Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lenin Statues

Statues of Lenin still abound in Ukraine. The one above is in Zaporozhye, and the inscription at the bottom says "Communism means the electrification of the whole country." Zaporozhye, in addition to being a traditional home of Cossacks, is the site of an enormous hydroelectric dam built in Stalin's time. It used to be one of the Soviet Union's main locales for heavy industries that used the electricity. Today many of the factories are shuttered.
The main street of Zoporozhye is still named after Lenin, and at 9 km. it was the longest such street in the entire Soviet Union. Since post-Soviet Ukranians do not seem to have been able to agree yet on a unifying national myth, Lenin and in some places even Stalin are still honoured.
There used to be many more Lenin statues, of course, and I heard that someone is proposing to set up a park where the remaining statues will all be assembled. Shades of "Ulysses Gaze," the fine film by Angelopoulos, where the hero while sailing down a river in eastern Europe passed a barge carrying an enormous dis-assembled statue of Lenin.


Blogger Bernie Landry said...

Margaret, a great article that reveals the old and the new in Russia. I wonder how big of a park they will need to assemble the remaining statues? Excellent photos!

11:49 am


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