Ukrainian city to dismantle statue of iconic Russian empress

Odessa Catherine the Great. [Photo: Wikimedia]

The city hall of Ukraine’s coastal city of Odessa has ruled to dismantle and relocate the monument to Empress Catherine the Great, on whose decree the city was founded in the late 18th century.

“Members of the executive committee supported the draft decision on the dismantling and transfer of the monument to the Founders of Odessa,” the Odessa City Council wrote on their official Telegram channel on Thursday.

The initiative will now be put to a vote by the city deputies on November 30, after which the monument may be moved from Ekaterininskaya Square to a proposed “park of Imperial and Soviet past.”

Earlier this month, Odessa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov said he personally supported the plan after a public vote showed that the majority of Odessa residents were in favor of dismantling the monument, which is now seen as a symbol of Russia’s oppression.

Only about 8,000 of the city’s nearly one million inhabitants took part in the poll. Some 3,900 voted for demolition, but only 2,900 of those voters had a “confirmed” status, which means they actually live in the city, the Russian TV network RT reported.

The monument to Catherine the Great, who founded the city of Odessa in the late 18th century, has been vandalized on several occasions since Moscow launched its military offensive against Kiev in late February.


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