Unprotected by sandbags and panels, unlike the capital’s more beloved monuments, the statue of Russia’s national poet is covered in graffiti.
These can be variously translated as “imperialists”; “what did he do for Ukraine?”; and “soldier of the other culture”.
The one word that sums up the mood is: “Tear it down”
Pushkin’s popularity declined rapidly in Ukraine. Since the start of the large-scale invasion last February, more than 30 monuments to the poet have been dismantled.
From a Western European or Anglophone perspective, the revulsion at a poet who died nearly 200 years ago can seem astonishing.
In the West of the 21st century, he is probably less read than Tchaikovsky.
In Ukraine, things look very different. The bronze statue in Kiev, a monument erected in 1962, is unlikely to survive the war.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a new law last month to de-Russify Ukraine, which will almost certainly lead to the removal of dozens of statues and busts dedicated to the Russian poet.
The new law echoes the decommunization legislation of 2015, which led to the removal of statues of Lenin and Marx, as well as the change of over 200 street names, The Guardian writes.
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