Motherland Monument

Kyiv, Ukraine

The Motherland Monument is a monumental statue in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The sculpture is a part of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War.

The stainless steel statue stands 62 m tall upon the museum main building with the overall structure measuring 102 m including its base and weighing 560 tonnes. The sword in the statue's right hand is 16 m long, with the left hand holding up a 13 by 8 m shield emblazoned with the hammer and sickle emblem of the Soviet Union. Initially, the statue was drawn by the sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich. Vuchetich based the statue on the Ukrainian painter Nina Danyleiko. When Vuchetich died in 1974, the project was continued by Vasyl Borodai, who used Ukrainian sculptor Halyna Kalchenko, a daughter of the Prime Minister of Ukraine Nikifor Kalchenko, as the model.

The memorial hall of the Museum displays marble plaques with carved names of more than 11,600 soldiers and over 200 workers of the home-front honored during the war with the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Hero of Socialist Labour. On the hill beneath the museum, traditional flower shows are held. The sword of the statue was cut because the tip of the sword was higher than the cross of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra.


In the 1950s, a plan circulated of building on the spot of the current statue twin monuments of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, nearly 200 m tall each. However, this did not go ahead. Instead, according to legend, in the 1970s, a group of Communist Party officials and Soviet sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich looked across at the hills by the Lavra and decided the panorama needed a war memorial. Vuchetich had designed the other two most famous giant Soviet war memorials, The Motherland Calls in Volgograd and the Soviet soldier carrying German infant constructed after the war in East Berlin. The statue was modeled after one of his coworkers, Mila Hazinsky,[citation needed] however after Vuchetich died in 1974, the design of the memorial was substantially reworked and only the eyes and eyebrows remained from the original face. It was then completed under the guidance of Vasyl Borodai.

Final plans for the statue were made in 1978, with construction beginning in 1979. It was controversial, with many criticising the costs involved and claimed the funds could have been better spent elsewhere. When director of construction Ivan Petrovich was asked to confirm the costs of 9 million rubles, he responded that this was a conservative estimate. The statue was opened in 1981 in a ceremony attended by Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, himself a Ukrainian.

In modern-day Kyiv, the statue remains controversial, with some claiming it should be pulled down and its metal used for more functional purposes. Financial shortages mean that the flame, which uses up to 400 m3 of gas per hour, can only burn on the biggest national holidays, and rumours persist that the statue is built on unstable foundations, something strongly denied by the Kyiv local government.

In April 2015, the parliament of Ukraine outlawed Soviet and communist symbols, street names and monuments, in an attempt to decommunize Ukraine. However, World War II monuments are excluded from these laws. Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance Volodymyr Viatrovych stated in February 2018 that the Soviet hammer and sickle on the shield of the monument should be removed to comply with the country's decommunization laws and replace it with the Ukrainian trident. As of 2022, despite the derussification and decommunization occurring in Ukraine as a result of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the monument has not been modified.



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Lavrska Street 27, Kyiv, Ukraine
See all sites in Kyiv


Founded: 1981
Category: Statues in Ukraine

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User Reviews

mohammed mahmoud (3 years ago)
I enjoyed walking ?‍♂️ around took photo of all War trucks, plane and helicopter. But mostly I liked statue of motherland
chahine atallah (3 years ago)
Amazing structure, you can also pay like I guess 500 hrivna to go to the top and have a look of kyiv from birds view ? Highly recommended this place if u ever visit kyiv
Oksana Sukhenko (3 years ago)
Highly recommended to visit if you are in Kyiv. Was impressed by modern installation of war, Holocaust and current eastern war. And it costs only 50 uah for adults. Unfortunately, city view place was closed, but anyway spending time there was very good.
Uroš Markelj (3 years ago)
One of the best places i visited in Kiev. It is absolutely amazing. You should definitely visit this place if you are anywhere nearby. There are also museums and WW2 army vehicles on display.
Michal Tomko (3 years ago)
Monumental statue and park around offer great views of Kyev. Whole park is very clean and has breathtaking atmosphere. Everything is so large and you feel how small are you as a human being.
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