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Oleksandr Klymenko. From combat album

Episodes of combat life at the «zero» and in the front zone: artillery duel, trenches, dugouts, and large number of shot bullets, blood on bandages, «two hundred» who were standing side by side with their sworn brothers even yesterday defending their native land, destroyed houses and 12 sunflowers as the 12 apostles of faith in our Victory who appear from the frontline photo...

You are at the exhibition of the famous Ukrainian photojournalist «Oleksandr Klymenko. From combat album». It is based on feelings, associations, semantic parallels from which a picture of the war is composed and which was seen by the man with the camera.

What an exhibition is about? Oleksandr Klymenko answers himself:

«In these moments in the east ... the people of my country are dying. I want you to know about it. That is why I ride to war; I try to bring to people what is going on there through the pictures and show the heroism of ordinary Ukrainians who defend the independence of its state, and perhaps also the freedom of Europe. I'm not a soldier, I'm only a photojournalist».

About the author. A native of Chernihiv region. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Journalism of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Since 1991 till now he is a photojournalist of the newspaper «Voice of Ukraine». The first military plots were filmed in 1992 in Transnistria. Then, there were former Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He was wounded in January 2014 during the Revolution of Dignity. He repeatedly rode to the area of hostilities from the beginning of the Russian military aggression in the East of Ukraine. He is the author of four photo albums: «Ukraine. 10 years of development» (2001), «Peacekeeping activity of the Ukrainian army. The First Decade» (2004), «Through the Fire and the Tears» (2009), «The Frontline Album» (2016).

He had personal photo exhibitions at the UN Headquarters in New York (2012), at NATO Headquarters in Brussels (2012, 2013, 2014), in Lithuania (2015), in Poland (2015, 2016), in Luxembourg (2015), he was a participant of collective exhibitions about the war in Ukraine in the UK Parliament (2015) and in Denmark (2014).

Ukrainian East

Museum exhibition project the «Ukrainian East» is created for the Day of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes and is dedicated to the victory and sacrifice of patriots of Ukraine who are currently defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity in the eastern part of our country.

This is the second museum project in this topic. The first one was the «Ukraine. The realities of modern warfare» consisted of ten exhibitions. For three years the employees of National Museum have collected more than 4000 authentic exhibits that give an accurate portrayal of the events in Eastern Ukraine. Half of them are represented at a new exhibition; the majority of them are exhibited for the first time.

The team of journalists of «1+1» TV Channel of the Television Service of News (TSN) and the volunteers of «Black Tulip» Humanitarian Mission are the partners of the project.

Structurally, the exhibition consists of sections which tell of the participation of various military formations and volunteer battalions in combat operations in Eastern Ukraine.

The chaplains who care about the life of a soldier, the doctors who are designed to treat wounded soldiers' bodies in the field, the volunteers whose unselfish assistance saved our men especially in the first months of confrontation, the journalists whose reports bring us the bitter truth about the war are united in symbolic battalions in the exhibition.

A symbolic «foreign legion» is presented at the exhibition in recognition of the fraternal assistance. Among the defenders there are Belarusians, Georgians, Chechens and the representatives of other nations who protect Ukraine.

Taken together, these museum stories reflect the heroic and tragic events of 2014 – 2017 where the fate of Ukraine is being solved today. In the prologue to the exhibition there is a collection of flags and chevrons given to the Museum directly by combatants.

Accent composition of the exhibition the «Way of the Cross» symbolizes the bloody price which is being paid by our people for the right to live freely in their country. The difficult fate of residents of Donbas who were in the war zone is represented in the composition of «Civilians».

The gallery of works of famous press photographers supplements the picture of events in the Ukrainian East. The lines of the National Anthem of Ukraine and the poems of famous Ukrainian poets emphasize the idea of the exhibition about sacrifice of our people in struggle for freedom and invincible faith in the victory. Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Heroes!

From the trenches of the First World War

These soldiers’ relics have got to us from the trenches of the First World War. As living witnesses of the violent events, they can tell a lot, you just have to listen to it.

1916... Zakarpattia, the mountain Kukule... The sky is burning glow. The screams, groans, roar of shells and whistle bullets are merged in one hum. There is a bloody confrontation...

This is one of the episodes of the First World War. The war has separated the sons of Ukraine divided by Zbruch on different sides of the front.

Almost 3,5 million of Ukrainians were mobilized in 1914 – 1917 into the army of the Russian Empire. Every tenth of them was killed. In the army of another empire, Austria-Hungary fought more than 700 thousand of Ukrainians. 320 thousand of these people were killed or wounded. They gave their lives and health, they fought «brother against brother», for the interests of foreign states, not having their own country, as it has been for centuries before and lasted until the gaining independence of Ukraine.

The relics presented at the exhibition that found during the expedition «Cheremkha – 2016» in Zakarpatska region, at the positions of the First World War that passed throughout the mountain Kukule, by the searchers of All-Ukrainian public organization «Union "People's Memory"» (Ya.O. Zhylkin as a chairman), who annually keep watch memory on the fields of battle of the First and Second World Wars. Recently they joined the humanitarian mission «Black Tulip» for search, exhumation and delivery to the territory controlled by the Ukrainian authorities the remains of fallen soldiers, the grandchildren and the great grandchildren, the participants of World Wars, who defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country in its eastern regions.

The preservation of the memory of those killed is one of the indicators of the level of civilization of nations. Let us offer our greetings to the memory of fallen Ukrainian soldiers killed in all times, in all wars!

An integral part of the exhibition «From the trenches of the First World War» is the materials from the collection of the researcher Dmytro Pirkl that are informed us of activities of Union for the Liberation of Ukraine (SVU) which is one of the factors of struggle of Ukrainian people for obtaining of statehood.

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