“Will the Duke Survive in Odessa?” asked the Russian publication Rossiyskaya gazeta on April 5.

Decommunization and derussification are making inroads in Ukraine. Odessa governor Saakashvili orders the removal of Soviet monuments writes Rossiyskaya gazeta.

Screenshot website  Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Screenshot website Rossiyskaya Gazeta

The publication mixes up Odessa the oblast (province) with Odessa the city, claiming that the list of monuments to be dismantled was published on the Odessa city administration site, when in fact the list, together with governor Saakashvili’s instruction were published on the Odessa oblast site.

Website screenshot site de l’administration d'État régionale (Odessa)

Saakashvili’s instruction concerns monuments in the Odessa oblast, not the city and of course there is no mention of dismantling Odessa’s signature statue of Duke de Richelieu.

Armand-Emmanuel du Plessis, duke de Richelieu was a French nobleman, soldier and statesman. He served as governor of Odessa from 1803-1815 and was highly regarded for his progressive administration of the city.

Having just returned from Odessa a few days ago, I can safely say that the Duke statue remains as popular as ever among Odessa residents and no one would ever dream of dismantling his statue.