I actually preferred the equivalent in Minsk to this place. There (while it was smaller) it was free and the staff friendlier. After walking up the massive space outside, you buy your tickets from a woman at a counter (a fierce, grumpy one in my case) outside. You then go in and have your bags searched by more. There is a cloakroom. I was somewhat perturbed by the dioramas. Not by the content, which is a bit unrealistic, but by the tourists (mostly foreign in this case) who think that posing for photos beside images as gory as dead people on a battle-torn St Petersburg street will make a lovely thing to remember the place by and show to all their friends! Anyway, the building, especially the big hall in the centre, is quite awe-inspiring in a Soviet-architectural way. I have seen many, many, many WW2 museums in various countries and I found the exhibits themselves ok.
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