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The Motherland Calls, ( "Rodina Mat' Zovyot!"), also called Mother Motherland, Mother Motherland Is Calling, simply The Motherland, or The Mamayev Monument, is a statue in Mamayev Kurganmarker in Volgogradmarker, Russiamarker commemorating the Battle of Stalingradmarker. The repetitive wording in the title "Mother Motherland" does not exist in Russian: the word for "Motherland", "Родина", is derived from "birth" and can be literally translated as "birth place".

When the memorial was dedicated in 1967 it was the tallest sculpture in the world, measuring 85 metres (279 feet) from the tip of its sword to the top of the plinth. The figure itself measures 52 metres (170 feet), and the sword 33 metres (108 feet). Two hundred steps, symbolizing the 200 days of the Battle of Stalingrad, lead from the bottom of the hill to the monument. The lead sculptor was Yevgeny Vuchetich (a famous Russian sculptor of Serbian descent), and the significant structural engineering challenges of the of concrete sculpture were handled by Nikolai Nikitin. The statue appears on both the current flag and coat of arms of Volgograd Oblast.

The model who posed for the statue, Valentina Izotova, a native of the city, is still recognized for her resemblance to the statue. She was recruited by Lev Maistrenko, an artist who was working on the memorial complex in the early 1960s.

According to some sources the statue was partially inspired by the Winged Victory of Samothrace, with somewhat more extended drapery.Marshal of the Soviet Union Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov is buried in the area of the monument, as is famous Soviet sniper Vasily Zaytsev, who killed more than 300 German soldiers in the battle of Stalingrad.

The statue is currently leaning due to groundwater level changes causing movement of the foundations; the leaning is rapidly getting worse. The statue is not fixed to its foundations and is held in place only by its weight. It has moved by 20 centimetres and is not expected to be able to move much further without collapsing.

See also


  1. BBC News (2009)
  2. Statuesque beauty (2003)

External links

Further Reading

Scott W. Palmer, "How Memory was Made: The Construction of the Memorial to the Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad," The Russian Review 68:3 (July 2009), 373-407.

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