Soviet mon­u­ment to Zhukov, pro-Rus­sian party con­gress spark ma­jor protests in Kharkiv

Kyiv Post - - National -

On June 2, dozens of na­tion­al­ist pro­test­ers, in­clud­ing the far-right Na­tional Corps, demon­strated against the party con­gress where Kharkiv Mayor Gen­nady Kernes and Odesa Mayor Gen­nady Trukhanov united their po­lit­i­cal forces into the new Doveryai De­lam party. The pro­test­ers clashed with po­lice and top­pled a nearby mon­u­ment to Grig­ory Zhukov, a Soviet mar­shal who held top mil­i­tary jobs dur­ing World War II and was also the Soviet Union's de­fense min­is­ter from 1955 to 1957. Demon­stra­tors and Ukraine’s Na­tional Mem­ory In­sti­tute ar­gue that the coun­try’s de­com­mu­niza­tion law, which re­quires mon­u­ments of top Soviet of­fi­cials to be taken down, sup­ports the re­move of the Zhukov statue. Their op­po­nents claim that the law ex­empts mon­u­ments linked to the Soviet Union's war with Nazi Ger­many. Kernes lashed out at the pro­test­ers, call­ing them “scum.” He said that Vidrodzhen­nya party law­maker Vi­taly Kho­mu­tyn­nik’s char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion would re­store the Zhukov mon­u­ment. Kernes also said the city coun­cil would con­sider re­nam­ing Petro Gry­gorenko Av­enue, on which the Zhukov mon­u­ment is lo­cated, to its pre-2016 name: Mar­shal Zhukov Av­enue.

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