Demonstrators in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv toppled one of the country's largest statues of Vladimir Lenin on Sunday. Captured in a bevy of tweets and videos posted to social media, crowds of pro-Ukrainian protesters surrounded the Soviet idol as ropes wrenched the Lenin statue from its moorings and sent it hurtling to the ground.
Statues of Lenin, once abundant in Ukraine and a reminder of its past as part of the Soviet Union, have been a common target ever since the start of the revolution that ousted the nation's Russian-leaning leader earlier this year.
Kharkiv's statue was a notable exception to the massive cull, not only because of its size but also because previous attempts to take it down were met by opposition from a pro-Russian group, which formed a blockade against Lenin's destruction. The division was emblematic of the rift between Western and Eastern Ukraine that continues to be a source of conflict.
Kyiv Post editor Christopher Miller reported that demonstrators had been threatened with jail time for attempting to take down the statue, but they persisted anyway.
— Sławomir Dębski (@SlawomirDebski) September 28, 2014
Lenin's tombe. pic.twitter.com/kkhtVTJghU
— Mark MacKinnon (@markmackinnon) September 28, 2014
Kharkiv: One of the biggest Lenin monuments in the world is toppled down pic.twitter.com/OKaQNMxAbg
— Maxim Eristavi (@MaximEristavi) September 28, 2014
LENIN DOWN! pic.twitter.com/7NuxqoT8Xp
— Olaf Koens (@obk) September 28, 2014
Earlier, a pro-revolution activist group posted this to their Twitter account:
— Euromaidan PR (@EuromaidanPR) September 28, 2014
Of course, a bunch of people made "Good Bye Lenin!" jokes:
Kharkiv: Goodbye Lenin pic.twitter.com/LQLhJi6tPQ
— Eugenio Cipolla (@EugCipolla) September 28, 2014
'Goodbye Lenin' Kharkiv'de faşistler, Lenin heykelini yıktılar. pic.twitter.com/LU5lLO5OBC
— ibrahim soydan (@ibosoy) September 28, 2014
— Lindsey Hilsum (@lindseyhilsum) September 28, 2014
Goodbye Lenin! https://t.co/5qevuWT8Ey
— crisis_trustee (@crisis__trustee) September 28, 2014
BEFORE YOU GO