Kyiv renames Soviet monument
The People’s Friendship Arch, an iconic Soviet monument in downtown Kyiv, was renamed the Ukrainian People’s Freedom Arch on Saturday, following a decision by the city council.
The move was announced on Telegram by the capital’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko.
The mayors also “approved a list of more than 40 monuments and memorial emblems that will have to be removed from the streets and buildings of the capital to be handed over to the museum of totalitarianism,” he added.
While many places or monuments are to be renamed, Vitali Klitschko said the process of naming the new names would take time and would involve “specialists”, including historians, “so as not to make a hasty decision”.
The Peoples’ Friendship Arch is an imposing 35-metre high metal arch erected in a city centre park in 1982. It was part of the same complex as the sculpture of the two Russian and Ukrainian workers dismantled last month.
In 2018, anti-Russian activists put a trompe l’oeil sticker on it, showing a crack in the centre of the arch to highlight the breakdown in relations between the two countries.
Many people in Kyiv are calling for the renaming of other symbols whose names are linked to Russia or its ally Belarus.
The Kyiv metro organised an online consultation during which voters voted to rename the “Minsk” station “Warsaw”, the “Beresteiska” station “Buchanskaya”, and the “Place Leo-Tolstoy” station after the Ukrainian dissident poet Vasyl Stous, who died in a Soviet labour camp.