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Searching For Pieces Of Lenin

In the spring of 2015, the Ukrainian government passed so-called "decommunization" laws, which effectively outlawed Soviet-era symbols. Under legislation adopted in May 2015, the communist government that ruled between 1917 and 1991 is condemned as a criminal regime.

Across Ukraine, monuments to the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, were dismantled and scattered around the country, often in pieces. Photographer Niels Ackermann and journalist Sébastien Gobert researched and tracked down the locations of these "pieces of Lenin." Their search brought them to museums, art galleries, and overgrown yards.

(A version of this gallery first appeared on The Calvert Journal.)

Several statues of Lenin rest among rubble in Kramatorsk.
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Several statues of Lenin rest among rubble in Kramatorsk.

Broken and damaged Soviet-era statues are collected in Kharkiv.
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Broken and damaged Soviet-era statues are collected in Kharkiv.

A headless Lenin stands in Shabo, spray-painted with the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
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A headless Lenin stands in Shabo, spray-painted with the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

The head of a Lenin monument in storage at the National Historical Museum in Dnipropetrovsk
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The head of a Lenin monument in storage at the National Historical Museum in Dnipropetrovsk

The nose from the Lenin statue that stood in Kharkiv’s Freedom Square was included in the 2015 PinchukArtCentre’s exhibit called Let’s Take Lenin’s Head Back Together! by artist Yevgeniya Belorusets.
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The nose from the Lenin statue that stood in Kharkiv’s Freedom Square was included in the 2015 PinchukArtCentre’s exhibit called Let’s Take Lenin’s Head Back Together! by artist Yevgeniya Belorusets.

In Odesa, locals dressed up a Lenin statue as Star Wars villain Darth Vader.
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In Odesa, locals dressed up a Lenin statue as Star Wars villain Darth Vader.

Two Lenin statues sit in storage at the National Art Museum in Kyiv. 
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Two Lenin statues sit in storage at the National Art Museum in Kyiv. 

The head of a Lenin monument rests on a pedestal at the Museum of Soviet Occupation in Kyiv.
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The head of a Lenin monument rests on a pedestal at the Museum of Soviet Occupation in Kyiv.

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