Almost every Ukrainian city has a monument to some kind of appliance. Kiev is no exception in that matter. If you look well enough, you will find more than one such moments. And although earlier pedestals were occupied by military vehicles, where as now there are mostly civil pieces of equipment, there is a monument to military drivers that managed to combine two dramatically different things: peace time and war.
Obviously, the most suitable design for this kind of monument is a car on a pedestal. You can’t use just any vehicle: it should look like the ones that were used during war. The Kiev monument to military drivers is very different from other similar monuments: the pedestal is topped with an authentic car that survived through that horrifying time. Historic scientists differ in opinions on whether this actual car took part in any battles, but the one thing we know for sure is that it was produced in 1941.
The vehicle named ZIS was manufactured at the Automotive Factory named after J. Stalin, which later was renamed into Automotive Factory named after V. Lenin. This lorry was discovered at the territory of the Kiev shoe factory. It’s surprising that ZIS didn’t follow into the footsteps of other old cars: it wasn’t placed on bricks instead of wheels only to keep getting rusty; it was used to transport goods around the factory.
The condition ZIS was in when it was found made it impossible to put it straight onto the pedestal. However, after some period of restoration, it reached the pedestal on its own in 1985.
In 2006 the car disappeared from its spot all of a sudden. Turned out it was ordered by Kiev officials. Half a year later Kiev veterans got the lorry back on the pedestal.
Nowadays there is a running gag in Kiev that the monument is not only a historical and cultural object, but also a useful item. If you need to get somewhere as soon as possible, just fill the tank of ZIS with some gas!
Address: 40th anniversary of October avenue, 22.