Pl. Shashkevycha – Monument to the Victims of Communist Crimes

ID: 133

The monument was established in 1997 on the initiative of Vasyl Kubiv, a Soviet political prisoner, in the place where a monument to Yuriy Melnychuk, a Soviet publicist, stood previously.


The area in its present-day shape was formed near the church of St. Mary Magdalen in the early 20th c., when the area at the end of Sykstuska (now Doroshenka) and Kopernika streets were parcelled and built up with residential houses. In the early 20th c. this place was considered as a site for the construction of a Ukrainian theater, but the project designed by Ivan Levynskyi (Jan Lewiński) was not implemented.

From 1964 the square was named after Yuriy Melnychuk, a Soviet publicist and a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In 1973 a monument to him was installed there; it was dismantled in 1991. In 1992, on the initiative of Vasyl Kubiv, a Soviet political prisoner, a stone with an inscription "There will be a monument to victims of communist crimes here" was placed there. The choice of this place for such a monument was due to the proximity of the prison building (its present-day address is vul. Bandery, 1-3), which was the site of crimes committed by various totalitarian regimes. At the end of June 1941, before the retreat of the Soviet troops, the secret services executed the prisoners of this prison, and in July of the same year, bloody Jewish pogrom took place.

The monument was installed in 1997.

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The monument consists of an expressive male figure breaking massive bars is cast in bronze and stands on a complexly shaped granite pedestal. Below, there is an inscription reading "To the Victims of communist crimes", nearby the trident is depicted surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves against the background of the equilateral Cossack cross. The authors of the monument are sculptor Petro Shtayer and architect Roman Syvenkyi. Along with the monument installation, a large area was paved with cobblestones, granite and concrete tiles, trees were planted in a circle around the monument.