Huge Lenin Statue Torn Down
Crowd topples 'Soviet idol' in Ukraine's 2nd-largest city
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2014 12:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – The biggest remaining statue of Lenin in Ukraine came crashing down in the eastern city of Kharkiv yesterday as thousands of nationalist demonstrators cheered and scrambled for souvenirs. The city, Ukraine's second biggest, is largely Russian-speaking but hasn't experienced the same unrest as other eastern cities. After protesters gathered around the statue yesterday, the regional governor signed an order to dismantle the already-doomed statue, reports the BBC. Demonstrators carved "Glory to Ukraine" on the statue of the Soviet leader before cutting through its legs and hauling it down with cables, reports Voice of America.

More than 160 other Lenin statues have come down across the country over the last year. On his Facebook page, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov made it clear that he didn't have a problem with the statue being toppled. "Lenin? Let him fall," he wrote. "As long as people don't get hurt. As long as this bloody Communist idol does not take more victims with it when it goes." After the 28-foot statue came down, protesters smashed Lenin's face with hammers and carried the statue's severed nose through the crowd, reports the Daily Mail.