Kyiv strips former Soviet leader Brezhnev of honorary citizenship

25 May, 08:30 PM
Leonid Brezhnev (Photo:Wikimedia)

Leonid Brezhnev (Photo:Wikimedia)

In its May 25 session, Kyiv City Council decided to revoke the Honorary Citizen of Kyiv title from Leonid Brezhnev, former General Secretary of the Soviet Union. This move was supported by 82 council members. 

The honor was rescinded from several individuals who had leadership roles within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Ukraine, and other Soviet republics. These include Alexei Yepishev, Vitaliy Masol, Kyrylo Moskalenko, and Alexei Fedorov, as well as the leader of the Communist Party of China, Truong Chinh.

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This decision was reportedly taken ahead of the Kyiv Day celebrations scheduled for May 28.

Introduced in 1982, the Honorary Citizen of Kyiv title was first awarded to Leonid Brezhnev. The Kyiv City Council highlighted Brezhnev's tenure as characterized by the suppression of protests in Warsaw Pact countries, the Afghanistan war from 1979 to 1989, escalation of arms production, and support for "revolutionary" regimes in "Third World" countries. It was also under Brezhnev's rule that the KGB intensified its pervasive control over Soviet society.

Currently, the list of honorary citizens of Kyiv consists of 85 individuals. The most recent title was awarded to former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who received the honor from Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko on January 19, 2023.

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