Ukraine has passed a law on renaming streets and removing monuments linked to Moscow

In Ukraine’s westernmost city of Lviv, a statue of the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, sprawls on the ground, red paint splashed around her helmet.

The region bordering the European Union claims it was the first in Ukraine to topple all its Soviet monuments, in a nationwide ouster of symbols glorifying Kremlin rule.

But the removal of hundreds of statues has raised the difficult question of what to do with their remains, at a time when Russia’s invasion has sparked a cultural and historical reckoning.

“In Ukrainian society, there’s an ongoing debate: if we should preserve these monuments, what we should do with them,” said Liana Blikharska, a historian and researcher at the Territory of Terror museum in Lviv.

Outside the museum, which features accounts of Soviet repressions and deportations of Jews, lie several downed statues — stylised metal figures and severed body parts.

Blikharska said staff relented when local authorities asked them to house the relics since there was little other choice.

“There’s no other museum or place to store them, so we said yes.”

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