A monument to the WWI officers to open on Chuguev station
General public of Chuguev town in Kharkov region plans to install a monument to the heroes and victims of WWI on August 1 — a day when, a century ago, the war began. In Europe, there are similar monuments, for example, in France, Poland or Serbia. In Ukraine, this will be the only monument in memory of the participants of the WWI. The monument will be set up following a joint initiative of “Officer Assembly” NGO and about five hundred inhabitants of Chuguev.
“In the early twentieth century, Chuguev was the location one of the largest in Kharkov province garrisons. During the WWI, Chugev Military School moved to fast-track education and prepared about 8,000 officers for the front — more than any other school of the Russian empire,” says historian and ethnographer Artem Levchenko, leader of the project.
The monument planned as a bronze figure of an officer waiting for the train that takes him to the front. He is dressed in battle dress with sword, pistol and binoculars. Chest of the officer will be inscribed with is a graduation badge of the Chuguev military school (Maltese cross with the image of St. George the Victorious). The monument is created by Kharkov sculptor Vladimir Kochmar. “It is interesting that most of the monuments that are going to be opened in Russia depict soldiers. We have an officer. Because Chuguev was a source of officers. And the officers suffered huge losses in the war. They were first to get up in the attack, onto the machine guns — and the first to be killed,” said Levchenko.
The monument will be installed on the platform of Chuguev Railway Station. “This place is ideal both history- and architecture-wise. All residents of Chuguev who are war veterans had passed through this place and know it well. This is the point of farewell to the city before leaving for eternity,” said the historian.
Activists are concerned that they don’t have enough time to collect the amount required for the erection of the monument. “We collect funds on our own. We have put boxes to collect donations in the stores. So far, only UAH 5,000 has been collected, we need UAH 148,000. We did not appeal to the authorities for help. The monuments should be installed by the people. And anyone who considers themselves part of the people, contributes,” says Artem Levchenko.