Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Kyiv)

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Ukrainian: Могила невідомого солдата) is a war memorial located in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, dedicated to the soldiers of the Red Army killed in the Second World War. It is situated at the Memorial of Eternal Glory inside the Park of Eternal Glory.[1] The memorial is a 27 meters high obelisk, with an eternal flame burning at the tomb. The Alley of Heroes leads to the tomb.[2]

The tomb in 2008.


The tomb was opened on 6 November 1957, on the eve of the ruby jubilee of the October Revolution.[3] On 8 May 1967, is was dedicated to the memory of all the unknown Ukrainian soldiers who gave their lives in the Liberation of Ukraine.[4] International dignitaries such as U.S. President Richard Nixon,[5][6] Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev,[7] Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius,[8] Russian President Vladimir Putin,[9] and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan[10] have visited and laid wreaths at the tomb. It is official protocol by the State Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for dignitaries on state visits to lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The British government has annually held Remembrance Day services at the tomb.[11]

Since Ukrainian decommunization laws came into effect in 2015, the monument has become a divisive symbol between the pro-Russian population and the nationalist population.[12] In August 2016, neo-Nazis destroyed the memorial on the grave of the unknown soldier. On 7 November 2017 which was the day after the monument's 60th anniversary, vandals filled the eternal flame with wet cement, thus ceasing the flame for the first time since its inception. The flame was later re-lit by authorities.[13]


See also