Wednesday, August 21, 2013

‘Statue War’ Rages in Ukraine

A nationalist statue and one of Communist state founder Vladimir Lenin were defaced in separate attacks in Ukraine this week, continuing a long-running local trend of settling ideological grievances through vandalism. The Lenin statue in the central Ukrainian town of Berdichev still points “the way to a brighter future,” as the Soviet leader would say, but now it does so without a head on his shoulders, regional television network VIK reported Tuesday. The head vanished in a vandal attack, but a local Communist organization has vowed to put up a new one, the report said. However, the mutilation sustained by the Communist ideologue was still less than what was delivered to a monument to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army – which fought against the Soviets in World War II – in the western Lvov Region, a hotbed of Ukrainian nationalism, said Tuesday. The monument, which features a statue of a woman breaking through chains, was ripped in half, with its head cut off. Unlike with the Lenin, though, the head was left at the scene. Police reported no incarcerations over either act of vandalism, which is far from the first in the East European country, torn between nostalgia for its Soviet past and a dream of integration into the European Union.

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