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Brotherly nations no more? Ukrainian monument to friendship with Russia destroyed after standing for two decades in Kiev park

Brotherly nations no more? Ukrainian monument to friendship with Russia destroyed after standing for two decades in Kiev park
A monument to the long-standing friendship between Kiev and Moscow, erected in 2001, has been demolished after years of being defaced by pro-Ukrainian nationalists, a liberal opposition local city councilor revealed on Sunday.

Writing on Facebook, Alina Mikhailova of the pro-Western Golos party celebrated the destruction of the monument, which stood for 20 years in the city's Goloseevsky district.

In recent times, it has often been defaced by blue and yellow paint, as well as nationalist slogans such as 'Slava Ukraini' – 'Glory to Ukraine.'

"The monument of friendship with Moscow has been dismantled," Mikhailova wrote. "This piece of granite is no longer in Kiev. And this is our victory."

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The councilor also noted that the district administration is now keeping the monument, and will one day exhibit it in the "museum of totalitarianism."

She also claimed that "any place glorifying an occupying state" is "spitting on the soul" of thousands of dead Ukrainians.

According to the Kiev authorities, Moscow is currently occupying parts of eastern Ukraine in the Donbass region. Relations between the two capitals have deteriorated since the 2014 Maidan events, which eventually led to the current conflict when the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk declared independence in a move recognized by neither Moscow nor Kiev.

The decision to remove the monument was made in July.

Last week, a top advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested that the country change its name to 'Rus-Ukraine,' a branding that would distinguish them as being Russians distinct from Moscow. Speaking on YouTube, Alexey Arestovich claimed that  Ukrainians are actually the real Russians.

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