Andrew was recently invited to comment in The Telegraph on news that in Ukraine hundreds of sculptures and statues with links to Russian history are being removed:
“The Ukrainian culture warriors tearing Russian statues down”
In the wake of Russia’s invasion, dozens of Pushkin statues have been dismantled by Ukrainian city councils as part of a campaign called “Pushkinfall”.
In an article last summer for the online magazine Medium, historian Anton Krutikov warned that Ukraine was succumbing to knee-jerk Western “cancel culture”. “Pushkin’s poetry is permeated with the idea of freedom,” he wrote. “He was definitely not an imperialist… these claims are the result of primitive propaganda, which is nothing more than a tool for the destruction of culture.”
The Kremlin’s appropriation of Pushkin has even scuppered a long-planned project by a British cultural charity, Solidarity with Arts and Nature, to erect a statue to him in London. “The statue was to celebrate him as a revolutionary fighter for freedom and culture, but after the Salisbury poisonings in 2018, there was growing unease about displaying Russian figures,” says the project’s sculptor Andrew Sinclair.
“The Ukraine invasion was then the final straw. It is a shame, as Pushkin is in many ways a great icon for Russian culture, but I can also understand how Ukrainians feel.”
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