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Key Ukrainian city begins removal of monument to founder – media – RT Russia and the former Soviet Union


Odessa decided to scrap the statue of Catherine the Great in November, at the presidential request

Workers in the Ukrainian city of Odessa have begun dismantling the monument to its founder, Russian Empress Catherine II, commonly known as Catherine the Great, local media reported.

The site where the statue is located was cordoned off on Wednesday. Footage of the scene shared online showed workers removing fiberboard shields, which have kept the monument out of public view since the city council voted to get rid of the monument in late November.

During the same session, council members also decided to remove the monument to one of Russia’s greatest generals, Aleksandr Suvorov, who served under Catherine II for most of his military career.

The monument to the 18th-century Russian Empress, which also honors some of her greatest statesmen, was first erected in Odessa in 1900. The Bolshevik government removed it in 1920, but in 2007 the city brought it back – using the original figures of Catherine’s associates. and the redesign of the Empress’s effigy – as a reminder of the role the sovereign has played in her history. He is credited with founding Odessa, although some in Ukraine have called it a “myth” because an older settlement preceded the city.

Nationalist forces in Ukraine have long called for the statue to be removed, denouncing it as a symbol of Russian oppression. President Vladimir Zelensky officially urged it to be gotten rid of in July, after an online petition to replace it with a status for American porn actor Billy Herrington crossed a legal threshold for scrutiny. The monument has been the target of vandals several times this year.

Odessa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov voiced support for the plan and said it was backed by the public. Only about 8,000 people out of nearly a million people took part in the opinion poll he cited.

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