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).

The Death Road

The exhibition «The Death Road» was created for the 75th anniversary of the Babyn Yar. It showed enormous scope of the Nazi genocide directed against Jews and Roma in Europe, including Ukraine. It was introduced more than 500 exhibits.

The main idea of the exhibition is to remind the world community the paradigmatic truth that the right to life and freedom is the highest value of humanity, and despite any manifestations of xenophobia and chauvinism of totalitarian systems the future is created only according to the ideals of democracy, tolerance and civilized resolution of conflicts; due to the key aspects to understand the most diverse dimensions of this tragedy and to be involved in solving of contemporary problems.

Documentary and relic items, placed at the exhibition, are grouped into three thematic clusters: «When the World Is Falling Apart», «The Crushed Sound» and «The Death Walks the Earth».

Documentary and relic items, placed at the exhibition, are grouped into three thematic clusters: «When the World Is Falling Apart», «The Crushed Sound» and «The Death Walks the Earth».

Documentary and relic items, placed at the exhibition, are grouped into three thematic clusters: «When the World Is Falling Apart», «The Crushed Sound» and «The Death Walks the Earth».

In the first one there is a relic composition «When the World Is Falling Apart» that have the very same name of dominant artistic panel of Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko, in the context of which the Babyn Yar tragedy appears as an image of memory and simultaneously the shame of the twentieth century. In this cluster there are the authentic cobblestones from Melnykova Street, along which the death road of the Jews – Kyiv residents passed through to Babyn Yar, as well as the hurriedly packaged things of deprived people, photo enlargements, works of art, post cards that expose the occupation policy of the Nazis and emotionally prepare the visitor for the perception and awareness of the Babyn Yar tragedy.

The second cluster «The Crushed Sound» has the same name as an artistic panel. In the center of the composition there is a piano. In one time, this musical instrument belonged to 32-year-old Kyiv resident Yelyzaveta Briskman-Repnina, who died in Babyn Yar in September 1941.

The third cluster «The Death Walks the Earth» reveals the essence of the «Jewish Question» in Nazi ideology and shows the Holocaust in Ukraine as a means of its «decision». Postcards, newspapers, documents, personal belongings of genocide victims form the basis for documentary exposition.

«…The events of the past require us to educate new generations on the principles of respect for human dignity, tolerance, fundamental rights and freedoms of a person. That’s exactly what Ukraine is struggling for», – the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko pointed out in a speech in Knesset of the State of Israel in December 2015.

Donetsk Airport ... Hell’s Lane

«Airport ... Hell’s Lane» is the first attempt to talk in museum about the epic of defense of Ukrainian Thermopylae – Donetsk Sergey Prokofiev International Airport which continued during 242 days.

All those days the Ukrainian nation holding its breath watched the development of events in the terminals that were shot with bullets and other buildings of the airport, was proud of the courage of sons of the nation and prayed for them. And they have won.

It was not just a military victory: the enemy did not seize strategically important object. It was a moral victory. The victory of the defenders’ fortitude of Motherland who fought for the fate of Ukraine which destiny was determined on the ruins of the airport. The constructions of buildings did not endure but «cyborgs» didn’t give up.

A year later we remember all those who were writing the history of defense of Donetsk airport and positions around it day by day. They did this in hellish battles giving their blood, strength and lives.

Honor and glory to the soldiers and commanders of units:

the 1st Separate Guards Tank Brigade, the 17th Separate Tank Brigade, the 93rd Separate Mechanized Brigade, the 57th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade, the 79th Separate Airborne Brigade, the 80th Separate Airborne Brigade, the 81st Separate Airborne Brigade, the 95th Separate Airborne Brigade, the 3rd Separate Special Forces Regiment, the 74th Separate Reconnaissance Battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Mariupol Battle group of Special Forces Regiment of MIA «Dnepr-1», the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps «Right Sector», the Volunteer Battalion of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Separate Volunteer unit «Carpathian Sich», They have become heroes of TV, radio and Internet plots, newspaper articles, books, movies and museum exhibitions.

The exhibition «Airport ... Hell’s Lane» is the special project of the museum organized for the anniversary events. Materials have been gathered all over Ukraine. The most valuable things left in memory of the fallen defenders of the airport (photos, documents and personal belongings) were given to the museum by parents and widows. Cyborgs’ smoked and covered with the airport dust military equipment has been sent by the post or with the help of volunteers from different regions of Ukraine where now defenders of Donetsk stronghold serve or live after demobilization.

«Wounded car» during the battle for the airport «ISUZU TROOPER» was transported from Kirovohrad. Soldiers of the 3rd Separate Special Forces Regiment consider it as a member of their unit.

Serhii Loiko, the correspondent of «Los Angeles Times» was the only representative of foreign media who stayed at the airport during the siege. He gave the photographs to the museum that reflect the tension of confrontation.

The exhibition was created in such a way. The composition «Airport … Hell’s Gate to Heaven» is its culmination and dedicated to the last defenders of the airport who died under ruins of buildings when metal and concrete did not stand the test of fire.

Remember their faces and names.

Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!

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