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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.

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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.

People on social went crazy.

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

Alex Kjuneberg

@alex_kjuneberg

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

/ Via

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

Юрий Бондаренко

@vozvr

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

/ Via

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.

Добкин Михаил

@mdobkin

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

/ Via

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

Эти украинцы уже ушли?

Alexander Bunin

@abunin

Эти украинцы уже ушли?

/ Via

Watch the Lenin statue come down:

View this video on YouTube

Misha Luzin / Via youtube.com

Max Seddon is a correspondent for BuzzFeed World based in Berlin. He has reported from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and across the ex-Soviet Union and Europe. His secure PGP fingerprint is 6642 80FB 4059 E3F7 BEBE 94A5 242A E424 92E0 7B71

Contact Max Seddon at max.seddon@buzzfeed.com.

Contact Benny Johnson at benny.johnson+DONE@buzzfeed.com.

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