Towering over the City of Kiev
Nicknamed the Iron Maiden, Brezhnev’s mother, and Mother Motherland, an angry goddess dominates the skies above the Dnieper River in Kiev. Weighing 1,000 tons, 15 times the weight of Lady Liberty, and reaching 68 meters into the sky, conveys the shock and rage of war. Dynamic and fierce, the surprisingly girlish and vaguely eerie face commemorates the Siege of Stalingrad and memorializes the 200 days of the Battle of Stalingrad during the Second World War. Over 1.1 million Soviet soldiers died during the bloody weeks, and more than twice as many Russian civilians perished as well.
Authentic and formidable, Rodina-Mat is one of the most recognized examples of the iron-fisted power of the now defunct Soviet Empire. Considered the Mother Goddess of Russia and opened by President Leonid Brezhnev when Ukraine was still under the thumb of the Soviet state, the stainless steel statue can be seen for miles along the Volga River, commanding the Kiev skyline. Appearing in movement as if her force can still be summoned to the rallying cry of war, the Iron Maiden’s 70 foot long sword is so formidable and high in the sky that a red navigation light is affixed on its tip to alert low-flying aircraft.
Significant structural engineering and the talent of sculptor, Yevgeny Vuchetich, brought the iron warrior goddess to life when Russian patriotism still raged. Rumored to be a bit unsteady on her plinth, tourists still flock to see the warrior goddess before entering the somber underground Museum of the Great Patriotic War to learn the history behind the Iron Maiden’s fury.