Dedicated to alternative travel, Lost Lara chronicles the morbid, the macabre, the Soviet and the straight-up strange.


Ukraine Countdown Day 1: Lenins

This Countdown series was written and created with Instagram in mind. It has been republished here with little to no alteration.

After the Euromaidan revolution and the Russian invasion of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian government introduced a series of decommunization laws in spring 2015 that outlawed most Soviet monuments and mandated name changes for streets, villages, towns and cities honouring Soviet figures. (This meant that when I arrived in 2016, there was a secret second set of names for the streets and key places in Dnipro – what was written on Google maps and the street signs was usually not how locals called these places. For example, the main street is officially named Prospekt Dmytra Yavornytskoho, but when I lived there everyone was still calling it Prospekt Karla Marksa.)In January 2017, the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance announced that 1,320 Lenin monuments were dismantled during decommunization (dubbed by Ukrainians Leninopad – literally Leninfall – a play on the suffix for rainfall or snowfall). Officially, two Lenin statues in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are the only two remaining statues of Lenin in Ukraine. It is unsafe to dismantle them.

Chernobyl Town (Photo by Lesa McColl)
Museum of Archeology Middle Dnieper – Chyhyryn (Photo by Lesa McColl)
Pressmach – Odessa

Yes, I do know the difference between Lenin and Darth Vader. Read about it here.

Lenin Palace of Culture ‘Ilyich” – Dnipro

Read more about the Lenin Palace of Culture in Dnipro here.

Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics – Kyiv
History of the Bessarabian Land Park Museum – Frumushika-Nowa
Museum of Unnecessary Things – Kyiv
Andrivskii Descent – Kyiv
Museum of Matches – Kharkiv
Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (near the entry to the Duga Radar)

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