Photographer Niels Ackermann and journalist Sebastien Gobert have spent the last year hunting for abandoned or stolen statues of Vladimir Lenin in Ukraine. The country banned Soviet symbols in 2015, but vestiges remain in museums, in government possession, and in private collections as contraband.
There were once about 5,000 statues of Lenin in Ukraine, say Gobert and Ackermann -- a number more impressive when you consider Russia, 28 times its size, held only 2,000 more. Approximately half of Ukraine's Lenins disappeared with independence in 1991, but a further 1,200 have fallen since unrest began in 2013.
One statue was customized at the request of its owner, reimagined as Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader from the "Star Wars" film saga.
Local authorities own monuments, but that hasn't stopped entrepreneurial Ukrainians in the region from pulling them down.
The movement, dubbed Leninopad ("Lenin-fall"), is ongoing, say the pair, who are still on the hunt for more monuments.
Finding their subjects means talking to figures on both sides of the law, often negotiating a web of red tape and cloak and dagger secrecy.
Ackermann and Gobert have been following leads around the country, but some have emerged right under their noses, including this entry from artwork "Let's Put Lenin's Head Back Together Again" by Yevgenia Belorusets at Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, featuring a fragment from a destroyed statue.
Private collections, such as this one in Kharkiv, are kept hidden from prying eyes. Some statues are sold on, say the duo, while some made of bronze are melted down.
Lenin's bust, seen in Kiev at the Museum of Soviet Occupation. Not all iconography has been so easy to capture, Gobert saying the pair have been in negotiations with some sources since September last year.
Lenin's in Kiev at the National Art Museum. "There's many [points of opposition]," says Gobert, "but it's what makes this project fun."
Unlike Darth Vader, not all Lenin statues have survived customization, such as this one in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine.
Dnipropetrovsk's Lenin's head was given to the city's history museum, which put it in storage while waiting for resources to exhibit it.
"Nationalists would collect them as trophies," says Gobert, recalling one individual who "would collect the image of Lenin like you'd collect stamps."
The duo say they are still on the hunt to find more Lenins, suggesting the numbers are on their side. "[The project] keeps on changing and dragging us to new spots with new people," says Gobert. "It's like a never-ending story."