Monuments to the founder of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage (VChK) Felix Dzerzhinsky were unveiled in Simferopol and Krasnodar. The ceremonies took place on September 11, on the 144th anniversary of the birth of Dzerzhinsky. This was reported by the site “Kryminform“close to the Russian government of the annexed Crimea, citing the press service of the FSB in Crimea and Sevastopol, as well as the TV channel”Krasnodar“.
A restored monument to Dzerzhinsky was unveiled in Simferopol. It appeared in the center of the city near Obyezdnaya Street. According to the ministry, veterans of the state security bodies and cadets from school # 4 were present at the opening of the monument.
“Iron Felix fought not only against counter-revolution, but also raised the country out of devastation and poverty. Thanks to his participation, two thousand bridges were restored, almost three thousand steam locomotives and more than ten thousand kilometers of railway track were repaired,” quote RIA Novosti is a commentary of the Russian FSB department in Crimea and Sevastopol.
The erection of the monument in Simferopol was condemned by a member of the Patriarchal Council for Culture of the Russian Orthodox Church, Archpriest Leonid Kalinin. On the air of the radio station “Moscow speaking” he saidthat “is categorically against the appearance of such monuments in any public space in Russia.” In his opinion, “this insults the memory of millions of innocent victims of terror, hunger, cold, torment, torture, prisons, camps and the ruin of the Fatherland.” Kalinin suggested that local residents would demolish the monument.
In Krasnodar, a monument appeared on the territory of school number 32. In 2017, this school, at the request of its leadership and the local FSB appropriated the name of Dzerzhinsky. In the spring, the school staff and veterans of the state security asked city deputies to open a monument to Dzerzhinsky on the territory of the educational institution.
The opening was attended by the deputy head of the local FSB of Russia, the deputy chairman of the city duma, the head of the youth affairs department, as well as the great-grandson of Felix Dzerzhinsky, Vladimir Dzerzhinsky.
“The bust turned out to be very beautiful and expressive, a copy of Felix Edmundovich. I would like to express my deep gratitude to everyone who took part in its creation and installation. Today’s opening is a significant event for the Dzerzhinsky family, veterans of the security agencies and the staff of this school. the legacy of my great-grandfather was studied as much as possible and learned from his works “, – said great-grandson of the founder of the Cheka.
After the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, Felix Dzerzhinsky headed the Cheka, which, during the Civil War, carried out terror against people accused of involvement in counter-revolutionary organizations.
The monument to Dzerzhinsky was erected near the building of the KGB (the successor of which is the FSB) on Lubyanka in 1958. In 1991, demonstrators sought to dismantle it after the failure of the coup of the State Emergency Committee, the monument was removed by decision of the Moscow City Council in order to avoid spontaneous demolition. Now it is installed in the Muzeon park.
In February 2021, a vote was organized in Moscow on the installation of one of two monuments on Lubyanskaya Square – Dzerzhinsky or Prince Alexander Nevsky. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced that the city authorities would not erect a monument on Lubyanskaya Square and canceled voting on the Active Citizen page. According to the mayor, he decided to stop voting due to controversy and a sharp division of opinions among voters.
Opponents of the return of the monument consider Dzerzhinsky a symbol of terror and repression, while supporters see him as a symbol of restoring order, some also speak of “reconciliation with history” or praise the artistic merit of the sculpture by Yevgeny Vuchetich.