Photo Credit: Google Maps
Monument to Empress Catherine II in Odessa.

Empress Catherine II, a.k.a. Catherine the Great (1729 – 1796) ruled Russia from 1762 to 1796 and inspired a renaissance of culture and the sciences that brought on the founding of many new cities, universities, and theaters, alongside large-scale immigration from the rest of Europe, and the universal recognition of Russia as one of the great powers of Europe.

On Wednesday, work began in the Ukrainian Black Sea port city of Odesa to dismantle a monument of the empress who is known as the founder of Odesa. Eager to show their rage at the Russian invasion of their country, the good people of the Odesa city council decided on November 30 to take down the monument, together with the monument of 18th-century Russian military commander Aleksandr Suvorov.


Suvorov is considered one of the greatest military commanders in Russian history and one of the great generals of the early modern period. In 1778, he prevented a Turkish landing in Crimea, thwarting another Russo-Turkish war. From 1787 to 1791, Suvorov again fought the Turks and won many victories. Suvorov led the Siege of Izmail in Bessarabia on 22 December 1790. His capture of the fortress played a vital role in Russia’s victory in the war. Turkish forces inside the fortress had orders to stand their ground to the end and declined a Russian ultimatum. Their defeat was seen as a major catastrophe in the Ottoman empire.

In other words, if not for General Aleksandr Suvorov, Ukraine, much of Poland, and several other former Soviet republics would have been down on their prayer rugs five times a day, speaking Arabic and sharing Hummus recipes.

But Ukrainians are not particularly grateful to this Russian general. Instead, in 2016, the street named after Suvorov in Kiev was renamed after Mykhailo Omelianovych-Pavlenko who led a pro-Nazi militia during WW2. In September 2022, a street named after Suvorov in Dnipro was renamed after Alan Shepard, the world’s first non-Russian astronaut in space. In December 2022, another street in Kiev named after Suvorov was renamed after Serhiy Kotenko, a hero in Ukraine’s war against the 2022 Russian invasion.

Empress Catherine II founded many cities that are featured in news reports from Ukraine these days, most notably Odessa, Dnipro (a.k.a. Yekaterinoslav), Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Sevastopol.

According to TASS, the Catherine the Great monument, erected in 1900, was dismantled in 1920 and restored in 2007. The statue was repeatedly defaced by vandals.

In the past eight years, since Ukraine passed a law on decommunization ordering the removal of monuments and the renaming of toponyms related to the Soviet era, Ukrainian authorities have renamed more than 900 cities, towns and villages, and about 50,000 streets.


Previous articleUnited Hatzalah Volunteer EMTs Save Choking Infant in Agadir, Morocco Restaurant
Next articleLimitations On Outside Income Almost Sinks Legislative Pay Raise
David writes news at