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Ukraine’s Must-See Spots for Military History Buffs

25. January 2013 by Lorena 0 Comments

If you are fascinated with military history, Ukraine has a wealth of riches for you. Ukraine’s military history stretches all the way back to the campaigns of the Kievav Rus, through the exploits of the mighty Cossack warriors and into the twentieth century, when Ukraine was an important part of the Soviet Union’s military structure. There are museums and monuments throughout the country that commemorate Ukraine’s military history.

 

A few to check out:

 

In Vinnytsya

Vinnystya, located near the center of Ukraine, has also been central to many important moments of Ukraine’s military history. In 1651, the Cossacks defeated Polish invaders inside Vinnystya. The city was the site where the first Ukrainian president declared Ukraine’s independence in 1917. When Hitler invaded, he set up his headquarters not far from the city of Vinnytsya. While very few World War II buildings exist in Vinnytsya – they were all destroyed during the conflict – the city remembers its history and shares it in monuments, museums and memorials.

 

Afghan War Museum – Vinnytsya

When you visit the Afghan War Museum and the neighboring Slavic War Memorial Park, you can learn about the history of Vinnystya and its citizens’ involvement in the Soviet-Afghan War through pictures and displays.

 

Glory Memorial and War Memorial Park – Vinnytsya

Monuments in this park memorialize residents of Vinnytsya who died fighting in World War II and the Soviet-Afghan War. 79 war heroes are buried in the park, and the names of 6,486 Vinnytsyans who died in World War II adorn the park’s eternal flame monument. Visitors praise the park’s calm atmosphere and pleasant scenery.

 

Werwolf

About seven miles north of Vinnytsya lies the rubble of the Easternmost military complex personally used by Adoplh Hitler. The complex once consisted of about 20 cottages, two military bunkers, a bathhouse, a sauna, a barbershop, and even a cinema and swimming pool for the use of those stationed there. When the Nazis were forced out of the region, they destroyed the complex, and all of their records of the installment. All that remains is the pool and a few concrete fragments. Werwolf is now a recreation center. A monument to the laborers killed by Nazis and buried near Werwolf was erected nearby.

 

In Kiev

Kiev was frequently caught in the middle; it was the site of battles between the Polish, Russian and Ukrainian Bolshevic forces during the Russian Revolution, the Polish-Soviet War, the Polish-Ukrainian War and other conflicts. Kiev was also important in military aeronautics; the first helicopter was built in Kiev by Igor Sikorsky. 

Museum of the History of Weapons in Kiev

This private museum in Kiev has examples of weapons from every era, starting in the Paleolithic Age and continuing to modern times. The collection includes weapons used all over the world, including collections of Japanese, African and a special collection of firearms of the world. Be sure to take a look at both the Kievan Rus and Cossack weapons to understand more about warfare and weaponry in the history of Ukraine.

 

Great Patriotic War Museum - Kiev

The idea for a museum in Kiev commemorating the Ukrainians’ fight against their German invaders first took root in 1943. A small display called The Guerillas of Ukraine in Their Fight against Fascist German Invaders was erected in 1946. The full museum would not be constructed until the 1970s. Now, the Great Patriotic War Museum in Kiev is the largest and most comprehensive museum in the country. There are nearly 300 thousand permanent exhibits in the museum and 24 million people visit it each year.

 

In Chernihiv

 

Chernihiv Military History Museum

World War II is called The Great Patriotic War by those in the Eastern Front countries that Germany began invading in 1941. The Chernihiv Military History Museum, one of the three museums housed in the Chernihiv Historical Museum, uses its displays to tell the stories of the guerilla fighters and war camp prisoners from Chernihiv and their 1943 victory over their invaders.

 

Photos: Wikicommons