January 01, 2017

Ivan's Return

Monuments, busts and statues in Russia and the former soviet states are closely tied to the political regimes that erect them or pull them down.

In 2014, the toppling of Lenin statues in Ukraine became a symbol of the country’s pro-Europe revolution. In recent years, Russia has seen statues erected to Stalin as the bloody Soviet leader’s reputation is rehabilitated and his qualities as a strong leader and military victor are increasingly valued.

In November, President Vladimir Putin unveiled an enormous statue just outside the Kremlin to Prince Vladimir, the tenth century prince of Kiev who converted to Orthodox Christianity. Many consider the monument an effort to elbow aside Ukraine – with which Russia has seen a collapse in relations in recent years – from the narrative of Russian history. 

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