Welcome to Mamayev Kurgan, a blog about memorials, monuments and museums relating to the Second World War in the former Soviet Union, or the Great Patriotic War as it is known in most of the former Soviet republics. The name comes from the hill in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) on which probably the most famous memorial, The Motherland Calls (Родина Мать зовёт), is situated.

I will be posting photos and various musings about memorials, museums, tanks, bunkers and anything else that I think may be relevant or of interest. I hope you enjoy it. All photographs are my own, unless otherwise stated. This means that some of them aren’t particularly good, but I hope that they give an impression of the place in question.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome via the contact page.

David Galbraith

Kildare, Ireland, 2012

Copyright 2012-2013 David Galbraith

7 Responses to About

  1. Absolutely great work. Congratulations. I really didn´t know about the quantities of memorials in Russia and the old URSS.

  2. How long have you spent travelling to all these places? There’s so many amazing and interesting Soviet monuments, but so many are so inaccessible.

    • I’ve been to Russia twice….once for about 10 days (Moscow, Kursk & Volgograd) and once for 2 months, mostly in Kaliningrad, but with a few days each in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd & Novorossiysk. I’ve been to Belarus 4 times, being Irish has been an advantage as citizens of countries where there’s no Belarussian embassy can get get a visa at Minsk airport (it all has to be arranged with a travel company in advance but you don’t have to send your passport away). Ukraine is obviously easier because you don’t need a visa…I’ve been about 5 times!

      By the way the World ice hockey championships are in Minsk in May next year and there’ll be visa-free entry for ticket-holders (single-match ticket prices start at €6!)

  3. Nick says:

    Just discovered your blog while researching a piece I’m writing on Transnistria – some great stuff here David! I’m really into Soviet monuments and memorials too, so it’s right up my street. These kinds of questions are always tough to answer, but I was wondering whether you have any favourite Soviet war memorials out of all the ones you’ve visited. Maybe a top three?

    • Thanks for the comment Nick. My favourites?….hmmm. The Motherland Calls and the whole Mamayev Kurgan complex in Volgograd, obviously. I love the Defence Line monument in Novorossiysk. I didn’t know about it before I visited the city so it was a nice surprise, and I wrote my MA thesis about the battlles in the area in 1943 so I guess I feel a bit of a connection! For sheer scale, Brest Fortress is hard to beat. I liked the “Eternity” cemetery in Chisinau. One more for a top 5….let’s see. Maybe the Baltic Fleet Pilots monument in Kaliningrad…I spent very enjoyable couple of months there and it’s fairly close to where I stayed. And how could you not like a giant paper dart?

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