kyiv revokes honor of Ukrainian-born Soviet leader — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union
Ukraine’s capital will vote later this week on whether to strip Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev of honorary citizenship, which he received in 1982, Kyiv City Council announced on Monday.
The vote will take place before “Kyiv Day”, traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday of the month, Vice President Vladimir Bondarenko told the Vesti outlet, adding that he expected the proposal to be approved.
“We assume that on May 25 the title of honorary citizen of Kyiv will be withdrawn not only from Brezhnev, but also from other representatives of the Soviet party nomenclature,” Bondarenko said.
Brezhnev was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet – the de facto and de jure leader of the USSR – when Kiev awarded him honorary citizenship. The 75-year-old politician died in November 1982, after more than 18 years in power.
In October 1964, Brezhnev and Nikolay Podgorny ousted Nikita Khrushchev from the party leadership, blaming him for the USSR’s economic problems. Brezhnev took over the CPSU, while Podgorny became the head of state of the Soviet Union. In 1977, Brezhnev also replaced him in this office.
Both Podgorny and Brezhnev were born in the territory of present-day Ukraine, which was then part of the Russian Empire. Podgorny’s hometown was Karlovka, in the Poltava region, while Brezhnev was from Kamenskoye, near Ekaterinoslav (now Dnepropetrovsk).
Brezhnev’s hometown was known as Dneprodzerzhinsk between 1936 and 2016, when its old name was restored by the Kyiv government as part of the “decommunization” campaign to eliminate all Soviet references from Ukraine. Called to dismantle a monument to the Soviet leader, Kamenskoye told Kiev in January he literally could not afford to do so, citing the current economic situation and the ongoing conflict.
The proposal to revoke Brezhnev’s honors was placed on the agenda of Kyiv City Council in March. Last week, the Ukrainian capital changed the names of 26 streets and metro stations to remove references “linked to Russia”, in accordance with the “decolonization” law signed by President Vladimir Zelensky in April.