War in Ukraine: kyiv renames a Soviet monument in “Ark of Freedom of the Ukrainian People”

The Arch of Friendship of Peoples, an emblematic Soviet monument in downtown kyiv, became the Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian People on Saturday, after a decision to that effect by the city council. “Today the city council decided to ‘decommunize’ the name of the Ark of Friendship of Peoples. It will now be the Ark of Freedom of the Ukrainian People”announced on Telegram messaging the mayor of the capital, Vitali Klitschko, Saturday May 14.

Municipal elected officials have also “approved a list of more than 40 monuments and memorial emblems which must be removed from the streets and buildings of the capital to be transferred to the museum of totalitarianism”, he added. While many places or monuments are to be renamed, Vitali Klitschko said the process of naming new names would take time and involve “specialists”especially historians, “so as not to make a hasty decision”.

Renowned kyiv metro stations

The Arch of Friendship of Peoples is an imposing metal arch with a height of 35 meters erected in a park in the city center in 1982. It was part of the same complex as the sculpture of the two Russian and Ukrainian workers dismantled the month latest. In 2018, anti-Russian activists put a trompe-l’oeil sticker on it, showing a crack in the center of the arch to highlight the breakdown in relations between the two countries.

Many residents in kyiv are calling for the renaming of other symbols whose names are linked to Russia or Belarus, its ally. The kyiv metro thus organized an online consultation during which voters voted to rename the “Minsk” station to “Warsaw”, that of “Beresteïska”, the Belarusian city of Brest, to “Boutcha” or even the station “Place Leon-Tolstoï” station in “Vassyl Stous”, named after the dissident Ukrainian poet who died in the gulag.

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