Odessa authorities supported the decision to remove the statue dedicated to the city’s founder
The executive committee of the Odessa city council has backed an initiative to dismantle a monument to Russian Empress Catherine II, commonly known as Catherine the Great, who founded the city.
“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 its official Telegram channel on Thursday.
The initiative will now be put to the vote of city deputies on November 30, after which the monument can be moved from Ekaterininskaya Square to a project “Park of the Imperial and Soviet Past.”
Earlier this month, Odessa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov said he personally backed the plan after a public vote showed a majority of Odessa residents backing the dismantling of the monument, which is now seen as a symbol of Russian oppression. Only about 8,000 of the city’s nearly one million residents took part in the poll. Some 3,900 voted for demolition, but only 2,900 of those voters had “confirmed” status, meaning they actually live in the city.
The monument to Catherine the Great, who founded the city of Odessa in the late 18th century, has been repeatedly vandalized since Moscow launched its military offensive against kyiv in late February. Vandals sprayed the monument with red paint and left inscriptions such as “Ekaterina = Putin” on the pedestal.
The initiative to remove the monument was officially submitted to the city council by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in July, after an online petition to replace the statue with American porn actor Billy Herrington passed the threshold needed for a review. legal. The petition described the late Empress as a “controversial historical figure whose actions caused great damage to the Ukrainian state and culture.”
Ukrainian authorities and activists have repeatedly targeted historic monuments since Kyiv passed a “decommunization” law in 2015. While the stated goal was to help Ukraine break with its communist past, in the handy, it was also used to target any monuments that can be linked. in Russia.
Moscow has repeatedly criticized Kyiv for what it sees as “Ukrainization and forced derussification” aimed at removing the rights of about a quarter of the country’s population.
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