An anti-government protester beats the statue of Vladimir Lenin with a sledgehammer in Kiev, Ukraine on Dec. 8, 2013.
Sergei Chuzavkov/AP

Kiev protesters topple Vladimir Lenin statue


Protesters in Kiev, Ukraine, toppled a statue of Vladimir Lenin Sunday amid larger national protests over the government’s choice to distance itself from the European Union and move toward Russia.

Photos and videos from the scene show anti-government protestors pulling down the Lenin statue with ropes and metal bars. The statue’s head appears to have been knocked in the fall from the pedestal. Protestors swarmed the statue after its fall and continued to deface it with hammers, shouting “Glory to Ukraine,” according to the Associated Press.

Large protests have been taking place in Ukraine for over a week, after the government chose to join a customs union with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan instead of integrating with the European Union. Demonstrations turned violent last week when riot police engaged protestors.

Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych—who the protesters were calling to resign—said he was “deeply outraged” by the violence.

Check out an Instagram video of protestors topping the Vladimir Lenin statue: