Ukraine Protesters Topple Lenin Statue in Kiev

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 8 2013 1:16 PM

Ukraine Protesters Topple Lenin Statue in Kiev

A protester breaks apart a statue of Lenin after it was pulled down by protesters in Kiev

Photo by GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Kiev Sunday for what was the largest protest in the country since the 2004 Orange Revolution. Some 500,000 people, according to the Associated Press estimates, flooded the streets to angrily demand that President Viktor Yanukovich go back on his plans to forge close ties with Russia while turning away from Europe. The crowds pulled down a statue of Vladimir Lenin in Kiev, decapitating it and hitting it with hammers in what Reuters calls “a symbolic rejection of Moscow’s power.” Protesters allegedly took turns hitting the statue while those around them chanted, “Glory to Ukraine!” Numerous Lenin statues have been removed from Kiev in previous years, notes CNN.

The protesters crowded into Independence Square on Sunday with the rallying cry, “Ukraine is Europe!” Opposition leaders called on Yanukovich to resign and said they gave him 48 hours to get rid of his prime minister or otherwise they would march on his residence outside Kiev and shut him inside, reports the Guardian. The demonstrations began last month but the protests keep growing in a sign of “just how deeply roiled this nation of 46 million people has become in the weeks since Mr. Yanukovich said he would not complete political and free-trade agreements with the European Union that he had been promising to sign for more than a year,” reports the New York Times. It is unclear how the government will respond. So far its apparent strategy of hoping things die down on their own seems to have failed, but a crackdown by security forces could galvanize protesters. Still the opposition is hardly united and there appears to be little agreement among leaders on what they should do next.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The First Case of Ebola in America Has Been Diagnosed in Dallas

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Mad About Modi

Why the controversial Indian prime minister drew 19,000 cheering fans to Madison Square Garden.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Don’t Panic! The U.S. Already Stops Ebola and Similar Diseases From Spreading. Here’s How.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 6:59 PM The Democrats’ War at Home Can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 4:45 PM Steven Soderbergh Is Doing Some Next-Level Work on The Knick
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 6:44 PM Ebola Was Already Here How the United States contains deadly hemorrhagic fevers.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.