[Demolition of the Lenin monument] Here’s another happy moment for me. I was here, on the opposite side, in the studio at FM Halychyna. And it was a break, and I saw my wife calling me (she was in Kyiv), so I picked up the phone, and she said, “They’re tearing down the Lenin monument right now. Wow! It fell!” I told Andriy, “They just took down the Lenin monument.” He was like: “Wow!”. And it immediately went on the air, “The Lenin monument has just been knocked down!” Thus, FM Halychyna became the first media outlet in Lviv to report on the demolition of the Lenin monument. I was happy. It was personal: I hate Lenin. I’ve hated him since childhood. I grew up in Dnipropetrovsk, and I started going to nationalist People’s Movement demonstrations when I was about 14, and I remember this feeling when we were standing there, a small bunch of us, 10-15 people, mostly older people, People’s Movement members, and they let me hold the Ukrainian flag, thousands of communists were passing by with a bunch of red flags, and there was this Lenin, and I was thinking: “One day, you will fall.” And not in Dnipropetrovsk [today’s Dnipro, t/n], but it did fall. And I was really very happy when I came to Kyiv after that. It was such a pilgrimage for me. I came to this place, to this empty pedestal, and I was really happy. Then, whenever I was in Kyiv, I would go there just to stand and look at it. It’s very symbolic for me. It means that there is no turning back. If in 2004 there was no question of demolishing it, now… Even if it was a provocation, it was very well done. … [What should appear on this site?] They’ve already put up a golden toilet, so let it be. Well, I think it shouldn’t be put on this pedestal. Probably, it should be demolished. I’m against monuments. I think we don’t need monuments at all. I’m in favor of a moratorium on the construction of monuments for at least 20 years, except for grave monuments.
Man, 32 years old, recorded in Lviv, February 5, 2014, Euromaidan and the Orange Revolution activist
I’m positive [about the demolition of the Lenin monument]. I’m not a supporter of monuments. I’m a supporter of artistic monuments. I don’t support monuments in memory of any political figures or historical events. I’m rather a supporter of artistic sculptural forms.
Man, 40 years old, recorded in Lviv, February 6, 2014, a Euromaidan participant
Well, my [attitude] is ambiguous: on the one hand, of course, these are symbols of totalitarianism. Euromaidan is happening because we still have sovok [a derogatory name for the USSR, t/n] in us. We are squeezing it out. We have to squeeze it out with blood. But on the other hand, a monument in a city is a local community question. It would hurt me if someone came here… monuments or something else and tore them down. If they came from Odesa, or if I visited them and took down their Catherine the Great. It’s unacceptable. It’s a local community issue. Absolutely. Let them decide what they want to do.
Man, 46 years old, recorded in Lviv, February 6, 2014, Euromaidan and the Orange Revolution participant
I’m also in favor of it… [To build] a Golden Yanukovych here.
Man, over 30 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 7, 2014, Euromaidan participant
The Lenin monument [near Bessarabska Square], my attitude to it was that it was a very good monument itself, monumental art. It could’ve been easily taken out of the city, like in Budapest, and put in a park. We should remove all the monuments from the Soviet past. No one did it. For 22 years, it stood there, annoying people who hated it. It’s not a monument in our country. It’s a symbol. Just imagine many millions of people tortured and destroyed by that regime. So, for me, it was a symbolic act of vandalism, a symbolic act of vandalism, when people got together and tore it down because when the government doesn’t address this issue, people have to do it themselves. In my opinion, it could’ve been done in a more civilized way. They could’ve just taken it down and taken it away, left this example of good Soviet Art Deco for history, but it didn’t happen. … I wouldn’t put anything in this place now, not until… I think there should be a public discussion about who should be put there, some national hero or genius, or an artist, a writer. It should be decided as a result of a public discussion. Now there is no need to do it at all. Let them protest.
Man, 35 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 7, 2014, Euromaidan and the Orange Revolution participant
It’s a very interesting question because, in fact, the most accurate attitude was expressed on Facebook by our famous publicist and activist, Yuriy Makarov. He said that, of course, it was done in a not very civilized way, but somewhere inside, you realized that it should’ve been removed long ago. And then suddenly, a group of people appeared and took responsibility. Many of my acquaintances condemn it. Lenin should’ve been removed a long time ago. He should’ve been removed in 91, but we reached a dead end. When the guys from the Tryzub organization broke his nose, they were condemned there. Then the communists started to form a picket around it. Then this picket turned into a kind of farce, because there was a red tent with the symbols of the communist party, and there was no one in that tent. Then in the summer, you see that a municipal police unit is guarding Lenin, and the question arises: why are they guarding the Lenin monument? Why am I paying for it? I do pay taxes. They could’ve been patrolling the streets, doing something more useful. I think there were a lot of ideas of whom to put there, how to put it, and in what form. This place isn’t bad for a monument. I liked one of the artists’ ideas to make it a permanent monument. Give some artist, say, a month, and he makes some kind of installation or sculpture there. It stands there for a month, then is replaced by something else. It was this idea that seemed productive to me.
Man, 51 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 7, 2014, Euromaidan participant
Well, I’ve already written about it. I’ve already written that I’m glad this monument is gone. I feel very sorry for the sculpture, a good sculpture. I think both sides are to blame for it. Those who demolished it because their vandalism instinct is to blame, and those who didn’t remove it in time are to blame. When in Moscow in 91, the crowd wanted to tear down [the monument] to Felix Edmundovich [Dzerzhinsky, t/n], Mayor Popov brought a truck, brought a crane, threw a noose, and it was a beautiful picture, and it’s still a totalitarian sculpture in the park… I think that, in general, they tore down the monument to Comrade Lenin, and it’s better to read the texts. Suppose you take away the ideological component, the pathological bloodlust. In that case, there are a lot of good ideas about how to make a revolution and a plan for how to do propaganda so that somehow the new ideology wins over the old one. … The history of Ukraine is not reflected in the monuments at all. The Civil War [in Russian Empire, t/n] gave rise to multiple names known worldwide and associated with Ukraine: Petliura, Makhno, and Trotsky. Who among them has a monument? Shchors. Who was Shchors? … The man whom Stalin appointed a national hero of the Civil War. … Who in the world is a follower of Shchors’ ideas today? What were his ideas? There are still followers of the ideas of Vynnychenko, Petliura, Trotsky, and Makhno all over the world. Especially Trotsky and Makhno, although they were irreconcilable opponents, and Vynnychenko and Petliura were also irreconcilable. Russia howls about any attempt to remove Soviet taboos from Ukrainian history somehow, and yet Putin is using his own money to make a tombstone for General Denikin. To put it mildly, this is no less a twisty story than the one in Ukraine.
Man, 52 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 7, 2014, Euromaidan participant
I have a very negative attitude [to the demolition of the Lenin monument]. I think that regardless of our attitude to these monuments, regardless of their architectural value, again, we come back to the fact that there is an administrative violation such as vandalism and a criminal violation such as hooliganism, it shouldn’t be done. You can’t break the law. Okay, guys, yes, this is a disgusting monument. And you can treat Lenin in many different ways. But there are a lot of things that annoy me in Kyiv. It’s not a reason to spoil or destroy every single one of them. Moreover, I think this is one of the most, one of the most harmful events for the revolution. When its opponents, at least on the Internet, got the opportunity to use the remains of this monument and shout, “You are all barbarians and vandals.” I, for one, am not a vandal. But now I can’t get away with it. … [What should be built on this site?] We had an idea for a monument to a revolutionary. So, first of all, the revolutionary should be spherical because he wears all the winter clothes he could find. He has a sandwich in one hand. We have, yes, we are working on a project now. I’m not sure that it should be placed in the same place, but I think Lenin, as the father of the Russian Revolution, wouldn’t mind a monument to a revolutionary in his place. I want to believe that. … The revolutionary has a sandwich in one hand. [And in the other?] The other hand is that of a neighboring revolutionary.
Woman, 28 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 7, 2014, Euromaidan participant and the Orange Revolution activist in Dnipropetrovsk, People’s Hospital organization member
People will still remind you, “Oh, Lenin stood here.” That monument won’t be like that. I don’t even know how to say it. Anyway, from my point of view, it’s not the right thing to do. Why don’t they destroy this monument? Why don’t they destroy that monument? It’s a stone too. It’s a stone. This is also a stone. Why destroy it? Why was Stalin destroyed? Why did we have to destroy all of them? Let it stand. Let the children and great-grandchildren know that there was once such Lenin. … Even though there is no communism here anymore. Well, yes, by half. 70 to 30, maybe 40% is still there.
Man, 50 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 7, 2014, Euromaidan participant
Well, you know, I didn’t put it there. I wouldn’t have put it there. That is one thing. Secondly, I believe that at the moment, there are more important issues and tasks than demolishing the Lenin monument. But it already happened. … [What should appear on this site?] Well, of course, there are many worthy people in Ukraine. Lenin is going to be alright. He’s in the mausoleum. Of course, there are many worthy people in Ukraine, I think. Now we can erect a monument to the people who died there. We could do it because they are strangers to our nation, but they died for our people and our freedom. It might sound stupid, but…
Man, 29 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 7, 2014, Euromaidan participant
Well, it’s patriotism, hot-blooded people (laughter). … I wouldn’t say that monuments should be taken down because it’s vandalism, it’s a real act of vandalism, but it’s just my personal opinion that Lenin should’ve fallen long ago, let Shevchenko or one of the Ukrainians stand there instead. … [What should appear on this site?] Maybe there won’t be anything, but if this place was specially made for a monument, let them put it there, but a monument to a Ukrainian patriot, let them choose a Ukrainian patriot, not a foreign Lenin. In other words, he has nothing to do with independent Ukraine. He was in the past. His time has passed, so let him stand where people still have a connection to him, and he has a connection to them, and we can have a monument to Franko [a Ukrainian poet, writer, social and literary critic, etc., t/n], or, I don’t know, maybe some military figure, maybe some other, maybe a monument to a sculpture, or a flower.
Man, 25 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 8, 2014, Euromaidan participant
I have a positive attitude [to the demolition of the Lenin monument]. No, in general, it was demolished at the wrong time because the communist voices had already turned against us. In fact, this monument to Lenin, not to mention many others, has no artistic value. It’s a copy. There is a law that these monuments. … It was just demolished at the wrong time. It was just a group of extremists. They certainly made it a little worse; otherwise, the communists would’ve supported us to some extent in the Verkhovna Rada. And now they are partly against us because of it. … By the way, do you know this joke from Maidan? “Why did Lenin fall?” “Because he was sad. He made one revolution, Yanukovych made two.” Well, there is a monument to a horse [Shchors] instead—there is, of course, no monument to Lenin, just as there is a monument to a horse [Shchors] in front of the train station. They shouldn’t be there, these monuments. Actually, there should be a monument to Bibikov there… Bibikov Boulevard, for that matter. Well, Shevchenko is a good monument, but not Lenin. He doesn’t belong there.
Man, 69 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 8, 2014, Euromaidan participant
I can say that it wasn’t the right time. It had to be done, but not now.
Man, 23 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 8, 2014, Euromaidan participant
I have no opinion [on the demolition of the Lenin monument]. It’s neither positive nor negative. For me, it has no positive or negative value, so to speak. I mean, I feel exactly the same way as I did about the symbols of Euromaidan. Yes, it’s cool, it’s a marker, you can associate some values with it, but honestly, it’s not so romantic now. I mean, after the January events, somehow, romantics with symbols and attributes diminished for me. I mean, it’s not the most important thing anymore, and it works the same way with the Lenin monument. Sure, it can be viewed as a symbol of totalitarianism and something else, but they are quite calmly demolishing the Alley of Glory in Kharkiv and building a parking lot and a church in its place. Yes, I mean, given that they are for the Soviet past, especially for the victory, and so on, it’s completely normal to me. The monument to the revolutionaries on Constitution Square was demolished, and the Alley of Glory was also demolished, and we can’t be sure that someone, somewhere, will ever restore it. Our authorities don’t really care about all these monuments of the glorious Soviet past, as they think, or as someone else thinks. It’s an important issue.
Man, 27, recorded in Kharkiv, February 9, 2014, Euromaidan participant
I’ll tell you what Lenin really is. I think his nose was broken off in 2011, and there was a warning that Kyiv residents didn’t accept him. I mean, they didn’t want Lenin to be a monument in the city. At that time, by the way, the monument was quite static. It was necessary to move it to some museum and make a museum of the Soviet occupation or some other Soviet period, and to do this, to bring it there and put it there, would’ve been fine. Still, this warning wasn’t heard at the time, and the monument was restored, and this is the logical conclusion and continuation of this process.
Man, 30 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 9, 2014, activist and one of the organizers of Euromaidan
They demolished it, whatever. I’m neither for nor against it. I don’t see anything wrong with it, neither is it right, they just demolished it. … I don’t think it matters at all now. Let’s deal with what’s going on. Let’s take off this black cloak that Lobanovsky is wearing, and let’s have peace, and then we’ll decide what to put on Bessarabka [Bessarabska Square where the Lenin monument used to stand, t/n].
Woman, 33 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 9, 2014, Euromaidan participant
Well, the Lenin monument had to be demolished at some point, and even more so before it was demolished, on December 8, if I’m not mistaken, before that the communists once again spoke supposedly in the name of the people, and with this deceptive move they still supported the party. Moreover, by imprisoning Azarov for two more months, they showed that they, well, a certain group of people, so to speak, responded to them… Well, personally, my opinion is to put Symonenko there, embalm him, and put him there. It’s a good place. Lenin took his time; we could let him stand there for another 10-20 years.
Man, 31, recorded in Kyiv, February 9, 2014, Euromaidan and the Orange Revolution participant
I’m positive [about the demolition]. I took part in the demolition of the first Lenin monument in the Soviet Union. It was in Chervonohrad. … The main thing is that, in general, after the first few, no one is interested in them in Ukraine. In the villages where there are five of them, no one is interested in them either. Let them fall apart slowly. But here, I think, we needed, let’s say, some small victory over the authorities to show our strength. So, of course, I have a positive attitude. They didn’t have to break it. They could’ve just taken it down. If the authorities had been wise, they would’ve just taken it down slowly, hidden it for a while, and then sent it to some museum because it might’ve had some historical, cultural value, I mean artistic value. But it happened so that they didn’t. Others did.
Man, 55 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 9, 2014, Euromaidan participant
At the moment when this monument fell, my thoughts were that it was probably not the right time and not the right place. [What should appear on this site?] I don’t know. It’s hard to say. Several options were considered, some of which I remember marking as acceptable and some very controversial.
Woman, 44 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 9, 2014, Euromaidan participant
I don’t like that the crowd directed its energy towards the monument in this rage, in this rally, in this euphoria. I’m against the fact that there is a monument to Lenin in the center of the city, I mean, the same evening that this happened, the journalist Mustafa Nayem immediately wrote about it, and he wrote exactly what I think. He said that this was barbaric, that it was much, much easier to tear down the monument than to get it legally demolished because it would be, it would be right and good. Among other things, this would not give our enemies, so to speak, an extra reason to speak up. That’s why I feel good that there is no monument to Lenin on Shevchenko Boulevard now, but I feel bad about the way it was removed, something like that. I don’t know [what should appear in that place], a toilet, a golden toilet that appeared there, it suits, but I wouldn’t want it to stay there for a very long time. One of the musicians wrote that it would be great to put a monument to John Coltrane there, but I don’t remember the joke’s point. God knows, God knows. I don’t know. There should be something funny there, I think, because this place is very stressful. I know that they hanged people there, that they hanged Nazis there when Kyiv was liberated. Public executions took place in that place. Later it was a gathering place for communists, there’s a monument to Lenin, and now, something fun is supposed to appear there, I don’t know what. By the way, the person who suits us is a Kyiv sculptor who actually made the Peizazhna Alley. Although many Kyiv residents spit on it and don’t like it, he also made this Hedgehog in the Fog. The one that’s not there now, it’s clear that it was stolen, but it will be back. It’s a hedgehog.
Man, 33 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 9, 2014, Euromaidan participant
Initially, I had a position that I should always be in Kyiv. Right? And participate in everything that happens there. In everything? Not in everything. For example, when the Lenin monument was being demolished. Even though I have a negative attitude toward it. But I didn’t like what was happening because it somehow had a tinge of lawlessness. Because after the monument was demolished, some streets on Khreshchatyk were torn down. Something like that. I didn’t participate in all of them, but in those demonstrations I thought I should. Well, in general, I thought that I should be in the epicenter of events. And when I came back to Kharkiv, I changed my mind a little bit because I saw that in the East, the big problem is that people don’t participate at all. They are somehow very negative, neutral, or indifferent. When I started participating here, I realized that maybe we still need to communicate with people somehow. And it somehow moved to the periphery. And then, in the end, it’s just the online space, communication with friends, or just transferring information and so on. … I don’t like the fact that Lenin is in other cities. I grew up in another part of Ukraine, where I never saw Lenin. I first saw Lenin when I was 19 years old (laughter). It’s like a pedestal of sorts (laughter). And it’s very strange to me. It’s very strange to me to support a leader who killed people. And so, of course, I have a positive attitude towards this [demolition], without any doubt. Right. Of course, when I was there, we had already arrived when he was thrown to the ground. Then they smashed it with a sledgehammer. And people there. They had different reactions. Something like that. And it seemed that something irreparable had already begun in the country that couldn’t be stopped. It was unclear who the provocateur was. It was the first time such provocative things happened. There hadn’t been any provocations before. I thought it was going to start now (laughter). But it didn’t. Well, nothing of the sort started. I don’t know. It’s just a symbol of the fact that people want to see other idols and other heroes. … People there, for example, said that Shevchenko used to stand there. Did he? They removed him and put Lenin there. And now Shevchenko is supposedly going to stand there again. I don’t really know what was there before. But I think that after Lenin was overthrown, it would’ve been better to leave this place without anyone. It would also be a sign, a symbol of what was happening in the country. Right? The kind of emptiness we have now, as new things are just beginning to happen. But people also wanted to say something, yes, with these new, new monuments (laughter), if you can call it that.
Woman, 26, recorded in Kharkiv, February 10, 2014, Euromaidan and the Orange Revolution participant
They should not be demolished but simply removed. What about demolition? I’m in favor of that. This guy didn’t feel sorry for the hares (laughter). You know, there used to be a book about it. It was a thick book. It was published in 55-56, and these books, editions, came out. So, stories about Lenin, old Bolsheviks, and things like that. And I read them. The library was in my department. I was a reader. It’s a story about Lenin hunting on this boat and how he beat these poor hares there. And I think: why are they telling us about it? Look at those poor hares. What kind of person are you? My husband and I go to feed the dogs. I buy cereal, cook porridge, bones, and whey. Now I came to you, and my husband went to feed the dogs. Well, no monuments to today’s politicians should be erected. If we do erect the monuments, then maybe to poets, scientists, and people of science. To such people.
Woman, 72, recorded in Kharkiv, February 10, 2014, Euromaidan and the Orange Revolution participant
I don’t know [what my attitude is]. I don’t really care about it. I don’t really worry about it.
Woman, 26 years old, recorded in Kharkiv, February 10, 2014, Euromaidan participant
My emotions say that this is very cool. From a rational point of view, it might be different. Well, if I were there, I would also demolish it, but I would be wearing a mask. I would’ve been on the front line. I have a generally positive attitude. But if I were doing it in public, no, I wouldn’t demolish it. I’d follow the legal procedure, and I would do it. Well, we expect more counteractions to these, perhaps, anti-Maidan events—it’s a part of those counteractions to those Lenin demolitions. I’d work in the legal and educational field so that it would be a system for demolishing the Lenin monuments because there are about a thousand Lenin monuments out there. If we demolish 20, it will be nothing more than an informational occasion. And so, to a greater extent, 90 percent of them are just standing there, that is, it’s just like the monuments to Soviet soldiers in Western Ukraine—they are not demolished because they are tolerant of victims, but no one is looking after these monuments. They have simply lost their symbolic significance. Similarly, Lenin monuments in Ukraine… Our society is ready to rethink places of memory, places of remembrance, and symbolic spaces. That is, in the eyes of many people, especially the older generation, they’ve seen these places change several times… But maybe we should forget about it. Because whoever we put there, everyone will remember Lenin.
Man, 23 years old, recorded in Lviv, February 10, 2014, activist and one of the organizers of Euromaidan
I’m only positive [about the demolition of the Lenin monument]. But first, we must destroy the whole world to its foundations, and then, as the Internationale sings, it will be seen. I don’t know to whom [we should erect it]. Probably, someone still needs to have some monuments. Well, tourists, the tourist business is also needed, you have to attract tourists with something. But we should erect cool monuments.
Man, 39 years old, recorded in Kharkiv, February 11, 2014, one of the organizers of Euromaidan
I have a positive [attitude]. [Should we erect monuments?] I think we should erect monuments to those people who really made Ukraine famous. To politicians, scientists, and writers. Many people have not yet been immortalized in any way, those who really deserve it. As for me, I would erect a monument to Makhno in Kharkiv.
Man, 48 years old, recorded in Kharkiv, February 11, 2014, one of the organizers (speaker) of Euromaidan
Well, the previous president, Yushchenko, passed a law on the demolition of all monuments to Lenin, Stalin, and all the others. The point here is that, in these situations, there may be no point in fighting monuments because there were enough people, especially in the East, who remember the Soviet Union. For them, Lenin is good. And by demolishing these monuments, they may be alienated from Maidan. [Who should the monuments be erected to?] Well, I mean, it could be some historical figures, yes. Starting with some princes and ending with hetmans. And ending with some artistic monuments, like the one erected in Kyiv right now instead of the monument to Lenin. Here is a monument to the golden toilet. It’s also an option.
Man, 27 years old, recorded in Kharkiv, February 11, 2014,“Green Front” activist
[The demolition of the Lenin monument in Kyiv] was viewed negatively. Negatively, because it was some kind of provocative action, and many Kyiv residents who were neutral or even supportive of Maidan said that it was a historical monument and it was inappropriate to do this, absolutely, completely. Here’s what I think: let us win, and then we’ll demolish the monuments and do whatever we think is necessary for Ukrainization. It’s a very crude way of putting it. That’s why it looked so wrong somehow. Somewhere inside, there was this thought, “Cool, it was in Kyiv. I hated it, this monument, it’s terrible.” They were constantly guarding it from all sides. I even have pictures, by the way, I was driving my car and took pictures of them standing there, literally a couple of days before, special forces or whoever, and police with shields, guarding it. And the photos are right there the next day after it was demolished: there is nothing. Of course, there is. A wonderful inscription like: “V is for victory” [in Ukrainian, it’s “V is for pitchfork” as “pitchfork” (вила) starts with “v” in Ukrainian, t/n] (laughs). Somewhere inside, you feel like this is the right thing to do, but there is a subjective attitude to all this, and there is an understanding and thinking that we shouldn’t have done it because people reacted badly to it. Those people who either were with us or could’ve been with us. It’s just like these people who were with us or potentially were with us, seeing the same people in masks with axes in their hands, I think, “Well, no. Dancing is okay.” It’s just that if a million people came out there and were shown a clear plan, we would’ve won. There would’ve been re-elections long ago. There is still a problem with our impotent opposition. Let’s see how events develop, who cares if they demolish the monument and put Bandera there, so be it. It will be demolished anyway. I was even against it, despite the fact that I’m very patriotic, I’m even radical, but again, there is this thing that you want, and you have to act reasonably. I was even against the idea of wearing red and black flags on Euromaidan, even against that. Only blue and yellow, only European flags. Because they, we are from the West, Bandera, blah blah, all that. And people in Kyiv, even if they are patriotic, are prejudiced against Bandera. Because somehow, when people promote what Bandera did, they don’t realize that we live in a slightly different time. Bandera acted in a time of war. Fortunately, we aren’t at war yet. We have to act in a certain way when we say that we want to go to Europe. We want to go to Europe, but let’s take a rifle in our hands and shoot everyone there, or cut them up. It’s not normal. So, I respect Bandera, I love him and all that, but it’s not the right time for it. And there’s no need to put anything in place of the Lenin monument yet.
Woman, 29 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 11, 2014, Euromaidan activist
I have a positive attitude [to the demolition]. You know, you can’t, for example, come every day to the monument of a person who organized the Holodomor in 1933, who perhaps repressed someone’s grandparents or great-grandparents. This person is an enemy of the Ukrainian people, and I think it’s right that there are no more such monuments. It would be great to put up a monument to Euromaidan in that city when it’s all over, just a figure so that a talented sculptor could make a figure that would symbolize all the events during these three months.
Man, 18 years old, recorded in Lviv, February 12, 2014, Euromaidan activist
I have a positive attitude to this [demolition] and would like to see [monuments] to representatives and people involved in the development of the Ukrainian state today. In my opinion, they would be better opponents or… We have many prominent figures of culture and science who deserve this today. These are Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, Ivan Franko, Lesya Ukrainka.
Man, 35 years old, recorded in Kyiv, February 13, 2014, Euromaidan activist
I think I don’t like these acts of barbarism. I think, after all, the Ukrainian Revolution is beautiful because it managed to omit vandalism. This action did look like vandalism. It was purely symbolic, I mean, without overthrowing symbols, culture can’t change. Well, it just happened. This is how humanity develops. I thought that somehow in the 21st century, it would be possible to overthrow symbols in other ways. Instead, they allowed such an action to take place. And it happened. I think it was wrong in general. Because we lost the supporters of Euromaidan, many, many people and supporters, too, were lost because of this demolition. Instead, purely symbolically, as a person engaged in theater, I’d say that “it was awesome” (laughter). It was really very beautiful. And what can come out of this, what kind of performances, what cultural codes were laid down in this action? They are actually working now, and I’m eagerly waiting for the moment when we will be able to see the results.
Woman, 35 years old, recorded in Kharkiv, February 14, 2014, active Euromaidan and the Orange Revolution participant
I’m fine [with the demolition]. I mean, Lenin, of course, is a tyrant. I read a serious study by our bishop of Kharkiv and Poltava, who explained to the Council of Carthage and the Ecumenical Council that this is the right position from the church’s point of view, the position of demolishing the Lenin monument, that these idols should be destroyed. The other thing is that no matter how much of a revolution this is in general, there are no revolutions without such actions, and It’s always radical. The monuments to Lenin must be destroyed, for sure. Of course, I’d like it to have been done legally so that the city council session could make such a decision, but since the government in Kyiv is illegitimate, the people are the authorities, Article 5 of the Ukrainian Constitution.
Man, 39 years old, recorded in Kharkiv, February 16, 2014, one of the Euromaidan organizers and the Orange Revolution participant
Well, I have a positive attitude to this [demolition] because I think that monuments to the dictators of the Ukrainian people who tortured the Ukrainian people for years should not be erected. Well, they were erected during the Soviet Union, so they should be dismantled now. In my opinion, it’s worth [erecting monuments] even to the heroes of Euromaidan, such as Yuriy Verbytsky, who died in these confrontations, and Nigoyan. They should have monuments. To other people doing good deeds for Euromaidan and for the Ukrainian people as well.
Man, 21 years old, recorded in Lviv, February 17, 2014, Euromaidan participant in Lviv and Kyiv
I was there too (laughter) when they were demolishing the monument, you know, this monument, those monuments have no cultural value. I don’t feel sorry for them, let them demolish it. I have a piece of Lenin, after all. Lenin, you don’t need to put up a monument to Stalin or someone else. You need to put up [monuments] to some cultural figures, to scientists, poets, writers, or even to the heroes of Euromaidan.
Woman, 20 years old, recorded in Lviv, February 18, 2014, Euromaidan activist
Well, in this regard, the monuments to Lenin were indeed demolished even before Euromaidan, a lot of them, a long period before Euromaidan. And so, I think it was not such a big deal.
Woman, 19 years old, recorded in Lviv, February 18, 2014, Euromaidan activist
My views are half and half. They shouldn’t have radically destroyed everything because they didn’t put it up. They didn’t have to demolish it. You could’ve just moved it somewhere because there was such a possibility. They just needed to contact the relevant institutions. And on the other hand, I would… On the one hand, I respect people doing it because I’m against those to whom this monument was erected.
Woman, 18 years old, recorded in Lviv, February 19, 2014, Euromaidan and the Orange Revolution participant