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Kyiv Names Willow Tree After Soviet Rock Legend Viktor Tsoi

Soviet-era rock legend Viktor Tsoi (1962-1990)

Kyiv City Council has granted a decades-old willow the status of a botanical monument in honor of Soviet rock legend Viktor Tsoi in the same neighborhood where he was filmed in a movie shot in Ukraine's capital.

The approval bestowing the status on the 18-meter tall, 60-year-old tree was announced by the city's Department of Ecology and Natural Resources over the weekend.

Its new status means construction, cutting, and even aesthetic trimming is prohibited on the tree, which has three trunks, each with a diameter of more than a half a meter, said department head Andriy Malyovaniy.

It stands near Lake Telbin in the city’s Dnipro district situated on the east bank of the Dnieper River, which bisects the city of 3.7 million people.

In July 1986, just weeks after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the musician, actor, and leader of the Kino rock group, appeared in the film The End of the Holidays, directed by Ukrainian director Serhiy Lysenko.

The movie weaves four plots, all of which are tied to Kino's songs.

For the neighborhood’s residents "and its guests, the Tsoi Tree area is not just a green space, it is a unique monument of historical value that needs to be preserved," said Andriy Strannikov, one of the project's two co-sponsors in the city council.

Tsoi and his group were extremely popular in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.

His songs stand as symbols of the hope for freedom and political change.

Tsoi, who was of Korean-Russian origin, died in a car crash in the then-Soviet republic of Latvia on August 15, 1990, aged 28.

In June 2018, a monument was unveiled to Tsoi in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan where the artist wrote many of the songs in his final album and which is the country where his father was born.

Tsoi considered St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, his base during the formidable years of his truncated career.

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