Goodbye Lenin: Ukraine makes glorification of Soviet past a crime

Nearly a quarter of a century after the formal collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine, one of the 15 former republics of the USSR, has approved draconian legislation banning Soviet era symbols.

Ukrainian media said the pro-Western government in Kiev, bitterly opposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, had passed a package of laws which would mean that all statues of Lenin, founder of the world’s first totalitarian state, would now have to be taken down.

Such statues are scattered all around Ukraine, and other former Soviet republics. The laws impose potential prison sentences of up to 10 years for violators.

It will now also be unlawful to use or exhibit any Soviet-era symbols in a way that could be construed as being supportive of the Soviet past…

  • k1992

    I presume that this is about giving the finger to Putin. But it’s still a bad idea.

    • Clink9

      Screw Putin and the horse he rode in on ( shirtless ).

  • AmicusC

    Why is this draconian frau?

    • El Martyachi

      Not her words — it’s a verbatim excerpt.

      • AmicusC

        Misread thanks for pointing out

  • El Martyachi
  • Sometimes I miss Pete.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      We all do, sometimes.

  • canminuteman

    It’s illegal to display Nazi era symbols in Germany, so this is just the same thing. And as bad as Lenin was, communist Russia was far from the “world’s first totalitarian state”. In fact the regime it replaced was a bit on the totalitarian side itself.

    • El Martyachi

      Etymologically speaking it postdates Tsardom.. SORT OF. Interestingly check this out:

      The notion of totalitarianism as a “total” political power by state was formulated in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

      Interesting since the Protocols are widely believed to have been written by the Okhrana (Tsarist secret police).

      But I do remember reading somewhere, on paper, about the the ideas of totalitarianism being fleshed out and it was in reference to the Soviet state. I forget where and have ditched pretty much all my books.

      And while the Tsars were a-holes they were FAR less a-holeish than what came after. The place was in shambles.. serfdom had only been abolished for 50 years by the time Soviets came long. There were genuine attempts at well reasoned reform (see Stolypin for a particularly tragic example).

      • canminuteman

        That was interesting, thank you.

  • Alain

    I fail to see how anyone with any knowledge and in his right mind would think glorifying Lenin or the Soviet past is acceptable. I say the same about those seeking to glorify Mao, Che or any other like them. I do not have a problem with Russia or its people in general, but to glorify Lenin or Stalin knowing what they did to their own people would be like glorifying Hitler.

    • David

      sorta like being a muslim

    • How ’bout we just glorify Putin?

      • Minicapt

        Poutine Forever!


    • El Martyachi

      Yet that’s what they do.

      Former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was beaten by medieval prince Alexander Nevsky in a poll held by a TV station to find the greatest Russian. Stalin came third, despite being responsible for the deaths of millions of Soviets in labour camps and purges.

  • It should be a crime but not officially.

  • tamale

    What am I going to do with my Baby Lenin pins now?