Russian colonialism: Should Ukraine remove monuments?

Like any empire, Russia uses symbolic power to expand its sphere of influence. Monuments, museums, and street names have long ceased to be just a way to honor Russian culture and history and turn into another instrument of colonialism.

Both in the times of the Russian empire and the Soviet Union, Russia used its cultural and historical figures to assert the power of the empire. All the monuments to Pushkin, Peter I, and Catherine II in Ukraine were intended to mark the territories of the metropolis.

While Ukrainian artists and public figures were marginalized and stigmatized as “bourgeois nationalists”, the culture of Russian personalities was prosperous. After years of Russian cultural expansionism, Ukrainians take their own path of decolonization and re-evaluate their past since the shadow of “great Russian culture” still hangs over our country.


  • Viktor Brekhunenko, Ukrainian historian, professor at Hrushevsky Institute of Ukrainian Archeography and Source Studies of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  • Volodymyr Poltorak, senior lecturer, Odesa National University
  • Mariam Naiem, researcher of Ukrainian culture and history
  • Volodymyr Viatrovych, Ukrainian historian and MP

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