Lenin statue toppled, smashed by Ukraine protesters

A protester hammers at a statue of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin as others gather around after it was toppled during a pro-European protest in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, Dec. 8, 2013. Sergey Dolzhenko / EPA
Anatoli Boiko / AFP - Getty Images; Stoyan Nenov / Reuters
In 2009, activists broke the nose and part of the statue's left hand. It was later repaired. Sergei Supinsky / AFP - Getty Images, file

Crowds toppled a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in the Ukrainian capital and attacked it with hammers on Sunday in the latest mass protests against President Viktor Yanukovich and his plans for closer ties with Russia.

The statue's felling - a symbolic rejection of Moscow's power - came after opposition leaders told hundreds of thousands of demonstrators to keep up pressure on Yanukovich to sack his government.

The monument to the leader of the October Revolution was made from carved and polished red Labradorite by the Soviet sculptor Sergei Merkurov. It was erected in 1950.

-- Reuters, AFP - Getty Images

Icon-o-clash: Ukrainian protesters topple statue of Lenin in Kiev

An anti-government protester beats the head of the statue of Vladimir Lenin with a sledgehammer in Kiev, Ukraine, on Dec. 8, 2013. Sergei Grits / AP
People climb up to the top of a pedestal after a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin was toppled by protesters during a rally organized by supporters of EU integration in Kiev, on Dec. 8, 2013. Stoyan Nenov / Reuters
A left-wing parties rally commemorating the 140th anniversary of birthday of the Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin at Lenin's monument in central Kiev on April 22, 2010. Sergei Supinsky / AFP - Getty Images, file