April 11, 2023

Goodbye, Pushkin!


Goodbye, Pushkin!
Pushkin's statue in Poltava. Tkanchenko.UA, Telegram.

Poltava, a Ukrainian city of historical significance to the expansion of the Russian Empire, decided to remove a statue of famed Russian writer Alexander Pushkin, along with those of two Soviet generals, after residents protested, calling for their removal and covering the monuments in paint. 

The statues of Pushkin and World War II General Alexander Zygin were erected during the Soviet era. However, the third monument to be removed, dedicated to Soviet General Nikolai Vatutin, was unveiled in 2013 during the term of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych fled to Russian exile after being ousted.

After Russia began its War on Ukraine, Ukraine and other former Soviet states began dismantling many monuments that glorify the Russian military. Ukrainian Minister of Culture Oleksander Tkachentko celebrated Poltava's decision on Telegram: "The expert council of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy on the matter of remedial action in the wake of Russification and totalitarianism has long recommended doing this."

The city is also evaluating removing a memorial to Peter the Great, erected in 1817.

The 1709 Battle of Poltava was a decisive victory for Tsar Peter and a turning point for Russian imperialism.

You Might Also Like

We Have Land Enough

We Have Land Enough

How the situation in Russia looks from a village in the very remote and very Far East.
Notes at the Front

Notes at the Front

Musicians have not been spared from the criminalization of protest and expression. We also share Ilya Yashin's final words.
Don't Wear a White Coat
  • March 19, 2023

Don't Wear a White Coat

An art group in St. Petersburg put up a sculpture criticizing Russian society's blind-sightedness on the war.
Stalin Returns to Volgograd
  • February 05, 2023

Stalin Returns to Volgograd

A new bust of Stalin has been erected in Volgograd, raising questions about the identity of the city.
So Long to Kate
  • January 18, 2023

So Long to Kate

The Ukrainian city of Odesa has taken down its statues of Catherine the Great, marking a break from its Russian past.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
Steppe / Степь (bilingual)

Steppe / Степь (bilingual)

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
Turgenev Bilingual

Turgenev Bilingual

A sampling of Ivan Turgenev's masterful short stories, plays, novellas and novels. Bilingual, with English and accented Russian texts running side by side on adjoining pages.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
Tolstoy Bilingual

Tolstoy Bilingual

This compact, yet surprisingly broad look at the life and work of Tolstoy spans from one of his earliest stories to one of his last, looking at works that made him famous and others that made him notorious. 
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955