This is an impressive display by any standard and I feel reflects a lot about the Ukrainian disposition.
It does not wallow in sadness, it does not glorify, it is not hateful and it is not steeped with retribution, although there are the almost obligatory spoils of victory and one or two pointed displays. It just puts it out there for you to take in. The whole thing is superbly presented in detail with a great mix of technical and personal touches. Each hall is decked out in sequence and tells the tale of the conflict well. This display will move even the most ardent hardnoses. Whatever your thoughts are of the Soviet participation in the war, this museam is about the people and thier stories more so than the conflict iself. Outside is the normal heros of the Soviets Union and prominant stone carvings; inside is about the civilian populace as much as the military.
There is more than just the main halls that are carefully divided into various stages of the conflict, there are outside museums and displays of period soviet military equipment and a very interesting if not somewhat lesser presented museum for the Ukrainian participation in the Afghan war. The very interesting and profoundly moving memorial to the inflicted famines of the early 30’s is also located nearby as are the cave monasteries , the parks , the place, sports stadium and of course the pretty lady. Allow yourself a couple of days to explore this bank of the Dnieper if you wish to get a good feel and be able to explore in any detail. This is a truly amazing area with so much on offer in such a small area, but it is on a hill, so wear comfortable shoes.
There were enough interactive displays to set this as a world class if not world leading memorial museum. Entrance to the main building was about 10Hr and I think it was an extra 5Hr to take photos, the outdoor museum was about 10Hr and the Afghan memorial was 5Hr. Yes, that can add up, but believe me when I say it is exceptional value for money.
There is the standard cloak room which is free and the staff were helpful, but with very limited English on the day I was there. I have a basic command of Russian which was helpful. Most displays are in multi languages and there are audio walking tours in the main hall for about 20Hr. I found I didn’t need this as the displays were detailed enough and laid out in a way that promotes understanding, however on my next visit I will indulge for the little extra detail. Next time I will also go back to the 91m view point at about 200Hr as the view is amazing; there is also a lower view point for about 50Hr if I remember rightly.
I have visited in winter and summer and on both occasions the parks were well maintained, relatively free of ice in winter, clean and rubbish free in summer. Wheelchair access can be a bit tricky in places and in winter the normal cautions should be taken.
There are a lot of food vendors in close proximity in summer, but not in the actual site, just at the top of the hill. In summer take plenty of water as the memorial is set into the side of a hill and there is plenty of stairs. It can be quite crowded and very hot in the area in front of the Museum in summer and rather cold in winter.
This is a place well worth the time to visit. I really cannot describe the feelings I had while studying the wall of faces in the museum, but I know I will never forget them.
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