As historians, source scholars and religious scholars, of Kyivan Christianity in particular, we are convinced of the necessity and expediency of granting the status of a monument of cultural heritage of national significance in the form of a history of cultural heritage of local significance, "The area of the coastal city quarter of the medieval Kyiv of the XI-XIX centuries”, because the monument's area is directly connected with the most important historical events of the baptism of Kyivan Rus-Ukraine, when the destiny of many peoples and, above all, Ukrainians was determined.
This landmark is an important witness to ancient history, a visible element of our identity, in the foundation of which lies Kyiv, the "mother of the Russian cities", where in 988, long before the foundation of Moscow (1147), and therefore the Moscow kingdom, there was cultural life of a level that allowed Christianity to be accepted as a more spiritually developed system of views, principles, way of life, and to engage hundreds of thousands of people who determined the further development of the whole of Eastern Europe in the civilization shift.
Judging by historical, archaeological, and toponymic data in the tenth century on the territory where the landmark belongs to, Kyivan prince Volodymyr baptized Kyivites in the river Pochaina at the confluence of it with the Dnipro, which led our country into the alliance of European peoples, contributed to the economic, social, political, cultural and spiritual development of Rus-Ukraine.
This significant period in the history of our country has always been of interest to scholars - historians, philosophers, religious scholars, linguists, art historians, theologians, archaeologists, and others. They, like the chronicler Nestor, asked the question: "Where did the Russian Land start from and who was the first to reign in Kyiv?"
Having become the first written historic source, "The Tale of Bygone Years" gave a transparent and clear answer, according to which the Russichy identified themselves as the local population living on the mountains of Kyiv and Podil almost from the fifth century.
Repeatedly, to please every customer, the event of the baptism of Kyiv was interpreted in different ways. But the constant theme of all ancient literary monuments was the recognition of the special role of Prince Volodymyr in the baptism of Rus, which happened exactly here, in Kyiv, in the Pochaina River 1030 years ago. There are many other medieval sources that testify to the mentioned place and time of baptism of Kyivites.
In particular, this is written not only by the famous Nestor, but also by the father of our history, Mykhailo Hrushevsky. This outstanding event became the subject of research of the abbot of the Kyiv Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, historian and famous Kyiv spiritual writer of the XVII century Theodosius Sofonovich, historian of the XIX century and a church figure, an honorary member of the Imperial Moscow Archaeological Society, the Kyiv Theological Academy, a member and a founder of the Historical Society of Nestor-Chronicler Petro Lebedintsev, a well-known pre-revolutionary church historian, professor of the Kyiv Theological Academy Ivan Malyshevskyi, professor of the Moscow Theological Academy Yevhen Golubinskyi, famous 19th-century historians Maksym Berlinskyi and Mykola Zakrevskyi.
We emphasize that the still ongoing discussion of the circumstances of the baptism of Prince Volodymyr himself never concerned the circumstances of the baptism of our ancestors, who may not be as happily and voluntarily as the chronicler wants to show us, but still came to the river Pochaina - both the young and the old, and men and women, and the rich and the poor, and baptized, not to become enemies ("nasty") to their prince.
Thinking of this important event - the baptism of Kyiv, in which the main merit is attributed to Prince Volodymyr, the researchers always paid attention to the localization of the events of putting down pagan idols, the baptism of the princes and Kyivites on those places, described in the chronicles that convincingly testify about Podil, about Kyiv. The sacrament of these places, which was accompanied by the ancient chronicles, the lives of the saints, literary works and folk retellings, legends are still present in the minds of the Kyivites, who unmistakably associate the Pochaina River with Kyiv, with Rus, with historical Ukraine, and Podil - with the events of the baptism of our ancestors . That is why today, on the territory near the modern Poshtova Square, we see a lot of authentic place-names associated with baptism.
From the south of the square in the baptistery of the Magdeburg Law column, which we also know as the Lower or First monument to St. Volodymyr, there is the so-called Khreshchatik source - the place of baptism of 12 sons of Prince Volodymyr. Immediately behind it, Khreshchatyi Yar in the Volodymyr's Hill Park, also known as the Khreshchatyk Territory. From the east of the square along the Dnipro embankment (Pochaina) there is the street Naberezhno-Khreshchatytska which until 1869 was called Khreshchatyk (Great Khreshchatyk or Kreschatytska). On the slopes of Volodymyrskaya (Mykhaylivska) mountains down to Poshtova Square, the Line of Funicular goes, Feodosiy Sofonovich and other scholars associate this place with the ancient Borychiv descent, down which, to Ruchai (Pochaina) described in the chronicles, the Kyivites pulled the overthrown idol of the pagan god Perun, and which was next to Volodymyr (then the Rizdvyanyi (Nativity) Descent). Under the hill in Poshtova Square, the ancient Borychiv descent (later also known as Borychiv's moat) is now almost converging with the modern street of the same name.
Petro Lebedintsev in his "Historical Notes about Kyiv," referring to the plan of the city of Kyiv from 1693, which was kept at that time in the Moscow Chief Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote that Borychiv's descent ran between the Nativity Church and the Church of the Three Saints, of which one was the beginning, and the other end of this descent. At the same time, behind the Nativity Church Pochaina's mouth was a bay of the Dnieper, which was very convenient for the location of the ancient harbor.
In the annals, the place under the Borychiv descent is indicated in connection with the visit of the Drevlyan Ambassadors to Princess Olga in 945, who placed their boats under Borychiv, and the harbor on Pochaina is mentioned in connection with the visit of the Byzantine ambassadors to Princess Olga in 955. Thus, the location of the ancient harbor is almost apparently located on the territory of modern Poshtova Square and River Station. At the same time, according to Ivan Malyshevsky, the place under Borychiv was the most convenient for mass baptism of Kyivites in the waters of the river.
The scientific discovery, carried out by Kyiv archaeologists in Poshtova Square, in 2015-2017, confirmed the historical research of the past regarding the place of the destruction of pagan idols (Borychiv descent) and the baptism of the Kyivites (Pochaina - Dnieper water). In particular, archeologists found a transport structure that combines the upper city with the lower one in the Mikhailovskoy mountain, and therefore repeats the direction of Borychev's descent described in the annals. Individual findings (princely seals, customs seals, etc.) confirm the location on the site of a construction site (between the Post Office and the Nativity Church) of this ancient harbor, also recorded, in particular on maps of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the belonging of the found by the excavations of the quarter to its official territory.
Also, according to the records of the memorial "The area of the coastal city quarter of the Medieval Kyiv of the XI-XIX centuries « archaeologists found the remains of the medieval Khreshchatyk's gates of Kyiv, which, judging by the map-plan of I. Ushakov (1695), before the fire of 1811 opened the entrance on the southern side (from the Khreshchatyk source) to the central street of Podil.
Proceeding from the above, we can confidently assert that the monument meets the criteria of ethnographic, historical, scientific value of the object of cultural heritage of national significance, in accordance with the requirements of the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated December 27.12.2001 № 1760.
Moreover, the prominent place on Poshtova Ploshcha (Poshtova Square) should be made not only heritage of Kyivites or Ukrainians but also of all Europeans, who would make sure that Ukraine is Europe, a civilized world that already in the 10th century existed at such a level, and somewhere in some way maybe prevailing than some European countries, that Rus naturally fit into the European search for its cultural identity, that it itself became the focal point (center) of civilization for many East-Slavic lands.
The establishment of the national status of a historical monument for a prominent place connected with the chronicles of the baptism of Kyivan Rus-Ukraine is a special victorious weapon in the situation of the hybrid war between Ukraine and Russia, during which not only the territory, but also our historical memory, which is an indisputable proof of maternity, the metropolis of Kyiv in relation to Moscow, and the primogeniture of Kyivan Christianity.
Anatoliy Kolodnyy, Doctor of Philosophy
Professor, Deputy Director-Head of Department of Religious Studies of the Institute of Philosophy after G.S. Skovoroda of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, President of the Ukrainian Association of Religious Studies, Member of the Expert Council при under the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, Honored Scientist of Ukraine
Liudmyla Filippovich, professor, Doctor of philosophy, Head of the Department of History of Religion and Religious Studies of the Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Igor Girich, historian, doctor of historical sciences, editor-in-chief of the magazine "Sights of Ukraine", correspondent member of the Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences (since 1998), full member of the Taras Shevchenko Scientific Society (2005);
Alexander Alferov, Ph.D. in History of the Institute of History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, host of the program "Historical frescos" at the Ukrainian Radio, leader of the campaign "Memory of the nation”
Archimandrite Cyril (Govorun), Ph.D., Professor at Loyola Maryamount University in Los Angeles
Anna Goncharenko (Annabella Morina),
Chairman of the NGO "Public Movement" Pochaina "