Demonstrators in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv toppled one of the country’s largest statues of Vladimir Lenin on Sunday. Captured in a bevy of tweets and videos posted to social media, crowds of pro-Ukrainian protesters surrounded the Soviet idol as ropes wrenched the Lenin statue from its moorings and sent it hurtling to the ground.
Statues of Lenin, once abundant in Ukraine and a reminder of its past as part of the Soviet Union, have been a common target ever since the start of the revolution that ousted the nation’s Russian-leaning leader earlier this year.
Kharkiv’s statue was a notable exception to the massive cull, not only because of its size but also because previous attempts to take it down were met by opposition from a pro-Russian group, which formed a blockade against Lenin’s destruction. The division was emblematic of the rift between Western and Eastern Ukraine that continues to be a source of conflict.
Kyiv Post editor Christopher Miller reported that demonstrators had been threatened with jail time for attempting to take down the statue, but they persisted anyway.