Protesters Topple Lenin Statue In Ukraine And Smash It To Bits

President Viktor Yanukovych appears to have lost control of the capital as protests against him go on for a third week. posted on

KIEV, Ukraine — Protesters toppled a statue of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin with an electric cable and broke it into pieces with a hammer Sunday, the clearest sign yet that President Viktor Yanukovych has lost control of the capital to pro-European protesters.

Several hundred people waved flags, sang the national anthem, and chanted “Yanukovych, you’re next!” as passing cars honked in support. A few policemen stood by helplessly before wandering off sheepishly.

The right-wing nationalist Svoboda party, one of the three major opposition groups, claimed responsibility for toppling the statue, the Ukrainskie Novosti news agency reported. Police said in a statement that they were investigating the incident and believed Svoboda’s fiercely anti-Russian and anti-Soviet members were responsible. Many of the people celebrating by the statue chanted nationalist slogans and waved right-wing groups’ flags.

Hundreds of protesters attacked the statue a week ago, but were driven off by riot police.

The prominent statue was surrounded by protesters.

Gleb Garanich / Reuters

The protesters formed a human wall as the statue was hooked up with an electric cable.

Stringer / Reuters

And toppled.

Stringer / Reuters

The statue landed head first into the concrete below.

Stringer / Reuters

Stoyan Nenov / Reuters

And Lenin’s head was buried deep into the concrete.

Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters

The Ukrainian protesters moved in to finish it.

Stoyan Nenov / Reuters

An orthodox priest blessed a sledgehammer in front of the crowd…

…and with the priest’s blessing, the statue was smashed to bits.

Stoyan Nenov / Reuters

Smashed.

Stringer / Reuters

To bits.

Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters

Parts of the statue were paraded through the street.

Stringer / Reuters

And the protesters defiantly stood atop the statue.

Stringer / Reuters

The pedestal now holds jubilant protesters carrying Ukrainian and EU flags.

Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters

This guy has the best Facebook cover photo in Ukraine right now.

Stoyan Nenov / Reuters

This is the clearest sign yet that the pro-Russian ruling party has lost control of Ukraine’s capitol city.

Stringer / Reuters

People on social went crazy.

Прислали фото из Киева... Это был Ленин... Акт вандализма и окончательная потеря контроля над митингующими.

Рухнул русофоб и создатель Украины тов. Ленин. На очереди - его детище. Тупые бандеровцы этого ещё просто не поняли!

Mikhail Dobkin, governor of Kharkov province, tweeted that he would raise funds to restore the statue.

Завтра открываю счет, для восстановления памятника Ленину в Киеве.Внесу на счет 50000гр.Все,кто презирает вуек за их тупизм,присоединяйтесь.

And of course, a meme: “Pssst, comrade! Have those Ukrainians gone yet?”

Watch the Lenin statue come down:

Misha Luzin / Via youtube.com

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