The ”Wild 90s” in Russia, as reflected in people’s memory

I previously published a translation of an article For Russia 90’s Were Worse Than WWII, which tells the extent of the destruction caused to Russian industry and science in the course of the 90’s.

That was the time, when the West’s darling Yeltsin was in power, and when every parliamentary, every minister had an American “advisor” attached to him or her.

Let us remember that in October-November 1993, the Russian Parliament tried to pass an impeachment of Yeltsin, trying to save the country in a democratic way. The response back then, authorised by Clinton, was to bring tanks into the streets of Moscow, open fire at the Parliament building and kill almost 2000 people, who came to defend the young democracy from APC machine guns. That was effectively a coup d’etat, which kept Yeltsin in power and descended Russia into a dark stretch of destruction of the country and its people, which lasted until 2000, when Yeltsin released his American-backed grip, and Putin started slowly, but surely, save the county.

In this post I want to translate an echo from that time. There is a Russian site, which publishes jokes, real life stories (both fun and sad) and aphorisms, and people get to vote on them. One story collected a large number of votes, for it resonates strongly with the Russian population which survived through the war-like conditions of the 1993-1999.

The original can be found here.

Duck under the New Year Tree or Grandfather Frost exists!

Our family has a tradition – on New Year’s table there must necessarily be a duck with apples, even if nothing else is there, the duck must be present, period! This tradition began in 1991, and we keep it still!

In ’94 (I was 10 years old) there came monetary black stretch – mom could barely find work, there was either no money at all or very little of it; there was no permanent employment, and odd jobs, such as compilation of the financial statements were not regular, and paid very little. I remember as a nightmare our diet – only soup bouillon cube and green onions grown on a windowsill, with a piece of home-made bread – more than 20 years passed, but I still cannot eat bread, baked by that recipe. But this is just a background to the story!

The evening of Friday, December 30, 1994, my mother had only 20 rouble in in her pocket, it is clear that this year there will be not duck, but there will be mashed potatoes and herring. On her way home she goes to the farmer market to buy something for the festive table, and some mandarins). Almost all traders had already closed, and there was only one grandma standing and selling a single duckling, not duck, but a duckling, weighing below a kilogram! Price – 20 roubles! As they say – take it without bargaining! And the wonders did not stop there – walking through the market with this wonderful duck, there in the snow, mother finds a hundred-rouble note!!! There were tears of happiness, and tree, and mandarins, and duck with apples, candy and even a small gift!

Over the years there were different New Year ducks – “in oranges” and “with nuts” and “with figs”, and “in the dough” and weighing 6 kg, etc., etc. But we always remember “that duck”!

An basically this is it, this story, and especially the background to it, is but a sample of what 99% of the Russian population were suffering through during the Wild 90s.

More on the Yeltsin’s coup d’etat of 1993

It happened between the 21st of September and the 5th of October 1993. Back then, the Western MSM praised this event as the ultimate defence of the young Russian democracy, while in reality, it was the exact opposite.

At that time Russian Parliament, seeing where Yeltsin was steering the country, was preparing to pass impeachment of the President. It is a completely democratic process, designed to balance the presidential power and to trigger a preliminary election. Yeltsin’s reaction was all but democratic.

He passed directive #1400, disbanding the Parliament. When the Parliament refused to comply, he (with the backing of the “well-wishers” from across the pond) ordered army into the streets of Moscow. The Parliament building and the TV tower Ostankino were surrounded. People went out to the streets to defend the Parliament. Then there came the terrible order to open fire. People were shot down by concentrated machine gun fire from armoured vehicles, the Parliament was shelled from tanks.

Here is a footage of the shelling of the Parliament:

The exact number of victims of the 1993 massacre is unknown – most documents from that time were destroyed – but is officially estimated to be approximately 200. According to the analysis in the following article (in Russian), the numbers may have been a magnitude higher.

The massacre also marked the descent of Russia into a period of near-destruction, a period of lawlessness and dismemberment of the industry and defence. A period, known in Russia as “The Wild 90s”.

Russia became totally incapacitated, which, in turn allowed USNATO in 1999 to start an unpunished invasion of Yugoslavia, not fearing any opposition. And even then, some politicians in Russia tried to show protest. When USA started the bombings, Russian Foreign Minister Prjamakov was en route to USA on a diplomatic mission. Upon hearing of the news, he ordered that the plane be turned back right over the Atlantic Ocean in protest.

A link to the excerpt from the book “The Forgotten Victims of 1993”:

It contains many witness descriptions of the executions of the defenders (even those, who were unarmed, already wounded or surrendered), and later falsification of the numbers of the murdered people.

From the site above, there is an interesting document by parliamentary Andronov, who from the besieged Parliament, on the day before the massacre conducted negotiation with representatives of the AMERICAN embassy, trying to prevent the bloodshed. Americans anyway gave the order to open fire, he says, adding that the bloodshed in Moscow in 1993 was directly authorised by Clinton.

Apocalypse of Europe
Special report from the flooded by refugees Austria

This is the second article by travelling journalist Gergy Zotov, in the series about refugee crisis in Europe, published in the newspaper weekly “Arguments and Facts” number 40 9/30/2015. English translation of the first part, about Hungary, can be read here.

Apocalypse of Europe
Special report from the flooded by refugees Austria

“AiF” observer managed to find out: 2 months ago recruites arrived to the Turkish camps for ‘displaced persons’, organizing sending of Syrians and Iraqis into the EU. One question remains: who benefits from this?

There’s a complete pandemonium in Vienna’s Westbahnhof station, to which come the packed train from Budapest. Thousands of people are crowding on the platforms, cordoned off by the police – since early morning they are waiting to be sent to Munich. Austria is struggling to get rid of the refugees, including those that are asking for political asylum. However, you can no longer recognise the hungry and exhausted people, whom I saw at the border of Hungary and Serbia. All are smiling, happy to pose for photos, dressed in brand new clothes, many – with smartphones. Before they would grab any food, now they’d come to a food stall, browse through the products, and depart. Refugees learnt in such a short: one does not need to work in Europe . The food here is laid out for free, and you are even begged to take it.

Hangover of a dragon

Actually, there is a way out, – assures the Austrian Freedom Party activist Christian Lander. – The war in Iraq was unleashed by the US and Britain, they are the very same, who with the help of France and Italy bombed Libya, financed the rebels in Syria. It will be fair if the countries involved in the Arab adventures would share the refugees among themselves. We in Austria already have a lot of problems with migrants, and now every day there come 20,000 more people. I do not understand the silence of the European Union, when America declares, that they will generously host ten thousand Syrians… If you are an “adult” state, and not a clown in short pants, then you are obliged to bear the consequences of your policies. Otherwise it will be as in the joke about the five-headed dragon – one head was drinking schnapps in the evening, and in the morning all heads had hangover together. It would have been appropriate to immediately put the refugees into the buses at the border and “export” them to the EU countries, which created chaos in the Middle East.

Spreading the gifted blankets, people lay down to rest on the pavement. Munich slows down with a reply today: the refugee centres there are already over-crowded, they just do not know what to do. “We were promised that we’d be in Germany today, – complains Khamis, a 44-year-old engineer from Damascus. – But now it turns out that the Germans were not prepared to accept more people. What to do? We sit on each other’s heads.” Meanwhile, in the course of the conversation an interesting thing turns up. Khamis has lived in the camp “for displaced persons” in Turkey (Mardin province) for two years and did not think about Europe: for the smugglers took 10 000 dollars per person for transport by sea to Greece, while he had nowhere near that kind of money. So, there came to their camp some unknown to recruiters in July – they promised free shipping to Europe. One had to agree to the offer quickly and to go right away. “I think it is very necessary for someone that Europe is drowned with refugees – said Khamis. – But honestly, I do not want to go into details. I’m just happy that I’m far away from war.

Control over oil

Many Europeans probably wonder: The war in Libya and Syria began five years ago, and in Iraq as far back as in 2003, so why do hundreds of thousands of people poured into the EU now? – says political consultant of the Lebanese TV channel “Al-Manar” Mohammed Aswad. – Turkey kept the Syrians behind barbed wire, their passports were confiscated, they were not allowed to leave the camps. And suddenly there come recruiters, offering a free ride into Europe. Why such selflessness? Turkey, the closest US ally, suddenly opens the door, releasing a crowd of fugitives who freely enter the EU. Now the question is: Who benefits? The main dividends are received by the United States. The tide of migrants means huge costs for the weak EU economy, which will lead to a drop in the Euro, worsening crime situation in Europe. As a result, the EU has no resources to bother with the United States, and Washington will be able to smoothly carry out its plans for the control of oil sources in the Middle East in order to bring the price of oil to $10 per barrel.

Austrians themselves meet the “guests from the East” warmly enough – Westbahnhof is equipped with a children’s play area, where volunteers play with the kids, handing out food, clothing, offering hot drinks. However, it appears from the conversations: friendliness is based in part on the belief that no one will stay in Austria, that the “newcomers” will leave for Germany and Sweden, which give high social benefits. “Recently, on the highway to Vienna, they found a van full of corpses – seventy dead refugees, – tells a terrified housewife Laura Heusinger, who is handing out biscuits at the station. – Syrians and Libyans are trying to get to the West by all means. Of course, I feel the fear – a tiny Austria will not be able to feed the whole world. I feel sorry for these people, so I came to the station to help them as much as I can. But why do they ask money from me, and not from America?

The train to Munich and did not arrive – the refugees are sleeping on the platforms side by side. Europe frankly does not know what to do with the millions of people of people, who broke into her boundaries, while the EU countries arguing until hoarseness sets in about quotas, pushing fugitives from one country to the next. The war in the Middle East is expanding, and crowds of residents from the destroyed cities fleeing to where it is safer. And it’s true: I wonder why the exodus started right now, where did the recruiters in camps in Turkey come from? Here, of course, one is reminded of the history – the US economy during the years of World War II has grown 7-fold(!), raising that country over the rubble of the ruined Europe. An example is good, although it is only a theory. But one fact remains unchanged: the conflict in the Middle East, and the current chaos with immigrants in Europe is profitable for the US. It is much more difficult to argue with this point of view…

“We have nothing to lose!”
The refugees, who arrived in the European Union are ready to revolt

This spring I travelled to Austria and Hungary, spending a few days in Vienna, and then reaching Budapest by train. Budapest gave me the impression of a rather clean and sleepy city, a city of contrasts, where some buildings in the main street were in desperate need of repairs, while another building right beside it would glitter with newest uplifting. And overall, a rather friendly city to be in. But nothing spoke of the coming disaster in the form of the hoards of the refugees – both real and for-hire, who would swamp Hungary in only a month’s time…

In this light, the following article in “Argumenty i Fakty” seemed very enlightening. It is written by the travelling journalist Georgy Zotov and is the first article in a series of two, the second telling about the situation in Austria. The original can be read in the newspaper weekly “Arguments and Facts” number 39 9/23/2015. Translation of the second article, pertaining Austria, can be read here.

“We have nothing to lose!”
The refugees, who arrived to the European Union are ready to revolt

Crowds of desperate Arab refugees storm the “entrance” to the EU. However, it is not too late for Europe to join Russia to work together so as to destroy the “Islamic state.” Otherwise, the worst predictions will come true.

You know, it’s just a real apocalypse. Dirt. Everywhere heaps of rubbish. Barking of the police dogs. Thousands of people wander under the cold rain on rusty rail tracks – wet, hungry, exhausted, with children in their arms. At the police cordon volunteers gave them bananas, they sat down on the ground and ate them right there. A hastily built wall on the border did not improve the situation – the refugees climb over it, throwing clothing over the barbed wire. Old railway near the town Rёske (following it, the refugees travel to Hungary on foot) was blocked by a carriage. The Iraqis and Syrians on the Serbian side openly discuss the possibility to dig a tunnel: “Then try to make our way through the forest in Austria and Germany … It is better to sleep off during the day, and walk by night.” Police are trying to put the newcomers into buses to be sent to a filtration camp. Some accept it, others break through the cordon and walk on foot 170 kilometres (!) To Budapest: taxi drivers and drivers of private vehicles are forbidden to give them a lift. Along the road tired refugees sit in groups: to gain strength, then to get up and move on. Crawl they may have to do, but forward – to Europe.

“We will start a rebellion”

Previously, local Gypsies took the Arabs along the secret paths, asking $500 per person – says the captain of the Hungarian police Attila Rakosi. – Now so many refugees have accumulated, that they can not be held back at a checkpoint. The border is now closed, but will it have any effect? Syrians and Iraqis have gone to a bypass – through Croatia. We do not register people, don’t even look though their passports – as the result, many of the “guests” from the Arab countries scattered across Europe. On many occasions I identify former soldiers among the refugees. When I frankly wonder against whom they fought, I get a scripted response – “for democracy and against Syrian President Assad”. But frankly, it is the “Islamic state” that is fighting against Assad… I have a strong feeling that I’m just losing my mind: perhaps we are witnessing the end of Europe.

Hastily equipped Hungarian refugee camp for refugees from the Middle East and Northern Africa is located in the open field, three kilometres from the border. There Syrians, Libyans and Iraqis lodge in army tents, handed out blankets and food. But there is nowhere to wash – chronic shortage of water. There is a constant traffic jam at the gates – 4-5 buses stay there, crowded with refugees, having just arrived from Rёske. Police does not let journalists into the camp to talk to people, so I walk up to the fence. “I am here with the children for five days!” – complains 36-year-old Mustafa from the Libyan city of Sirte. – “My house was bombed already 4 years ago during NATO air raids, I lived with relatives, but we had to run here because of the attack on Sirte from the “Islamic state.” We were promised to be taken to Germany, but persistent rumours of deportation back to Serbia are spreading. If this happens, the rebellion will rise … We have nothing more to lose!”

“Throw them into the sea?”

Officials privately admit: the situation is dreadful. Hungary is not prepared, there is the danger of epidemics: people live on the ground, in unsanitary conditions, do not wash. I’ve seen a lot of camps in Iraq, where the Kurdish survivors of ISIS live – there things are organized much better. Here it’s a mess, oceans of dirt, piles of garbage. It is clear: Europe did not fully believe in the influx of the refugees.

There have already been cases where the elderly have died – says the Hungarian volunteer Maria Hedek. – They cross the border, lay down, and do not get up. There is a lack of medicines, there is no funding: The EU promised the Hungary money, but not really helped. Brussels do not care about our problems. This is interesting: Americans and the British fought in Iraq, Libya was bombed by the Italians and French, militants in Syria were trained all of them together, while the Hungarians must take responsibility for this. 10 thousand refugees come to Rёske every day… and what should the police do: take them back to Greece and to drop back into the sea? It is necessary to destroy the ISIS, pounce on the terrorists together – and necessarily with the help of Russia.

The main ways of refugees into Europe. Infographics

Inside the underworld

What the emotional Libyan Mustafa warned about, happens in the evening. The refugees walk out of the camp gates in Rёske and in front of the bewildered guards scatter in all directions, while about a thousand of their “colleagues” from Serbia are storming the Hungarian fence. Stones are thrown at the police, the guardians of order respond by firing tear gas, even though there are lots of children in the crowd. We hear screaming and children crying, the refugees are in full frenzy, break through the barriers and begin beating the police, those respond with batons. Spray of blood scatter around, giving the feeling that I am in one of the circles of hell. Women throw children over the barbed wire: “Let at least them get into the EU!” An hour later the refugees are finally being pushed back, and wiping broken faces, they use the foulest words about Europe. Residents of Rёske watch the battle with the outright resignation. “You see how much trash there is all around?” – sighs a local farmer. – “The town turned into a dustbin. Why not ask the refugees to clean up after themselves? But the authorities piled everything on us, the service can not cope with cleaning up of the surrounding area. Leftovers are rotting everywhere, dirty clothes lying lying around.”

…The night only confirms the thought of apocalypse. Howling of dogs is heard, refugees along the borders of the EU lit fires – and there is no end to them in sight. The US adventure with the overthrowing of the rulers of Iraq and Libya, as well as US support for the civil war in Syria and Yemen has forced Europe to spit blood, and this is just the beginning. “Islamic state” is not held back by anyone – it can easily spread to Egypt and Turkey, and Jordan… And then absolute “fun” will start. It is still not too late for Europe to reach out to Russia: so as by joining forces in Syria, together pounce on militants of ISIS. Otherwise Apocalypse will become a reality. Being in Rёske, you realize this with specially clarity.

Just like 70 years ago, it’s again up to Russia to clean up the mess that the West created – now in Syria and Ukraine

After the 70th UNGA meeting, Russia finally says “enough is enough” and starts dealing with the terrorist infestation in Syria, to the outcry of the Western MSM, which were conspicuously silent during the preceding year of USA’s bombing of who knows what in the very same Syria, US bombings which only lead to proliferation of ISIS.

In this light, the following articles from Lada Ray are a must-read to get the proper perspective on the current affairs in the Russian corner of the world:

Putin’s Full Speech at 2015 UNGA: Do You Realize What Kind of Monster You’ve Created? With Xi Jinping and Lukashenko

Russia Strikes ISIL (ISIS) Positions in Syria. What does it mean?

Make sure to watch the speeches and interviews in the above-mentioned articles. A special accent can be put on the interview President Putin gave to Charlie Rose, with the full transcript found here:

Interview to American TV channel CBS and PBS

And two analysis of the said interview:

President Putin Exposes MSM Propaganda And Embarrasses Their Amateur Shills

Kunstler Rages “Perhaps America Has Gotten What It Deserves”

Bird’s Eye Perspective on the Russian Federation

I get a feeling that many people, with whom I talk about Russia, have a perception about it as a large monolithic blob of unknown somewhere in the East. And as we know, everything that is unknown, becomes feared and distrusted. This perception is formed by the Western MSM, which seldom mentions Russia, and when it does, only the negative angle is allowed to reach the audience. This is very well put in Lada Ray’s article Desperate for Up-To-Date Truth About Ukraine and Novorossia?.
In this regard, it is an interesting exercise just to fire up Google Earth and take a bird’s eye view of the Russian Federation:

Russian Federation

Adn the first thing one notices is that, yes, it is a Federation. Notice all the territories, the Federal Subjects, that comprise the Russian Federation. They all have a large degree of autonomy, with their own regional laws, that take into account the specifics of the nationalities that populate them, most of them have one or more national languages, besides Russian – like Crimean Republic, which has Ukrainian and Tatar as official languages. And they all have a common desire for peaceful existence and prosperity. And Russia, just like about any other country, only as strong as it stands united

On the map above the reader can see Western Europe. I cannot say just “Europe”, because Russia is also Europe – a fact that is largely forgotten. And moreover, Western Europe is just a small fraction of one large common continent – Eurasia that got politically divided so as to split and rule us, the people.

In the middle, a quite large chunk of the map is occupied by Ukraine – a hot topic of the last 2 years, what with the West-fuelled and MSM-ignored civil war raging there. That civil war was made possible for many reasons, one of which is: just like Russia (or, rather, because Ukraine is a historical fragment of Russia) Ukraine is not homogeneous, and for it to survive, it should have adopted a federative structure. This was vehemently denied to it by US/EU instigators, contrary to all common sense. So first Crimea, then Donbass/Novorossia took matters into their own hands, as then other regions will do too. It saddens me to see this large 40+ million country being so totally dominated by the Western mob.

But there is hope. Ironically, it comes from the biggest bully – the USA. Unwittingly, USA has acknowledged Novorossia’s claim to independence with a law, dating back to 1959!

US Congress and President Obama “Officially” Recognize Donbass’: Public Law 86-90 (1959)

The article above is a must-read. Not only does it describe the law in question:

The Captive Nations Week Resolution passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives in 1959 and reissued as a Presidential Proclamation every year for the last 56 years (also known as Public Law 86-90) affirms the RECOGNITION of the “Don” (Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples Republics are core countries of a Cossackia) as well as a future Zaporozhyian Republic (currently Zaporozhye Oblast).

It also gives an important view on the disparate constitution of what the West tries to pass as a monolithic “Ukrainian” nation:

According to Wasyl Veryha former Ukrainian World Congress president– read how he describes the populations of émigrés from “Ukraine

“In fact, the diverse nomenclature for the Ukrainian ethnic group caused a great deal of confusion not only at the turn of the century but also at a later period (through the 1930′s). The people of the province of Galicia and Bukovina, generally called themselves “Rusyny” (Ruthenians), Galicians, Bukovinians and Austrians… the Greek Catholic Church, to which at that time the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian immigrants adhered, preferred the term “Ruthenian”…both within the Austrian and the Russian Empires where the term “Ruthenian” and “Little Russian” respectively had begun to give way to the new, but at the same time old term, “Ukrainian”(person on the borderlands), as a national designation…The paper (Ukrainian Voice) was really a pioneer in transforming the “Austrians”, Ruthenians”, “Galicians” and “Bukovinians” into Ukrainians.. It popularized the term “Ukrainian” as a replacement for “Ruthenian.”

Wasyl Veryhas Masters of History Thesis

One Year Since Journalist Andrei Stenin Was Murdered in Ukraine While Covering the Conflict in Donbass

One year ago, on the 5th of Agust 2014, Russian journalist Andrei Stenin and tens of other civilians were killed. Below is my translation of a Russian article, where a female local witness sheds more light on the circumstances of Stenin’s murder and the chronology of the event is reconstructed. The original article in Russian can be read at site.

A year after the death of photojournalist of the international news agency “Russia Today”, Andrei Stenin, in Donbass, the picture of the tragedy became more complete. Witnesses of the events told RIA Novosti what occurred near the village of Dmitrovka in those days. Back then, as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian security forces, dozens of civilians were killed, most of them still remain unidentified.

A terrible equation with many unknowns

From the set go, there were a lot of mysteries in the case of disappearance of Stenin and his friends from the newssite Andrei Vyachal and Sergei Korenchenkov. The last time they had contact, was on August 5, 2014 from Snezhnoe (translator: mean “Snowy” in Russian. Note that all villages there have Russian names) (80 kilometers east of Donetsk). In the city headquarters of the militia, the journalists said they were going to go south, to the village of Dmitrovka on the Russian-Ukrainian border – there was fighting going og there, the army and the National Guard tried to surround DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) and cut off the Republic from Russia. Journalists could shoot some footage there. However they did not seem to reach Dmitrovka – at least, the head of its headquarters with the call sign “Poet” did not see them.

Stenin’s, Vyachal’s and Korenchenkov’s phones and did not respond. A few days later, the adviser to the Interior Minister, Anton Gerashchenko, said the photojournalist of “Russia Today” was detained by the security forces. The fact that signal from Stenin’s phone was detected in Slavyansk – 160 kilometers north-west of the Snezhnoe gave plausibility to Gerashchenko’s words – after the retreat of militia, Slavyansk was turned into the headquarters of the military operation. On the 8th of August, everyone who phoned him, received and SMS that the subscriber is available again. There was hope that Stenin was alive, even if in captivity.

But then Anton Gerashchenko denied his words, that only increased the confusion and suspicion. Soon, one of Stenin’s friends managed to get through to his number. A strange voice responded, presenting itself as a Ukrainian military. “This phone came to me by chance, through a third party. It’s owner is dead, he’s near Stepanovka. Come, take the body,” – said the stranger.

Stepanovka is located eight kilometers from Dmitrovka and about 20 kilometers from the real place of Stenin’s death. A local would never say that it’s nearby. But for newcomers, such as the military from other regions of Ukraine, it is really very close.

Today’s view of the place where Stenin was killed.

“He’s ‘Beard’ and I’m ‘Beard'”

RIA Novosti correspondent managed to find a volunteer militia fighter, who saw Stenin with colleagues in Dmitrovka on the evening of August the 5th. This is a local resident with the call sign ‘Beard’, who a year ago fought under the command of ‘Poet’. ‘Beard’ testifies: the guys came from Snezhnoe, but didn’t go into Dmitrovka further than DPR’s checkpoint.

Armed forces tried back then to surround Dmitrovka – it is one of the key settlements near the Russian border. Apparently, the journalists were afraid to be surrounded and drove back to Snezhnoe. No one knew that by being surrounded you could still be saved, but the road back would be deadly.

“Serge ‘Greek’ (militia – Ed.) then came out of Snezhnoe, ate. The journalists then came together with them, we saw them.” – ‘Beard’ suggests while browsing portraits of Andrei Stenin on a pad.

“I remember him well. He’s – beard, and I’m beard, militiaman is laughing. – Especially since I saw him before in Kozhevnja (translator: means “tannery” in Russian) (another town on the border, where there also were intense battles – Ed.).

Stenin, Korenchenko and Vyachal did not know that the situation, as so often happens on the front, changed dramatically over a few hours. The road by which they have arrived safely to Dmitrovka, was already under the control of armed forces.

Lilija and Kostja Filjushins were wounded at the same time as Stenin, but survived.

NatsGuard was shelling and refused to help

“Nazigs (local reference to National Guard fighters – Ed.) appeared here in the evening of the fifth (August). Immediately they shelled the wheat field so that it caught fire – a villager from Rassypnoe (translator: means “scattered” in Russian) recalls Stenin’s death. – They went from home to home, told everyone to sit quietly. You can eat burdocks, but remain sitting in the cellars – they said.”

Taking control of the road between Snezhnoe and Dmitrovka, security forces started firing at all the passing cars. They did not inspect, dis not hinder the passage, simply fired at them.

On the 6th of August Vladimir Zolotous and his wife Maria went from Dmitrovka to Snezhnoe to pick up her daughter and grandchildren. Snezhnoe was already de-facto surrounded. Two weeks before the city was struck by an airstrike – 13 people were killed. Then in a nearby town of Shahtersk (translator: means “Miner’s Town” in Russian) street battles began (Stenin filmed them), and on August the 4th Ukrainian security forces opened fire from Snezhnoe using “Smerch” (multiple reactive rocket launcher). Daughter asked Zolotous’ to pick them out of the horrible city and take them to Russia. However, it turned out that the real danger was awaiting not the residents of Snezhnoe, but their would-be rescuers.

“Early in the morning we went to Snezhnoe. My husband did not want to go, as if knowing what would happen to us. He said: let’s not go! It’s not far away from here, so I convinced him – says Maria Zolotous. – Once we came up onto a hill (near Rassypnoe – Ed.), bullets suddenly started punching into the car. The first bullet hit her husband. He turned off the road into a ditch. And only said, “Run!”.

A cross at the spot where Vladimir Zlatous was killed and his wife wounded

And then a miracle happened: the door of the old “Lada”, which is always jammed (Vladimir always open it from the outside, so Mary could sit) opened instantly. Mary, whose legs were hit by bullets, burst outside.

“Guys, do not shoot! We are a peaceful people!” – Shouted Maria to the soldiers. “And she dares saying something,” – they responded and shot at the car from a grenade launcher. Injured woman crawled to the village.

“I saw a car there. Later, when watching news on TV, I realized that that was Stenin’s car. Then, of course, there was no time to look at it. I only remember that the car was already burning. And I did not see whether there were people in it” – said Maria.

“Two soldiers sat in the bushes – she continues her story. – I told them I was wounded, help me!”. “We have no medicines, crawl into the village, there is help,” – said the military. Already crawling away, Mary heard one say to the other: “What is in her bag? Why did you not check and let her go.”

Gotsutsovs family sheltered Mary in Rassypnoe. The woman lived for six days in their basement, so as not to become a victim of shelling – they did wound dressings and pain was relived by simple Analgin. A week later, Zolotous relatives were able to negotiate with the military so that her son in law would come and fetch her. The woman was taken for treatment in Russia.

Like in the movies about the Nazis and partisans

Sudakov family was less fortunate – both spouses were killed in the massacre, common cleaner and a driver of the village administration. It happened the day after the death of Stenin and Zolotous, August the 7th. “Dmitrovka was shelled the day before – recalls their son Denis. – Our whole family was hiding in the basement, but my mother did not make it in time. She was wounded by shrapnel.”

Denis Sudakov at the grave of his parents, who died at the same spot as Stenin

In spite of the continued shelling, Denis’ father, a 50-year-old Vladimir Sudakov, decided to take his wife to the hospital in Snezhnoe. On the way, they were ambushed and killed on the spot. But Dennis learned about it only a few days later. “We have not had any news from them. They did not reach Snezhnoe. I called all the hospitals – even on the Russian side. They were seen nowhere.”- says Sudakov Jr.

In mid-August, when the road was unblocked, Denis found there a burnt-out car of his parents and their remains. “My mother was lying in the back seat just like I put her. Rather everything that was left of her. I collected the remains and buried them,”- he said.

It is difficult to answer what was the tactical meaning of this brutal massacre, which lasted several days. Perhaps the security forces did not want anyone to even travel along this road, and that DPR would remained blockaded. Maybe they were afraid of a surprise attack by the militia. At least six of the militia, including Sergey “Greek”, who arrived with Stenin in Dmitrovka, were also killed at Rassypnoe.

“On the 7th of August, at 04:00 in the morning, we went in a column to Snezhnoe and came under fire near Rassypnoe – says another militia fighter, Vladimir Berezov, who was wounded, but managed to escape. – We were under heavy crossfire, the car tire was shot through, we were thrown into a ditch. We abandoned the car and retreated through the “greens”. I was wounded by a bullet – shattered ankle. We decided that I would stay in the village, while the rest will go for help.”

“Vladimir crawled to us, I hid him,” – says a local resident Galina Bulygin. But soon Nazguards came searching for wounded militia.

“Beryozov hid behind the house, in a cornfield. They searched the house, walked through the area. They asked whether we saw any DPR’ers. I felt like in some movie about Nazis and partisans – says Bulygin. – They found his bunk in the basement and asked who sleeps on it. I told them that it’s my husband’s, that he is sick, and the bed is in the basement, so that not to go down every time the shelling starts.” Nazguards went away.

Personal file of Ljudmila Sudakova, who was killed at the same time as Stenin

Accurate lists of the killed are still unavailable

Stenin’s, Vyachalo’s and Korenchenkov’s car was only found on August the 20th. It was identified by two professional lenses, burned in the trunk. Camera’s body itself was not in the car – we can assume that it had been taken with the mobile phone, which was then “heard” in Slavyansk.

To one side of the car there lay unopened vials of painkillers, which the professional war correspondent Stenin always carried with him, and his expensive Italian red plaid shirt with rolled up sleeves. Again photographer’s friends started to get hope that he is alive. But the results of the examination were ruthless: the charred remains in the car belonged to Stenin, Vyachalo and Korenchenkov.

But here’s another mystery: there were remains of two more people in the car. Who are these people and how did they appear in the car, were they riding along with the journalists or were they thrown in to burn all together – it is still not known.

In total, about 20 cars were shot at near Rassypnoe in those days – some died on the spot, some managed to escape. On the 6th of August, the locals and relatives of the victims gathered at this terrible place, to commemorate all victims of the tragedy. They want to put on this place a memorial with the names of all the victims. But their exact list is still being constructed, says the head of the local village administration Oleg Harichkov.

Some of the remains were buried by the compassionate locals – in mass graves. Some took relatives with them. For example, the remains of Vladimir Zolotous are buried in two places – part of the remains were collected by the relatives of his wife in Dmitrovka, then the rest that could be recovered, was taken away by the relatives to the city of Shahtersk.

This case is still waiting for its investigation. Someday, perhaps, the names of the actual perpetrators of the massacre will be announced.

The Road to Victory – My Grand-Uncle’s Path from Moscow to Berlin

Exactly 74 years ago, on the 22nd of June 1941 at 4:00 in the morning, Nazi Germany attacked Soviet Union.

This article is a tribute to my grand-uncle, who fought that war from the very first days and until the victorious end. Moreover, it’s a tribute to all 21 million Soviet citizens, who perished in that war, and tens of millions more, who suffered hardships and losses to bring the Victory. It is therefore, when the Western “leaders” refused to attend the Victory parade in Moscow on the 9th of May 2015, they effectively did a dance of glee on the bones of those 21 million perished people, and were perceived by all Russians (and here I use “Russian” in a broad sense, encompassing all 200+ nationalities that live in the Russian Federation, all the normal people of the former USSR, and all the foreigners, who sympathise with Russia) as modern-time Western heirs to Nazism. I previously translated an article, written by the President of the RF, V.V.Putin, describing his family’s struggle in the blockaded Leningrad. In this article here, I will touch upon my own family’s history.

This year the Russian Ministry of Defence launched a new web-site, consolidating, digitalising and geo-tagging all the newly-declassified information about those Soviet citizens, who fought (and died) in WWII, in the Great Patriotic War. The site is aptly called People’s Memory. A good English language article about it can be found at Russia Beyond the Headlines:

The new People’s Memory website, launched by the Russian Defence Ministry, is the largest of its kind in the world. The site, dedicated to those who served on the Eastern Front in World War II, allows users to locate the resting places of soldiers whose burial sites have remained unknown to their relatives until now, as well as acquire knowledge about their military careers.

Knowing my grand-uncle’s name, family name and patronymic, as well as his year of birth, I managed to locate him, and what I learnt, confirmed those disjointed memories I had of him from my childhood. I vaguely remember his face, and more his blazer, covered in orders and medals. He used to visit us in Moscow between 23rd of February and the 10th of May, celebrating Victory Day and meeting with the ever-thinning numbers of his brothers-in-arms. From the stories, re-told by my mother, I knew that he fought in the War as part of a tank division. That he was at one point surrounded, cut off from the main force for several months. That for some time he was presumed dead, until their company managed to reunite with the main force. That at another point he received a heavy concussion, but returned into the ranks. And that he finished the War in Berlin. But not much more. People’s Memory allowed me to go deeper and see his path and the deeds that lead to the awards.

Moiseev Georgij Mihajlovich, born in 1920 in Altai Krai in Siberia. At the age of 18, he was conscripted to the regular service as a tank mechanic. The regular service lasted at that time for 2 years, and in 1941 he would have been demobilised. But so came the War.

My grand-uncle’s given name – Georgij – is in itself fateful. It is connotative of Victory and courage. It is found in Saint George the Victorious (rus.: Georgji Pobedonosec), and in the St.George Ribbon (rus: Georgievskaja lentochka). The latter is the symbol of courage and self-sacrifice, established by Catherine the Great, and carrying the colours of the Russian coat of arms.


According to the People’s Memory, his first battle happened on the 8th of November 1941 in the Orlov-Brjansk operation as part of the 1st Guard’s Tank Brigade. After that he participated in the Battle of Moscow, Battle of Kursk, Proskurovsk-Chernovick operation and liberation of Ukraine, Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive, Vistula–Oder Offensive, and the Battle of Berlin. Judging from the early history, leading to the formation of the 1st Guard’s Tank Brigade, my grand-uncle may have been one of the survivors of either 15th of 20th tank divisions, which largely perished during the first months of war and operated as infantry divisions.

The map can be seen below, as geo-tagged by People’s Memory project. Some of the tagging is incorrect, as the project is still in beta, so I added a blue line, highlighting the main progress of the division:

Grand-uncle Georgij was awarded 3 Orders of the Red Star and 1 Order of the Great Patriotic War II Class. People’s Memory allows one to view scans of the documents pertaining the awards, and the section detailing the act of heroism especially bring that time back to life. Read on for details about each award.

Орден Красной ЗвездыThe First Order of Red Star was awarded on the 1st of May 1943. The details about this order are not present in the People’s Memory database (yet?), but the information about it can be gleaned from the subsequent orders, as all preceding awards are always listed.

Орден Красной ЗвездыThe second Order of Red Star was awarded on the 22nd of July 1943. Here are the award list carrying grand-uncle Georgij’s name and the personal award sheet, pertaining to it:

Строка в наградном списке

Наградной лист

The section detailing personal battle merit, says:

Comrade Moiseev is a devoted son of the Party of Lenin-Stalin and of the Socialist Motherland. While participating in battles against the German usurpers he displayed bravery and courage. From the 6th until the 10th of July 1943, in the area of villages Jakovlevo and Dubrova, the brigade, where comrade Moiseev is a technical assistant, was conducting an unequal battle with quantitatively superior numbers of the enemy’s tanks. Despite the difficult conditions of the battle, comrade Moiseev took all possible measures to evacuate disabled tanks from the battlefield on to perform timely repairs. During the course of the battle, comrade Moiseev, disregarding any danger, evacuated 7 disabled tanks that were located at the front edge of the defence.
For the dispayed courage, bravery and self-sacrificing work, he is worthy of the Government award of the “Red Star” order.

Commander of the 2nd tank battalion,
Guard Major Vovchenko

Орден Отечественной войны II степениNext he was awarded the Order of the Great Patriotic War II Class. It happened on the 4th of October 1944, and was awarded for the battles near Poryck (today: Pavlovka in Western Ukraine). Here are the first page of the order, the award list carrying grand-uncle Georgij’s name, and the personal award sheet, pertaining to it:

Первая страница приказа или указа

Строка в наградном списке

Наградной лист

The section detailing personal battle merit, says:

Guard Petty Officer Moiseev, during the battalion’s battles in the period from the 14th until the 30th of July 1944 provided the battalion with spare parts for reconstruction and repairs of the damaged tanks, by dismantling them from disabled or burnt tanks on the battlefield. Timely delivery of spare parts ensured quick repair of the tanks and their return into service.

On the 17th of July 1944 in the northern part of town Poryck, 2 of our tanks were stuck in a marsh. One of the tank’s tracks were damaged by enemy fire. Comrade Moiseev, executing the order to retrieve those tanks and to repair the damaged one, crept to the tanks under enemy fire. After 2 hours, Moiseev – while using a manual winch – pulled those tanks out and repaired them. The tanks took part in the capture of the German stronghold, the town of Poryck.

On the 22nd of July 1944, during the crossing of river San, the enemy fire destroyed side blinders and a starter of one of our tanks, and the mechanic was wounded. Comrade Moiseev, taking a starter with him, managed to reach the machine and installed the starter under enemy fire. Then taking controls of the tank, he steered it from under enemy fire for further repairs.

For the excellent execution of the commander’s orders at the front of the fight against the German usurpers, and for display of courage and bravery, Guard Petty Officer Moiseev is worthy of the Government award – Order of the Great Patriotic War II degree.

Commander of the 2nd tank battalion,
Guards Captain Bochkovskij.

Орден Красной ЗвездыThe third Order of Red Star was awarded on the 15th of May 1945 for the Battle of Berlin. Here are the first page of the order, the award list carrying grand-uncle Georgij’s name, and the personal award sheet, pertaining to it:

Первая страница приказа или указа

Строка в наградном списке

Наградной лист

The section detailing personal battle merit, says:

Guard Lieutenant Engineer Moiseev has during a number of battles of 1945 provided the battalion with armour inventory, thus facilitating timely repairs of the disabled tanks and wheel-going vehicles.

Only during the latest assault battles from the 16th of April 1945, Guard Lieutenant Engineer Moiseev, provided repairs to 12 tanks of the battalion, ensuring their participation in the battles leading to the break-though of the fortifications and the approaches to Berlin and in the battles for the city.

Guard Lieutenant Engineer Moiseev, displaying initiative and personal courage and bravery, dismounted spare parts from the tanks on the battlefield, ensuring early rapiers the tanks.

On the 28th of April 1945, Guard Lieutenant Engineer Moiseev evacuated from the battlefield 2 disabled tanks and conducted early repairs.

For the timely provisioning of the battalion with spare parts during battles and for successful execution of the battle objectives encompassing evacuation of the tanks for the battlefiled, Guard Lieutenant Engineer Moiseev is worthy of the Government award Order of the Red Star

Commander of the 2nd tank battalion,
Guard Captain Nechtajlo

Grand-uncle Georgij not only returned from the War, but lived a long and worthy life. But the shadow of War was always over him – my mother told me about him saying how he often had nightmares from those gruesome 4 years… He died in 2000.

And as post-scriptum, his sister – my grandmother, Elizaveta – also lived all her life, touched by the War. She was a civilian, working long 16 hour shifts, having little to eat. And ironically, the worst curse came from what was supposed to be help. The American Lend-Lease – a “help” that USSR paid through its nose for – brought a lot of dated food rations, which US Army could no longer use. These rations were distributed among civilians, and one such box of Spam ended up with my grandmother, giving her a severe poisoning. Her liver was damaged for life, and she lived since then on strict diets, being limited to what she could and could not eat…

Nikolay Starikov: Estonia should pay back the money, for which Peter the Great bought it from Sweden 300 years ago

English translation reblogegd from:

Original Russian text:

Nikolay Starikov

The Great Fatherland Party blog

Translated by Kristina Rus

Estonia presented claims for parts of Russia. The other day this Baltic country has declared its intention to unilaterally markup the border with Russia. In the temporary control zone on the border with Russian Federation it plans to install 760 pillars and 412 buoys on the water border. Estonian lawmakers cite the Treaty of Tartu of 1920, according to which Estonia has territorial claims against Russia and claims parts of Pskov region. According to the leader of the party “The Great Fatherland”, Nikolay Starikov, Estonia has selective historic memory, but if you dig deeper, you find that it still belongs to Russia on legal grounds.

Nikolay Starikov:

“We are asked to respect the international law all the time. It’s a great idea, and I totally agree with that. All we need is to determine from what historical moment we need to start honoring it.

In 1913, Estonia and Latvia were the acknowledged territory of the Russian Empire, which they joined under the various treaties, that no one can question. In particular, it is Nystadt Peace of 1721, concluded between Russia and Sweden, by which Peter the Great paid a few million gold talers for those lands, where the modern Estonia and part of Latvia are located.

I would like to ask, when and where our Estonian partners paid back the money we spent on the acquisition of these territories from Sweden? I am not aware of such historical facts.

After the revolution of 1917, which was a violation of law, the Bolsheviks signed a treaty and recognized the independence of Estonia. In 1920, approximately the same way Ukraine received “independence”. Then in 1940, an agreement was signed with the same Estonia, and it became part of the Soviet Union. After its collapse, Estonia gained independence. But the question is, what starting date we should consider to comply with international legislation, as in 1985 the borders of the Soviet Union and the inalienability of Estonia was undisputed, exactly the same as the territory of the Russian Empire in 1913.

Because our partners constantly seek out those contracts, dates and situations that meet their interests, let’s learn from them. My position is as follows: let the Estonians pay back with inflation over the past 300 years the money paid by Peter the Great, and then we will have no more questions for them.”

Russia Means Peace

When leaving Norway from Oslo airport Gardermoen, one could see sayings in various languages, embedded into the floor of the airport departure hall. After several modernisations and upgrades, only a few remain. One of them is in Russian. It reads: “И в чужих странах тот же мир”.

Photo: E. Naumenko

I’ll translate it a bit later, please bear with me. First let us look at the last word: “мир”. The Russian word “Mir” is well-known in the Western world thanks to the second Soviet space station, which carried this name. What few of the Westerners realise, is that this word carries two meanings, depending on the context.

It means both “World” and “Peace”.

Coming back to the saying above, it can be translated as both “And in the foreign countries there is the same peace” and “And in the foreign countries there is the same world”. As there is no context here, both meanings apply.

World and Peace. Peace and World. Without peace, there is not world, and world is incomplete without being in the state of peace. That’s Russian philosophy in a nutshell, embedded into the Russian language itself.

Incidentally, there is another Russian world that carries the meaning of “World”: “Свет” (Svet). And it too has two context-defined meanings. It’s other, more frequent, meaning is “Light”…

And Russia is busy trying to build conditions that would bring peace to the world, despite all the spanners that certain Western “partners” throw into the works, trying hard to coax a war. One such peace building work was the recent visit of President Putin to Vatican, meeting with the most powerful (in the quite way) man in the world, the Pope. Lada Ray expertly analysed this meeting in her article Putin’s New Ally: Pope Francis.

And as a postscript: I intentionally chose an English word with two contextual meanings for the title of this article. For even though “Russia” does not mean “Peace”, nevertheless, Russia definitely means peace.

And what about restoration of territorial integrity of Russia..?

A few days ago, after having been insultingly absent from the memorial Parade in Moscow commemorating the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism, Frau Merkel again started saying something about restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

With this in mind, I want to address in this article a large pink trumpeting elephant in the room, that all but a few Western politicians are studiously ignoring:

What about restoration of the territorial integrity of Russia?

Ron Paul noticed in one of his articles that whenever forces are set in motion to split off a bit of Russia, these forces are hailed as democratic (like it happened in the 90’s with NATO-armed Islamic terrorist insurgency in Chechen Republic), and conversely, whenever peoples try to join Russia, they get vilified and demonised. As it happened with 2.4 million Crimeans, who for their democratic choice were put under sanctions, disconnected from international payment systems, and Apple and Google closed accounts of those that have some on-line data or development.

Over the last century, Russia’s territorial integrity was violated both illegally and illegitimately on many occasions – in the North, West and South of Russia. In this article I touch upon only three cases pertaining the state, still known today as Ukraine.

In 1917 a violent coup d’etat happened in Russia. It carried many of the characteristics of what later became known as “colour revolutions” – a small minority group, financed largely from the West, carried out a “red” revolution. As the result of this coup Russia became fragmented, large chunks of it being split off. Some, like Finland and LAtvia had only lose affinity to Russia (and yet, Finland chose a Russian navy flag from the time of Peter the Great as a template for their own national flag). Other, like Georgia, joined Russia of their own accord to protect themselves and enjoyed centuries of such protection, while remaining largely self-governed. And then there were integral parts of Russia, part of its heartland – Beloarussia, Malorossia, Novorossia, Crimea.

The state of Ukraine, as created by Lenin in 1917, was based on the Russian land, known as Malorossia. The Malorossian dialect – known colloquially as Surzhik – differs little from Russian. There are greater differences between, say Bavarian and High German or between Oslo and Trøndersk dialects. The Ukrainian language, as we know it today, was later built by incorporating Polish and German words and artificial changes to orthography. This was the first violation of Russia’s territorial integrity in that direction.

At about the same time everything Russian was being eradicated. Even the name of the country was erased for over 70 years, being hidden behind an abbreviation RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic). And it became a bad tone speaking about Russia in USSR…

After the Civil War and Polish insurgency were subdued (we can see exactly the same events playing out today in Ukraine, as the ones happening 96 years ago), it became clear that Ukraine was not a viable state, capable of supporting itself, so Lenin ripped off additional Russian territories and transferred them to Ukraine in 1922. Novorossia had a rich industrial and agricultural potential, that fed the whole of Ukraine up until last year. These lands were collectively known as Novorossia, and consisted among other of Harkov, Donetsk, Lugansk, Nikolaev, Herson and Odessa regions. People living on these territories spoke Russian, and continue to do so till this day. This was the second violation of Russia’s territorial integrity in that direction.

Incidentally, when Soviet Union was voluntaristically broken up on a handshake agreement between some unelected representatives of RSFSR, BSSR and UkSSR, those territories held a referendum, voting against the break-up of USSR. In reality they voted against the physical separation by a state border from Russia – up until that point the separation was largely symbolic.

Then, in 1954, in violation of the then Constitution of USSR and of the legislation of RSFSR, Khrushov transferred Crimea from RSFSR to UkSSR. This was also done against the wishes of Crimeans. The head of Crimean Communist Party lost his position, when he tried to object, voicing the popular opinion. Still, people continued to grumble in the privacy of their kitchens along the lines of “what was that idiot Khrushov thinking, transferring Crimea into Ukraine?” I personally heard such grumblings during my summer stays in Crimea in mid-80s. This was the third violation of Russia’s territorial integrity in that direction. Luckily this violation was rectified last year, in a contrastingly democratic process. Crimeans finally, for the first time after 60 years, got a chance to express their opinion about the forced transfer into Ukraine.

For Khrushov, Crimea was the largest personal bribe given in history. It is sometimes incorrectly stated that Khrushov was Ukrainian. However, Khrushov was connected to Ukraine through his party and repression work during the Stalin era. When he chose the line of exposing of Stalin’s deed as his election campaign line, he urgently needed his own transgressions in Ukraine to be forgotten. Ukrainian Communist Party was the most influential branch, surpassing the Russian one, so a really royal bribe was needed. Crimea became such bribe. (Can anyone imagine Obama giving one of the Hawaiian islands as a present to California so as to get political favours from the Californian rich men during an election campaign? No? Well, Crimea was such a case, and USA now vehemently defends this state of affairs.)

So, Frau Merkel, when you and your Washington masters speak about the restoration of Ukrainian territorial integrity, you in fact speak of sustained and continued support for a series of illegal, violent, tyrannic, totalitarian violations of Russia’s territorial integrity. But what is new in this theatre of double standards?

More informative reading on this topic:

Victory Day – 70 Years’ Anniversary of the defeat of Nazism in Germany

No one’s Forgotten
Nothing’s Forgotten

Today marks the 70th Anniversary of the Victory in WWII and Great Patriotic War.
Much can be said commemorating the sacrifice of the 27 million Soviet citizens, who lost their lives on the way to victory. But the best tribute to it is in the words and the imagery of the following immortal song of Lev Leshenko – Victory Day – performed by Iosif Kobzon (who is, incidentally, under the EU and US sanctions for his courageous and outspoken defence democracy, human rights and the right of peoples for self-determination).

Victory Day!

Victory Day how far away it was from us,
As a smouldering piece of coal in an extinguished fire.
There were miles, burnt and dusty, –
We hastened this day however we could.

This Victory Day
Has become permeated with the smell of gunpowder,
It is a celebration
With greying hair on one’s temples.
It is a joy
With the tears in one’s eyes.
Victory Day!
Victory Day!
Victory Day!

Days and nights in front of the hearth furnaces
Our Motherland didn’t shut her eyes.
Days and nights conducting a difficult battle –
We hastened this day however we could.

This Victory Day
Has become permeated with the smell of gunpowder,
It is a celebration
With greying hair on one’s temples.
It is a joy
With the tears in one’s eyes.
Victory Day!
Victory Day!
Victory Day!

Hello, mama, not all of us returned…
Would be nice to run barefoot on dew!
Half of Europe have we walked, half the Earth –
We hastened this day however we could.

This Victory Day
Has become permeated with the smell of gunpowder,
It is a celebration
With greying hair on one’s temples.
It is a joy
With the tears in one’s eyes.
Victory Day!
Victory Day!
Victory Day!

It is a slap in the face of those 27 million perished Soviet citizens, that some of the Western “leaders” decided to boycott the memorial parade in Moscow on May the 9th 2015. This especially shames Angela Merkel of Germany. This denial to commemorate the defeat of Nazism unpleasantly signals that the ugly head of Nazism is again rearing over Europe and USA. I just hope that this attitude is not representative for the people that those “leaders” are representing.

“Life is such a simple, yet cruel thing”

This recollection of the war was written by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and published in Russian Pioneer on the 30th of April 2015. Soviet Union lost 27 million people in that War, and almost every single family has a recollection of losses and hardships connected with it. And the family of the President of RF is no exception. Read on my unofficial translation from Russian below…

Frankly, father did not like even to touch the subject. Rather, it was like this: when adults were talking to each other and remembering something, I was just around. All the information about the war, about what happened with my family, came to me from those conversations between the adults. But sometimes they addressed me directly.

Father served in Sevastopol, in the detachment of submarines – he was a sailor. He was drafted in 1939. And then, after returning from service, he just worked at a factory, and they lived with my mother in Peterhof. I think they even built some house there.

He was working at a military enterprise when the war started, giving the so-called “reservation” that exempts one from conscription. But he wrote an application to join the party, and then another application – that he wants to go to the front. He was dispatched to the subversive detachment of the NKVD. It was a small detachment. He said that there were 28 people in it, and they were deployed into the near rear for carrying out acts of sabotage. The undermining of bridges, railway tracks… But they were almost immediately ambushed. Someone betrayed them. They came to a village, and then went out, and when after a while they returned, the Nazis were already waiting for them there. They were chased through the woods, and he survived, because he climbed into a swamp, and spent a few hours in that swamp, breathing through a reed. This I remember already from his own story. And he said that, while sitting in the swamp and breathing through the reed, he heard how the German soldiers were passing nearby, just a few steps away from him, how the dogs were yapping…

In addition, it was probably the beginning of autumn, in other words – already cold… I also remember well how he told me that the head of their group was a German. A Soviet citizen. But a German.

And here’s what’s curious: a couple of years ago, the archives of the Defence Ministry handed me the case of this group. There is a copy of the case in my home, in Novo-Ogaryovo. A list of the group, names, patronymics and brief descriptions. Yes, 28 people. And at the head – a German. Everything as it was told by my father.

Of the 28 people, only 4 crossed the front line back to ours. 24 were killed.

And then they were re-assigned into the active army, and sent on to the Nevsky Pyatachok. It was probably the hottest place during the whole of the Leningrad Blockade. Our troops held a small bridgehead. Four kilometres in width and some two kilometres in depth. It was supposed to be a springboard for the future breaking of the blockade. But it never got used for this purpose. They broke through the blockade elsewhere. Still the spot (Nevsky Pyatachok) was held, held for a long time, there was heavy fighting there. Very heavy. There are commanding heights above and all around it, it’s shot at throughout. The Germans were, of course, also aware that it’s there that a breakthrough may be attempted, and tried to simply erase the Nevsky Pyatachokto from the face of the earth. There is data about how much metal there is in each square meter of the land. There’s still metal all over the place there.

And the father told how he was wounded there. The wound was heavy. All his life he lived with shrapnel in his leg: not all fragments could be taken out. The leg ached. Foot didn’t bend since then. The medics preferred not to touch the small fragments so as not to shatter the bone. And, thank God, the leg was saved. They could, after all, amputate it. He got a good doctor. He had the second group disablement. As a disabled veteran, he was eventually given an apartment. It was our first separate apartment. A small two-room apartment. (Translators remark: Before that the Putins lived in a communal apartment, where several families share the facilities, corridor and kitchen, and sleep in separate rooms.) However, before that we lived in the centre and now we had to move. True, not quite to the outskirts, but to a new-built area. And it happened, of course, not immediately after the war, but when I already worked in the KGB. I was not given an apartment then, but my father finally got his. It was a great happiness. And here’s how he was wounded. He, together with a comrade, did a little sortie into the rear of the Germans, crawling, crawling… And then it becomes both funny and sad at the same time: they got to a German bunker, and, father said, out of it comes a man, a huge guy, and looks at them… and they could not get up because they were under the machine gun sight. “The man – he says – looked at us very carefully, then he took out a grenade, then another, and threw those grenades at us. Well… ” Life is such a simple, yet cruel thing.

What was the biggest problem when he woke up? The fact that it was already winter, Neva was icebound, and he had to somehow get to the other shore, to the skilled medical care. But he, of course, could not walk.

True, he still managed to get to ours on this side of the river. But there were few wanting to drag him to the other side, because Neva was in full view there and exposed to fire both from artillery and machine guns. Chances to reach the opposite bank were almost non-existent. But, by chance, his neighbour from Peterhof was nearby. And that neighbour pulled him over without hesitation. And managed to drag him to the hospital. Both crawled there alive. The neighbour waited for him at the hospital, made sure that he was operated, and said, “All right, now you’re going to live, and I am off to die.”

And he went back. I later asked my father: “Well, did he die?” And he returned several times to this story. It tormented him too very much. They lost contact, and father believed that his neighbour was killed. And somewhere in the 60s, I don’t remember the exact year, I was still very young then, but somewhere in the early 60’s, he suddenly came home, sat down and wept. He met his saviour. In a shop. In Leningrad. Accidentally. He went to the store for food and saw him. It is some coincidence that the two went at the same moment to the same store. One chance in a million… They later came to our home, met each other… And my mother told me how she visited father at the hospital where he lay after he was wounded. They had a small child, he was three years old. At this time there was blockade, hunger… My father gave her his hospital ration. Secretly from doctors and nurses. And she hid it, took it home and fed the child. And then he began to faint from hunger in the hospital, so doctors and nurses understood what was happening, and didn’t allow her to visit any more.

And then the child was taken away from her. It was done, as she later repeated, in a compulsory fashion in order to save small children from starvation. They were collected to the orphanages for further evacuation. Parents were not even asked.

He fell ill there – my mother said that it was with diphtheria – and didn’t survive. And they were not even told where he was buried. They have never learnt where. And then, last year, completely unfamiliar to me people worked on their own initiative through the archives and found documents about my brother. And that’s really my brother. Because I knew that they lived then, after fleeing from Peterhof from the advancing German troops, at their friends’ place – and I even knew the address. They lived, as we call it, on the Water Channel (Vodnyj Kanal). It would be better to call it a “Bypass channel” (Obvodnyj Kanal), but in Leningrad it’s called “Water Channel”. I know for sure that they had lived there. And not only the address, where he was taken from, coincided. Name, surname, patronymic, date of birth coincided as well. It was, of course, my brother. And there was stated the place of burial: Piskaryovskoye Cemetery. And even the specific area was given.

Parents were told nothing of this. Well, apparently, other things had higher priority back then.

So, everything that my parents told about the war, was true. Not a single word was invented. Not a single day was moved. And about my brother. And about the neighbour. And about the German, the commander of the group. Everything matches. And all this got later confirmed in an incredible way. And after the child was taken away, and mother was left alone, and my father was allowed to walk, he stood up on crutches and went home. And when he came to the house, he saw that the medics were carrying corpses out of the entrance. And he saw my mother. He came up, and it seemed to him that she was breathing. He told the medics: “She’s still alive!” – “She’ll pass away along the way – said the nurses. – She’ll not survive now.” He told that he pounced on them with crutches and forced them to lift her back into the apartment. They told him: “Well, we’ll do as you say, but know that we will not come here for another two or three or four weeks. You’ll have to sort it out yourself then.” And he nursed her back to life. She survived. And lived until 1999. While he died in late 1998.

After the lifting of the blockade, they moved to the homeland of their parents, in the Tver province, and lived there until the end of the war. Father’s family was quite large. He had, after all, six brothers, and five of them were killed in the war. This is a disaster for the family. And my mother’s relatives also died. And I was a late child. She gave birth to me when she was 41 years old.

And there was, after all, not a family where someone didn’t die. And, of course, grief, misfortune, a tragedy. But they had no hatred for the enemy, that’s what’s amazing. To be honest, I still can not fully understand this. My mother was a very gentle, kind person… And she said, “Well, what kind of hatred can one have toward these soldiers? They are simple people and also died in the war.” It’s amazing. We were brought up on Soviet books, movies… and hated. But she somehow did not have it in her. And I remember very well her words: “Well, what can you have against them? They are also hard workers, just like us. They were simply force-driven to the front.”

These are the words that I remember from the childhood.

Translator’s afterword

What I personally find sad in this story, is that Putin’s parents didn’t live long enough to know that their son became the President of the Russian Federation, and a worthy president at that. Just like his father nursed his mother back to life, so did Putin nurse Russia back to life after the Wild 90s, at a time, when most world leaders treated it like a still breathing corpse, ready to be carried out of the world arena. More about it can be gleaned from the newly-released documentary, “The President”. Lada Ray wrote a good summary and is posting links to the ongoing English translation of the documentary in her blog.

Denouncing everything Soviet? Then return the territories.

Below is my translation from Russian of an article, published in “Argumenty i Fakty” on the 15th of April 2015, written by Alexander Kolesnichenko and Ekaterina Mirnaja.

Not only the TV series “Seventeen Moments of Spring” were banned in Ukraine, but also the medals and orders of the veterans of Great Patriotic War. Incidentally, it is now also impossible to call this war in this terms.

The new authorities threaten to send to jail all those who do not agree to equate communism and Nazism.

A Blow to the Veterans

The Supreme Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) approved a package of laws, which equates Soviet symbolism to the symbols of Nazi Germany. You can go to jail for 5 years for the public performance of the Anthem of the USSR or for marching under the red flag with the hammer and sickle. The country must remove all monuments to Soviet leaders and completely abandon the Soviet toponymy up to and including renaming of cities. That is, Dnepropetrovsk, Kirovograd, Dneprodzerzhinsk – all may sound in new ways. Renaming and removal of the monuments will affect primarily the unstable south-eastern regions. Including, for example, Artiomovsk, which is located 30 km from the front line. Even though there was recently conducted a referendum in the city, in which the citizens decided to leave the city’s name. “In the event of a change of names, people will need to renew passports and documents for real estate. Who will pay for it? – angrily demands Andrew Zolotarev, a political analyst in Kiev, and also draws attention to the fact that the symbolism will have to be chiselled down from hundreds of buildings. – Who will pay for the repair of façades?!”

But worse than wasting of any money, is the slap in the face, received by the Ukrainian veterans. Not only did Rada equate nationalists from the OUN and UPA, that is, those who worked during the war with the Nazis, to the veterans of the Great Patriotic War. Now it is not clear whether the elderly, who saved the world from fascism, are allowed to put on their medals on May the 9th – or if they’ll get thrown into prisons for 5 years for “Soviet propaganda”? “This is cynicism of the highest degree – to prevent the veterans to wear their orders the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Victory. The Victory Banner, too appears to be a symbol of the communist regime? – political analyst Mikhail Pogrebinsky told AiF. – I can not imagine how with such ideological line they are going to keep the country at least in its current borders.”

(Lenin’s present of 1922 included the following oblasts [counties] Harkov, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhje, Herson, Nikolaev, Odessa; Stalin’s present of 1939-1940,1945 included Lvov, Ternopol, Zakarpatie [Transcarpathia], Ivano-Frankovsk, Chernovick. [It should be remembered that it was Lenin that after 1917 coup d’etat in Russia separated Ukraine into a separate state])

However, there indeed may be questions with the borders. Rada decided: from 1917 to 1991 a “criminal totalitarian regime” reigned in the country. But during the time when the Communists were “rampaging” in Ukraine, its territory markedly increased (see. Map). So the attempt to tear itself away from the Soviet past, casts doubt on the legitimacy of the Ukraine as a state. Because it actually was created by the Communists, with whom until recently many of those, who today denounce the Soviet regime, identified themselves. “For example, Turchynov was head of the department for propaganda, Poroshenko was a member of the Communist Party, Nalivaychenko was a KGB agent. Whoever you take, they were all members of the party! Even Yatsenyuk was one of the activists of the Young Communist League, and his father – the head of the Party cell,” – says political analyst Yuri Gorodnenko.

On All Fronts

The new Ukrainian laws, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, are not just an attempt to “erase from the memory of millions of Ukrainians the true pages of the history of Ukraine of the XX century”, all is more dangerous and more serious: “Against the backdrop of a declared combat on the supposedly totalitarian past, Kiev introduced a truly totalitarian methods to eliminate unwanted parties and non-governmental organizations… Sets rigid censorship of political thought for compliance, perverted notions of good and evil… While hiding behind the rhetoric of the civil rights and liberties, Ukrainian lawmakers in fact passed acts that directly restrict the exercise of rights to freedom of thought, conscience, belief and expression.” It is no coincidence that this decision was preceded by the expulsion of the Communist Party of Ukraine from the Parliament, along with the attempts to ban it and prosecute its leaders.

Meanwhile, this week marks one year of the so-called “anti-terrorist operation” (ATO) in the south-eastern Ukraine. Sad anniversary was marked by fire from tanks near Mariupol and Donetsk. The “economic war” with Donbass continues: a Ukrainian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Kiev would not give a single hrivna to people living in DNR and LNR. Pensions and benefits are accrued to the accounts of citizens, but it is impossible to get them while Ukraine has no control over these territories. It is interesting: do Kiev “fighters with the past” seriously expect to regain control of millions of people whom they continue to exterminate by shellings, blockade, and, now, with the ideological taboos?

Ungrateful Europe.
What would have happened should we push Hitler back just to our borders

This is a translation from Russian of two historical articles, published in Argumenty i Fakty on the 3rd of April 2015.
The main article was written by Georgij Zotov. A subsequent expert opinion is presented by historian Rudolph Pihoj.

On the eve of the 70th anniversary of Victory “AiF” tried to imagine: what would the map of Europe look like, had USSR not given thousands of kilometres of territories as present to those countries that now call us occupiers. And if they would give up these lands now.

Wroclaw – one of the most touristic cities of Poland. Crowds with cameras are everywhere, there’s not a spare spot in the expensive restaurants, taxi drivers ask for ungodly prices. At the entrance to the marketplace there waves a banner saying “Wroclaw – a real Polish charm!”. All seems fine, but as early as in May 1945 Wroclaw was called Breslau and had not belonged to Poland for 600 consecutive(!) years before that. The Victory Day, now referred by Warsaw as “the beginning of the communist tyranny,” added to Poland the German Silesia, Pomerania, as well as 80% of East Prussia. No one mentions this now: in other words that was a tyranny, but we’d still grab that land. “AiF” observer decided to understand, what would the map of Europe look like now, if our former brothers in the East were left without the help of the “occupiers”?

Whole cities as gifts

– In 1945 Poland received the cities of Breslau, Gdansk, Zielona Gora, Legnica, Szczecin, – says Maciej Wisniewski, a Polish freelance journalist. – USSR also gave the territory of Bialystok; with the mediation of Stalin, we acquired a disputed with Czechoslovakia city Kłodzko. Nevertheless, they believe here: the partitioning of Poland by the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact, when the Soviet Union took the Western Belarus and Western Ukraine, was unfair, but the transfer by Stalin to Poland of Silesia and Pomerania is absolutely fair, you can not dispute this. It is fashionable to say now that Russians did not liberate, but conquered. However, it turns into an interesting kind of occupation, when Poland got for free a quarter of Germany: and on top of it, hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers shed their blood for this land. Even the GDR resisted, not wanting to give Szczecin to the Poles – the dispute over the city was finally solved only in 1956, under pressure from the USSR.

Apart from the Poles, the Baltic States express a strong indignation by the “occupation”. Well, it’s worth remembering: the current capital – Vilnius – was also presented to Lithuania by the USSR; by the way, the Lithuanian population of Vilnius was then… barely 1%, with Polish being the majority. USSR returned to the Republic the city of Klaipeda – Prussian Memel, owned by Lithuanians in the 1923-1939, and annexed by the Third Reich. Already back in 1991 the Lithuanian leadership condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but no one returned neither Vilnius to Poland, nor Klaipeda to Germany.

Ukraine, which by the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s words, declared itself “a victim of Soviet aggression on a par with German,” is unlikely to give to the Poles its western part with Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil (these cities were included by the “aggressor” into the UkSSR in 1939), Chernivtsi region to Romania (ceded to the UkSSR on August 2, 1940), and Transcarpathia to Hungary or Slovakia – received on June 29, 1945. Romanian politicians do not stop discussions about the validity of the “annexation” of Moldova by the Soviet Union in 1940. Of course, it’s long forgotten that after the war, it was thanks to Soviets that Romanians got back the province of Transylvania, which Hitler took in favour of Hungary. Bulgaria, by the mediation of Stalin himself, kept South Dobrudja (formerly the possession of that very same Romania), something that was confirmed by the treaty of 1947. But now Romanian and Bulgarian newspapers do not say a single word about it.

They don’t say ‘Thank you’

– After 1991, Czech Republic removed the monuments to the Soviet soldiers, and announced that Victory Day marks the replacement of one dictatorship with another, – says Alexander Zeman, a Czech historian. – However, it was thanks to the insistence of the Soviet Union, that Sudetenland was returned to Czechoslovakia, with the cities of Karlovy Vary and Liberec, where 92% of the population were Germans. Recall that at the Munich Conference of 1938 the Western powers supported the annexation of the Sudetenland by Germany – only the Soviet Union protested. At the same time the Poles grabbed from Czechoslovakia the Cieszyn region and did not want to give it back after the war, insisting on a referendum. Under the pressure of the USSR on Poland, supporting the the Czechoslovak position, a treaty was signed – Tesín returned to the Czechs, secured by the agreement of 1958. No one says ‘Thank you’ to the Soviet Union for this help – apparently the Russians are in debt to us with the very fact of their existence.

In general, we gave away all the lands, not forgetting anyone – and for this they now spit in our faces. In addition, few people know about the pogroms, committed by the new government on “the returned areas” – 14 million Germans were expelled from Pomerania and the Sudetenland. While the residents of Königsberg (which became Soviet Kaliningrad) moved to the GDR over the period of 6 years (until 1951), Poland and Czechoslovakia giving 2-3 months, while many Germans were given only 24 hours to get ready, being allowed to take only a suitcase of things, and forced to walk on foot for hundreds of kilometres. “You know, it’s not worth mentioning it, – they timidly point out to me at City Hall of Szczecin. – Such things spoil our good relations with Germany.” Well, yes, we get poked in the face for every little thing, while it’s a sin to offend the Germans.

What interests me personally in this matter is the question of justice. Things have already reached schizophrenia: when a person in Eastern Europe says that the Soviet victory over the Nazis is the liberation, he is regarded as either a fool or a traitor. Guys, let’s be honest. If the consequences of May 9, 1945 are so bad, illegal and terrible, all the other actions of the USSR are similarly no better. How could the solution by those who brought tyranny into your land be good? Therefore Poland should give Silesia, Pomerania and Prussia back to the Germans, Ukraine should return their western part to the Poles, Chernovtsy to Romanians, Transcarpathia to Hungary, Lithuania should abandon Vilnius and Klaipeda, Romania should give up Transylvania, the Czech Republic – the Sudetenland and Tesin, Bulgaria – Dobrogea. And then everything will be completely honest. But what do we have? They slander us for all it’s worth, accuse us of all mortal sins, but at the same time clutch with a stranglehold onto the Stalin’s “gifts”. Sometimes I feel like imagining: I’m curious what would have happen should USSR push Hitler back exactly to its borders and not look further into Europe after that? What would have now been left of the territories of those countries, that today, before the 70th anniversary of the Victory, are calling their liberation by Soviet troops for “occupation”? The answer is, however, extremely simple – bits and pieces.

Europe after 1945
(The map of Europe, showing territories changing hands after 1945. Only the insets are translated, leaving to the reader the country and city names as an easy exercise in political geography. The original image can be found in the AiF article.)

How Europe was partitioned after 1945

Expert opinion by historian Rudolph Pihoj

– There is a half-legendary story that during Churchill’s visit to Moscow in 1944, he and Stalin drew the map of postwar partitioning of Europe during a dinner on plain napkin. Eyewitnesses claimed that the “document” contained a series of numbers, which (in percent) reflected the degree of the future influence of the Soviet Union and the West in different regions: Bulgaria and Romania – 90 to 10, Greece – 10 to 90, Yugoslavia – equally …

That napkin was not preserved, but in principle the issue of changing of the borders in Europe was settled by the “big three” – Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill – during the Tehran and Yalta conferences. USSR adhered to the concept that was developed already back in 1944 by the Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Ivan Maisky. It implied that the Soviet Union should establish such a configuration of borders, which would ensure the safety of the country for at least 25, and preferably 50 years.

In accordance with the concept developed by Maisky, USSR annexed the former German Memel, which became Lithuanian Klaipeda. The following cities became Soviet: Königsberg (Kaliningrad), Pillai (Baltijsk) and Tilsit (Soviet), which now constitute the Kaliningrad region of Russia. Also, the USSR secured the part of the territory of Finland, that was attached as a result of the “Winter War”. In general, the Soviet policy of those years was characterised by a surprising consistency in addressing regional issues. The only thing that could not be done – seizing the Black Sea straits, although this issue was discussed in Tehran and Yalta. While Port Arthur again, as in the early twentieth century, became an outpost of the country in the Far East, not to mention the southern part of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands, which Russia lost as a result of the Russian-Japanese war.

“Sophie” against Canaris.
She fought for USSR, but became Hero of Russia

This is my translation of WWII documentary article, published in “Argumenty i Fakty” on the 27th of March 2014.

Last year, 70 years later, the title of Hero of Russia (posthumously) was awarded to a resident of Soviet intelligence in Crimea, Alime Abdenanova.

Alime Abdenanova was a simple Crimean girl.

I leaf through a copy of the personal dossier of the Soviet intelligence resident in the Crimea, “Sofie”. These 15 sheets of Soviet military intelligence were long guarded, and got declassifying only in January 2008. The chiefs did not make a mistake in selecting her call sign, “Sofie”, which, in translation from the Tatar, means “pure, faithful”… And so was a Crimean Tatar Alime.

The individual case contains dry, standard words: was born in a suburb of Kerch on January 4, 1924, Tatar, finished seven years. Here is her receipt of observance of military secrecy, Komsomol card, presentation to the Order of the Red Banner, it even mentions her civilian salary – 375 roubles.

It would seem that’s a common characteristic of one of the thousands of Soviet military intelligence agents, who became a cog in a vast mechanism of Victory. Only one detail: thousands of Red Army soldiers who fought for the liberation of Crimea owe their lives to her. In her radiograms the girl passed on information about the transfer of German and Romanian troops through the station Sem’ Kolodezjej (Seven Wells). It is by her intelligence that our pilots bombed in Kerch fascist trains with soldiers and equipment. She held out in the German rear for six months. All in all, the fate measured out to Alime 20 years and 3 months of life.

So whose was Crimea?

On the eve of the war, Nazi historians gave Hitler some food for thought, saying that in ancient times Crimea was first settled by Goth tribes. And the Führer decided to ascend the peninsula to Germany, turning it into the country of the Goths – Gotenland, and making Crimea, after the war’s end, a resort area for the tops of the Third Reich.

Our troops – the 4th Ukrainian Front and the Special Coastal Army – reached the peninsular on autumn of 1943. But they could not overcome the German defence. They went almost blindly: there was no intelligence about the number and disposition of the German troops, and only the single line of defence of Kerch stretches for 70 km.

The groups of Soviet intelligence sent to the Crimea disappeared one after another. They were opposed by powerful groups of Abwehr (military intelligence and counterintelligence. – Ed.) – more than 30 groups whose activities were supervised personally by the head of the Abwehr, Wilhelm Canaris.

The decision of the Soviet intelligence was unexpected – they decided to send to Crimea a female spy group from among the Crimean Tatar. But such candidates were not in reserves of the intelligence. Searches were conducted across the country. In the Krasnodar hospital there worked a nurse Alime – Crimean Tatar, Komsomol member, athlete, blue-eyed girl with brown hair, who came from those parts.

They told at the hospital that before she went to the front, the beauty went to a dance at the local club – to dance, as it turned out, the last waltz in her life…

For two weeks Alime participated in the special training program for intelligence: skydiving, studied ciphers, methods of agent recruitment. Natural courage and quick-wittedness helped Alima to become a commander of a scout group, consisting of two people – the second was a radio operator, a merry Larissa Gulyachenko with the call sign “Proud”. Command intelligence gave Larissa the following description: “Truthfully, not afraid of difficulties, resourceful, dreamy.” Who could have known that everything in fact would turn out to be the opposite.

In early October, a small “plywood” plane, punching Crimean rainy night, dropped the group in the steppe. On landing Alime injured her leg and, leaning on the radio operator, reached with difficulty her birth-village of Germai-Kachik.

Seeing her granddaughter, grandmother Revide just threw up her hands, while a younger sister Azife was happy. Grandmother, of course, guessed that Alime’s girlfriend Taisia ​​(the name that was given to the radio operator) appeared in the village not only in order to visit relatives. Later it will be recorded in the personal file of the resident, that she was able to organize an extensive intelligence network from her relatives and co-villagers, which promptly supplied the front with information on the nature and system of fortifications, deployment of troops, headquarters, clustering of manpower and equipment of the enemy. When the radio sessions were held, her little sister went out into the yard and upon noticing strangers, she would laugh loudly and sweep the streets so that the dust was raising as a pillar – a danger sign for the radio operators.

Radiograms to the Center went almost every day. Using data from only one such transmission, our bombers punched into the dust 42 cars with enemy manpower. Alime and her radio operator were awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

Betrayed by her own

They weren’t sitting idly in the Abwehr either. The Germans began to realize that Soviet intelligence is working under their noses. Team “Hercules” distinguished itself, the head of which soon proved to Canaris that a Russian “radio-mole” works in Kerch. A radio finder was summoned from Simferopol, and spotted a station near the village of Germai-Kachik. There were only a dozen of houses there, and it was easy to deduce in which one the radio operator was working. Together with the Germans, there came to grandmother Revide’s house… the radio operator “Proud.” That very same “Proud” Larissa Gulyachenko, who having seen how the partisans were tortured, betrayed the whole group.

Gulyachenko attacked the younger girl, demanding to be shown where she re-hid the station. Azife, protecting her sister, tried to keep quiet, but when the Germans threatened to shoot her grandmother and burn the house, she showed the hiding place in the barn.

Alime was taken to the town of Stary Krym, and thrown into solitary confinement. She was not allowed to sleep, starved, the nails were pulled from her fingers, her arms were broken. An underground fighter, Tamara Stroganova, inmate of the same prison, recalls: “I knew Alime well. My brother loved to dance with the lithe mobile girl. Large blue eyes. And then I hardly recognized her: in the bloody dress, with broken arms, bruised, once splendid hair were almost completely torn out. Seeing me, Alime put a finger to her lips as if to say: You do not know me… I’ve never seen her after that.”

According to some sources, spies were shot on the outskirts of Simferopol, in the vicinity of the farm “Krasnaja”. There the fascists threw about 300 Crimeans, including those still alive, into a concrete pit.

Alime’s niece Dzhevar Assanova tells:

– One of our elders told me that the soul Alime is flying over the village and can not find the rest. At first we did not believe, and then began to collect money for the monument to Alime. And we set it – near the road Kerch-Simferopol. Praised be Allah, the soul of Alime is in peace.

Money for the monument to Alime were collected by family and friends. Photo: From the family archive