Saur-Mogila (Shakhtyorsk district), Sep 8 — DAN.  The Saur-Mogila memorial complex, the main monument of the Great Patriotic War in Donbass has been unveiled after major rebuilding. The opening ceremony took place on the 79th anniversary of Donbass liberation from fascist invaders.

Rebuilding works were started on May 26, 2022 by the Military Construction Complex of the Russian Defense Ministry and the Russian Military History Society. A part of core elements of the structure was fully ruined by Ukrainian artillery strikes while the rest sustained serious damage. The builders had to replicate the original appearance of the monument and add new elements in memory of the present-day Donbass defenders.

Two hundred and seventy specialists and dozens of pieces of equipment were involved in the project. Within three months, they restored the 36-meter tall stela, the nine-meter figure of the Victory soldier and four historical reliefs which display evidence of artillery attacks and shell fragments. The base of the central sculpture features, in memory of the present-day war, a fragment of the figure of the Soldier which was ruined by Ukrainian armed formations. The central alley was rebuilt from scratch and street lighting and benches were installed.  An eternal fire was lit in late August. 

Three new bas reliefs to the right of the central alley perpetrate the feat of present-day warriors. Several of them display the portraits of Heroes of the DPR and Russia who had fought for the region. These are commanders of reconnaissance battalion “Sparta” Arsen Pavlov (call sign “Motorola”) and Vladimir Zhoga (“Vokha”), MLRS battalion commander Olga Kachura (“Korsa”), “Somali” battalion commander Mikhail Tolstyukh (“Givi”) and Russian paratrooper officer Nurmagomed Gadzhimagomedov. The graves of seven DPR fighters who died during the defense of Saur-Mogila in 2014 have been preserved.

The new composition of the memorial complex with rows of pylons on both sides of the central alley  — in memory of the fallen defenders of the region during World War II and the Ukrainian aggression — is accentuated by night-time lighting. The pylons honoring Soviet warriors will be illuminated by red light, Republican warriors by blue and the central figure of the Soldier by a mix of red, blue and white lights.

The Saur-Mogila hill is located in the east of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Its height is 277.9 meters above sea level. It became a key symbol of the defeat of the Nazi during the Great Patriotic War. The memorial complex featuring a 36-meter-high stele and the sculpture of a Soviet soldier at the foot of the monument was unveiled here in 1967. Later on an eternal fire was lit in memory of the WWII soldiers killed in attacks on the strategic height. DPR forces and the Ukrainian army clashed in a fierce battle on Saur Mogila in the summer of 2014.  The militiamen defended the height; later on, its defense became one of the turning points in the Donbass war.  The fighting inflicted serious damage on the monument. The statue of the soldier and the obelisk were completely ruined.*jk