This major museum and memorial complex is located at the spot where Marshal Ivan Konev (1897–1973), in command of the Steppe Front, established his command post in preparation for the operation to liberate Kharkov (for the second time) in August 1943. After the war, commemorative events were regularly held, and in 1980, an 18.5-m-tall obelisk was built by sculptor D. Soviy and architect N. Krasnolobov.
In 2003, under a decree marking the 60th anniversary of the city’s liberation, the complex was greatly expanded and the decision to build a museum on the site was made. The winning entry was produced by P.G. Chechelnitsky, O. A. Malshinskaya, D.A. Tarasenko and A. Tkachenko. The museum, “Kharkov During the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945,” opened on August 23, 2005, the 62nd anniversary of Kharkov’s final liberation.
A T-34/85 tank, a ZiS-2 57-mm anti-tank gun, a ZiS-3 76-mm field gun and an M1943 160-mm mortar are displayed beside the steps leading from the car park to the memorial complex.
The museum features seven rooms, arranged chronologically as follows:
- Kharkov in the pre-war years
- 1941. The start of the war
- Occupation and resistance
- The fighting during 1942 and early 1943
- The final liberation of Kharkov
- The end of the war
Admission to the museum costs UAH15 (about €1.50). The museum opens every day except Monday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The museum’s web site is in Russian and Ukrainian only. Solonitsivka is about 14 km northwest of Kharkov. To get there, take the metro red line to Холодна Гора station (the last stop) and then take bus no. 152 to the museum stop. From here, it is about a mile to the complex.