was demolished for the first time in the USSR.[3] Under popular pressure the monument was dismantled, formally with the purpose of moving elsewhere. That same year, Lenin monuments were dismantled in Ternopil, Kolomyia, Nadvirna, Borislav, Drohobych, Lviv and other cities of Galicia.[4]

In 1991 Ukraine had 5,500 Lenin monuments.[5] By December 2015 1,300 Lenin monuments were still standing.[5] More than 700 Lenin monuments were removed and/or destroyed between February 2014 and December 2015.[5]

On 15 May 2015, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a bill into law that started a six-month period for the removal of communist monuments (excluding World War II monuments) and the mandatory renaming of settlements with names related to Communism.[6] On 16 January 2017 the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance announced that 1,320 Lenin monuments were dismantled during decommunization.[7] Two Lenin statues in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are the only two remaining statues of Lenin in Ukraine.[8]

A website "Raining Lenins"[9] tracks the statistics of the fall of Lenin statues in Ukraine.[4]

Communist monuments toppled during Euromaidan[edit]

Euromaidan protesters toppled several statues of Vladimir Lenin in Ukrainian cities.[10][11][12] Some estimates said that more than 90 statues were toppled.[13] In December 2015 The Ukrainian Week calculated that 376 Lenin monuments were removed or destroyed in February 2014.[5]

According to Blue Shield National Committee,[14] some of the monuments might be listed as national heritage sites, and therefore their dismantling requires checking if they were actually listed as such.[15]

The removal of the monuments evoked mixed feelings among the Ukrainian population.[16] In some cases, like in Kharkiv in early 2014,[17] pro-Russian Ukrainian crowds protected the monuments, including members of the communist and socialist parties, as well as veterans of World War II and the Afghan wars.[18] The Statue of Lenin in Kharkiv was toppled on September 28, 2014.[19] Late October 2014, then Kharkiv Governor Ihor Baluta admitted that he thought that the majority of Kharkiv residents had not wanted the statue removed, but said "there was hardly any protest afterward either, which is quite telling".[20]

This is a partial list:

Landmark Location Date Status Notes Image
Statue of Lenin Andriyevo-Ivanove January 3, 2014 Broken in two Police launched an investigation based on a Criminal Code article entitled "Destruction of, or Damage to, Monuments of History or Culture".[21]
Statue of Lenin Berdychiv February 22, 2014 Toppled and destroyed [22][23] Statue of Lenin in Berdychiv in 2013.
Statue of Lenin Bila Tserkva Toppled and destroyed [10][24] Statue of Lenin in Bila Tserkva in 2009.
Statue of Lenin Chernihiv February 21, 2014 Toppled [25][26]
Statue of Lenin Chervona Sloboda July 8, 2014 Toppled According to the Ukrainian Communist Party "a criminal case has been opened over the act of vandalism".[27][28]
Statue of Lenin Khmelnitsky February 21, 2014 Toppled [10][24][29] Toppling of the statue of Lenin in Khmelnitsky, February 21, 2014.
Statue of Lenin Kiev December 8, 2013 Toppled and destroyed [11] Toppling of the statue of Lenin in Kiev, December 8, 2013.
Statue of Lenin Kotovsk December 8, 2013 Broken into several pieces [21]
Statue of Lenin Melitopol Broken into several pieces Ленинопад (2015).jpg
Statue of Lenin Zhytomyr [10][24][30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shebelist, Serhii (30 September 2013). ""Leninfall" - The lack of adequate commemoration policy in Ukraine provokes the new tide of the "war of monuments"". Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  2. ^ Від ленінізму до ленінопаду. Радіо Свобода (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  3. ^ (in Ukrainian) The first Lenin fell in 1990: how the idol of communism was dropped, (8 December 2018)
  4. ^ a b Volodymyr Semkiv, "Падай, Леніне, падай" ("Fall, Lenin, Fall", retrieved June 9, 2017)
  5. ^ a b c d Out of Sight, The Ukrainian Week (28 December 2015)
  6. ^ Poroshenko signed the laws about decomunization. Ukrayinska Pravda. 15 May 2015
    Poroshenko signs laws on denouncing Communist, Nazi regimes, Interfax-Ukraine. 15 May 20
    Poroshenko: Time for Ukraine to resolutely get rid of Communist symbols, UNIAN. 17 May 2015
    Goodbye, Lenin: Ukraine moves to ban communist symbols, BBC News (14 April 2015)
  7. ^ (in Ukrainian) Dekomunizuvaly monuments to Lenin in 1320, Bandera set 4, Ukrayinska Pravda (16 January 2017)
    (in Ukrainian) WITH 50 THOUSAND RENAMED OBJECTS PLACE NAMES, ONLY 34 ARE NAMED AFTER BANDERA, Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance (16 January 2017)
  8. ^ Revisiting Chernobyl: 'It is a huge cemetery of dreams', The Guardian (28 February 2019)
  9. ^ ""Raining Lenins"". Archived from the original on 2016-08-20. Retrieved 2016-06-10. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. ^ a b c d "Ukraine crisis: Lenin statues toppled in protest". BBC. 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
  11. ^ a b "Leninopad, Ukraine's Falling Lenin Statues, Celebrated As Soviet Symbols Toppled Nationwide (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)". Huffington Post. 2014-02-24. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
  12. ^ Софія Середа (2014-01-09). "В Україні – Ленінопад: пам'ятники вождю падають один за одним". Retrieved 2014-03-03.
  13. ^ Ленінопад: від комуністичного вождя звільнено вже 90 міст України, Expres, 2014-02-24, retrieved 2015-04-21
  14. ^ "Blue Shield Position Statement about Ukraine".
  15. ^ "Ukraine says 'Goodbye Lenin'".
  16. ^ "Toppling of Lenin monument in Kyiv evokes mixed feelings". Kyiv Post. 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2015-04-22.
  17. ^ Ukraine: Kharkiv residents defend Lenin monument on Fatherland Day on YouTube
  18. ^ "Crowd defends Lenin statue in eastern Ukraine city". BBC. 2014-02-23. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
  19. ^ "Ukraine nationalists tear down Kharkiv's Lenin statue". 2014-09-28. Retrieved 2015-04-22.
  20. ^ "Ukraine's Second City, Kharkiv, Eludes Rebel Hands". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  21. ^ a b "Police: One more Lenin statue broken in Odesa region". Kyiv Post. 2014-01-04. Retrieved 2015-04-22.
  22. ^ Ukraine crisis - Another monument of Lenin toppled in the city of Berdichev on YouTube
  23. ^ "Lenin Monumenet in Berdichev (Zhytomyr Oblast) - 22/02/2014". Raining Lenins.
  24. ^ a b c Raw: Lenin Statues Toppled Across Ukraine on YouTube
  25. ^ ""Leninopad" continues - monuments dismantled in Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava and Chernihiv". Ukrayinska Pravda. 2014-02-22.
  26. ^ The monument of Lenin in Chernigov has fallen on YouTube
  27. ^ "Another Lenin monument removed near Ukraine's Sumy". Interfax Ukraine. 2014-07-08. Retrieved 2015-04-22.
  28. ^ "Lenin Monument in Chervona Sloboda (Sumi Oblast) - 08/07/2014". Raining Lenins. 2014-07-08.
  29. ^ Statue toppled in 2014-02-21 on YouTube
  30. ^ Statue toppled in 2014-02-21 on YouTube

External links[edit]