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Kiev protesters topple Lenin statue as Ukrainians take to the streets

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Shaun Walker
London Guardian
December 9, 2013

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was knocked from his pedestal, smashed into pieces by mallet-wielding men and carried off in hundreds of small granite chunks in Kiev after hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians took to the streets in the latest display of anger at President Viktor Yanukovich’s rejection of closer ties with Europe.

“This is the great Ukrainian revolution,” screamed a man who had scrambled to the top of Lenin’s former pedestal to plant Ukrainian and EU flags, as the crowd below shrieked approval, sang the Ukrainian national anthem and scrambled to gather souvenir chunks of the Bolshevik leader.

“Of course it would have been nice to have got rid of it in a more civilised way,” said 36-year-old Mykola Boiko, clutching an apple-sized chunk of Lenin’s body. “But he was a mass murderer. It’s like having a monument to Hitler in your city. I’m glad he has gone.”

Lenin’s severed head reappeared after several hours at the pedestal, where protesters photographed it before a group of youths attacked it with hammers. “We are not against the Russian people, we are against Lenin and Putin,” shouted one young protester before attacking the head with a huge mallet. The granite proved resistant although Lenin’s facial features were damaged and one man pocketed an eyebrow. Shortly after, the head was rolled to a pickup truck and driven away.

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This article was posted: Monday, December 9, 2013 at 6:39 am

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