A Ukrainian group is pushing to replace a monument to a communist leader with a statue of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Kiev, Ukraine.
Ukranian Economic Freedoms Foundation is seeking a permit to build a monument to Reagan at the Kiev city center, the former home of a statue of Dmytro Manuilsky, a leader of Ukraine’s Bolshevik party in the early 20th century.
The monument “is to underline the great impact Reagan had on the destruction of Communism,” Maryan Zablotskyy, president of the Ukrainian Economic Freedoms Foundation, said in a statement.
“Reagan met Ukrainian diaspora and proclaimed: ‘your struggle is our struggle.’ And we are forever thankful for that. Ukraine now has special laws in place that forbid the use of any communist regalia and symbols,” Zablotskyy said.
The statue of Dmytro Manuilsky was torn down in 2014, during a series of protests and demonstrations known as the Revolution of Dignity, when Ukraine’s pro-Russia leaders were ousted.
There have been 11 other statues of Reagan in built in Eastern Europe since 2011, each honoring the former president’s role fighting communism.
The new monument will be designed with a statue of the Reagan on a raised platform in front of a wall. The statue will be nearly 8 feet high, so “visitors will be able to go up a few steps, shake Reagan’s hand and take a photo while being slightly smaller in size compared to Reagan,” Zablotskyy said.
“Behind Reagan will be a small wall which will feature his quotes about Ukraine and Ukrainian diaspora, for example: ‘Your struggle is our struggle.’ Also this wall will have broken and melted symbols of USSR. Elements of the Berlin Wall will be used in construction.”
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