A Soviet-era monument symbolising friendship between Russia and Ukraine was dismantled in Kyiv on Tuesday, a response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to the city's mayor.
The statue depicted a Ukrainian and Russian worker on a plinth, holding aloft together a Soviet order of friendship. The statue was located underneath the 'People's Friendship Arch', erected in 1982 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union.
"This monument... symbolised friendship between Ukrainian and Russian nations. We now see what this 'friendship' is - destruction of Ukrainian cities, ruining the lives of Ukrainians, killing tens of thousands of peaceful people. I am convinced such a monument has an entirely different meaning now," Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine, launched on Feb. 24, has left thousands dead or injured, reduced towns and cities to rubble, and forced more than 5 million people to flee abroad.
Moscow calls its actions a "special operation" to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists.
Ukraine and the West call this a false pretext for an unprovoked war to seize territory in a move that has sparked fears of wider conflict in Europe unseen since World War Two.As the monument began to fall, a crowd of people applauded, chanting, "Glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes, glory to the nation Ukraine."