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Monument to first man in space dismantled in Kiev – media

A bust honoring Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, who was the first man in space, has been taken down in Kiev, local media reported on Monday, citing witnesses and pictures released on social media.

  • According to Ukrainian daily Our Kiev, the monument, which was located in the eastern part of the Ukrainian capital, was taken off its pedestal. It is unclear whether its removal was ordered by Ukrainian authorities, or whether it was done on the initiative of local citizens. The current location of the bust is also unclear.

The granite bust was erected near the local youth center back in the 1960s after Gagarin visited Kiev.

The visit came after the Soviet cosmonaut famously embarked on the first successful crewed spaceflight in human history, completing one orbit around Earth on April 12, 1961.

  • Gagarin’s landmark achievement became an inspiration for artists in Russia and beyond, with monuments honoring the cosmonaut erected not only across former Soviet republics, but also in the UK Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, and at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center Headquarters in Houston.

Meanwhile, Ukraine began its crusade against Soviet-related monuments as early as 2015 after passing a decommunization law, which in practice also applies to all Russia-linked sites. This campaign only intensified after the start of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev in February 2022.

  • Last month, Kiev stripped the late Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, who was born in Ukraine, of honorary citizenship, touting the move as “another step towards eliminating the legacy of the former Communist regime.”

Source: RT