Freedom Square (Kharkiv)

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Freedom Square
Plóshcha Svobodý (Ukrainian)
Ukrainereise - Donbass (16359863728).jpg
View of Freedom Square from Sumska Street
Location Kharkiv, Ukraine

Freedom Square (Ukrainian: Площа Свободи, Plóshcha Svobodý; Russian: Площадь Свободы, Plóshchad' Svobódy) in Kharkiv is the 8th largest city-centre square in Europe.


Upon the Soviet takeover the square was named 'Dzerzhinsky Square' in 1926 after Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Bolshevik secret police (the Cheka, precursor to the KGB). After the independence of Ukraine it was renamed Freedom Square. During the brief German occupation the name of the square changed twice: in 1942 the square was named German Army Square, and in 1943 Leibstandarte SS Square.[1]


The main part of the square is bordered to the west by the site of a removed statue of Lenin, to the east by Sumska Street, to the north by the Hotel Kharkiv and to the south by Shevchenko park. It is approximately 690–750 metres (2,260–2,460 feet) long and 96–125 metres (315–410 feet) wide. The area of the complete square is approximately 12 hectares (30 acres).[citation needed]


A notable landmark of the square is the Derzhprom building, a prime example of constructivist architecture.

The Kharkiv regional state administration is situated at one end of the square.[2]

A monumental statue of Lenin was erected in 1964 and was torn down by protesters on September 28, 2014.[3] In August 2016 pavers were laid on the site where the statue of Lenin stood.[4]


Protests and rallies[edit]

In 2014 the square was the site of demonstrations by pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian activists in Kharkiv.[5]

Other events and recreational activities[edit]

Queen + Paul Rodgers kicked off their Rock the Cosmos Tour at Freedom Square on September 12, 2008 & gathered 350,000 audience members, the show was recorded for a DVD release, entitled Live in Ukraine, which was released on June 15, 2009.[6]



  1. ^ "Kharkiv through the eyes of Lyudmila Gurchenko". 31 March 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Kharkiv an island of calm in Ukraine's turbulent east, The Irish Times (8 May 2014)
  3. ^ "Ukrainians just pulled down a massive Lenin statue. What does that signal for Russia?". Washington Post. September 29, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ (Russian) The reconstruction of the square in the square (photo), SQ (10 August 2016)
    (Russian) Liberty Square returned to original form, SQ (8 August 2016)
  5. ^ Pro-Russian rally draws 5,000 people in Ukraine's Kharkiv, Kyiv Post (6 March 2014)
    Tensions ease in Ukraine's second city of Kharkiv, BBC News (5 March 2014)
    (Ukrainian) Ukraine celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Shevchenko, BBC Ukrainian (9 March 2014)
    Kharkiv demonstration demands broad autonomy for southeastern regions, Kyiv Post (March 22, 2014)
    A woman holds a placard reading 'Kharkiv loves Crimea' while Pro-Ukrainian activists sing the state anthem during a rally in the center of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on March 6, 2014, as they protest against the Russian aggression in Crimea, Getty Images (6 March 2014)
    Russia supporters in eastern Ukraine pose challenges to pro-Western government, (March 15, 2014)
    "Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine – based on information received up until 27 April 2014". Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
    "Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine based on information received until 18:00 hrs, 23 July" (Press release). Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°00′16″N 36°14′00″E / 50.00444°N 36.23333°E / 50.00444; 36.23333