National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex

After visiting Kiev Pechersk Lavra, I walked to the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex (quite a mouthful!). Formerly the National Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, this huge complex was formally opened in a ceremony on May 9, 1981, by Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev. It was created to honor the sacrifices made by the Ukrainian people during World War II.

The complex is situated along a long path starting at the entrance. Along the path are cannons and a tank.

Path at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Path

Cannons at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Cannons

Path at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Path

T-10 tank at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

T-10 tank

Two sections just off the path lead to areas filled with old military vehicles, including tanks, planes, trucks, and helicopters.

Military vehicles at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Military vehicles

Military vehicle at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Military vehicle

A man painting a military vehicle at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

A man painting a military vehicle

Military vehicles at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Military vehicles

The path continues to a short tunnel with a large bowl on the left side. In the bowl is the Flame of Glory. It burns continuously and has a diameter of 16m.

Path at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Path

Flame of Glory at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Flame of Glory

Inside the tunnel are relief sculptures of different scenes of the war. Depicted are the defense of the Soviet border against the Nazi invasion in 1941, the struggles of the Soviet partisans, and the contribution of the citizens.

Tunnel at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Tunnel

Tunnel at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Tunnel

Tunnel at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Tunnel

Tunnel at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Tunnel

On the other side of the tunnel is a large square that can accommodate up to 30,000 people for ceremonies. The impressive Crossing of the Dnipro monument is the focal point of the square.

National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex

Crossing of the Dnipro monument at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Crossing of the Dnipro monument

Crossing of the Dnipro monument at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Crossing of the Dnipro monument

Another feature of the square includes the Alley of the Hero Cities, which names cities that fought bravely during the war. When I was visiting, there were also two tanks on display that were repainted to promote peace.

Alley of the Hero Cities at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Alley of the Hero Cities

Tanks repainted for peace at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Tanks repainted for peace

Rodina Mat (Motherland Monument) is the enormous statue that’s a symbol of Kiev and can be seen from very far away. It stands 62m high to the tip of the sword and the shield is 12x8m. The shield depicts the communist hammer and sickle, which many Ukrainians believe should be removed. Inside the base is a memorial with the names of over 11,600 soldiers killed in World War II carved into marble plaques. The base is accessible through the museum (see below).

Rodina Mat at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Rodina Mat

Rodina Mat at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

Rodina Mat

Underneath Rodina Mat is the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War. It was one of the best war museums I have ever visited. If you are into history, especially World War II, it’s not to be missed. The museum is open daily from 10am to 7pm. The cost is 20 UAH (as of October 2016) and a photo pass is an additional 30 UAH. An audioguide is 50 UAH. I wish I had paid for the photo pass because there were some very impressive items.

National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Memorial Complex in Kiev, Ukraine

National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War

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