War heroes

Memorial to the Soviet soldier

Rzhev, a memorial to a Soviet soldier.
Rzhev, a memorial to a Soviet soldier.


The soldier looks down. In a moment, the cranes will carry away his soul. But while his gaze penetrates the very heart. It is as if he is reading the lines laid out at the foot “We fell for our homeland, but she is saved.” And as if waiting for you to answer. And from this something bubbling in the chest, a lump rolls up to the throat, and tears roll into the eyes.

The Rzhev memorial was created for about 3 years. This is from conception to today. And the idea was born almost simultaneously both among veterans and among search engines, who every year “raise” tens and hundreds of remains. Why are those who fought near Rzhev not awarded a monument? After all, it was one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

Grigory Rapota was the first to put forward the idea of ​​erecting a memorial to a soldier near Rzhev. The idea was announced at one of the meetings of the government of the Tver region. She was immediately supported by everyone, up to the Supreme State Council of the Union State. As a result, 200 out of 600 million rubles were allocated from the budget of the Union State for the creation of the monument.

Casting of the sculpture of the Rzhev memorial to the Soviet soldier
Casting of the sculpture of the Rzhev memorial to the Soviet soldier.

The amount allocated by the Union State covered the cost of creating the figure of a soldier the central composition of the memorial. The remaining 400 million rubles were collected by donors citizens of Russia, Belarus and other countries of the post-Soviet space. It is curious that in the column “donor” people often entered the names of their relatives who participated in the war. Many included photos and biographies.

The figure of a soldier, by the way, is only part of the memorial complex. On the territory there is also an entrance group with sheets of Corten steel. The names of tens of thousands of fallen soldiers are carved on it. And next to the monument is a multimedia museum complex, where you can see archival documents, photographs and video clips. This is a branch of the Victory Museum on Poklonnaya Hill.

Andrey Korobtsov in the studio, 2019.
Andrey Korobtsov in the studio, 2019.


The sculpture of a soldier of the Rzhev memorial consists of 600 parts. Height 25 meters. It stands on a 10-meter hill, which is based on piles and concrete. The total weight of the structure is 200 tons. The bronze sculpture weighs 80 tons. Before casting the figure of a soldier in bronze, it was fashioned in life size from blue Cambrian clay. It is mined in quarries near St. Petersburg. Girls use this clay as a face mask.

The bronze monument consists of 600 parts, cast in a workshop in Solnechnogorsk near Moscow. Each piece weighs over 100 kilograms. In the workshop, these parts were fastened from the outside with argon welding, and bolted from the inside. And then they cut the finished sculpture into several large parts in order to deliver it to the Tver region and reassemble it on the spot.

Sculptor Andrei Korobtsov at the opening of the memorial.
Sculptor Andrei Korobtsov at the opening of the memorial.

How to get to the Rzhev memorial

The Rzhev Memorial is located southwest of Rzhev on the 239th kilometer of the M9 Moscow-Riga highway. Signposts have been installed along the M-9 Baltiya and E22 federal highways. To get to the memorial by car from Moscow, it is enough to go to Novorizhskoye Highway and drive 210 kilometers from the Moscow Ring Road without turning anywhere. The trip takes about 3 hours. Navigator coordinates: 56.217421,34.262435.

Getting to the memorial by public transport is still quite difficult. First you need to get to Rzhev either by train, or by train with a transfer, or by intercity bus. You can get from Rzhev either by taxi or by bus number 15 (16 kilometers). True, from the bus stop you have to walk quite a long distance. In the future, it is possible that the route of the bus will be changed so that it goes to the destination.