Authorities in the city of Irkutsk have begun dismantling a memorial to the 1917 revolution a week before Russia marks 100 years since the historic event, citing fears of the statue’s collapse.
The monument, “Fighters of the Revolution,” features an elderly soldier, a Bolshevik and a young peasant boy holding up a banner. For the past year, wooden scaffolding protected the monument, which is being sent for restoration after it is fully dismantled.
City officials said the memorial’s decrepit condition posed a safety hazard for residents, Radio Svoboda reported.
Editor-in-chief of the local news outlet “Baikal Siberia” Sergei Korolev told Radio Svoboda that dismantling the monument is a deliberate provocation against Irkutsk residents and the Irkutsk Region Communist Party governor Sergei Levchenko.
The revolution memorial complex, which includes two nearby mass graves, was established in the 1940s to commemorate Red Army soldiers who died during the Civil War.
Other pre-Revolutionary statues across the city have not been subject to neglect, Radio Svoboda notes, referencing a relatively new Alexander III monument that was restored to prime condition last year.