Opening of the Museum’s main building

Today, the long-awaited event took place when all territory and the main building of the War Museum were finally open to visitors!

From now on, anyone who wants can get as close as possible to the renovated Motherland monument and take a detailed look at the Trident, the symbol of the Princely State of Volodymyr the Great installed on the shield of the sculpture.

Although the permanent exhibition was closed from February 2022, the museum staff have opened new relevant exhibitions in the main building, which will not leave anyone indifferent. Besides, from today, the Memorial’s exhibition spaces are open to the public, though before it was a limited access.

At the official opening, Acting Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Rostyslav Karandieiev emphasized that the Museum team didn’t stop its work from the beginning of the large-scale invasion, despite the closed main building, including the area around the Motherland monument. In the conditions of martial law, the museum workers equipped completely new exhibition spaces, went on field expeditions and collected materials that tell about the current Russian-Ukrainian war. Mr. Minister expressed confidence that now, when the Museum is able to use all its resources, this place will turn into a real center of museology, will become an educational and cultural center of all-Ukrainian and international scale.

Director General of the War Museum Yurii Savchuk shared details about the opening and talked about the exhibitions that can be seen in the main building now. On the first floor, there are three exhibition locations at once: “Redefinition”, “Our Treasury” and “Guerre en Ukraine” by the street artist from France Christian Guémy, known in the world as C215, as well as the “French Banksy”. On the floor above, there is an exhibition “Threat from the Sky”, which presents various types of drones used by the Russian aggressors for reconnaissance and defeating ground targets. It is here that you can safely and closely see such deadly objects of ingenuity as “Shahed” and “Orlan”, which have never been exhibited in Ukraine. 

The exhibition “Redefinition” is represented by one exhibit – the Soviet coat of arms, removed from the shield of the Motherland monument. The replacement of symbols on the highest sculpture in Europe became the most noticeable moment in the processes of decommunization of our society and redefinition of the entire Memorial complex. This summer, by the 32nd anniversary of the Independence of Ukraine, it was possible to achieve what seemed impossible for decades – to get rid of the symbol of totalitarianism and oppression on one of the most famous symbols of our capital and Ukraine as a whole. Now this outdated coat of arms is a part of our history, an artifact that no longer defines our present.

However, as the Director General noted, the Museum actually presents two more unique things, each of which can be called “Exhibition of one exhibit”. Under the ceiling there is a flag of Ukraine, removed from the flagpole near the Monument on March 5, 2022. This flag became a “witness” of the first days of the full-scale invasion and for 10 days (from February 24 to March 5) it inspired hope in the hearts of each Ukrainian.

The second one is the longest flag of Ukraine, which was unfurled on January 22, 2018, on the Day of the National Assembly of Ukraine, in Khreshchatyk Street in Kyiv. It was created by treasurers from all regions of the country as part of the All-Ukrainian campaign “Unite Ukraine!” and even entered the Book of Records of Ukraine. This flag became part of the exhibition “Our Treasury”, which highlights nationwide social initiatives and charitable actions realized by the State Treasury Service of Ukraine.

We invite residents and guests of Kyiv to visit the Museum – a place where history is not only told, but also created!