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.
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.