Russia Victory Museum, Moscow, Russia

Russia Victory Museum (Музей Победы), also known as the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War, is an integral and at the same time the main part of the memorial complex on Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow. It should be noted that the idea of such a monument created in Russia for a long time. It originated back in 1942, when the Soviet Union Architects announced a competition to design the memorial in honor of our Victory.

The Museum of the Great Patriotic War is a history museum located in Moscow at Poklonnaya Gora. The building was designed by architect Anatoly Polyansky. Work on the museum began on March 3, 1986, and the museum was opened to the public on May 9, 1995. The museum features exhibits and memorials concerning World War II, known in Russia as “The Great Patriotic War”.

The museum features 14,143 square meters of exhibit space for permanent collections and an additional 5,500 square meters for temporary exhibits. Near the entry to the museum is the Hall of Commanders, which features a decorative “Sword and Shield of Victory” and bronze busts of recipients of the Order of Victory, the highest military honor awarded by the Soviet Union.

In the center of the museum is the Hall of Glory, a white marble room which features the names of over 11,800 of the recipients of the Hero of the Soviet Union distinction. A large bronze sculpture, the “Soldier of Victory,” stands in the center of this hall. Below lies the Hall of Remembrance and Sorrow, which honors Soviet people who died in the war. This room is dimly lit and strings of glass beads hang from the ceiling, symbolizing tears shed for the dead.

The museum is a unique memorial complex designed to perpetuate the memory of the heroism and courage displayed by Soviet soldiers during the Great Patriotic War. The museum conducts scientific, cultural and educational work, organizes events for the patriotic education of young people – schoolchildren and students, provides information to visitors.

The exposition of the museum opens the Hall of the Generals, which houses the gallery of the Knights of the Order “Victory” – the highest military order established by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of November 8, 1943, which was awarded to senior officers for the successful conduct of combat operations on the scale of one or several fronts. Bronze busts of Soviet cavaliers of the Order of Victory of Zurab Tsereteli’s works are installed along the perimeter of the Hall. Above the busts of the Knights of the Order “Victory” on the stylized heraldic shields are depicted images of military orders of the Russian and Soviet armies.

On the upper landing of the front staircase, in front of the Hall of Glory, is the artistic and decorative composition “Shield and Sword of Victory”. In the illuminated display window there are decorative shields, sword and scabbard presented to the museum by the Government of the Russian Federation on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Victory. The sword was made by the company “LiK” (authors Lokhtachev Alexander, Manush Grigory and Lokhtacheva Nina) from Zlatoust steel. The products are artistically decorated and richly decorated with non-ferrous metals and Ural gems: topaz, quartz, garnets, beryl, aquamarines, citrine.

The Hall of Glory is the central hall of the Victory Museum. It is designed to perpetuate the names of the Heroes of the Soviet Union who received this title for the deeds committed during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. On the snow-white marble pylons are carved the names of more than 11,800 Heroes of the Soviet Union and Heroes of the Russian Federation.

In the center of the room there is a bronze sculpture “Soldier of Victory” (sculptor VI Znoba), on a granite pedestal a sword made by Tula gunsmiths is placed at its foot. On either side of the entrance to the hall, there are busts of thrice Heroes of the Soviet Union pilots AI Pokryshkin and I. N. Kozhedub. Under the dome of the room – bas-reliefs of hero cities. Frames the dome of an oak wreath symbolizing the triumph of the Victory, in the center of the dome – the colorful order “Victory”. In the Hall of Glory, solemn military-patriotic events are held: the reception of the military oath, the dedication to the Suvorovites, the awarding of diplomas to the graduates of the MosU of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia named after V.Ya. Kikotya.

The central object of the Hall of Memory and Sorrow is the sculptural group “Grieving Mother”, made of white marble (author – L. Kerbel, carvers in marble PA Nosov, IT T. Kruglov). The hall is designed to perpetuate and honor the memory of 26 million 600 thousand Soviet citizens who died and are missing.

Its walls are decorated with red, black and scarlet tones in marble, and the floor is lined with polished marble tiles. On the edges of the passage to the center are ramps covered with a red cloth. The ceiling of the Hall of Memory is artistically decorated with pendants made of brass chains, to which are attached “lenses”, symbolizing tears that have been weeping for the dead. Silence is provided by sound-absorbing blocks made of basalt fiber, wrapped in fiberglass. On the walls of the hall there are muffled lamps in the form of funeral candles. In the Hall of Memory, minor music sounds, most often Mozart’s Requiem.

During the existence of the museum, it contains a large collection of items telling about the Great Patriotic War: weapons, military equipment, uniforms, awards, photographs, newsreels, war documents, front letters, artworks: paintings, sculpture, graphics, posters.

The exposition of the museum presents six dioramas dedicated to the largest military operations of the Great Patriotic War, created by famous masters of the Military Artists’ Studio. M. Grekova:

“Counter-offensive of Soviet troops near Moscow in December 1941”
“The Battle of Stalingrad. Connecting Fronts »
“Leningrad blockade”
“The Battle of Kursk”
“Forcing the Dnieper”
“Sturm of Berlin.”
Features of the exposition – audio, video complexes, showing the real chronicle of the war years, rare photographs, cartographic, archival materials. Here, the visible material memory of the past war is present in the original relics of the fiery years, which are evidence of the heroic, tragic pages of the national heroic deed, recreating the atmosphere of wartime. For example, this is a fragment of a tree with the stabbing spar of the BM-13 rocket (“Katyusha”) of Captain Flerov’s battery, connected with the Battle of Moscow.

The upper floors feature numerous exhibits about the war, including dioramas depicting major battles, photographs of wartime activities, weapons and munitions, uniforms, awards, newsreels, letters from the battlefront, and model aircraft. In addition, the museum maintains an electronic “memory book” which attempts to record the name and fate of every Russian soldier who died in World War II.

To perpetuate the memory of the defenders of the homeland, who did not return from the Great Patriotic War, in 1995 an electronic Memory Book was created in the Museum. The electronic Nominal Catalog contains the names of the deceased, the missing, the deceased from the wounds and illnesses of the soldiers. The department also stores about 1500 volumes of the All-Union Book of Memory, where the names lists brief information about the fate of millions of soldiers.

A number of regional Memory Books contain brief historical information on combat operations in their territory, data on military units, places of hospital and burial places, statistical data, description of rear services in the war years, articles about fellow countrymen.

In the Victory Park under the open sky a unique exhibition of military equipment and engineering fortifications has been unveiled. There are more than 300 samples of heavy equipment from the USSR and its allies, Germany and its allies taking part in the battles.