In the fighting ships-monitors participated as a special class of ships designed for operations in coastal waters or in the rivers to support troops, suppress enemy coastal defense and support the landing of marines.
The project "SB-37", which existed in the USSR, was intended to create a new series of Soviet ships with high maneuverability. Also, they should be covered with armor and armed with weapons that would have had little time to respond. There were built six ships on this project and only two of them survived until our time — "Zheleznyakov" and "Rostovtsev". The first stands as a monument, and the second was blown up by the crew during World War II, lifted, restored and was used as a training artillery ship.
Monitor "Zheleznyakov" had a hard fate during World War II.
War catched "Zheleznyakov" on the river Danube, near the town of Reni. On the day of the attack on the USSR it was in a state of high combat readiness. In 4:15 on 22 June it produced the first gun salvo. In that first battle that lasted almost all day, artillery of the monitor destroyed one of the German batteries and shot down enemy aircraft. The ship was incredibly lucky in battles and it has been called "elusive", but at the end of August 1942 came in a seemingly hopeless situation. Fighting off the fascists were pressing on, the monitor was locked down. The only way left was through the shallow river — to the Azov sea. Already on the way, it became known that the Nazis set up a powerful battery in the river mouth. What to do: blow up the ship, and to go through the boundless steppes of Kuban to the Caucasus? But the mariners decided not to use this extreme measure. And when before entering the sea, the monitor suddenly stopped, faced the sandy barrier. But there was something even more unexpected: flying over "Zheleznyakov" planes with black crosses suddenly hit theirs own soldiers on the shore; apparently, the Nazi pilots decided that the ship had landed.
Taking advantage of enemy confusion, the sailors jumped over the shallow. Gloomy September day in 1942 injured in continuous battles, worn with storms and in need of thorough repair "Zheleznyakov" was in Poti Harbor: the surprise of the sailors had no bounds — they were long-believed dead (Nazi command and reported on the radio about the sinking the monitor).
Monitor "Zheleznyakov" after the war
In 1965 ship was fully restored and became a monument in Kyiv. Unfortunately it's neglected and most of the external details were stolen or broken to unrecognizable state.
If desired, it's possible to climb up to the ship (however, you will have to catch up). Almost all is weld on the deck, but you can climb to the top of the mast.