Ukraine's capital Kiev gripped by huge pro-EU demonstration


#1

**Ukraine’s capital Kiev gripped by huge pro-EU demonstration

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in the Ukrainian capital Kiev seeking the resignation of the government for refusing a deal on closer ties with the European Union.

Protesters, who oppose a customs union with Russia, toppled a statue of Lenin and smashed it with hammers.**

President Viktor Yanukovych has said he shelved the EU deal after Russian opposition.

Protest leaders have given him 48 hours to dismiss the government.

As darkness fell, protesters were blockading key government buildings with cars, barricades and tents.

**Witnesses said a group of protesters toppled the statue of Soviet leader Lenin at the top of Shevchenko Boulevard using metal bars and ropes. Then they began smashing it up with hammers.

Others stood by chanting “glory to Ukraine”.

Correspondents say the statue has symbolic importance as it underlines Ukraine’s shared history with Russia.

One opposition MP, Andriy Shevchenko, tweeted: “Goodbye, Communist legacy!”**

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov compared the toppling of the statue to the Taliban’s destruction of the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001, Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

“War on monuments is always barbarity,” he said.

The BBC’s David Stern says the attack on the statue has heightened tension in Kiev.

‘A razor’s edge’

In another development on Sunday, the Ukrainian Security Service said it was investigating some politicians on suspicion of what it called “actions aimed at seizing state power”.

It did not name the politicians.

The European Commission has said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will travel to Ukraine this week “to support a way out of the political crisis”.

The opposition party of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has urged people to “chase” the president “until he falls”.

“We are on a razor’s edge between a final plunge into cruel dictatorship and a return home to the European community,” Mrs Tymoshenko said in a message to the crowd read out by her daughter.

“Don’t give in, not a step back, don’t give up, the future of Ukraine is in your hands,” the message read.

Another opposition leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, said: “It’s not just a simple revolution. It’s a revolution of dignity.”

Opposition MP Serhiy Pashynskyy said that “starting from today and until our demands are met, the government quarter will be blocked with protest rallies”.

bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25290959


#2

The Lenin Statue stood in the centre of Kiev - well until the protestors toppled it today:

http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20131208&t=2&i=818548991&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=580&pl=378&r=CBRE9B71JU800

http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20131208&t=2&i=818524544&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=580&pl=378&r=CBRE9B71COY00

Notice how Putin and his supporters in the Ukraine wanted this statue to stay up? :wink:

I wonder why it wasn’t knocked down after the fall of the Soviet Union like many of the massive ones in Russia itself were…:confused:


#3

Here is what I posted on a different thread, which is more appropriate to post here:

In Kiev, where they still remember life under communism, statues of Lenin are being torn down.

In Fremont, Washington - home of “neo-pagan” liberal/leftists who have no clue as to what life under communism means, and who take their freedoms for granted - they have erected a statue of Lenin.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Lenin_(Seattle

Ishii


#4

Correspondents say the statue has symbolic importance as it underlines Ukraine’s shared history with Russia.

Can anyone say “Holodomor”?

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov compared the toppling of the statue to the Taliban’s destruction of the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001, Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

“War on monuments is always barbarity,” he said.

Hmmm. I wonder if he would feel the same way if the Nazis had been in the USSR long enough to get some Nazi monuments put up. “Hey, no, these *Reichsadlers *are a wonderful expression of Heroic Realist art!” :rolleyes:


#5

Like you, I find it troubling that anyone would want honor Lenin. Even putting the system aside, the man had many other faults that, IMO, preclude being honored, particularly in a nation that spent untold amounts in human life andnational wealth keeping him and his followers from world domination.

Another case of bad history, or immature people wanting to be shocking.

John


#6

By all means remove that statue of Lenin, and then burn those EU flags.


#7

And embrace independence? What a tantalizing idea. :slight_smile:


#8

Idealistic dreams are somehow always scripted better than reality…


#9

Exactly. I think its just the Fremont lefty/hipster set trying to be shocking. You should see their summer solstice celebration. Still, I find the statue offensive, as well as the fact that a statue of Hitler would probably not have lasted as long as the statue of Lenin - to be a double standard.

Ishii


#10

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