Europe

In pictures: Ukraine removes communist-era symbols

Monument being dismantled Image copyright Maxim Scherbina
Image caption This was Ukraine's largest remaining statue of Lenin before being taken down in March 2016

Ukraine has been trying to break free from its communist past, and the campaign is changing the face of whole cities.

Zaporizhya is typical of eastern Ukraine in that it was full of communist monuments and street names. But new laws say they must be removed because they symbolise the country's repressive past.

The campaign has triggered controversy, with critics saying that it is a crude assault on Ukraine's past.

Image copyright Maxim Scherbina
Image caption The first to go was a statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the much-feared Soviet secret police. Ironically, the monument was located in Zaporizhya's Freedom Square
Image copyright Edward Andriushchenko / zp.depo.ua
Image caption A statue of Stalin associate Sergey Kirov was also taken down in March
Image copyright Edward Andriushchenko / zp.depo.ua
Image caption This monument had been around since 1968, when it was put up to mark the 50th anniversary of the Young Communist League, Komsomol
Image copyright Vitaly Shevchenko
Image caption Behind it, a slogan used to declare that the communist government had "millions of eaglets" at its service. But now the lettering has been unceremoniously removed and is lying on the ground
Image copyright Alexey Tolmachov / zphoto.zp.ua
Image caption The biggest controversy arose over the removal of this monument to Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin near a hydroelectric dam
Image copyright Oleksandr Stashevsky / Getty Images
Image caption Earlier, activists put a huge traditional Ukrainian shirt on the statue, but its days were numbered
Image copyright Edward Andriushchenko / zp.depo.ua
Image caption The enormous statue took three days to take down. An ultra-strong, diamond-reinforced cable snapped in the process
Image copyright 061.ua
Image caption Lenin's name was also removed from the dam that the statue was pointing to
Image copyright Vitaly Shevchenko
Image caption The monuments formed a key part of urban planning in the USSR, and their removal has left gaping holes in the city's appearance
Image copyright Yuri Tatarenko
Image caption No one knows what will replace them
Image copyright Yuri Tatarenko
Image caption Soviet symbols remain an integral part of architecture in Zaporizhya, and removing all of them would be all but impossible
Image copyright Google
Image caption This is what Zaporizhya's map used to look like. All these names are gone now

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