Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
In Kiev it appears that it is possible to establish a memorial plaque without coordinating it with anybody. In front of Bessarabka, on the pedestal where a Lenin moment earlier stood, a memorial plaque to Aleksandr Muzychko, known as “Sashko Bilyi”, and to Oleg Muzhchil (call sign “Lisnik”) was established for nearly three weeks, in addition, together with the national flag of Ukraine and a trident, as well as the red-black flag of OUN.
As “Vesti” found out, the authorities of the region and Kiev, under the nose of which it happened, aren’t going to react to this in any way. It is curious that none of the city’s leadership and right-wing organizations know who made it. And the creative ideas for replacing the monument dried up.
“The party didn’t give an order”
It is more than two weeks that on the empty pedestal in front Bessarabka, on which there earlier was a monument to Lenin, a memorial plaque to fighters of “Right Sector” – the leaders of nationalists Sashko Bilyi and Lisnik, who were killed at different times by law enforcement bodies during their detention – was flaunted. The activists who established the plaque and flags before Independence Day, judging by their video on YouTube, called themselves members of “Right Sector” and declared that they established the plaque without permission, after all, Muzychko and Muzhchil were “heroes who were killed for telling the truth”, and that’s why they don’t need permission for the establishment of a memorial plaque.
But officially none of the nationalists claimed responsibility for the establishing of the plaque. “Right Sector” told “Vesti” that the action of activists isn’t the action of the party.
“Maybe it was indeed done by participants of our movement, but only at their own personal initiative, without coordinating it with HQ,” said the speaker of “Right Sector” Artem Skoropadsky.
Non-participation in this action was also declared by the head of OUN Nikolay Kokhanovsky. “I, in general, am ‘for’ dismantling the remaining ideological monuments, but not decorating them,” he said.
The Shevchenkovsky Regional State Administration told “Vesti” that they also don’t know how the plaque appeared on the pedestal. “Projects of sculptural compositions are being agreed at joint meetings of city councils at the Department of Architecture of the Kiev City State Administration and the Department of Culture, with the involvement of artists and architects. The establishing of this composition wasn’t coordinated with anybody. But it seems not to be bothering anyone,” said the Regional State Administration.
What to replace Lenin with
It is interesting that a year ago the authorities of Kiev held a competition for the best composition that will replace Lenin’s pedestal. At the time the well-known Kiev businessman Garik Korogodsky was ready to allocate money for the construction of a new monument, and proposed a project created together with the sculptor Konstantin Skritutsky, whose idea was to create a multifunctional space together with a clock without hands. But the project didn’t receive support in the city hall, having given the victory to the Mexican artist Cynthia Gutiérrez. It was a double-column of steps, which, according to Gutiérrez, represented the movement of historical symbol — from rise to decline and oblivion.
Now, seemingly, the question of what will happen at the beginning of Shevchenko Boulevard, doesn’t interest anybody in power. The secretary of the commission on culture of the Kiev City Council Aleksandr Pozhyvanov told “Vesti” that currently an active search for a solution to the issue of Lenin’s replacement isn’t being conducted. “I know that this question is being studied in the city hall, but there are no specific projects or tasks,” noted Pozhyvanov. So far the authorities aren’t in a hurry to remove the illegal plaque and flags. “After all, nobody prevents you from hanging up a flag in the city. It will hang for a while, and then it will be removed. There is nothing bad in this,” concluded Pozhyvanov.
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