The coat of arms of the USSR will still indefinitely decorate the shield of the “Motherland” monument in Kiev because of the high cost and complexity of dismantling it. This was stated at a press conference by the Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory (UINM) Anton Drobovich.
“The Paton Institute, which is engaged in welding, has prepared a project to dismantle the Soviet coat of arms, but it is an expensive solution,” he said, and noted that there are also engineering difficulties.
“It also takes difficult calculations to ensure that the statue doesn’t tilt after one of its elements is removed. If you load some structures and devices (during dismantling), they can outweigh the monument because it is a very complex engineering structure, which cannot be unbalanced,” added the director of the Institute. He explained that engineering facilities could tilt the statue, which is balanced by a pendulum and has a 16-foot sword weighing 9 tons in its hand.
According to Drobovich, the UINM intends to apply to the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports to provide funding for such work in 2020, and the city authorities will consult with citizens to find out whether or not they are ready to allocate funds from their taxes for the dismantling. “Or we will propose to come up with an easier draft solution to the issue,” he added.
Drobovich also explained that the monument to the Hero of the Soviet Union, commander of the troops of the 1st Ukrainian front Nikolay Vatutin, which is installed in the center of Kiev, is not included on the list for decommunisation and will remain in the same place.
“This surname [Vatutin] is not on the lists for decommunisation due to different circumstances, I am working on this issue. But even if he were on these lists and would be subject to decommunisation, there is a separate exception with regard to graves: it is not just a monument to Vatutin, it is a grave of Vatutin,” explained Drobovich. He stressed that in the case of graves it is impossible to dismantle the monument. “In such cases the procedure is quite different,” added the head of the institute, without explaining the details.
Recall that in January 2016 Vladimir Vyatrovich, then Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, said that it was decided to remove the coat of arms of the USSR from the “Motherland” monument. Ukrainian nationalists demand to dismantle the “heritage” of the USSR, who appeal to the law on decommunisation adopted in April 2015. According to the law, the use of symbols of “communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes” is prohibited in the country.
Radicals have also repeatedly stated their desire to demolish the monument to Vatutin. The monument was repeatedly attacked by nationalists.
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