July 27, 2023

Shielded from Soviet Symbols


Shielded from Soviet Symbols
An artist's depiction of what the statue will look like after its makeover. Wikimedia Commons, DIAM – State Inspection of Architecture and Urban Planning (Government of Ukraine)

On July 13, the Ukrainian government announced plans to replace a Soviet seal on a patriotic statue with a Ukrainian symbol. Now, work is underway to construct a metal trident for the monument.

The Ukrainian State Inspection of Architecture and Urban Planning is working to replace the seal with a massive Ukrainian trident, an ancient symbol of Ukraine dating back to medieval times and the modern state's coat of arms. The move will further distance Ukraine from its historic Soviet and Russian connections.

This change is in line with the Ukrainian public's opinion: A 2022 survey revealed that 85% of Ukrainians favored replacing the seal with a trident.

When Kyiv's Motherland Monument was completed in 1981, the Soviet hammer-and-sickle on its shield was not unusual. After all, Ukraine was a critical part of the USSR at the time. Since then, the 355-foot-tall monument has dominated Kyiv's skyline as one of its most iconic landmarks.

However, since conflict with Russia began in 2013 and especially in light of the ongoing invasion, there has been an increasing movement to do away with Russian ans Soviet symbols and replace them with Ukrainian ones. 

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