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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Soviet Kharkov 1984: 17 Panoramic Views

Proletarian Square

Published in 1984 in both Ukrainian and Russian this postcard folder contained 17 panoramic style views of Kharkov (or Kharkiv), its streetscapes, monuments and sights.

These are pretty spectacular. Notable ones include the statue of Lenin in Dzerzhinsky Square with the constructivist architectural masterpiece the Derzhprom (or Gosprom) in the background. Completed in 1928 it was the tallest building in Europe at the time and one of the largest buildings in the world. Its incredibly innovative design remains very striking. The building is also pictured on the folder's cover.

In a few photos you see parts of Kharkov's impressive tram network cutting through places like Proletarian Square. The city also has a subway that opened in 1975.

As with so many Soviet cities Kharkov suffered greatly and much of it was destroyed during the genocidal Nazi invasion and occupation. After being liberated by the Red Army it was impressively rebuilt as were the other devastated cities of the USSR.

At the time these cards came out Kharkov's population was around 1,500,000.

Sadly many of the monuments pictured have since been torn down after the coup.

We have translated all of the cards into English.

Cover with Gosprom

Lenin Monument on Dzerzhinsky Square

New Highrise Housing District with Tram

Cinema Hall / The Bell Tower of the Assumption Cathedral

Soviet Ukraine Plaza

Hotel / Gorky State University

Shevchenko Drama Theatre / Medical Institute

Memorial Complex of Glory with the grieving "Mother of the Motherland"

Turbine Factory Workshop

Main Conveyor of the Tractor Factory / Palace of Culture

Shevchenko Park

Wedding Palace / Fountain

Monument in Honor of the Proclamation of Soviet power in Ukraine

Anton Makarenko Monument (Makarenko was a famed Soviet educational theorist) / Campus

Post Office / Gogol Monument

Monument to Shevchenko

Railway Station

View of the City



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