The Ukrainian Economic Freedoms Foundation has started the formal process of getting a permit to construct a monument to Ronald Reagan in the center of the capital, Kyiv. If approved, the Reagan monument would be placed on the former site of a statue of Communist criminal Dmytro Manuilsky. The statue was destroyed in 2014 during the Revolution of Dignity.
“Ukrainian Economic Freedoms Foundation is looking to get permit to build a monument to Ronald Reagan in the Kyiv city center, on the place where the statue of former communist leader stood up until it was demolished during the 2014 Revolution of Dignity,” said Maryan Zablotskyy, President of the Ukrainian Economic Freedoms Foundation. “This is to underline the great impact Reagan had on the destruction of Communism. Reagan met Ukrainian diaspora and proclaimed: ‘your struggle is our struggle’. And we are forever thankful for that. Ukraine now has special laws in place that forbid the use of any communist regalia and symbols. We think this victory over totalitarianism should be polished with a monument to Reagan, who led the anti-communist movement globally. We have so far developed a concept of the monument with the help of locally known architect Kostyantyn Skrytytsky and will be going through necessary public debates and permit procedure.”
Since 2011, 11 monuments to Reagan have been built across Eastern Europe, such as in Sofia, Budapest, and Tbilisi. There are currently 150 domestic dedications in 32 states and the District of Columbia, and 17 international dedications in nine countries.
The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, founded by Grover Norquist, endorsed the project in a letter to the UEFF.
Placing the statue in the same location where the statue of the prominent leader of Communist party of Ukraine once was will serve as a reminder to Ukrainians of their unwavering independence. Zablotskyy has put the petition on the official website of the Kyiv City State Administration to demonstrate support of the Reagan statue. This petition gathered over 1,000 signatures in 90 days.
The site of the proposed Reagan monument is located at the intersection of Str. Lypska and Instytytska, right next to Parliament and government buildings. At the other side of street is a monument to the author of first Ukrainian constitution.
“So far we have developed a draft concept of the monument. The monument will represent a larger composition, which includes elevation to step up to Reagan,” said Zablotskyy. “This underlines the importance of Reagan. The height of statue itself is 2.4 meters (7 feet, 10 inches). Thus visitors will be able to go up a few steps, shake Reagan’s hand and take a photo while being slightly smaller in size compared to Reagan. Behind Reagan will be a small wall which will feature his quotes about Ukraine and Ukrainian diaspora, for example: ‘Your struggle is our struggle.’
Also this wall will have broken and melted symbols of USSR. Elements of the Berlin Wall will be used in construction.”