On the 17th of January, in the hall of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II there took place the opening of a museum-exhibitional project called "Ukrainian East".
The partners of the project were the team of journalists of TSN on "1+1" TV-channel and the volunteers of "Black Tulip" Humanitarian mission.
When crossing the threshold of the main entrance to the Museum you are immediately greeted with flags of the battalions and brigades which fought in the ATO zone, the cities and towns proved to be in the zone of the antiterrorist operation. But most of all are Ukrainian national – with signatures and messages of soldiers – survived and deceased.
And then the main hall, filled with lots of different exhibits, each of which tells its own story filled with heroism and sadness.
Here is, put as an iron hill, riddled with chips and bullets the name tags of towns above which there is a plaque with the name of the settlement which fate has become one of the ATO symbols -"Shchastya".
The major part of the exposition consists of things that have been in the very center of the armed hostilities. Here one can see personal things of the deceased, fragments of accoutrements, documents, letters, photos, children's pictures.
The central composition of the exhibition was the ambulance of the 17th battalion of the 57-th separate motorized infantry brigade. Together with the soldiers it has been to "hot spots" of Lugansk and Donetsk Regions. It helped save hundreds of the wounded and take out the deceased. The vehicle is almost new, but the war has left its steps on it. Pockmarks from small pieces and the through-holes from bullets thickly coated its sides.
At the exhibition's opening there gathered more than 100 people - involved and caring. Here there were cadets of National Defense University of Ukraine "Ivan Chernyakhovsky", Military Institute of Telecommunications and Informatization, Military Institute of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev, students of the National Security Service Academy of Ukraine, National Academy of Internal Affairs.
It was nice to see the future defenders of Motherland - students of Ivan Bohun Military Lyceum of Kiev. With them there was their commander – Head of lyceum, Hero of Ukraine Igor Gordiychuk.
Among people in camouflage it was difficult not to notice pupils in vyshivankas. While the museum workers acquainted them with the exhibits, the teachers, studying the exhibits, tried not to lose sight of curious children.
And, of course, the ATO soldiers came with their families too. A little boy during all the exhibition strongly held the arm of his father-militant, being afraid of getting lost in the crowd. An incredibly beautiful girl behaved like an adult. She listened to her dad's stories about the war, and constantly asked him questions, from time to time frowning eyebrows for importance.
The official opening of the exhibition began to the Anthem of Ukraine performed by Evgeniy Romanenko, TaRuta group's leader, and Kyiv and children of education and rehabilitation center children No. 6 (sign language). That one who has ever seen the national Anthem of Ukraine in a sign language is unlikely to ever forget this.
By opening speech welcomed everybody Ivan Petrovich Kovalchuk, CEO of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II. He thanked those who took direct part in the project's creation and, thanks to the efforts of whom, one managed to create such a unique exhibition.
The event was attended by Yevgeniy Nischuk, the Ukrainian Minister of Culture. He talked about what a difficult fate had fell to our country and how, despite everything, our people did not give up and believed in the better.
Also, at the microphone had speeches the commanders of volunteer brigades and battalions, with a heavy heart, remembering about fallen comrades.
In his turn, Yaroslav Zhilkin, Chairman of NGO "Union "People's Memory" and Head of "Black Tulip" Humanitarian mission said,
"I want to draw your attention to the fact that the volunteers of "Black Tulip", when doing their serious, both physically and psychologically work, always remember that the memory of the deceased should live eternally. So despite the difficulties, we always tried to bring material evidence of the events from the places of the armed hostilities. Today, all the unforgettable that "Black Tulip" has handed over to the main military museum of the country can be seen among the exhibits of the exhibition which speaks louder and clearer than any words ..."
And it was really so. Everything was clear without words. One should only see a stretcher with blood, or a military card, pierced with a shrapnel, and photos – chronicle of the searchers-volunteers in the ATO zone. Documentary evidence of the cruel war which has taken thousands of lives.
"Ukrainian-East", the exhibitional project – a monument to the alive and the fallen - will be on display in the Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II for several weeks more.