It’s like their history has been erased. Obliterated. The statues have been torn down, and they don’t know what to put in their place. So the pedestals remain empty, scrawled with angry graffiti against an enemy that has already been defeated. Adorned with Ukrainian flags or flowers for those who sacrificed themselves. But it’s still an homage to a collective memory, not an individual hero who can stand in the stead of Lenin.
And maybe that’s okay. Perhaps a country that lost its identity to the faceless machine that was the Soviet Union can only replace that identity with the faceless ghosts of its martyred sons and daughters.
It’s as if they are stuck on a phase of the grieving process. Or perhaps stuck on several at the same time. Anger. Depression. Acceptance.
And amidst all the pain, as Ukraine heals from its past and rebuilds for its future, there are signs of faith and hope and love. And even heroes.