After some discussion, recalled Sergei B. Parkhomenko, then a young journalist covering the scene, the crowd turned its passion — more euphoria than anger, he said — on the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the ruthless founder of the Soviet secret police, which stood in a traffic circle in front of the Lubyanka, the forbidding stone building that housed the K.G.B.
The removal of the statue, accomplished with help from a crane sent by Moscow city authorities, was greeted with cries of “Down with the K.G.B.” and sent a powerful message that change had finally come to Russia.
Or so it seemed at the time. Nearly 30 years later, Russia is ruled by a former K.G.B. officer, President Vladimir V. Putin, and Dzerzhinsky is honored with a bust outside the Moscow city police headquarters.
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