More than three months after the start of the war in Ukraine, the displeasure of the citizens should also be visible on street signs. Initiatives are springing up across the country to rename streets that hark back to the country’s Russian past.
According to a report in the New York Times, around 100 streets are to be renamed in the city of Lutsk in northern Ukraine alone. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, many post-Soviet states had started similar projects.
In Ukraine, however, it is also about one’s own identity. “We defend our country, including on the cultural front,” Andriy Moskalenko, leader of the initiative in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, told The Times.
The port city of Odessa is even considering removing the statue of Catherine the Great, the former Empress of Russia.
So-called “decolonization” efforts are also being made in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. For example, the subway station named after the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy will in future bear the name of the Ukrainian poet Vaysl Stus.
The stop, which bears the name of the Belarusian capital Minsk, is to be renamed “Warsaw” because of the government’s questionable attitude to thank neighboring Poland for its help during the war.
However, some of the renamings are also under criticism. The family of the composer Peter Tchaikovsky is said to have its roots in what is now Ukraine. According to Andriy Moskalenko, however, the initiative does not reject the artists themselves. They just want to make it clear that the work of many artists was used as a “tool of colonization”.