Motherland Monument is a popular place in Kyiv, a grandiose monumental sculpture erected on the right bank of the Dnieper in 1981. The monument is dedicated to the heroes of the World War II. It impresses with its huge size and is surrounded by a picturesque park, in which adults and children enjoy walking. Moreover, here you can visit an interesting museum exhibiting historical facts of the military operations of 1941–1945.
The Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian People (until May 14, 2022, the Peoples’ Friendship Arch) is a sculptural composition in Kyiv in the territory of Khreshchatyi Park. Initially, it consisted of an arch and two sculptural groups under it. It was opened in 1982 as part of the celebration of the 1500th anniversary of Kyiv and the 60th anniversary of the creation of the USSR.
In 1979, it was decided to build a monument in honour of the “reunification of Ukraine with Russia” in the form of a metal arch under which several sculptures were to be placed. The composition was opened on November 3, 1981, during preparations for the celebration of the 1500th anniversary of Kyiv on the site of the Summer Stage, which had been moved to Mariinskyi Park.
In connection with Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, the sculptural part of the monument was dismantled on April 26, 2022. During the dismantling of the bronze sculptural group, the head of the figure symbolising a Russian fell off. The second sculptural composition made of red granite, will be disassembled later. The arch itself is planned to be renamed and illuminated with the colours of the Ukrainian flag. The architect and one of the authors of the sculptural composition, Serhii Myrhorodskyi, said in his interview during the dismantling of the monument, “I am happy: at last, friendship with Russia is over, which means this monument, like the friendship of great nations once, turns into enmity between Ukraine and Russia, and having a monument to enmity is a sin.”
The museum was founded on October 17, 1974 in honour of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s liberation from the Nazi invaders. It is situated in the former Klov Palace in Pechersk. Soon, the construction of the Memorial Complex Ukrainian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945 at 44 Sichnevoho Povstannia St. (which opened on May 9, 1981) began.
The Memorial Complex occupies an area of over 11 ha. It includes: the museum with the Motherland Monument, the main square with the Alley of Hero Cities and the sculptural compositions “Forced Crossing of the Dnieper” and “Handover of Arms”, the gallery of heroes of the Front and Homefront with bronze high-relief compositions, the “Flame of Glory” bowl, an exhibition of military equipment and weapons, a separate building where the exposition “Participating in foreign wars” is arranged; Li-2 and MiG-23 aircraft and Mi-24V helicopters are open to visitors.
Many exhibitions are held in the museum, and since September 19, 2019, the exhibition “Ukraine. An unfinished war...” has been held here. The presented materials reveal the topics of military operations, survival strategies in war and post-war years, genocides and sociocides, the struggle for Ukraine’s independence between two totalitarian regimes, demographic transfers, and historical memory of the World War II. Art installations contribute to a philosophical reading of the presented materials.
The exhibition named “Ukraine — Crucifixion” and dedicated to the Russian-Ukrainian war is open to visitors in the museum. For the first time in world museum practice, a permanent exhibition dedicated to the war in real time during the ongoing war was created there. Terrible realities of full-scale Russian aggression are revealed through original items and photos.
The Afghanistan Memorial Complex in Kyiv commemorates soldiers who died during the war in Afghanistan (1979–1989) where the Soviet troops and the troops of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan fought against the Afghan mujahideen. The Memorial is located on Lavrska Street, in the garden square opposite the Church of the Resurrection (halfway from Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and the Museum of History of Ukraine in the World War II). 620,000 Soviet citizens took part in the Afghan war (1979–1989), of which about 15,000 were killed. 5,358 soldiers were sent from Kyiv to Afghanistan, 115 of them were killed. The sculptural part of the memorial consists of three figures of soldiers: two of them are standing, and the third warrior in front of them, is sitting on the ground, his head bowed. At the foot, bronze “black tulips”, symbols of the Afghan disaster, have sprouted through the stones. The outer circle of the memorial consists of granite slabs with carved names of fallen soldiers from Ukraine.
The memorial sign “Kyiv’s 3rd defence line” is located on the site where the third line of defence of the capital of Ukraine once crossed the city outskirts. During the war, the 206th Rifle Division and 19,000 people’s militiamen were stationed here. Today’s avenue was then a huge anti-tank barrier. According to the recollections of the locals, the ditch existed almost until early 1950s. The monument was unveiled in 1965. It is a block of stone, with a granite memorial plaque with the inscription: “The 3rd line of defence of the city went through here in VII-IX-1941” attached to its front side.
National Museum of Military History of Ukraine is Kyiv’s Museum of Military History. It is the only museum of its kind in Ukraine that covers the history of the creation and development of the art of war in the territory of Ukraine from the Bronze Age to the present day.
The exposition of the National Museum of Military History of Ukraine reflects the glorious history of the military in Ukraine. Museum items range from the Cimmerian-Scythian-Sarmatian periods, the times of Kyivan Rus, the era of the national liberation struggle of the 17th–18th centuries, Ukrainian military formations of the World War I and the liberation war of the beginning of the 20th century; they also tell the story of valour, courage and military feat of the people in defence of their homeland.
The exposition of the museum also presents rare items from the period of force development in the first half of the 20th century, the Soviet-German war, the armed struggle of partisan units and units of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) in 1941–1944, post-war reconstruction and military activities of the Soviet troops in the territory of Ukraine. Visitors can learn about weapon systems, various military equipment, cold arms and firearms, collections of awards, military decorations, flags, and uniforms. Also, in 2010, the exhibition “Armed Forces of Ukraine on Guard of the State” was opened. It is dedicated to the modern armed forces and their development since their establishment in 1991.
Today, trophies of the Russian–Ukrainian war replenish the funds of the National Museum of Military History of Ukraine, namely the tail fins of the Russian Su-25SM land attack aircraft shot down over Ukraine.
According to a journalistic investigation, the Russian Su-25SM land attack plane, like dozens of other aircraft, was flown to Belarus on the eve of the “Union Resolve 2022” military exercise. It was from the Belarusian airfield that the Russian pilots launched strikes on Ukraine. The land attack aircraft from the 18th Assault Aviation Regiment had the registration number RF–91961.
The aircraft was shot down near the village of Vyshehrad, Makariv raion, Kyiv oblast. The tail fins were added to the stock collection of the National Museum of Military History of Ukraine thanks to the painstaking work of a museum employee, researcher Pavlo Netiosov, and joined the tail fins of the downed Nazi fighter Bf 109.
Alley in memory of the Kyivite Defenders of Ukraine, military personnel and police, who died defending the sovereignty of Ukraine has been laid out in Darnitskyi district of Kyiv, according to a plaque specifically set up on the occasion. The number of oaks planted was not a coincidence, because, unfortunately, 385 Kyivites have died since the beginning of the Russian aggression in the east of Ukraine. Relatives and friends of the fallen heroes, caring residents of Darnytsia came and paid their respects to those fallen.
The cross was erected in honour of defenders of Ukraine who died in the struggle for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country.
“The memorial cross was restored and installed by such non-governmental organisations as Musical Battalion, People’s Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv City Union of ATO Veterans in Podil District, Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists and others,” the organisers reported.
In 2016, a symbolic casing from a 125 mm artillery shell was ceremonially laid in the ground on the site of the future Park of the Defenders of Ukraine in Solomianskyi district. Later, in 2019, a memorial to fallen internationalist soldiers was unveiled. Hundreds of people, comrades-in-arms, their families, caring citizens of Kyiv, came to honour the memory of their compatriots whose names are forever engraved on the monument.
In honour of the fallen internationalist soldiers, everyone willing planted birch saplings near the monument; those have long been considered a symbol of brave and indomitable soldiers.
A monument made of granite and metal was erected at the corner of Hrushevskoho Street and Petrivska Alley, not far from the entrance to the Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium. In 2014, units of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, which invaded Ukraine, shelled the corridor through which Ukrainian fighters were leaving Ilovaisk. The Ilovaisk pocket was real hell and became a symbol of the aggressor’s treachery, and a symbol of the heroism of Ukrainian defenders. Almost 32,000 Kyivites went through the war in Eastern Ukraine, and 400 were killed.
In 2020, at the same site, near the entrance to the Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium, a symbolic capsule was laid.
The monument to the Red Army Motorists Killed in Battle was erected in 1985 at the mass grave of Red Army soldiers in South Borshchahivka. The above sculptural group is dedicated to the soldiers who were killed in the battle against the Nazis in 1943. It shows a Red Army soldier leaning on a Willys Jeep combat vehicle, with a nearby obelisk on the site of the mass grave of 74 soldiers.
The marble slab below the obelisk bears an inscription: “Soviet army soldiers who died hero deaths in defence of the Motherland are buried here. 1943.”
The monument was unveiled in 1985 in replacement of a concrete sculpture erected on the site in 1958.
The monument was erected in 1965 in Holosiivskyi Park in honour of Red Army soldiers and commanders, sailors of the Dnieper Flotilla, people’s militia fighters, who fought fierce battles with Nazi invaders in Holosiivskyi district in July to September 1941, during the defence of Kyiv.
The monument to Belarusians who died for Ukraine is a monument in Kyiv dedicated to Belarusians who died during the Euromaidan events and in the Russian-Ukrainian war. It was unveiled on March 28, 2016. The monument is made in the colours of the national flag of Belarus (white-red-white). It depicts the Belarusian national coat of arms, Pahonia.
On the memorial sign, one can read the names, and see the photos, of three Belarusians: