Culture News Politics, 25/08/2017

Legendary Cossack Defends Kharkiv

The statue of the Zaporizhzhia Army’s outstanding military leader Ivan Sirko has been installed on Bursatsky Descent, at Historical Museum metro station.

The monument to the famous Ukrainian warrior, who defended Slobozhanshchyna (Sloboda Ukraine) and all Ukraine in the 17th century, was opened on August 23.

Some members of the patriotic military organization Skhidnyi Corpus (Eastern Corps), who have Sirko depicted on their flag, were present at the official opening.

Oleh Shyriaev, the leader of the organization, noted that “this monument is the embodiment of Ukrainian Kharkiv as a city of Cossack glory.”

The sculpture is installed on the site where, according to historians, there existed a tower of the first Kharkiv fortress and therefore the Cossack symbolically guards the city.

The bronze statue, which is about seven meters high, is composed in such a way that Sirko seems to look at the wide panorama of the city with the river part of it. Standing by a gun, he holds a flag with the Kharkiv Slobodsky Cossack Regiment’s coat of arms.

Reference: Ivan Sirko is known to win 65 battles. He is remembered in many Ukrainian songs and fairy tales and is depicted in the well-known painting by Ilya Repin “Zaporozhians are writing a letter to the Turkish sultan.” There is a bust of the Cossack in Merefa where he lived with his family.

Text, photo: Olena Sokolynska