Residents of south-Ukrainian Odesa port city, which was one of the most Russian-speaking Ukrainian cities before the war, voted to dismantle the monument to Russian empress Catherine II.
The voting was conducted on the “Publicly Active Citizen” platform where the majority of Odesa residents voted for the dismantling of the monument from Kateryninska Square. The next step is to consider the issue in the next session of the city council which should make the final decision.
“I believe that the results of free voting on the Publicly Active Citizen platform will be taken into account by the representatives of the city council, who will make the final decision. Personally, I will vote “For” the dismantling of the monument and its transfer to the park of the Imperial and Soviet past, the idea of which I talked about a few months ago,” the city mayor Hennadiy Trukhahov said.
Odesa belongs to those Ukrainian cities that rapidly developed during the 18-19th centuries when Ukraine was conquered by the Russian Empire. This made the local culture of Odesa a hybrid mixture of Ukrainian and imperial culture, while official ideology during the empire and USSR celebrated the role of the Russian empress Catherine II as the developer of this port city. At the same time, Catherine II was the key figure behind destroying Ukraine’s Cossack state and Zaporizhzhia host in 1775. That is why the long-debated issue of an old monument to her in Odesa city center sparked new discussions after the full-scale Russian invasion on 24 February 2022.
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In September and October, the monument was doused in red several times while red executioner’s cap was put on it by local activists: