It took two days and a giant crane, but Ukraine has finally managed to lift its biggest remaining statue of the Soviet founder Lenin off its pedestal and consign it to the dustbin of history.
The 20m tall (66ft) bronze and granite monument fell victim on Thursday to a Ukrainian ban on Soviet symbols that was imposed in May 2015.
The statue, in the south-eastern city of Zaporizhia, weighed 40 tonnes and was one of about 2,500 similar ones scattered across the country since its Soviet days.
Most of those have since been toppled, with Ukraine’s tallest Lenin in the city of Kharkiv falling in September 2014, seven months after the removal of a pro-Russian leadership in Kiev.
The Zaporizhia Lenin’s removal was livestreamed as the operation began.
About 200 people still remained on the city’s main square by the time the statue was finally lifted and placed gingerly beside its pedestal.
The city’s authorities have not yet specified their plans for the monument.
Russia often accuses Ukraine of violating international law by banning the Communist party, which it also did shortly after the 2014 pro-EU revolt.
It also denies backing the pro-Moscow insurgency that broke out in eastern Ukraine in April 2014, claiming more than 9,200 lives.
Source: The Guardian