Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

One Less Lenin Statue

Ever since Ukrainian President Viktor Yankukovich's decision to not sign trade agreements with the European Union, most of Ukraine has been in a state of continual political protest. I say most of Ukraine because the city that Laura and I lived in, Kharkiv, has not had many protests at all and the famous Freedom Square [which I've written about many, many times] near where we lived has been blocked off so potential protesters can't get to it to hold their rallies. That's what happens when you are just 40 kilometers from the Russian border. [This blog has some photos of the barricades around Freedom Square.]

The largest rallies have been taking place in Kiev in Independence Square.  Whenever Laura and I would stay in Kiev we would try to find an apartment or hostel around the Square [which I also wrote about many, many times] so we would have been in the thick of it.  Here is an amazing video of the protest taken by someone who climbed up the huge Christmas tree that is in the Square [the embedded video sometimes does not work but you can always see it here]:

In a surprising turn, last night the Lenin statue in Kiev was destroyed by protesters.  The statue itself was the focus of one of m favorite winter photos from our year abroad.  To me it looks like Lenin is smuggling some snowballs or as one of my friends said, he might be holding a snow white kitten.  I'm glad I got to see it before it was gone for good.

Here a photo of the statue on the ground that may come to symbolize the protests in Kiev: