Aug. 3 () –
Authorities in Mariupol, in southeastern Ukraine, have warned that Russian troops are erecting a monument to the Russian saint Alexander Nevski in the place where a tribute to the defenders of the city used to stand.
“The occupiers are dismantling the monument to the Mariupol soldiers who died defending Ukraine. They want to install a monument to Alexander Nevski on horseback on the site,” the Mariupol City Council lamented in a message on its Telegram channel.
For the local authorities, the new sculpture of the Russian saint “has nothing to do with Mariupol” and they consider that pulling down the monument to the fallen is already “a cynical and deplorable act”.
“This monument had become an important component of the new Freedom Square. It was made of granite in the shape of the Ukrainian coat of arms, over which water flowed as a symbol of shed tears,” the City Council reported. .
Alexander Nevsky was born in the early 13th century and is renowned for his leadership in victories against the Swedes, Teutons, and Tatars. In the middle of the 16th century he was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Mariupol became in the first stages of the war one of the main scenes of clashes between Russia and Ukraine. After managing to dominate much of the town, Moscow imposed Konstantin Ivashchenko as mayor and has tried to convey an image of “restoring everyday life”.