Our story is about those who, despite war and terrorism, aggression and annexation, occupation and repression, totalitarian press and political cataclysms, chaos or betrayal, found the courage to survive, to endure and not to break. They stayed Free, passing through the crucible of suffering, injustice and cruelty...
The exhibition space is framed by artistic clusters-compositions "Breaking the Darkness of Captivity", "Swing of Time", "Arteries of Life" and video narrative "Way to Freedom", based on documents and materials of 12 former prisoners of the Kremlin as well as so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. It symbolically depicts the collective image of Free Person, who, despite various life and political preferences, rose against Moloch of the "hybrid" war, the information and propaganda intoxication of the "northern neighbor", rose against terror, harassment and intimidation, passed through the bloody torture chambers of quasi-states and cold prisons of Russia, stepped over the absurdity and ineptitude of the "accusations" of Russian "justice", showed courage, honor and dignity, picked up the symbolic Flag of FREEDOM after the release and keeps on carrying it with the TRUTH...; draws attention to the fate of political prisoners staying in Russia or in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine; figuratively captures and expresses the spirit of FREEDOM, steadfastness and life-asserting WILLPOWER!
In 2014, Russia annexed Ukrainian Crimea and fueled a bloody war in Eastern Ukraine. We managed to repel the aggressor, but the process of historical revisionism of the Soviet totalitarian regime began in the occupied territories: an atmosphere of fear, powerlessness and hopelessness, terror against dissidents, war crimes, brutal violations of human rights and freedoms, contempt for human dignity, arrests and imprisonment of guiltless people.
"It's a kind of horror, arbitrariness and a kind of phantasmagoria, so it was all unreal, and I could not even understand why," – the Ukrainian religious scholar Igor Kozlovskyi commented on the 700 days of his captivity in the “DPR”…
According to official statistics, 3,376 Ukrainian citizens have been released from Russian prisons and torture chambers in the temporarily occupied territories. Currently, 371 (?!) of Ukrainian citizens are in prisons in Russia, the annexed Crimea and certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (ORDLO).
Idea: Ivan Kovalchuk
Curators: Iryna Kotsabiuk, Bohdan Halchynskyi, Olesya Sobkovych
Consultant: Roman Sushchenko
Author of the installation: Anton Lohov
Artists: Anton Lohov, Anatoliy Musienko
Special thanks to Zoya Shu (initiator of the project "After Captivity") for the provided photos.
One, two, three, four, five… I go looking… Familiar words of different children's voices are heard almost in every yard.
The fascinating game “Hide-and-Seek” starts with these words. Once we used to play it, and now our children and grandchildren play...
But everything changes when the war begins at home.
In the twentieth century the humankind has survived two bloody armed conflicts and it would seem to receive immunity from the disease of militarism. Moreover, the mischief happened. In the twenty-first century the Russian-Ukrainian war began in the center of Europe...
One, two, three, four, five… I go looking…
The voice is not the same, not childish, but horrible – metallic, strident. This is the voice of war that starts hunting for its victims, for the most weakest – children. More than 20,000 Ukrainian children stayed living under enemy fire in Donbas. They are the hostages of adult games and continue playing the “game” intuitively in the occupied territories, in the “gray zone” and in the neighboring settlements. They try to escape from the deadly bullets and shell splinters. In the labyrinths of consciousness, they seek a hiding place from pain after losing loved ones and their homes.
The museum installation leads the way through this labyrinth. It looks like an empty and destroyed house that can no longer protect from danger and give neither warmth nor comfort.
Its hiding places with the feelings of anxiety and uncertainty are filled with endless childish pain. Not every adult will endure it. The personal stories collected by the museum scientists tell about it. Look! Listen! And let everyone ask themselves: “What have we done to turn back war-torn childhood in our future?”
The project “The Neglected Genocide” was implemented by the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies in partnership with the German Educational Institute for Peace Work (“Bildungswerk für Friedensarbeit”) and in cooperation with the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in Second World War. It should inform the broadest Ukrainian and European audience of the Romani genocide in Ukraine during the Nazi era. The discrimination against the Roma and the fight against it in Ukraine and in Germany are under continuous review.
The exhibition consists of 20 exhibition stands and contains archival documents and family photos. It represents both personal stories of survivors of genocide and general historical information about this phenomenon. It answers the following questions: what were the reasons, course of actions and consequences of the Roma genocide? How did the local non-Roma population treat the persecuted? What were the ways of saving lives? What are the memories of the genocide survivors and non-Roma witnesses? What do official archival documents (orders and poll numbers) indicate? What is known about the magnitude of the losses? Do genocide survivors, as well as society and the state keep the memories about the genocide? Have genocide lessons been learned today?
Five years of war. Five years of our people’s struggle against the Russian aggression in the East of Ukraine. In summer 2014 a fierce struggle continued for the settlements of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. In the battles the Ukrainian soldiers gave their lives, but gained victory liberating their native cities.
The National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War together with the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance represents an exhibition project about the liberation of Ukrainian territories. The exhibition represents photographs that reflect the chronology of the liberation of Mariupol, Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Sieverodonetsk, Lysychansk and a dozen settlements. The artifacts tell us about the fate of the participants of the battles. These are the personal belongings of Hero of Ukraine Serhii Kulchytskyi, Bohdan Vovnenko, Stepan Chubenko and Ohanes Petrosian. Significant relics at the exhibition are the victorious Ukrainian flags raised above the liberated Kramatorsk, Mariupol and Shchastia. Graphic paintings from the series “Black Calendar”, depicted by the artists Serhii Druziaka and Serhii Lytvynov who were the witnesses of Kramatorsk occupation, are the evidences of the fact that even the horrors of war can become an impetus for the creation of art. In the exhibition a part of the objects was collected by the museum staff during a scientific trip to Donetsk and Luhansk regions and is presented to the general public for the first time.
A new exhibition of the Museum project “The Ukrainian East” is entitled “On the Line of Fire”. The story of the victories and tragedies of the patriots of Ukraine, who defend its sovereignty against the Russian aggressor in the eastern territories of our state, overcome the results of enemies’ intervention, hybrid war crimes and break the plans of the creeping Putinism.
In the exhibition space, outlined by the nominal and expositional clusters-blocks of “Ours”, “Aliens” and “(Non)aliens”, the fire line in the zone of the Operation of the United Forces in the East of Ukraine is symbolically reconstructed. The expressiveness of the fire border is enhanced by banners with the original photographs of destruction and shelling. The closed capsule – “Pandora's box”, – figuratively fixes the moment of the long-awaited peace on the Ukrainian soil.
In the exposition space of the section “Ours” the line of fire runs through damaged and mutilated, but life-saving vehicles for warriors and volunteers, each of which has its own unique history, then it is continued and intensified by 27 uplifted blue-yellow flags – the symbols of administrative and territorial units of unitary State. Cut up with shrapnel shell fragments, smelled of gunpowder, faded under the burning sun, they fluttered on top of the dugouts, checkpoints and buildings, and now they foretell our Victory.
Symbolic battalions, standing on fire positions, are represented by personal things of servicemen who stop the enemy's fire; chaplains who care about the soul of a soldier; physicians who treat and save wounded bodies of soldiers in field conditions; volunteers whose disinterested help, especially during the first months of the confrontation, was so necessary for our defenders, journalists whose reports bring us a bitter truth about the war inspiring faith in the inevitable Victory.
Road signs and pointers of settlements that had previously paved the lines of peaceful allocation, now damaged by enemies’ shelling, denote the notional boundary between war and peace, between “Ours” and “Aliens”.
The topic of hybrid warfare, which Russia conducts by various methods and means, is underlined in the block of the exposition “Aliens”. Here is a series of irrefutable testimonies of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, in particular a documentary photo depicting the remains of the Boeing MН17.
The section “(Non)aliens” is about the difficult fate of residents of Donbas, who found themselves in the zone of war. The exposition presents the controversial choice of some of them, who stepped on the path of separatism and betrayal, as well as the tragedy of those who did not pass over to the enemy, but had to stay in the occupied territory. Another one story is about those who remained a patriot of Ukraine, did not lose the state spirit, national consciousness and identity, joined the resistance to the Russian invaders.
The location of exhibits on a conditional line of fire from the beginning of the exposition to its completion reflects the dynamics of warfare, the gradual extinction of the fire tension and gradually transforms into the “hall of hope”, presented by several museum installations. In the center there is an “ambulance” minibus that took away from the line of fire many wounded people and signals about the urgent assistance that Ukraine requires, being exhausted by the war. Near our soldier’s uniforms and body armors which symbolically form the protective “Shield of Ukraine” and photographs of their children, as a prominent example of hope for the Meeting, Unity, Peace and Victory. The hope for the liberation of the occupied territories is inspired by the non-indifference of the children “from there” – their letters and pictures, stories about their homes, toys, as well as the surviving piano from the kindergarten of destroyed village of Pisky as a kind of charm of the peaceful future of our State and the hope of returning to native Donbas.
Glory to Ukraine!
The human memory is mysterious and eternal. What rules does it obey? What does it save? What is transferred from generation to generation, from century to century? What is the memory of the Second World War?
Perhaps, everyone has one’s own memory, because much time passed, many things changed as well as understanding of past events, something became the product of mythology.
By why something unexplained appears in subconscious of contemporaries independently from political changes: the taste of sugar donated to orphan by soldier; the pale, like pile in April, and scared face of the Jewish child rescued by people who even forgot the safety of their own children; the smell of forest in autumn, where the shelter of the Ukrainian insurgents was; the dampness of prison where one stayed for years; probably, the Sun-like yellow dandelion flower in spring, picked at the airfield and gifted to a beloved girl met in wartime. What is it? Maybe, the genetic memory, memory of the heart, family memory.
“Family Memory of the War” is a title of the exhibition as a part of the similarly named museum’s project. It contains ten stories, ten essays, that are combined as a mosaic to reconstruct the complex and controversial Ukrainian history.
These are stories of ordinary people, their family memory, and their lives. The grandchildren keep this memory and save it for posterity.
Look at these artefacts, read the obliterated papers. Almost all the families have such things.
Let us save them together.
However, everything must be completed: towels embroidered, awards handled, letters read and essays written…
The exhibition “Being uprooted” reveals one of the tragic pages of the past century, connected with forced relocations of Ukrainians (so-called deportations, forced emigration, evacuation without return, transfers, and special military operations).
In the memory of the inhabitants of the Western Ukrainian villages such resettlements were remembered as a retaliation of Soviet power for counteraction to Sovietization, the unwillingness to join the “Labor's paradise”, the support of the Ukrainian national liberation movement.
The materials of the exhibition organically complement the section of the exhibition “At the crossroads of war and peace”. Being evacuated forever; Military operations “Wisla” and “West”; “Knotweed” Roads; “Action-51” – all these themes, as well as all exhibited museum objects, are presented for the first time.
The consequences of ethno-political transformations are clearly traced through the stories of individual families: centuries-old life has been broken; the ethnic integrity of Ukrainians in Poland has been eroded. The bitter feeling of injustice and personal tragedy deeply etched in the souls of people.
Hastily-assembled things (icon, a one-time clothes, old horseshoe), children were in their arms, sack was on the back – and forward: where, why, what for? They were taken in boxcars into obscurity, darkness and nothingness.
Someone could not adapt to the new conditions, someone was looking for salvation in new regions, and someone, felt the threat from Soviet regime, went to a foreign country and became a man “without the state”, as the family of His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar.
The whole villages disappeared together with people, the parents' tracks overgrown with the knotweed.
The theme of the so-called agricultural resettlement is highlighted through the materials of the inhabitants of destroyed villages and evicted villages into Dnipropetrovsk region: Rusylov in Ternopil region and Sobiatyn in Volyn. Sobiatyn is not currently on the map of Ukraine.
The descendants of the offended people, who transmitted the materials for presentation at the exhibition, all the time “return” to the land that God promised to parents.
Bukryn Bridgehead. Heroic ... Tragic ... Erroneous ... And what has happened in the autumn of 1943?
The exhibition “(Not) forgotten Bridgehead” created for those who remember and honor, for those who forgot or did not know at all and that complements the content of that part of the exhibition which deals with the crossing of the Dnipro and the expulsion of Nazis from Kyiv.
The Bukryn Bridgehead was chosen for the main attack on Kyiv. It became a huge cemetery for tens of thousands of soldiers.
The artifacts from the museum's fund collection are in the basis of the exhibition and the most of which are presented for the first time.
The main plot line repeats the fragments of memoirs of the participant of the battles on Bukryn bridgehead – the combat nurse Oleksandra Volkova. Written in half a century after the events, they extremely accurately reproduce the depth of time; reflect a terrible picture of fights and human feelings through the years. “… Everybody was holding their breath while walking towards the death … It was transferred from the deputy on political activity: “Not one step back. Shooting”. Well, a lot of people were 19 years old … Lieutenant Shatalov didn't get a chance to love ...”.
The materials of the exhibition, in unison with the exposition, transmit the drama of the battles on Bukryn bridgehead; accentuate the fatal miscalculations of the command, heroism and tragedy of the Dnipro epic.
Is it a crime or a mistake for which the Red Army had paid too high price? And even now there is no accurate data on casualties on the Bukryn bridgehead. Many of fallen people didn't get a chance to put on a military uniform, but forced the Dnipro into their home clothing. Documents, personal belongings of people from so-called “black infantry” (the conditional name of the infantry units of the Red Army formed from the civilian population of the occupied territories after their liberation), the lists of killed soldiers who were conscripted by so-called field military commissariats from the Dnipro villages and perished in battles not far from their homes, are presented at the exhibition.
On a symbolic raft there is a photo of the Bukryn bend, made by the Luftwaffe pilot during a reconnaissance flight. And alongside there are notifications of death of fighters of the Voronezh (1st Ukrainian) Front, who perished in battle in these same villages, that are marked on aerial photography.
But on the Bukryn land even to this day, unfortunately, the bones of the missing people are lying around.
Victory ... Mistake ... Tragedy ... What is this?
Just a war...
Exhibition of works by Serhii Zakharov “Darkness. Chronicles of Inversions” is a reflection of the artist on the events in Donetsk in 2014, which he had witnessed. His works reflected the chronicle of the occupation of his hometown and the illustration of the days of captivity, which is simultaneously illustrate an emotional state, beliefs and expectations of the population of the region, and an attempt to comprehend the realities of life through visual images.
The idea of the exhibition is revealed through the three main artistic constituents, which are “litmus test” of the situation in the occupied city.
Graphic series “Shell” are the original results of the absence of critical thinking, the destructive influence of ideological stereotypes and propaganda clichés in a significant number of people.
Then we read the consequences of the activity/inactivity of black and white autobiographical images of “shells” in the form of comics “DumPster”, revealing the chronicle of Donetsk inversion. The accent of the story is the terrible illustrations of torture and the life during the capture of Serhii Zakharov. The understanding/feelings of the stalemate “darkness” of the region are complemented by images from the street art of the Murzilka project – caricatures of representatives of the occupation authorities with well-aimed comparisons (for example, the modernized image of the so-called “sharykov”) which were depicted on the streets of occupied Donetsk in 2014.
The Ukrainians and the Jews have a thousand-year history of coexistence. In addition, the Second World War has become their common tragedy with the most massive losses.
They say that calamity knits two hearts in closer bonds than happiness ever can. During the Nazi persecution, thousands of Ukrainians helped their Jewish neighbours, acquaintances and strangers.
The exhibition «The Righteous Path: Ukrainian Saviours» confirms the feat of those who broke the chain reaction of violence by the strength of their spirit and tried to help the doomed Jews at the risk of life.
The exhibition reflects the tragedy of the Holocaust and the triumph of the human Well-being, expands and reinforces the stories of those who perished themselves while rescuing others, those who did not speak and did not even think of themselves as the heroes, those who were close to save the Jews from death.
New artefacts of the stock collection of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War are the basis of the exhibition. They represent family stories, photos, documents and personal belongings. There are the materials from Andrei Sheptytskyi National Museum, the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies and other sources.
In the museum space an atmosphere of fear, danger and death in the occupied territory of Ukraine is reproduced by authentic proclamations distributed in Lviv, Stanislav, Lutsk, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Poltava, Berdychiv; photos and documentary materials of Nazi crimes won’t leave indifferent anyone. Thirty-two impressive stories have become the eloquent evidences of human behavior in the inhuman conditions of the war.
Attention is drawn to the personal materials of Oleksandra Shulezhko, who organized an orphanage in Cherkasy in 1941. One hundred pupils of the orphanage were saved; about a quarter of them were the children of shot Jews. They called her «mother». For the rest of her life the woman lived with the Soviet stigma «collaborator». Now her name is written on the Wall of Honor in the Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem (Jerusalem).
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church had also plenty of life-saviours during the Holocaust. A separate place belongs to Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytskyi, who hasn’t been recognized yet as Righteous Among the Nations, and his brother Fr. Klymentii – the Righteous Among the Nations. The Blessed has established a centralized system for the rescue of Jews from Nazi persecution. They were given fake baptism certificates, Ukrainian names, and then were taken to the monasteries.
The represented artefacts and dramatic destinies of the saviours make us think about the morality of choice and the difficulty of this choice, the duty of man to God and neighbors. Through the awareness of the lessons of history, one of which is the feat of Ukrainian Saviours and Righteous Among the Nations, modern Ukrainian society strengthens its spiritual power.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) has always been based on the principles of Ukrainianness, love of Motherland, surroundings, God... In different times the Church was persecuted and undesirable in the eyes of the occupiers. But even in hard times for the worshipers the Church lived the life of its congregation, shared its joy and dissent, condemning itself to imprisonment, persecution and martyr's death.
“The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church ¬– time of trial”. The essence of the presented exposition lies already in its title, where with the help of museum exhibits the key events are represented on the difficult way to the revival, and the memory of the priests and Greek Catholics is honored.
Most of the exhibits are presented to the general public for the first time. Some came from declassified archives, others – from semi-closed personal collections that were carefully hidden and stored in families. The museum scientists collected the original materials bit by bit during many scientific trips; they are an evidence of deep Christian faith and unbending loyalty to the Church and people. Documentary evidence is the primary source of the State Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine, the Central State Archives of Public Organizations of Ukraine and the materials of the collector-researcher Dmytro Pirkl.
Unique artifacts from the funds of the Museum of Metropolitan Andrii Sheptytskyi in Lviv of Archdiocese of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church are emphasized. Each of these exhibits is permeated with light saturated color, special heat which combines the grace, full of prayer energy.
For the first time in the National Museum there is a story about the Greek-Catholic clergy of Galicia, Zakarpattia, Bukovina which played a significant role in the Ukrainian revival, especially in the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the biographies of the Greek Catholic priests who carried out pastoral activities during the Soviet and Nazi occupations. Despite a broad campaign of persecution, intimidation, discrediting of the Greek Catholic Episcopate and clergy, the spiritual Fathers provided the church itself, preserved the opportunity for worshipers to have access to the sacraments, to help the rebels, and to save the Jews during the Nazi occupation. Here are the documents on the preparation and conduct of the Lviv pseudo-council, the reaction of the laity to the transition to Orthodoxy, the underground period of the church and the stay of priests in the Gulag.
Artifacts tell of those who did not renounce their faith experiencing incredible difficulties and passed through the hell of the Soviet camps.
Portraits of Metropolitans Andrii Sheptytskyi and Yosyf Slipyi, the personal belongings, postcards, presented on the exhibition, confirm their life-giving way. Pay attention to the materials of the priest Stepan-Roman Kolomyiets, the pastor of one of the villages in Galicia, who, during the Nazi occupation, saved young people from exportation to forced labor in Germany; the priest Yosyf Raikh who helped the Ukrainians to survive during the war and was brutally tortured by the Poles who acted as members of the NKVD battalions; of the priest Mykola Tsehelskyi who was arrested for refusing to go to Orthodoxy; of the nun Maria (civil name – Faina Liakher) who saved from the Nazi persecution the nuns of the women's monastery in Lviv region.
The exhibition does not pretend to complete and comprehensive presentation of history of the Greek Catholic Church during the war and in the underground period, only some controversial issues are outlined. We made an attempt to transfer them from the politics to the history and to answer them in the language of museum materials.
Exhibition project «Brest Peace» is dedicated to one of the most significant events in the history of Ukrainian state-building. 100 years ago, on February 9, 1918, a peace agreement was signed between the countries of Quadruple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey) and the Ukrainian People's Republic, which was the first manifestation of diplomacy for the young Ukrainian state, an evidence of the international recognition of its independence and the formation of a nation.
The exposition is presented in the form of a trident. After all, this very famous symbol from the Old Russian era was approved in 1918 as the Emblem of the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR). The exhibition presents materials from the funds of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in Second World War, the Central State Archives of Supreme Bodies of Power and Government of Ukraine, the Olzhych Library, as well as from the private collections of Oleksii Sheremetiev and Dmytro Pirkl.
Among the artifacts you can see: the documents, in particular the texts of the universalists of the Ukrainian Central Rada, brochures and books, photographs and posters of 1914 – 1918, illustrations from newspapers and magazines, samples of weapons and military equipment of the armies of Quadruple Alliance and Entente, personal belongings of Ukrainians – participants of the First World War.
The «Brest Peace» exposition can be visited during the year of 2018. It is intended for a wide audience; the exhibition aims to revive historical memory and to form a civil position of the museum visitors.
Dnipro ... This city has become an outpost between war and peace. It is in its streets almost every day the ambulances rush, leaving pulsating pain and inexhaustible sense of anxiety. The final destination of the route is Dnipropetrovsk Regional Clinical Hospital named after I.I. Mechnikov. For the past four years all Ukraine has been watching for the work of doctors from this hospital, holding the breath. That's how long these angels guard the line of life and death. During the war in Eastern Ukraine more than 2,500 wounded passed through their caring hands, sensitive hearts and merciful souls; they performed thousands of surgical operations and rehabilitation measures, 99% of the wounded Ukrainian soldiers, taken from the frontline, were saved by them.
The exhibition "The City of Mercy. Mechnikov’s Hospital" created under the "Ukrainian East" project tells about the selfless work of the doctors from the hospital named after I.I. Mechnikov, their self-sacrifice and high professional skills.
The curve of the symbolic cardiogram shows how all these years the heart of Ukraine was beating in unison the events on the frontline. The peak points of the curve were the Savur Grave, Ilovajsk, Donetsk Airport, Debaltseve ... It was at that time when the tension was growing in the operating rooms of the "city of mercy". The interior of the operating room is reproduced from the artifacts brought from the hospital. The exciting lines from the diary of the chief physician Serhii Ryzhenko have become the “nerve” of the exhibition. The story of the best doctors is intertwined with the stories of soldiers saved by them.
Let’s forgive us the rest of the glorious physicians who are fighting for the lives of the wounded soldiers both on the frontline and in the hospitals. The story about them is still ahead.
And we dedicated this exhibition to a unique team of doctors from the hospital named after I.I. Mechnikov − angels from the "city of mercy". This year Dnipropetrovsk Regional Hospital named after I.I. Mechnikov celebrates 220 years since its foundation.
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Heroes!
Museum exhibition project the «Ukrainian East» is created for the Day of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes and is dedicated to the victory and sacrifice of patriots of Ukraine who are currently defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity in the eastern part of our country.
This is the second museum project in this topic. The first one was the «Ukraine. The realities of modern warfare» consisted of ten exhibitions. For three years the employees of National Museum have collected more than 4000 authentic exhibits that give an accurate portrayal of the events in Eastern Ukraine. Half of them are represented at a new exhibition; the majority of them are exhibited for the first time.
The team of journalists of «1+1» TV Channel of the Television Service of News (TSN) and the volunteers of «Black Tulip» Humanitarian Mission are the partners of the project.
Structurally, the exhibition consists of sections which tell of the participation of various military formations and volunteer battalions in combat operations in Eastern Ukraine.
The chaplains who care about the life of a soldier, the doctors who are designed to treat wounded soldiers' bodies in the field, the volunteers whose unselfish assistance saved our men especially in the first months of confrontation, the journalists whose reports bring us the bitter truth about the war are united in symbolic battalions in the exhibition.
A symbolic «foreign legion» is presented at the exhibition in recognition of the fraternal assistance. Among the defenders there are Belarusians, Georgians, Chechens and the representatives of other nations who protect Ukraine.
Taken together, these museum stories reflect the heroic and tragic events of 2014 – 2017 where the fate of Ukraine is being solved today. In the prologue to the exhibition there is a collection of flags and chevrons given to the Museum directly by combatants.
Accent composition of the exhibition the «Way of the Cross» symbolizes the bloody price which is being paid by our people for the right to live freely in their country. The difficult fate of residents of Donbas who were in the war zone is represented in the composition of «Civilians».
The gallery of works of famous press photographers supplements the picture of events in the Ukrainian East. The lines of the National Anthem of Ukraine and the poems of famous Ukrainian poets emphasize the idea of the exhibition about sacrifice of our people in struggle for freedom and invincible faith in the victory. Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Heroes!
These soldiers’ relics have got to us from the trenches of the First World War. As living witnesses of the violent events, they can tell a lot, you just have to listen to it.
1916... Zakarpattia, the mountain Kukule... The sky is burning glow. The screams, groans, roar of shells and whistle bullets are merged in one hum. There is a bloody confrontation...
This is one of the episodes of the First World War. The war has separated the sons of Ukraine divided by Zbruch on different sides of the front.
Almost 3,5 million of Ukrainians were mobilized in 1914 – 1917 into the army of the Russian Empire. Every tenth of them was killed. In the army of another empire, Austria-Hungary fought more than 700 thousand of Ukrainians. 320 thousand of these people were killed or wounded. They gave their lives and health, they fought «brother against brother», for the interests of foreign states, not having their own country, as it has been for centuries before and lasted until the gaining independence of Ukraine.
The relics presented at the exhibition that found during the expedition «Cheremkha – 2016» in Zakarpatska region, at the positions of the First World War that passed throughout the mountain Kukule, by the searchers of All-Ukrainian public organization «Union "People's Memory"» (Ya.O. Zhylkin as a chairman), who annually keep watch memory on the fields of battle of the First and Second World Wars. Recently they joined the humanitarian mission «Black Tulip» for search, exhumation and delivery to the territory controlled by the Ukrainian authorities the remains of fallen soldiers, the grandchildren and the great grandchildren, the participants of World Wars, who defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country in its eastern regions.
The preservation of the memory of those killed is one of the indicators of the level of civilization of nations. Let us offer our greetings to the memory of fallen Ukrainian soldiers killed in all times, in all wars!
An integral part of the exhibition «From the trenches of the First World War» is the materials from the collection of the researcher Dmytro Pirkl that are informed us of activities of Union for the Liberation of Ukraine (SVU) which is one of the factors of struggle of Ukrainian people for obtaining of statehood.
Episodes of combat life at the «zero» and in the front zone: artillery duel, trenches, dugouts, and large number of shot bullets, blood on bandages, «two hundred» who were standing side by side with their sworn brothers even yesterday defending their native land, destroyed houses and 12 sunflowers as the 12 apostles of faith in our Victory who appear from the frontline photo...
You are at the exhibition of the famous Ukrainian photojournalist «Oleksandr Klymenko. From combat album». It is based on feelings, associations, semantic parallels from which a picture of the war is composed and which was seen by the man with the camera.
What an exhibition is about? Oleksandr Klymenko answers himself:
«In these moments in the east ... the people of my country are dying. I want you to know about it. That is why I ride to war; I try to bring to people what is going on there through the pictures and show the heroism of ordinary Ukrainians who defend the independence of its state, and perhaps also the freedom of Europe. I'm not a soldier, I'm only a photojournalist».
About the author. A native of Chernihiv region. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Journalism of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Since 1991 till now he is a photojournalist of the newspaper «Voice of Ukraine». The first military plots were filmed in 1992 in Transnistria. Then, there were former Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
He was wounded in January 2014 during the Revolution of Dignity. He repeatedly rode to the area of hostilities from the beginning of the Russian military aggression in the East of Ukraine. He is the author of four photo albums: «Ukraine. 10 years of development» (2001), «Peacekeeping activity of the Ukrainian army. The First Decade» (2004), «Through the Fire and the Tears» (2009), «The Frontline Album» (2016).
He had personal photo exhibitions at the UN Headquarters in New York (2012), at NATO Headquarters in Brussels (2012, 2013, 2014), in Lithuania (2015), in Poland (2015, 2016), in Luxembourg (2015), he was a participant of collective exhibitions about the war in Ukraine in the UK Parliament (2015) and in Denmark (2014).
The exhibition «The Death Road» was created for the 75th anniversary of the Babyn Yar. It showed enormous scope of the Nazi genocide directed against Jews and Roma in Europe, including Ukraine. It was introduced more than 500 exhibits.
The main idea of the exhibition is to remind the world community the paradigmatic truth that the right to life and freedom is the highest value of humanity, and despite any manifestations of xenophobia and chauvinism of totalitarian systems the future is created only according to the ideals of democracy, tolerance and civilized resolution of conflicts; due to the key aspects to understand the most diverse dimensions of this tragedy and to be involved in solving of contemporary problems.
Documentary and relic items, placed at the exhibition, are grouped into three thematic clusters: «When the World Is Falling Apart», «The Crushed Sound» and «The Death Walks the Earth».
Documentary and relic items, placed at the exhibition, are grouped into three thematic clusters: «When the World Is Falling Apart», «The Crushed Sound» and «The Death Walks the Earth».
Documentary and relic items, placed at the exhibition, are grouped into three thematic clusters: «When the World Is Falling Apart», «The Crushed Sound» and «The Death Walks the Earth».
In the first one there is a relic composition «When the World Is Falling Apart» that have the very same name of dominant artistic panel of Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko, in the context of which the Babyn Yar tragedy appears as an image of memory and simultaneously the shame of the twentieth century. In this cluster there are the authentic cobblestones from Melnykova Street, along which the death road of the Jews – Kyiv residents passed through to Babyn Yar, as well as the hurriedly packaged things of deprived people, photo enlargements, works of art, post cards that expose the occupation policy of the Nazis and emotionally prepare the visitor for the perception and awareness of the Babyn Yar tragedy.
The second cluster «The Crushed Sound» has the same name as an artistic panel. In the center of the composition there is a piano. In one time, this musical instrument belonged to 32-year-old Kyiv resident Yelyzaveta Briskman-Repnina, who died in Babyn Yar in September 1941.
The third cluster «The Death Walks the Earth» reveals the essence of the «Jewish Question» in Nazi ideology and shows the Holocaust in Ukraine as a means of its «decision». Postcards, newspapers, documents, personal belongings of genocide victims form the basis for documentary exposition.
«…The events of the past require us to educate new generations on the principles of respect for human dignity, tolerance, fundamental rights and freedoms of a person. That’s exactly what Ukraine is struggling for», – the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko pointed out in a speech in Knesset of the State of Israel in December 2015.
«Airport ... Hell’s Lane» is the first attempt to talk in museum about the epic of defense of Ukrainian Thermopylae – Donetsk Sergey Prokofiev International Airport which continued during 242 days.
All those days the Ukrainian nation holding its breath watched the development of events in the terminals that were shot with bullets and other buildings of the airport, was proud of the courage of sons of the nation and prayed for them. And they have won.
It was not just a military victory: the enemy did not seize strategically important object. It was a moral victory. The victory of the defenders’ fortitude of Motherland who fought for the fate of Ukraine which destiny was determined on the ruins of the airport. The constructions of buildings did not endure but «cyborgs» didn’t give up.
A year later we remember all those who were writing the history of defense of Donetsk airport and positions around it day by day. They did this in hellish battles giving their blood, strength and lives.
Honor and glory to the soldiers and commanders of units:
the 1st Separate Guards Tank Brigade, the 17th Separate Tank Brigade, the 93rd Separate Mechanized Brigade, the 57th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade, the 79th Separate Airborne Brigade, the 80th Separate Airborne Brigade, the 81st Separate Airborne Brigade, the 95th Separate Airborne Brigade, the 3rd Separate Special Forces Regiment, the 74th Separate Reconnaissance Battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Mariupol Battle group of Special Forces Regiment of MIA «Dnepr-1», the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps «Right Sector», the Volunteer Battalion of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Separate Volunteer unit «Carpathian Sich», They have become heroes of TV, radio and Internet plots, newspaper articles, books, movies and museum exhibitions.
The exhibition «Airport ... Hell’s Lane» is the special project of the museum organized for the anniversary events. Materials have been gathered all over Ukraine. The most valuable things left in memory of the fallen defenders of the airport (photos, documents and personal belongings) were given to the museum by parents and widows. Cyborgs’ smoked and covered with the airport dust military equipment has been sent by the post or with the help of volunteers from different regions of Ukraine where now defenders of Donetsk stronghold serve or live after demobilization.
«Wounded car» during the battle for the airport «ISUZU TROOPER» was transported from Kirovohrad. Soldiers of the 3rd Separate Special Forces Regiment consider it as a member of their unit.
Serhii Loiko, the correspondent of «Los Angeles Times» was the only representative of foreign media who stayed at the airport during the siege. He gave the photographs to the museum that reflect the tension of confrontation.
The exhibition was created in such a way. The composition «Airport … Hell’s Gate to Heaven» is its culmination and dedicated to the last defenders of the airport who died under ruins of buildings when metal and concrete did not stand the test of fire.
Remember their faces and names.
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!