National Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II. The memorial complex is one of the large-scale objects of Ukraine (with an area of more than 11.24 hectares) located in Pechersk. Museum collections of the Memorial number up to 300 thousand exhibits representing artifacts from the period of World War II, the pre-war and post-war periods. The complex consists of the main exposition, the Mother Motherland monument, sculptural compositions, an exhibition of military equipment, as well as the exposition On Foreign Wars. Expositions embody the heroism and dedication of Ukrainian soldiers. Every year, meetings with veterans are held on memorable days on the memorial’s central square. Today, about 30 million people have visited the exposition.
The path to the Memorial begins from the former gate of the Kyiv Fortress (XVIII century). Here the alley that leads to the museum, starts, and a panorama of the museum town opens. Along the alley you will see 5-meter high bronze high reliefs, 1942 model guns, as well as the Fire of Glory bowl, which is 16 m in diameter. Next to the exposition “On Foreign Wars” there is an exhibition of military equipment in the open area where you can see armored personnel carriers, rocket launchers, weapons of the navy, armored and aviation equipment. The MiG-23 fighter and the Mi-24 helicopter used during the war in Afghanistan, and the Li-2 aircraft, modeled on the American “Douglas” DC-3, are also presented here. It was the plane that delivered the Act of Surrender to Berlin. Everyone can visit the cabins of Li-2, Mi-24 and MiG-23 to feel like a pilot or a participant in air combat.
The Motherland is a world’s famous object that has become a symbol of Ukraine. It is a figure of a woman with a sword and a shield in her hands, mounted on a conical pedestal. At the foot of the sculpture a museum is located. The monument was opened in 1981 and was conceived as a sign of Victory, but the name of “Woman Motherland” stuck as soon as it was erected. Galina Kalchenko served as a model for the image. The steel body was assembled with a 100-meter crane. A casing of the statue was welded from 1.5 mm sheets. Section production took place at a factory in Kyiv with the participation of the Institute of Paton. The total length of the welds is 30 km. A 10-meter copy of the sculpture was tested for stability in the largest turbine of the USSR, located in Moscow. The cost of construction amounted to 2 million rubles.
It was originally planned to erect a 90-meter bronze statue, at the foot of which a waterfall would fall from a 30-meter height. But later another project was developed, according to which the height of the monument was to be 108 m. In the course of work, it was decided that the structure should not rise above the Great Lavra bell tower. And since the bell tower is on a hill, it turns out that Motherland is 12 meters lower. According to Kyiv architects, this was done to maintain the architectural balance between the objects. In style, the sculpture is eclectic and is an example of socialist realism.
The Motherland was repeatedly marked in world rankings. According to experts, the unique structure will stand for more than 150 years. The height of the monument with a pedestal is 102 m (62 m from the pedestal to the top of the sword), its weight is 450 tons. Inside, there are vertical and inclined elevators. You can climb to the “Landscape” (at an altitude of 36.6 m) and “Extreme” (at an altitude of 91 m) observation decks. The observation decks are open for visitors in fine weather; military binoculars for viewing the panorama of the capital are available.
Today, the Memorial complex is a monument of national culture and an integral part of the architectural landscape of Kyiv. This is a world-famous historical heritage site that highlights the events of World War II and the role of the Ukrainian people in the fight against fascism.