Nationalists have torn down an enormous statue of Vladimir Lenin in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city. Across Ukraine, people have torn down statues to the former Communist leader in a symbolic display of anti-Russian sentiment.

The toppling of a monument to a former leader creates a visual representation of the people's hunger for revolution, symbolising a changing of the guard.

From Lenin and Stalin to Saddam and Assad, IBTimesUK looks at the dismantling of the despots.

lenin statue
28 September 2014: People react after a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin was toppled by protesters during a rally organised by pro-Ukraine supporters in the centre of the eastern Ukrainian town of KharkivReuters
lenin statue
A statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin was toppled by protesters during a rally organised by supporters of EU integration in Kiev, on 8 December 2013. Crowds attacked it with hammers during mass protests against then-President Viktor Yanukovich and his plans for closer ties with Russia...Reuters
lenin statue
...Anti-Russian protesters then installed a golden toilet on the plinth that was once the home of the statue of LeninReuters
assad statue
In April 2013, a statue of Bassel Al-Assad, brother of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, was toppled in Raqqa province in the east of the country - territory now controlled by IsisReuters
assad statue
Another statue of another Assad was toppled Raqqa province in March 2013. This time it was a statue of President Bashar Al-Assad's father, Hafez Al-Assad,who was President of Syria from 1971 to 2000Reuters
mubarak statue
In 2011, a giant statue of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on the outskirts of Cairo was defaced. The statue also showed Egyptian Nobel prize winner Ahmed Zewail, the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Egyptian novelist and Nobel Prize Winner Naguib MahfouzReuters
stalin statue georgia
On 25 June 2010, a giant bronze statue of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin was removed from its pedestal on the central square of his hometown of Gori in Georgia. The monument was torn down amid a crackdown on Soviet-era monuments by pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili, two years after Georgia lost a five-day war with Russia. The town's authorities later voted to erect the statue at the town's Stalin MuseumReuters
libya sculpture
On 23 August 2011, Libyan rebels breached Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's Bab al-Azizia compound in Tripoli and defaced a sculpture of a hand crushing a US fighter plane. The sculpture was removed and now stands in the city of MisrataAFP
columbus statue venezuela
12 October 2004: Demonstrators used ropes to topple a Christopher Columbus statue in Caracas on Columbus Day. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had renamed it the Day of Indian Resistance to commemorate the indigenous people who fought the Spanish colonisers after the discovery of the continent by ColumbusReuters
statue saddam hussein
Perhaps the most famous statue toppling of modern times occurred in Baghdad on 9 April 2003, when a 39ft statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled. A US Marine briefly covered the statue's head with an American flag before it was hurriedly replaced with an Iraqi one. A chain was wrapped around the statue's neck and it was pulled over by a US armoured vehicleReuters
statue saddam hussein
2 April 2003: British soldiers pose for photos with the beheaded remains of a statue of Saddam Hussein in Al Zubayr, southern Iraq. The 17-foot statue was toppled and beheaded by members of the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers in the 25 Armoured Engineer SquadronReuters
ethiopia lenin statue
23 May 1991: Ethiopian youths chant as they stand on a toppled statue of Vladimir Lenin in Addis Ababa, two days after Ethiopian pro-communist strongman Mengistu Haile Mariam was overthrownAFP
hoxha albania statue
20 February 1991: Albanians push over a bronze statue of the late communist dictator Enver Hoxha on the central square of Tirana. Thousands cheered from the roofs of surrounding buildings as the last symbol of the communist dictatorship was forcefully removedReuters
ethiopia lenin statue
5 March 1990: A statue of Vladimir Lenin is toppled from its pedestal in Bucharest, about three months after Romanian communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed by firing squadAFP
portrait of Mao defaced Tiananmen Square Beijing
23 May 1989: Workmen cover a defaced portrait of Mao Tse-tung in Beijing, after protesters threw egg filled with paint at it during the Tiananmen Square protests. The portrait was quickly replaced with a spareReuters
stalin statue metronome prague
On 1 May 1955, an ill-fated granite statue honouring Josef Stalin, 15.5 metres high, was unveiled in Prague, towering over the Czech capital. Otakar Švecm, the sculptor, killed himself the day before the unveiling. The process of de-Stalinisation began shortly after the statue was finished, and it was blown up by the authorities in 1962. A huge kinetic sculpture of a metronome was erected on the site in 1991, symbolising the changing of timeWikimedia Commons./Aktron
bulgaria Soviet
The Soviet Army monument in Sofia, Bulgaria, has been repainted several times over the years. In February 2014, it was painted in the colours of the Ukrainian flag...Reuters
bulgaria Soviet
...In June 2011 the figures of Soviet soldiers at the base of the Soviet Army monument were painted to resemble characters from US culture, such as Captain America, Superman, Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald. The inscription below them reads: "Moving with the times"Reuters