Odessa city council orders removal of icon of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II

On Monday 3rd April, Ukrainian nationalists hung a large black banner denouncing the Moscow Patriarchate [photo above], across the facade of the Chapel in Honour of the Miraculous Image of the Lord Jesus Christ in Odessa. In addition, two icons depicting Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov (1745-1817) [1] and the Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II were dismantled.

Up until recently a sculpture of the famous Russian general Alexander Suvorov (1730-1800) stood in front of the chapel. The sculpture is a copy of the historical original made in 1911. The current monument was opened in 2012.

Behind the monument is a semicircular wall depicting six mosaic icons of Orthodox saints.

On 30th November 2022, deputies of the Odessa City Council ordered that the monument to the “Founders of the City”, better known as the “Monument to Catherine II”[2], as well as the monument to Suvorov be dismantled. As a result, in December 2022, the monument to Catherine II was dismantled, and the monument to Suvorov was removed and transferred to the art museum in Odessa.

PHOTO: mosaic icon of the Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II has been dismantled from the façade of the chapel – it’s whereabouts unknown

In addition, the deputies ordered the dismantling of the icons of Ushakov and Nicholas II, the latter of whom they referred to as “Nicholas the Bloody”.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Ukrainian authorities have been going to great lengths to destroy their Imperial Russian past. In July 2022, vandals destroyed a monument to Emperor Alexander III in the village of Pershotravneve, located in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine. The bust of the “Tsar-Peacemaker” was knocked to the ground, while the plaque, which included Putin’s name was also removed from the front of the pedestal. The bust-monument was erected in 2013 on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty and the 125th anniversary of the Borki Train Disaster[3] in October 1888.

Heaven forbid that Crimea should ever fall into the hands of Ukraine again, where numerous monuments to Emperors Nicholas II and Alexander III would surely suffer the same fate, not to mention that of Livadia Palace.

PHOTO: the places where the icons of Ushakov (left) and Tsar-Martyr (right) originally hung are now empty


[1] Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov (1745-1817) served as commander of the Black Sea Fleet. On 7th August 2001 the Russian Orthodox Church glorified him as a Saint and declared him the patron of the Russian Navy. His relics are enshrined in Sanaksar Monastery, Temnikov, Russia.

[2] The original monument was installed in Odessa in 1900, dismantled by the Bolsheviks in 1920, and restored in 2007.

[3] On 29th October 1888, the Imperial Train carrying Tsar Alexander III and his family from Crimea to St Petersburg derailed at high speed at Borki.

© Paul Gilbert. 3 April 2023