April 11, 2023

Goodbye, Pushkin!


Goodbye, Pushkin!
Pushkin's statue in Poltava. Tkanchenko.UA, Telegram.

Poltava, a Ukrainian city of historical significance to the expansion of the Russian Empire, decided to remove a statue of famed Russian writer Alexander Pushkin, along with those of two Soviet generals, after residents protested, calling for their removal and covering the monuments in paint. 

The statues of Pushkin and World War II General Alexander Zygin were erected during the Soviet era. However, the third monument to be removed, dedicated to Soviet General Nikolai Vatutin, was unveiled in 2013 during the term of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych fled to Russian exile after being ousted.

After Russia began its War on Ukraine, Ukraine and other former Soviet states began dismantling many monuments that glorify the Russian military. Ukrainian Minister of Culture Oleksander Tkachentko celebrated Poltava's decision on Telegram: "The expert council of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy on the matter of remedial action in the wake of Russification and totalitarianism has long recommended doing this."

The city is also evaluating removing a memorial to Peter the Great, erected in 1817.

The 1709 Battle of Poltava was a decisive victory for Tsar Peter and a turning point for Russian imperialism.

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