Ukrainian authorities have taken a significant step towards asserting their national identity by removing the Soviet-era “hammer and sickle” symbol from the prominent Motherland Monument in Kyiv. The iconic statue, standing tall at 102 meters, will see the Soviet emblem replaced by Ukraine’s coat of arms, the trident, in time for the country’s Independence Day celebration on August 24.
The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy stated that experts have already begun preparatory work and constructed a metal sculpture of the trident for installation. In addition to this change, the Ministry is considering a proposal from local scientists to rename the monument to “Mother Ukraine.”
Erected in 1981 during Ukraine’s time as part of the Soviet Union, the Motherland Monument portrays a woman holding a sword and shield adorned with the hammer and sickle symbol. While most Soviet and communist symbols have been banned since 2015, the monument was exempted due to its location on the site of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II. With this move, Ukraine seeks to reaffirm its identity and break free from its Soviet past.