Nikolai Vatutin monument

The Nikolai Vatutin monument was a sculpture monument to Soviet military commander Nikolai Vatutin, erected in 1948 and located in Mariinskyi Park, Kyiv, Ukraine, that was dismantled on 9 February 2023.[2]

Nikolai Vatutin monument
Vatutin monument in Kyiv in 2015
50°26′48″N 30°32′19″E / 50.44664°N 30.5385°E / 50.44664; 30.5385
LocationKyiv, Ukraine
DesignerYevgeny Vuchetich[1]
Beginning date1948
Opening date1948
Dedicated toNikolai Vatutin
Dismantled date9 February 2023[2]

History edit

Nikolai Vatutin was a Russian military commander during World War II who was responsible for many Red Army operations in the Ukrainian SSR, including the recapture of Kiev (Kyiv) by the Red Army in 1943.[3] On 28 February 1944, Vatutin was ambushed by Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) insurgents far behind the front lines near the village of Mylyatyn in Ostroh Raion (Rivne Oblast). He succumbed to sepsis, caused by the injuries, in a hospital at Kiev on 15 April 1944.[4]

Vatutin was buried in front of a statue depicting him near the Ukrainian Parliament in Kyiv's Mariinskyi Park.[5][6][7] The monument was erected in 1948.[8] It was designed by a prominent Soviet sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich.[1] On the pedestal of the monument was written a propagandistic cliche "To General Vatutin from the Ukrainian people."[2]

In 2010, the Kyiv City State Administration gave the monument the status of cultural heritage site.[1]

In 2015, Vatutin's daughter Elena[7] announced that her father had been buried in Kiev (now called Kyiv) by Nikita Khrushchev against her family's wishes and that his surviving family lived in Russia and in the Czech Republic, and that she would attempt to obtain permission to rebury him in Moscow. The primary reason was stated to be the family's dislike for the new Ukrainian government's association with Stepan Bandera, whose Ukrainian Insurgent Army followers had killed Vatutin. Originally, a press release from A Just Russia — For Truth had claimed that the initiative to move his body had come from the Kyiv City State Administration.[9][10] The reburial failed to materialize, and Vatutin's grave and monument remained in their place for the time being.[6]

In November 2014, the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory included Vatutin on the list of 'persons involved in the struggle against Ukraine's independence, the organization of famines, and political repressions.'[7] After the adoption of the Ukrainian decommunization laws in 2015, Vatutin was initially not included on the list of "persons subject to decommunization."[7]

Elena Vatutina died in 2016.[7]

On 8 February 2023, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy revoked the Vatutin monument in Mariinskyi Park of its (Ukrainian) cultural heritage site status.[5] On 27 January 2023, the ministry had proposed the Kyiv City State Administration to dismantle and move the monument. One suggestion was to store it in the National Museum-Preserve "Battle for Kyiv 1943".[1]

The Kyiv City State Administration announced on 8 February 2023 that the Vatutin monument would be demolished the following day.[5] The monument was removed on 9 February.[11][2][nb 1]

On 11 November 2023 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine removed the status of monument from the grave of Vatutin that was still existing at the feet of the then already removed monument in order to comply with 2023 derussification-laws.[12]

Gallery edit

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ The Kyiv City State Administration announced on 9 February 2023 that they were waiting for the approval of the demolition of the city's monument to Alexander Pushkin and (the demolition of) the Mykola Shchors monument.[2]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d (in Ukrainian) Minkultura recommends that Kyiv dismantle the Vatutin monument near the Verkhovna Rada, Ukrainska Pravda (27 January 2023)
  2. ^ a b c d e (in Ukrainian) Mariinsky Park without Vatutin. The monument to the Soviet general was finally demolished, Ukrainska Pravda – Zhyttia (9 February 2023)
  3. ^ John Keegan (ed.) (1996) Atlas of the Second World War. ISBN 0 7230 0939 2 pp. 126–127
  4. ^ Russian: Каманин, Н.П., "Летчики и космонавты", М, 1971, p.269. Some sources give the date of the attack as 29 February and the date of Vatutin's death as 15 April.
  5. ^ a b c (in Ukrainian) Minkult allowed the dismantling of monuments to Chkalov and Vatutin in Kyiv: the first is already being demolished, Ukrainska Pravda (8 February 2023)
  6. ^ a b (in Russian) Monument to General Vatutin continue to stand outside the building in Kyiv, Rada, RIA Novosti (30 June 2016)
  7. ^ a b c d e (in Ukrainian) Vatutin's monument in Kyiv: to be or not to be a monument to a Soviet general?, Radio Free Europe (9 May 2020)
  8. ^ (in Ukrainian) Vatutina's grandson: if you carry the grave from Kyiv, then with military honors, Radio Free Europe (9 May 2020)
  9. ^ Генерал Ватутин Киеву не мешает. Radio Svoboda. 12 April 2015.
  10. ^ Dispute Rages Over Soviet General's Grave In Ukraine. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 11 April 2015.
  11. ^ (in Ukrainian) Mariinsky Park without Vatutin. The monument to the Soviet general was finally demolished, Ukrainska Pravda – Zhyttia (9 February 2023)
  12. ^ "The government has adopted a decision that removes the protection status from a number of monuments of the Soviet and imperial era" (in Ukrainian). Istorychna Pravda. 11 November 2023. Retrieved 15 November 2023.