Savur-Mohyla Memorial, 2008
|For Red Army soldiers fallen during World War II|
|Designed by||Anatoly Ignashchenko|
Savur-Mohyla (Ukrainian: Савур-могила), sometimes transcribed as Saur-Mogila (Russian: Саур-Могила), is a strategic height in the Donets ridge near the city of Snizhne, located about 5 km (3.1 mi) from the border between Ukraine and Russia's Rostov Oblast.
The 277.9 m (912 ft) tall hill is better known for a big monument complex that was built in 1963 by Ukrainian architect Anatoly Ignashchenko to the 20th anniversary of liberation of Savur Mohyla during the World War II.
It was originally a tumulus (kurgan) – mohyla means "tumulus" in Ukrainian and according to one interpretation the word savur comes from Turkic sauyr, meaning "steppe mound shaped like horse bottom".
World War II
During World War II, Savur-Mohyla was the focal point of intense fighting, when Soviet troops managed to retake control of the height from German forces in August 1943. In 1963, a memorial complex was unveiled on the top of the hill to honour the fallen soldiers, comprising an obelisk with a steel-and-concrete statue of a Soviet soldier, four steel-and-concrete sculptures built along the slope leading up to the obelisk (each memorializing infantrymen, tankmen, artillerymen and airmen involved in the battle), and walls inscribing the names of fallen soldiers in the battle.
2014 war in Donbass
In 2014, during the first months of the military conflict between Ukrainian troops and Donbass pro-Russian separatists, the Savur-Mohyla height was captured by the pro-Russian fighters. On 23 July 2014, pro-Russians forces shot down two Ukrainian Air Force Sukhoi Su-25 (NATO reporting name "Frogfoot") ground-attack aircraft flying at 17,000 feet (5,182 meters) over Savur-Mohyla, using an advanced anti-aircraft system.
On 28 July 2014, after intense fighting, the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed that they recaptured control of Savur-Mohyla from the pro-Russian fighters. However, commander of the pro-Russian Donetsk People's Republic, Igor Girkin, denied Savur-Mohyla had been lost, saying fighting was continuing. Following its capture by the Ukrainian 25th Airborne Brigade on 9 August 2014, the DPR recaptured the hill on 26 August 2014. During the fighting, the hill changed sides between the Ukraine and DPR about 8 times.
Destruction of the memorial
Ukrainian soldiers bombing DPR positions in Savur-Mohyla, July 2014 (Essence of Time)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saur-Mogila.|
- GPW Veterans Celebrate Victory Day At Savur-Mohyla, UKRINFORM, 9 May 2008
- Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down as Kiev accuses Moscow of sending more arms to fighters, FoxNews, 23 July 2014.
- Two Ukrainian military jets shot down over rebel-held area, Washington Post, 23 July 2014.
- Ukrainian Armed Forces take control of Saur-Mohyla - report to president, Interfax, 28 July 2014.
- "Ukraine claims more territory as fight intensifies with rebels". Reuters. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Ополчение отступило со стратегической высоты Саур-Могила // RIA Novosti, 9 August 2014
- Panoramic video of the destroyed memorial, Lifenews.ru, August 28, 2014
- Donetsk militia claims assuming control of border stretch to Azov Sea, ITAR-TASS, 26 August 2014
- Savur-Mohyla Left Without Obelisk Because of Shelling, Censor.NET, August 21, 2014