Lenin lives! Ukraine’s failed sabotage & PR stunt in Donetsk

By Denis Grigoriuk

On the night of January 26-27, 2016, there was an explosion in central Donetsk. It became known that the explosion occurred in the central square of the city — Lenin Square. Ukrainian media and top bloggers were quick to report it. According to them, the monument to Lenin had nearly collapsed. No one gave details, of course. And that’s understandable.

I’m not used to taking the word of Ukrainian activists, so I went to check everything with my own eyes. I was on the scene at 9 am. There were already utility workers, Interior Ministry staff, and city workers who maintain monuments on the scene. 

From afar, I didn’t immediately notice anything wrong with the monument. I thought it was another hoax, but as I came closer, I noticed granite tiles split off the pedestal of the monument. Behind the monument were scattered small parts of the pedestal. That’s all. The monument stands as before, without even a scratch on it. Only the pedestal was damaged.

In social networks, there were reports that it was hit by artillery, tanks or even howitzers in the area. Complete nonsense. What I saw was no more than banal vandalism. Moreover, of small size. The sabotage failed. 

Donetsk People’s Republic law enforcement agencies have not yet made an official statement. We will have to wait. I assume that it was an improvised explosive device.

I don’t know what the admirers of the Ukrainian authorities hoped to prove with this PR stunt. If they wanted to show that there is a resistance movement in Donetsk, they have only proven it to be ineffective and insignificant. What happened to the monument of Lenin is comparable to the detonation of firecrackers. Oversized firecrackers, to be sure. The Elephant and the Pug [a Russian fable]. The dirty dogs did not get what they wanted – the monument stands, and will stand! This explosion has once again proven that Donetsk is not Ukraine, where monuments of Lenin were demolished to the raging cheers of the crowd. We decided to honor the memory of our ancestors. 

So remember, Ukraine: “People who forget their history have no future.”

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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