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    Kiev Adopts List of 'Banned Soviet Figures', One Man Conspicuously Missing

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    On Wednesday, Ukraine's Institute of National Remembrance published a list containing the names of 520 Soviet historical figures to be removed from city, street and other place names by next month, in accordance with the country's decommunization laws. However, one name which one might imagine to be a shoo-in for removal was conspicuously absent.

    The state-sponsored and supported Institute, known for its projects memorializing fascist wartime collaborators, while simultaneously pushing to ban all Soviet symbols in Ukraine, explained that the list includes "persons occupying positions of leadership of the Communist Party," as well as national, republican and regional-level leaders. 

    The list also includes persons associated with the October Revolution of 1917, those who helped establish Soviet power in Ukraine, and those who "persecuted participants of the struggle for Ukraine's independence in the 20th century," among others, including academics, cosmonauts, writers, and even characters from fictional works.

    The Institute's website explains that list was drawn up by historians, giving municipal and city authorities a handy guide with which to come up with new street and place names to make them accord to Ukraine's new laws.

    Alongside the names and the historical figures' dates of birth, the list also includes a brief summary "of the specific crimes of the persons concerned."

    Apparently, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the world's first woman in space, is 'criminally responsible' for being a member of parliament in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and for her "participation in Russia's occupation of Crimea."

    19th century German philosophers Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels made the list too, for being the "founders of the ideology of Marxism" and for their crime of being "used to propagate the communist totalitarian regime."

    General Secretary Brezhnev, once the proud son of Ukraine, and leader of the Soviet Union, found himself on the Institute's list.
    © Sputnik / Yury Abramochkin
    General Secretary Brezhnev, once the proud son of Ukraine, and leader of the Soviet Union, found himself on the Institute's list.
    General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev made the list as well, charged with being the leader of the Soviet Union. The Ukrainian-born politician is probably already spinning in his grave over the political rift which has emerged between the Ukrainian and Russian people since his death, so he probably doesn't mind too much.

    The comprehensive list featuring academics, engineers, scientists and war heroes even includes Pavel Korchagin, a fictional character from Ukrainian socialist realist writer Nikolai Ostrovsky's novel 'How the Steel was Tempered'. Ostrovsky too was banned, for good measure.

    Interestingly, the list, described as having been so carefully and meticulously created by historians and featuring over 500 names, conspicuously lacks the name of one important Soviet historical figure: Joseph Stalin. 

    The list's authors have promised that they would be adding names as they went along, but as of this writing, he's not there.

    A host of explanations about the mustachioed leader's absence have already begun swirling around the internet. 'Perhaps the institute is just showing its gratitude for Stalin's efforts to make southeastern Poland a part of Ukraine', some suggested. Or, 'maybe fugitive ex-Georgian president turned Odessa governor Mikheil Saakashvili had some role in drawing up the list' others joked.

    In any case, we'll be sure to keep a lookout for the Red Tsar on any updated versions of the list, and now, you can too. The full list can be found here (in Ukrainian).

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    Tags:
    Nikolai Ostrovsky, Freidrich Engels, Karl Marx, Leonid Brezhnev, Valentina Tereshkova, Joseph Stalin, Ukraine
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