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Ex-Soviet leader canceled by Ukrainian home city

The city of Dnepr has decided to strip Leonid Brezhnev of his honorary citizen title as part of the “de-communization” campaign

Authorities of the Ukrainian city of Dnepr on Wednesday revoked the title of honorary citizen from Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, which the city had bestowed upon the late politician in 1979.

Brezhnev was born in 1907 in the Russian Empire, on the territory of present-day Ukraine. His hometown was Kamenskoye, located near the city of Yekaterinoslav, which was later renamed Dnepropetrovsk and most recently, Dnepr.

The move was part of a “de-communization” campaign, city mayor Boris Filatov said in a Telegram post, adding that the authorities would “see the de-communization of the city through to the end… no matter what anyone says.”

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He did not provide any further details or the reasoning behind the decision. 

The city authorities had considered the step in September, in response to an online petition launched in May, but ended up deciding against it. By mid-September, the appeal had only received 41 out of the 3,000 signatures required to trigger an official response, but the city addressed it anyway. 

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The petition cited the Ukrainian law “On the condemnation of the Communist and National Socialist (Nazi) Totalitarian Regimes.” The city’s response was that Brezhnev had been awarded the title of “honorary citizen of the city of Dnepropetrovsk,” which ceased to exist in 2017, after the city was renamed to Dnepr.r

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They also said that the law cited in the petition was adopted only in 2015 and did not apply to local government documents issued before the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. 

In 1964, Brezhnev replaced Nikita Khrushchev as secretary-general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He became chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in 1977. He occupied both of the highest-ranking positions in the country until his death in 1982, at the age of 75.

The Kiev City Council deprived the late Soviet leader of his honorary citizenship in May. It was bestowed on Brezhnev several months before his death, after he opened the 62-meter-tall Motherland Monument dedicated to the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. The monument itself was also overhauled on the orders of the Ukrainian authorities and turned into ‘Mother Ukraine’ earlier this year.

December 21, 2023 at 03:52AM
RT

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