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Rodina Mat in numbers

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May 10, 2012, 11:20 p.m. | About Kyiv — by Daryna Shevchenko

Impressive as it is, the plan for the memorial was even grander, but remained unfulfilled, like many Soviet schemes.
© Kostyantyn Chernichkin/Kyiv Post

Daryna Shevchenko

She’s hard to miss. Perched on the hills of Pechersk, the tall metal figure representing the might of the Soviet Union glistens in the sun on the approach into the city from the left bank of the Dnipro River. Her sword and shield serve as a permanent warning to any ill-wishers. Rodina Mat, or Mother Motherland, is part of the World War II complex that includes a war museum with several exhibitions, Rodina Mat statue and Glory Park. The complex opened in 1981 by longtime Soviet Union leader Leonid Brezhnev, who ruled from 1964 until his death in 1982. It was planned as a way to memorialize the great victory over Nazi Germany, during which Ukrainians suffered more than any other people – losing several million soldiers and civilians. Exact numbers are hard to come by since Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union until 1991.

Impressive as it is, the plan for the memorial was even grander, but remained unfulfilled, like many Soviet schemes. The statue was supposed to be a third taller and covered with a gold leaf. An 80-meter waterfall was to run 80 meters down the hill to the Dnipro River.


Rodina Mat's sword is 16 meter long (Kostyantyn Chernichkin)

World War II veterans flock to the statue on Victory Day, celebrated on May 9, the day after Soviet and Allied troops conquered Berlin in 1945. But not everyone admires the statue.

“I don’t like it, but I’ve been on top of the statue’s shield. And it’s just amazing,” says Anna Shevchuk, a guide and city enthusiast. “The view from there is probably the most unusual view I have ever seen. All at a glance!”


World War II complex that includes a war museum with several exhibitions, Rodina Mat statue and Glory Park

16 meters – the length of the sword.

30 kilometers – how long the seams are all over Rodina Mat’s body. It equals the thickness of Jupiter's rings, or the distance between Kyiv and Mezhygirya, the president’s luxury estate north of Kyiv.

9 tons – the weight of the sword, which is roughly the combined weight of 130 people.

62 meters – the height of Rodina Mat without the pedestal. It’s roughly equal to a 16-story house.

37 meters, 92 meters – how high tourists are allowed to climb. Observation desks are located at this height.

450 tons –the weight of the whole structure, the equivalent of three blue whales, the biggest animals on Earth.

150 years – this is how long the Rodina Mat’ statue is supposed to stand and remain one of Kyiv’s most majestic symbols.

75 degree angle – the angle at which one of the elevators in the statue is inclined. There are two elevators in Rodina Mat’, one of them is vertical and the other is inclined and moves on rollers.

13 tons –the weight of the shield. The shield has the Soviet Union emblem on it, and weighs roughly the same as London’s Big Ben.


Rodina Mat's height is roughly equal to a 16-story house (Kostyantyn Chernichkin)

104 square meters – the area of the shield. This is roughly the same as two average three-room apartments in Kyiv.

102 meters – is the height of Rodina Mat, from the bottom of its pedestal to the top of its sword. It is almost equal to the length of a standard football field. For comparison, the Tower of London is 30 meters tall. The Eiffel Tower is 324 meters tall, including the radio mast.

Memorial complex “The National Museum of History of tge Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 Years”


Rodina Mat monument:
rise to 36.6 meters, open-air platform - Hr 50
rise to the 91.0 meters, open-air platform - Hr 200

Main exhibition:
entrance – Hr 10
guided tour - Hr 20-30

Military Vehicles and Weaponry exhibition:

entrance – Hr 2
guided tour – Hr 10

Most exhibitions are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The phone number is: +38 (044) 285-9452.
The email address is: admin@nmhpw.kiev.ua
See more details at www.warmuseum.kiev.ua/eng/price.shtml


Kyiv Post staff writer Daryna Shevchenko can be reached at shevchenko@kyivpost.com
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