Ukraine tore down its Lenin statues. The hard part is filling the spaces left behind.
Four angels and the Virgin Mary mark the spot where the Communist used to stand.
“We used to get drunk next to the Lenin,” a 45-year-old mechanic named Volodymyr said as he passed by.
“Now it’s a sin to drink there, I guess,” his friend Yulia said.
Five years after the start of Ukraine’s pro-Western revolution, the once-ubiquitous figure of Vladimir Lenin has been eradicated by law. So have other symbols of the Soviet era — gone from the country’s squares, streets and buildings.
But Ukrainians are still searching for meaning — and identity — in the spaces left behind.
Depending on where you look, those spaces are now an empty pedestal. Or replaced by a wooden cross. Or a new plaque on a rock. Or fresh tiles. Or just a circle of bare earth.
As elsewhere in the former Soviet Union, the likeness of Bolshevik leader Lenin remained the focal point of hundreds of towns and villages for years in Ukraine after Communism’s demise.
Maybe this is a good development, that something natural and closer to the Ukrainian people who are often Eastern Orthodox Christians of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate and Ukrainian Greek Catholics (Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic) and Roman-Catholic if they belong to the Polish minority in Western-Ukraine or other Roman-Catholic minorities. The SovjetUnion demollished a lot of churches, religious statues and buildings in the entire SovjetUnion. Maybe today Ukraine is returning to it's Christian roots it had until the end of the Czarist empire and maybe the Cilvil war (1919-1922)?