20 years have passed since the end of Communist regime, however we still come across the phantoms of the past, Soviet symbols - numerous monuments, bas-reliefs and busts to heroes of the former country, as well as streets named after public figures of the Communism epoch, though many of these people are now considered as public enemies, traitors and murderers.

Monument to Lenin

"Send it to architectural ghetto"

If Ukrainian nationalists honor the monument to Taras Shevchenko, the communists worship the monument to Lenin. His polished granite figure 3.45 meters high plus 7 meter high pedestal is located in front of Bessarabska square, in the very center of the city. The monument was erected directly after the war, in 1946.

It is one of the most scandal monuments, which survived several "attempted murders" and once lost his arm and nose, when a member of Ukrainian nationalists' congress Mykola Kohanovsky attacked it during the celebration of UPA chief Roman Shukhevich birthday, on June 30, 2009. Now the monument is guarded 24 hours.

"Lenin is always alive!" says a pensioner in a beret eaten by moths. "They wanted to destroy him, but he is still here!" However, the woman refused to donate couple of hryvnias for the guards of the monument.

"On one hand it is history. On the other, well, if the monument brings split in the society, it can be moved to some other place, to some architectural ghetto," says Kyiv resident Natalia Kolomiets.

Monument to Manuilsky

"His time has passed - he should be replaced with someone worthier"

The monument to Dmitriy Manuilsky is 20 years younger than the one to Lenin. It is located on the crossroad of Lipska and Institutska streets, not far from the President's Administration and National Bank. The monument is 5.1 meter high and is made in the shape of bronze figure standing on a granite pedestal.

The majority part of young people failed to name the monument until they read the inscription "Prominent figure of the Communist party of the Soviet state and international communist movement." However, even after the reading they did have anything against it.

"He was the head of the soviet people's committee," immediately answered middle-aged Kyiv resident Oleksandr. "Do we need it? If there is a monument to Benito Mussolini in Italy, why cannot we have a monument to Manuilsky in Kyiv?  I think historical monuments should be preserved."

Older generation remembers the sins of Manuilsky and does not like him much for this. He was not forgiven for persecution and hunt of Ukrainian intelligentsia: writers Oleksandr Dovzhenko, Volodymyr Sosura, Yuri Yanovski, Maxim Rylsky and others.

"Kyiv does not need this monument," says pensioner Grygory Ivanovych, dressed in a long coat and hat a la Sherlock. "His time has passed. All Soviet monuments should be removed and put somewhere in a countryside. Who wants let them come and watch." In response to the question whom he would like to see on the place of this monument, Ivanovych said no one has gained the honor yet.

The next passer-by, 90-year-old Vasyl Zadoyadny, a quaint character in Austro-Hungarian cap described the biography of Manuilsky in details and dogmatized the monument should go. "We should praise those political, scientific and public figures, who worked for strengthening of Ukrainian country and fought for people's welfare, such as Pylyp Orlyk or Cossack Iskra."

Monument to Shchors and a horse

"You cannot build monuments for every regime"

Monument to Nikolai Shchors was erected in 1954 on Shevchenko Boulevard, on the place of the demolished monument to cont Bobrinski, initiator of railway road construction in Kyiv. Personality of Shchors is very contradictory. Many historians believe a number of his heroic deed was invented by Stalin in order to confirm the strength of Soviet power in Ukraine. The age of the commander also confirms this idea - Shchors was killed, by a shot to head, at 24 years by unknown people. However, if you look at the monument in Kyiv you see a rigid man with beard and mustaches. May be it was part of Stalin's plan...

"I don't think we should destroy history," says taxi driver Mykola, parked next to Shchors's horse. "If they put it, let it be. There is place for everyone. Then was one time, now another, and who knows what is waiting for us tomorrow. You cannot build monuments for every regime. Anyway, people think about different problems - how to survive, for example. And the question if there is a monument or not is the tenth on the list."

"Honestly, I don't remember who he is. Every day I pass by going to work, but I've never thought about it," girl Angelina in a business-woman suit says. "But still we need the monument. Even if somebody considers him a public enemy, there are people for whom he is still a hero. History can be treated in different ways."

"This is Shchors, a hero of the civil war," says a tourist from Belarus, recognizing our monuments better than locals.

"Shchors stinks, but the horse is cool. Bring down the man, but leave the horse," says a student Mykola Romanyuk.

By the way, one of the city streets is named after Shchors as well.

Bust to Ivanov

"Too much honor for a clerk"

Young people don't really know whose bust it is, but older generation is very proud of the neighbor. 5-meter high lover-boy moved in directly at the crossroad of Suvorova and Ivanova streets in 1976.

Andrey Ivanov was a soviet party figure. He headed Bolshevist group at 'Arsenal' plant and was one of the leaders of the January revolt of 1918.

"Don't you think too much honor for a man," asks Kyiv resident Andriy Sokolov. "Not only that they named a street after him, but also put a monument to some clerk."

"He is a historical figure and must be preserved. He fought for people, for freedom. And even if you remove him, who would you put instead," shows a surprise pensioner Kateryna Gopanyuk.

Monument to participants of January revolt

For whom a monument, for whom a skating park

Bronze 4-meter high figure of a worker was erected in Mariinski Park (then Soviet) in 1967, long after the events of January revolt. The inscription says "Eternal glory to participants of the January revolt of 1918 in Kyiv, died for Soviet Power." The grave of the above mentioned Andriy Ivanov is right next to it.

"We don't know who this is, probably some hero. It's our first time in Kyiv. The monument is nice, that's why it is needed," say students from Vinnitsa.

"Honestly, we don't know the monument. Do we need it? I guess yes. Historical memory and so on. Besides, there is a place for skating," say school pupils Kostia and Petro.

Monument to chekists (KGB servicemen) - fighters of the Revolution

"Never visited monuments should be removed"

The monument to chekists was erected the same year as to January revolt, probably fulfilling the plan on filling Kyiv with Soviet symbols. The inscription says "To courageous chekists, fighters of the revolution, faithful sons of Motherland, died in the fight for the power of Soviets." The majority part of the letters, though, has been torn off.

"Where did you see a monument to murderers in the center of a city," Kyiv resident Oleksiy Fedorovych exclaims. "It's like to put a monument to Hitler in Berlin."

"Let them be, they don't disturb me. Chekists? And what? Not all of them were killing innocent people. Besides, army is army," says pensioner Natalia.

"You know, I've been living here or 20 years, but never visited this monument. I believe that never visited monuments should be removed," says a resident of the district.

"I think this monument should be removed. It's time to put something else," says student Yulia. "Taras Shevechenko is never too much."

Ghost streets

Separate attention should be paid to streets, named after Soviet heroes and renamed later after modern prominent figures. It would be even better if the renaming was carried out not only on the paper, but also on the street signs. But in reality, everything is happening otherwise. Taxi services, ambulances, tourists and even residents find it difficult to navigate among some streets.

Take for example Chervonoarmeiska Street, which was renamed into Bolshai Vasylkovska long time ago. However, you cannot find a single building with the new name. Even newly constructed buildings order signs with not really existing name of the street. It is not difficult to explain the phenomenon - everybody is used to the old name, and enterprises risk losing clients if they put a sign with B.Vasylkivska.

The situation with Kominternu Street is even more complicated. Some years ago the street was renamed after Simon Petlyura. As a result the same street has signs with different names. Beside, for some people the name Petlyura is like a red rag for a bull, and you can often find a building sign accompanied with dirty words in the address of the person, after who the street is named.


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