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…