Media: every Ukrainian has his opinion about Lenin

СМИ: У каждого украинца свое мнение о Ленине

The last monument to Lenin fell in Chernihiv region in 2016

The French photographer has collected materials about the clashes in Ukraine.

Nils Ackermann traveled all over Ukraine, to photograph the remains of monuments of vanquished in the process of rebellion. In his opinion, statues of Lenin are symbols not only of the former USSR, but also the current Russian intervention. Interview the photographer took the journalist to Liberation Veronika Dorman.

Ackermann plied Ukraine for three years together with journalist Sebastien Gobert (employee Libération) to inquire about the fate of the countless monuments to Lenin, swept away by the uprising against the regime of Yanukovych (2010-2014), and then adopted in may of 2015, the laws on “de-Sovietization”. Journey-the inventory presented in the book “In search of Lenin” (published by Noir sur Blanc), and this work allows otherwise, to illuminate the modern history of Ukraine, the balance of power, the frustration and nostalgia, the article says.

“We have conquered that every Ukrainian has something to say about Lenin, – said the photographer. – Every inhabitant of the former Soviet Union had an opinion. The testimony of everyone we met – it was the policy, security guards, grandparents – had their own truth. They are not always told about Lenin, often about the era, about the actions of the Communists, on the point of having such a monument in his district. And each such statement is contradicted the previous one. Hence the complete vagueness of the judgment. In the end, don’t know what to think about de-communization and of Lenin.”

“It started much earlier than 2014. Before the fall of the USSR, one Lenin monument was dismantled in the West of Ukraine. Then the first wave of demolition began after independence. Over the last 45 years, half of the 5.5 thousand monuments were dismantled. Then nothing happened until “Leninabad”, which began on 8 December 2013 in Kiev. When the statue was thrown into the center of the capital at the beginning of the revolution, people were angry, they trample on the monument feet with an incredible ferocity, as if it was about the Berlin wall. It was anger not against a specific person, but against all that was symbolized by this monument: Soviet past, contemporary politics of Putin, – said the interlocutor of the edition. – Finally comes the third phase – the official decommunization. Laws were passed, and began the attack not only on monuments, but all of the Communist symbols – the names of cities and streets, monuments to other leaders.”

“On the map of Lenin monuments in Ukraine, which can be found in Google, there are almost no areas controlled by Kiev: they covered only the occupied Donbas and Crimea. Someone tried to blow up the monument in the center of Donetsk, but there it was equated to a terrorist attack. For me, one of the most touching evidences of this project, which served as a justification for the validity of our approach was the story of a young man from Kharkov that “he felt like a man in the evening when overturned Lenin,” – said Ackermann. – However, he explained that the aim was not Lenin or communism. In cities in the East of Ukraine at the foot of the monument to Lenin were appointed by the meeting of the separatists. Its demolition for the residents of Kharkov had become a matter of war or peace. Like destroying the meeting place, you can pull out the roots of evil. In the end, these monuments everywhere began to play a role far beyond their original symbolism; Lenin began to represent not so much the Communist legacy as the Russian intervention”.

“After the Maidan, when the statues were stolen and either painted in the national colors of Ukraine, or covered with inscriptions of the anti-Putin content, the monuments to Lenin were considered quasiparticle Putin,” said Ackermann.

We will remind, on June 19 the Director of the Ukrainian Institute of national memory Vladimir vyatrovich said that in Kiev there were 10 of 18 monuments and memorials are to be removed according to the law on decommunization

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