A review of the TV series “Grozny” about Ivan the Formidable, by Alexander Rogers

A new TV series was aired in Russia, a series about the famous Russian tsar, who has been so much defamed both abroad and then domestically. I was critical in anticipating this series, and it seems my fears were well-founded to a point where watching it would be inadvisable. In a way the vibe of “Grozny” series appears to be somewhat akin to HBO’s “Chernobyl” angle.

As I wrote in the article with the translation of the documentary Black myths about Rus – From Ivan the Formidable until our time, “Grozny” actually translates as “Formidable”, while from the set go a mis-translation of his by-name was adopted in England, implying something terrible. We see the same pattern with every Russian leader throughout history, who did something great for Russia (and, often, the world) – they’d be maligned, while a weak leader, who worked towards destruction of Russia, would be celebrated in the West. Sadly, the tune, started in the West would later get foothold in the Russian minds, thus weakening Russian self-perception.

Alexander Rodgers is a journalist and blogger with many astute analytical articles in the economic and political spheres. Below is my translation of his review of “Grozny” TV series, titled “Hard tsar or hard times. A truthful lie. The analysis of ‘Grozny’ series”. His analysis echoes my own perception based on the documented accounts. The original Russian version can be found at Kont and at the author’s LiveJournal page.


Watching the TV series “Grozny” leaves one with a very depressing feeling.

Although some of the participants in our discussions of this series wrote “We liked it”, it is rather to the same tune as “There were no evil NKVD officer in this film about the war, so it can already be considered a masterpiece.”

Only 90%, and not 100%, of dirt in a show does not make the show clean.

Ivan Vasilyevich the Formidable is shown in the worst traditions of the Pikulev’s authorship.

Valentin Pikul is such an unscrupulous author, who for his many years of “creativity” poured mud on many characters of Russian history. And he devoted a whole trilogy to denigrating Grozny.
At the same time, he never worked in the archives and did not even try to rely on historical sources, but wrote as he saw fit, like another similar writer – Vladimir Sorokin (the latter also likes to attribute his homoerotic fantasies to historical characters).
In general, many Russian historians from the time of the Russian Empire and till present time still assess the reign of Ivan the Formidable not based on facts, but however fancy takes them.

But let’s start analysing the eight-part series itself.

The fact that the territory of Russia doubled during the reign of Ivan the Formidable (translator note: and its population grew by 1.5x) is not mentioned at all.

Three minutes of serial time are devoted to Kazan campaigns and the capture of Kazan.

The Astrakhan campaigns and the capture of Astrakhan are not mentioned at all.

Although these two conquests – Kazan and Astrakhan – not only increased the country’s territory, but also created new trade routes, as well as secured the territory of Russia, ending the history of several centuries of predatory raids by steppe nomads.

The war with Sweden (which was started by the Swedish King Gustav I Vasa and in which he was defeated) is not mentioned at all. Although it opened up sea routes for Russia to trade not only with the Hanseatic League, but also with Britain.

The conquest of Siberia by Ermak is not mentioned at all. And in general, a bunch of self-styled historians will now tell you that Ermak conquered Siberia “despite” the tsar’s will. Although he received reinforcements from the tsar in the form of detachments of archers, artillery and gunpowder – but all this does not count, because Ivan the Formidable should exclusively be portrayed as a cardboard operetta villain.

In general, some chronicles of the sixteenth century directly indicate that a number of European rulers were very concerned about the strengthening of the Muscovite Kingdom and tried in every possible way to prevent it from establishing stable diplomatic and trade relations with the countries of Northern Europe and the Hanseatic League, for which, in particular, they diligently denigrated Ivan Vasilyevich and portrayed him as a bloodthirsty tyrant.

That is, we can say that nothing has changed much in the last five hundred years.

Meanwhile, by this time the Russian state already had a sufficiently developed bureaucracy (which, in particular, was previously caused by the need to pay a poll tax), and the documents of that era allow us to have a fairly accurate picture not only of the general demographic situation in Russia of the time, but also to know almost by name all the victims of Grozny’s repressions.
All in all, the chronicles and censuses give us a total number of about 2400-2500 convicts and executed during the reign of Ivan the Formidable.

Given that, on the one hand, he sometimes had to suppress riots and quite real (and not fictional, as some authors try to convince us) conspiracies, and on the other hand, only in Paris, more than 20 thousand Frenchmen were killed during one Bartholomew’s Night (and significantly more throughout France), the real historical Ivan Vasilyevich appears to us as a very gentle and merciful ruler.

Both considering the harsh circumstances in which he had to live and rule, and the bloody morals of the contemporary European rulers.

Though who is surprised? The modern United States has killed one and a half million Iraqis and almost four hundred thousand Afghans, but Russia and China are still the aggressors.

But let’s plough on through the story about Ivan the Formidable.

The distribution of bread to the poor in lean years, which prevented thousands of starvation deaths, is shown during one minute of screen time.

The introduction of a border quarantine for visitors (one of the first in the world!), which did not let the Plague that raged in Europe into Russia, is also shown in passing and almost as the foolishness of a mad tyrant.

The fact that metallurgy in Russia was rapidly developing under Ivan the Formidable, and Russian cannons were considered the best and sold throughout Europe is not mentioned even with a single word

Complete silence about the Ecumenical Councils and Grozny’s church reforms.

They are trying to show us that Ivan Vasilyevich, the first Russian tsar – is a mentally ill paranoid man with delusions of persecution, who sees traitors and conspiracies everywhere.

A contemporary of those events, Staden, in his notes directly wrote: “Many noble nobles gathered a considerable party in Lithuania and Poland and wanted to go up in arms against their tsar.”
As we can see, there are indeed conspiracies and traitors, and numerous in numbers, but this is not a reason to consider Grozny to be an adequate ruler! One can thus talk to a point saying that the West wishes Russia ill, and is not seeking to bring it the molecules of democracy.

Kurbsky is a real traitor, the Shuisky family really tried to control young Ivan as a puppet, Repnin and others negotiated with Lithuania and Poland to support a foreign invasion and overthrow Ivan, the Novgorod “elites” really wanted to defect to Lithuania – but Grozny is paranoid, paranoid, paranoid!

Such persistent attempts to portray Ivan the Formidable as a mad tyrant are more akin to hysteria.

In addition he has on his hands the Livonian War in the north and the Tartar raids in the south, while [he’s being portrayed as] grieving for five years over his poisoned wife. Hopelessness, and decay, and dementia.

Let’s look objectively.

  1. The creation of Archery regiment (Streltsy) is one of the first attempts in Europe (if not in the world) to form a regular professional army. And quite successful one at that. This is despite the fact that in most of Europe of that time, peasant militia and baronial squads were continued to be used.
  2. The All-Land Gathering (Zemsky Sobor) lays the foundations of parliamentarism.
  3. The Judicial Codex (Sudebnik) limited arbitrariness of the Boyars (similar to Counts), who before were free to judge and execute as they please anyone on their territory. Creation of a unified legislative system and a system of state courts.
  4. The Hundred-fold Gathering (Stoglavy Sobor) is a restriction of the power of the church.
  5. A system of state ministries (Prikazy) has been formed.

This is by far not the limit to the list of reforms of Ivan the Formidable.

And here we come to one of the most important innovations of Ivan – The Oprichnina.

Oprichnina is not just some medieval NKVD or KGB.

Oprichnina is, first and foremost, the introduction of the concept of “sovereign lands”. Not just the “patrimony” of the counts, but lands of the State, from which taxes are collected, in particular for the maintenance of regular troops. As well as for other needs, starting with the upkeep of “tsar’s men” (officials) and ending with a special tax for the ransom of Russians who were taken into slavery.

In fact, Ivan the Formidable introduced a two-fold economy. Something similar was introduced in Prussia by Frederick II, who received the nickname the Great for this. But Friedrich introduced it two hundred years after Ivan…

And, as a consequence of the introduction of sovereign lands, Grozny abolishes the “feeding” and introduces the Code of Service.

By the way, Grozny is such a tyrant-tyrant that during his reign several neighbouring territories voluntarily asked to be part of Russia. Apparently, there was a great lack of repression in their bodies.

Wait… after all, even now Pridnestrovie (Transnistria), Abkhazia, Ossetia, Donbass want to join the “tyrannical Russia”… how come?!

In fact, the entire reign of Grozny is not only a campaign of conquest, but also a constant struggle with feudal fragmentation and the formation of a centralized state. Oftentimes his reforms were ahead of their time.

Name us a country that would have passed this stage without the most powerful civil strife and even civil wars. We don’t know them.

But the series doesn’t tell us anything like that. Instead, we are obsessively told that an inner beast and darkness lives inside Ivan the Formidable, with which he copes for a while thanks to his wife and wise mentors from among the priesthood. But the wife is poisoned, and on the basis of grief, Grozny goes mad, executes the mentors or exiles them to Solovki.

Oh, and by the way! Grozny also founded the Printing Yard and helped the First Printer Fyodorov to start mass printing of books. But he does this, too, only under the wise guidance of silent mentors.

And then the Oprichnina begins, and it’s bad, bad, bad!

Basmanov and Vyazemsky are schemers who play on the tsar’s paranoia to rob the poor and unhappy Boyars.

In general, in this part of the series, the authors clearly relied on Kurbsky’s writings “The Story of the Grand Duke of Moscow”. Having fled to Lithuania, the traitor Andrey Kurbsky could not realize his huge ambitions, and therefore he took petty revenge on his former fellow citizens, carefully pouring mud on them (today Kurbsky would have clearly been a participant in the Open Russia forums in Vilnius).

So the authors of the series first portray Fyodor Basmanov as a homosexual (the girls look at him, but he does not look at them). There is no historical evidence for this, except for the writings of Kurbsky, who wrote to the point that he said that Basmanov was the lover of Ivan the Formidable (this is despite the fact that Grozny was a famous womanizer who actively played on the female field).

And then they reproduce the myth that Ivan forced the imprisoned father and son Basmanovs to fight each other, promising the winner life. Again, apart from Kurbsky’s writings, this is not confirmed by any other sources.

Kurbsky by this time had been living in Lithuania for several years, he did not have the Internet, and he could not know what was really happening in Moscow. Therefore, personally, we consider his nonsense a stupid lie of an offended figure. But why do the authors of the series rely on such dubious sources is a big question.

In general, from about the beginning of the fifth episode, it becomes extremely difficult to watch the series. Because the feeling of hopelessness of the narrative is simply off the scale. Everything is bad and will only get worse and worse. Crazy Salieri kills Mozart! Oh, sorry, it’s from another KVN performance…

Grozny is going more and more mad, the schemers around him are more and more insidious, the repressions are more and more senseless and bloody. The level of “truthfulness” is increasingly off the scale and is approaching the one from Solzhenitsyn.

The evil tyrant even orders to hide his library in a secret place, and Malyuta Skuratov kills all his subordinates who helped him hide it. That’s what a tyrant he is!
Although the real library of Grozny had most likely burned down during one of the many Moscow fires. But that would not be as interesing, a lot of people have been pretending for decades that they are looking for it and are about to find it soon – getting grants and scientific degrees.

Oh, yes! For the whole of Russia, there is exactly 1 (in words: one) supernindja. He, it appears, went behind the enemy lines (where-where?) during the Kazan campaign. And he worked as Adashev’s personal superagent. And he intercepted the messenger of Staritsky’s mother, preventing a civil war. And he stole a bottle of holy water from Skuratov. And he caught the murderer Grozny’s son, Dmitry. And he single-handedly dispersed of thirty Livonians, saving a particularly valuable German paper for Fedorov. And he got information about the movements of the Tatars. And he killed the leader of the Tatars.

In general, as Comrade Gogol wrote, “My grandfather was a liar, but he pales before your prowess.”

At the same time, judging by the general clumsiness of movements, the actor who plays him took about zero fencing lessons in his life. Luka Bondarev is the savior of Russia. Ivan the Formidable is a tyrant and despot.

And the battle of Molodi was won by the Russians – in the best modern tradition of “correctness” – “despite of” Grozny. And it does not matter that Archer regiments and Oprichnina troops, created by Ivan the Formidable, and led by guardsmen Vorotynsky and Khvorostinin are fighting there.

Again, Kurbsky wrote from his burrow in Lithuania that Vorotynsky was accused of trying to bewitch the tsar and burned. But at the same time he is not mentioned in the “Synod of the disgraced” – the list of those repressed by Grozny. And the count died a natural death.

So it turns out that judging the times of Grozny by the writings of Kurbsky is like judging modern Russia by the deliriums of Slava Rabinovich.

And allegedly Ivan the Formidable wanted to defect to Britain. There is no historical evidence for this, but why not throw in a lie about it as well?

In general, the series once again shows us that the whole history of Russia is darkness and horror, repression and death, Solovki and the GULAG, bloody decomposition. Pay and repent, repent and pay.

There are not enough people with brooms and dogs for such “creators”. To be gnawed out and swept out.

President Vladimir Putin on keeping the records of the pre-WWII time straight

“Future generations will acknowledge their debt to the Red Army as unreservedly as do we who have lived to witness these proud achievements.”
— Winston Chirchill

At the end of last year the heads of CIS (sans Ukraine) held a summit in St.Petersburg, during which President Vladimir Putin raised a very important of keeping the record of the pre-WWII years straight, especially in light of the EU and the collective West trying to reverse polarities and paint the victim – the USSR – as an aggressor. Like in the caricature below:

Quite a few documents were taken out of the archives and made available to the public for the first time, presenting unrefutable evidence of how Germany was armed by the West for an attack on the USSR, and how the USSR tried every thinkable peaceful venue to stop the war at the bud.

This initiative resulted in, among other things, a documentary film “The Great Unknown War”, which I newly translated. The President also published an article in The National Interest, called The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II with great insights of that not so distant past for the Western “amnesiaside” audience.

Here I want to draw everyone’s attention to Mr. Putin’s speech during that summit, with a few fragments quoted below.

CIS informal summit of December 20, 2019

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Parade in Moscow Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Victory over Nazism

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of victory over the Western-neutered Nazism in Germany. But more than that, it marks the full reawakening of Russia when it finally says, enough of the history rewriting, enough of painting white as black, enough of selective amnesia in the West, enough of trying to spare the feeling of the Eastern-European “brothers” when uncomfortable for them truths were swept under the rug.

No one’s forgotten. Nothing’s forgotten.

The suspiciously-timely COVID-19 pandemic was seemingly going to falter this reassertion and stop the Parade. But the events unfurled in an unfathomable way and allowed to push the day of the Parade further in time, to the 24th of June, the day, when the very first Victory Parade was held on the Red Square. The dark forces tried to demolish memory by demolishing the memorial, like it was done in Prague in May, but all they did was to awaken the sacred wrath.

And so it commenced…

This is a parade, where memories and history are reaffirmed with a detachment of the legendary T-34 tanks and soldiers in WWII uniforms


and the present-day Russias commitment to the defence of peace is reasserted

These images are from the following two RT reportages:

Moscow marks 75 years since victory over Nazis with traditional parade on Red Square (FULL VIDEO)
New additions & battle-proven hardware on display as Russia marks 75th anniversary of Nazi defeat with military parade (PHOTOS)

More at Lada Ray’s Futurist Trendcast: Full Red Square Parade Dedicated to 75th Anniversary of Great Victory in WWII, June 24, 2020, Moscow

Remembering the Start of the Great Patriotic War

On the 22nd of June,
at 4am sharp,
Kiev was bombed and we were informed,
That the War had begun.

The War started at dawn
so that more people were killed.
Parents slept, their children were sleeping
when on Kiev bombs fell.


Birds are not singing here,
Trees do not grow in these parts.
Only we, shoulder to shoulder,
Are sinking into the Earth.
The planet is burning and spinning,
Smoke is above Motherland.
And so we only need one Victory!
One for everyone, and we’ll pay any price.
One for everyone, and we’ll pay any price.


At this hour of remembrance, please read:

Vladimir Putin Shocks the West! The Munich Betrayal and The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II (Putin’s Article in The National Interest Magazine, USA)

with a direct link to President Putin’s article

Vladimir Putin: The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II

and watch

The Great Unknown War. A must-see documentary about the WWII prelude. By Andrei Medvedev

The Great Unknown War. A must-see documentary about the WWII prelude. By Andrei Medvedev

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UPDATE: Please read the very revelavt to this documentary, poignant, and important insights in President Vladimir Putin’s article The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II, published in The National Interest on the 18th of June 2020.

These days mark 71 year since the start of the Great Patriotic war of the USSR against the invading Nazi horde, and 75 years since this horde was defeated. And it is of utmost importance to understand how this horde came to be, who nurtured it. Andrei Medvedev’s documentary “The Great Unknown War” does just that.

It is assumed in our historiography that the USSR and its allies – the United States, Britain and France – fought with Nazi Germany, which was supported by its allies – Hungary, Romania, Italy, and Japan. And the Soviet Union won this unbearably difficult war.

But it is very important to understand whether our allies were really sincere, on whose side were the so-called neutral countries, and why the war on the Eastern front was so violent with mass destruction of the population.

Without understanding who brought Hitler to power, who financed him, who earned money from the war, we will never realize the greatness of the feat of the Soviet people.

Without a deep understanding of the causes of the war and an analysis of diplomatic agreements, we will not see that the attack on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 was the result of a serious geopolitical process.

An important question is: who was behind Hitler, who in Europe needed such a Germany and why? Aggressive, militarized, anti-Bolshevik and anti-Russian.

What would Germany be without American loans? Without investment from American companies? Germany could not have fought in the East without receiving for free the top-notch factories of Czechoslovakia, which it gained by the Munich Conspiracy of 1938, when England and France gave up the whole country to Hitler. What for? What were the Western politicians planning?

Why did the allies take so long to open a Second front and what is the Bank for International Settlements? Why did its participants meet every month throughout the Second World War?

How many foreigners fought in the SS, and who defended the Reich Chancellery in May 1945? For whom in Europe were Hitler’s ideas so dear: nationalism, anti-Semitism and living space in the East.

The film “The Great Unknown War” is a story about what the Soviet Union actually faced. And the terrible cost at which we won a war that we were not supposed to win.

As promised a month ago, I have now translated the entire documentary to English. White writing this translation, a lot of background checks were done, and every date and name were verified. Most quotes of the Western politicians are re-translations from Russian, except for a few, where open original sources were available. The links to the sources are added both to the transacrips and the downloadable subtitles (as comments).

While watching the documentary, I could not shake off the feeling of the stark parallel of how the Nazi Germany was propped up, and how, in much the same way, the Nazi Ukraine is being propped up now. One example: just replace the name of Henri Deterding of the British-Dutch “Shell” with that of Biden Jr. to see the present-day play of interests. Or replace “Bank for International Settlements” (BIS) with the International Monetary Fund. But there are big differences, too. While Germany was heavily invested into, to make it into a battering ram against Russia, Ukraine is being turned into an ideological battering ram, while at the same time being plundered of its last Soviet industrial legacy.

However, the target was always Russia, and WWII was just a fifth act in a war that lasted for several hundred years, dotted by a few armistices. Here is a list of those wars (with some documentaries in Russian):

  1. The Napoleonic Wars of 1812
  2. World War 0 of 1853-1856, mis-nomered as “The Crimean War”, when that was but one of many battles. Just think of one simple fact: if Russia lost the Crimean War, why did Russia retain Crimea?
  3. The war with Japan and the first attempt to conduct a coup d’etat in Russia in 1905
  4. World War I, which was a suicide for Europe, started in 1914, and culminated in the capitalistic coup d’etat in Russia in February of 1917.
  5. World War II and the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945…
  6. …immediately followed by the Cold War, which was planned to not be that cold. Even before it started Winston Churchill ordered development of the “Plan Unthinkable”, the goal of which was to strike the USSR in July of 1945. I am not quoting The Guardian often, if ever, but this article from 2002 is worth the read: The Soviet threat was a myth
  7. This “Cold War” lead to another coup d’etat in Russia and a forced instalment of the bloody Yeltsin regime in November of 1993, the Wild 90’s that took the lives of over 30 million Russian and Soviet people over the course of 7 years of oligarchic rule; and the destruction of the Yugoslavia by NATO in the process.

It is all intertwined. But now, let as zoom in on the developments between WWI and WWII.

One other parallel that sprung to mind is how the German Weimar Republic and its achievements were appropriated and privatised by the Anglo-Saxon (or, rather, “Naglo-Saxon” West), while the Republic itself became demonised once West-sponsored Hitler took power. The same happened to the great legacy of the Soviet Union now, after the West-sponsored Yeltsin took power in Russia. For example, IG Farben Industries, which gave to humanity fertilisers, magnetic tape and magnetophones and many other things during the Weimar Republic, but once it got taken over by the Nazi state and developed the murderous gas “Zyklon B”, that’s all that remained, while origins of the prior works were earased and ascribed to the “victors” after WWII. More about it in the article “IG Farben – the main weapon of the XX-th century“.


1Nemo1KPB8UjQjrURqn6V7Mscungx44XS2Please note that translating a documentary film or an article takes a lot of time and emotional effort. I am doing it on a voluntary basis, but if someone feels like supporting my work, a Bitcoin donation to the following address is appreciated: 1Nemo1KPB8UjQjrURqn6V7Mscungx44XS2

On several previous occasions YouTube removed my uploads of translations, so to avoid any problems, here are 5 easy steps that will allow you to watch it with subtitles on your desktop machine:

  1. Download the video, using BitDownloader
  2. Download the subtitles (Right-click the link and choose ‘Save As’)
  3. Download and install VLC for your operating system
  4. Make sure that the video and the subtitle files have the same name
  5. Play the video in VLC – subtitles will load automatically

The complete transcript of the subtitles, with occasional annotation links to external resources, is below the video frame.

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History comes full circle: 75th Victory Anniversary Parade in Moscow will be held on the 24th of June

And so it is official!

The Victory Day parade in Moscow, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Victory over Nazism will be held on the 24th of June. Exactly 75 years after the first such parade, when the defeated Nazi banners were thrown at the foot of the Lenin Mausoleum.

Lada Ray has written an extended free article covering this announcement, and more: Turning Lemons Into Lemonade! Putin Announces New Victory Parade Dates… And So Much More! (and at Patreon)

Here are videos from that parade, reposted from my earlier translation article Victory Parade in Moscow on June 24, 1945. With English subtitles and in colour:

The Great Patriotic War in Ukraine. A historical retrospective by Rostislav Ischenko

The following article by a Ukrainian politolog and historian in exile Rostislav Ischenko provides a much-needed context for both the current proliferation of Nazism in Ukraine, and the Banderite phenomenon of WWII.


The Great Patriotic War in Ukraine

by Rostislav Ischenko, published 09.05.2020 on the portal Ukraina.ru and at the open blog platform Kont.

It is sometimes said that the war started earlier for Ukraine than for the rest of the USSR. Thinking of the fact that when Hitler attacked Poland, the Western Ukrainian and Western Belorussian lands were part of the latter and thus also came under attack

German checkpoints
German checkpoint

This, however, is not entirely true. By the way, this interpretation of events has almost got no traction in Belorussia. And this is logical. The fact is that the German troops attacking Poland did not advance further than the Brest-Lvov line. Serious fighting was only for Lvov over the course of 2 days. After defeating the Polish group that retreated to the city, the Germans abandoned the city, which the Red Army entered, and it, along with all the Western Ukrainian territories, was annexed to the Ukrainian SSR.

If anyone in Ukraine entered the war on September 1, 1939, it was Ukrainian nationalists who opposed the Polish state on the side of Nazi Germany, just as they sided with Hitler against the USSR on June 22, 1941.

This difference between the Western Ukrainian territories and the Ukrainian SSR, the Belorussian SSR, and even the territories of Western Belarus (which were part of Poland before 1939) was well understood by Hitler. The Nazi dictator clearly understood the mentality of the peoples who inhabited the UkSSR much better than his generals and party bonzes. Let’s see how he administratively divided the occupied territories of the USSR.

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Criminalisation and persecution of St.George Ribbon in Ukraine: why the Ukro-Nazis are after the centuries-old symbol of Russian heroism

This post is a translation of an article by a Ukrainian politolog and historian in exile Rostislav Ischenko. The translation will be supplemented with commentary, references and images added by yours truly. This is an important reading to understand the symbolism and history of St.George ribbon – “Georgievskaja lentochka” in Russian.

Two years ago Lada Ray published an extensive article on the topic: The Importance of Victory Day, The Immortal Regiment, St. George Ribbon – AND GLOBALIST PLAN FIASCO!, and since then the situation in Ukraine has only gone from bad to worse.

And now, without further ado, the article:


Anton Drobovich against St.George

by Rostislav Ischenko, published 05.05.2020 on the portal Ukraina.ru and at the open blog platform Kont.

On the eve of the Victory Day in Ukraine, as it happened before, there is an increased activity among the nationalists who indict how to “properly” celebrate the holiday. Naturally, leading them all is the Institute of National Memory, the head of which, Anton Drobovich, zealously continues the work of his predecessor Vladimir Vyatrovich to eradicate the memory of the great Victory from the citizens of Ukraine. [Translator note: the naming of the “institute” is the direct nod to Orwell’s “1984”]

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USA and the West are continuing to impudently re-write the WWII history. Let’s remind the Naglosaxons: Soviet Soldier Saved the World! #Victory75 #IRemember #ImmortalRegimentOnline

It is not accidental the “Anglosaxons” are derisively called “Naglosaxons” by lots of Russian-speaking Internet users. By swapping the first two letters, the meaning of their name starts to reflect their deeds: “impudent saxons”.

I wrote a year ago how is History being rewritten in front of our eyes… when a memorial coin without the Soviet flag was issued in the West. And now it happens again, with even greater impudence!

Soviet banner over Reichstag
The iconic image of the Soviet soldiers raising the Red Banner over Reichstag in the defeated Berlin. The image, which Facebook is, incidentally, censoring in its colourised form!

Ironically, it is Germany that best keeps the memories of that war against Nazism…

From Lada Ray’s Futurist Terndcast: Autographs of Victory | THE DAY OF VICTORY AGAINST FASCISM – wartime graffiti left by Soviet soldiers in the Reichstag #Victory75 #ImmortalRegimentOnline #БессмертныйПолкОнлайн

…while the rest of the West is unifying in its enforced amnesia:

United States officially REWROTE history this V-day when it IGNORED Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazism

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Victory Parade in Moscow on June 24, 1945. With English subtitles and in colour

On June 24, 1945, the first parade dedicated to the victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War was held in Moscow on the Red Square. The combined regiments of the fronts, the combined regiment of the people’s Commissariat of defence, the combined regiment of the Navy, military academies, military schools, and the troops of the Moscow garrison were brought to the Victory Parade. The parade was commanded by Marshal of the Soviet Union K. K. Rokossovsky, and the parade was taken by Marshal of the Soviet Union G. K. Zhukov. From the podium of the Lenin Mausoleum, Stalin watched the parade, as well as Molotov, Kalinin, Voroshilov, Budyonny and other members of the Politburo.

This film was the first colour film in the USSR. The Victory parade on June 24, 1945 was filmed on German trophy film from the warehouse of “Agfa”. After the film was shot, it turned out that most of the tape had colour defects. As the colour films were not made in the USSR, there was not enough experience in working on colour correction. Therefore, the entire film was transferred to B/W film, and a 19-minute film was edited from the material that was of suitable quality. And many years later, in 2004, the Central State Archive of Film and Photo Documents restored the colour version of the film. The film was restored, removing all mechanical damage to the film, restoring the colour and transferring the image to modern colour film.

I have translated both the full black-and-white version of the Parade, including Marshal Zhukov’s speech, and the shorter colour version. The subtitles can be downloaded separately for the black-and-while film, and for the colour film.

Below the video frames are the complete transcripts, kept here for the reference. I was translating Zhukov’s speech, based on the Russian transcript here. What I found disconcerting, is that the BW documentary was edited to remove any reference to Stalin’s contribution and guidance! It seems the editing was done during the time, when Khrushjov waged his personal vendetta against Stalin’s memory. The colour version, though it does not include Zhukov’s speech, has Stalin “rehabilitated” and properly referenced.

Related reading:

After the 24th of June 1945, the Victory Day parades were held in the USSR 3 more times – at the anniversary dates on the 9th of May 1965, 1985 and 1990. Next time it was conducted in already Russia on the 9th of May 1995, and then annually after that date. In the USSR military parades were customarily held annually on the 7th of November, commemorating the October Revolution.

In order to be re-uploaded with the subtitles, the footage of the B/W film was downloaded from the Classics of the Soviet Cinema YouTube channel. There was one quote in a viewer comment there, which I found especially poignant (note that 9 million is the number of combatant losses according to the early estimates after the war, the total number of the Soviet citizens who lost their lives during the Great Patriotic War is 27 million people):

Once my father expressed a piercing and terrible thought: “Ten thousand soldiers and officers of the armies and fronts participated at the principal Parade in honour of the Victory Day on June 24, 1945. The passage of the parade “boxes” of troops lasted thirty minutes. And you know what I thought? During the four years of the war, the losses of our army amounted to almost nine million dead. And each one of them, who gave the most precious thing to Victory – their lives! – is worthy to walk in that parade on the Red Square. So, if all the dead were put in parade formation, then these “boxes” would go through Red Square for nineteen days… ” and I suddenly, as if in reality, imagined this parade. Parade “boxes” of twenty by ten. One hundred and twenty steps a minute. In windings and boots, overcoats, and jackets, in caps, earflaps, “budenovki”, helmets, caps. And for nineteen days and nights this continuous stream of fallen battalions, regiments, and divisions would have passed through the Red Square. Parade of the heroes, parade of the winners. Think about it! Nineteen days!
— V. Shurygin

There is such a parade now in Russia, and its name is The Immortal Regiment! This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federative branch of the Regiment holds it march and commemoration on-line.

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The Red Square Parade of 1941 – Documentary Film (English subtitles and transcript)

The watershed moment of The Great Patriotic War, and of WWII, when it became clear that the Soviet Union would not fall, when the German Fascists can be defeated. The Battle of Moscow. But preceding it was an event of the utmost importance for the morale of the whole country – the Parade on the Red Square on the 7th of November 1941, as Stalin’s unifying and encouraging speech at the parade.

The documentary that I just translated tells the story of filming of the Oscar-winning documentary “Rout of the German Troops Near Moscow” from 1941. But it is much more. It de-crowns several myths – some benign, and some used by the present-day rewriters of WWII history. It tells about the heroism of the front-line cameramen, who filmed and died so that this history would not be forgotten. And it delves into a little-known side of the American-Soviet relations during the war.

1Nemo1KPB8UjQjrURqn6V7Mscungx44XS2Please note that translating a documentary film or an article takes a lot of time and emotional effort. I am doing it on a voluntary basis, but if someone feels like supporting my work, a Bitcoin donation to the following address is appreciated: 1Nemo1KPB8UjQjrURqn6V7Mscungx44XS2

On several previous occasions YouTube removed my uploads of translations, so to avoid any problems, here are 5 easy steps that will allow you to watch it with subtitles on your desktop machine:

  1. Download the video above, using BitDownloader
  2. Download the subtitles (Right-click the link and choose ‘Save As’)
  3. Download and install VLC for your operating system
  4. Make sure that the video and the subtitle files have the same name
  5. Play the video in VLC – subtitles will load automatically

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Newsflash: “The Great Unknown War” documentary with Andrei Medvedev to be aired on the 7th of May

The unknown and erased side of WWII brought to light in all its ugly detail in this upcoming documentary by Andrei Medvedev. I have previously translated his eye-opening investigative documentary about the history of Ukainisation, Project ‘Ukraine’. Documentary by Andrei Medvedev (with English subtitles), and I am intending to translate this WWII documentary some time after its release.

In the meantime, here is a translated summary and the complete untranslated film, as well as a fragment of the film at the official youTube channel of Vesti.

From VGTRK:

It is assumed in our historiography that the USSR and its allies – the United States, Britain and France – fought with Nazi Germany, which was supported by its allies – Hungary, Romania, Italy, and Japan. And the Soviet Union won this unbearably difficult war.

But it is very important to understand whether our allies were really sincere, on whose side were the so-called neutral countries, and why the war on the Eastern front was so violent with mass destruction of the population.

Without understanding who brought Hitler to power, who financed him, who earned money from the war, we will never realize the greatness of the feat of the Soviet people.

Without a deep understanding of the causes of the war and an analysis of diplomatic agreements, we will not see that the attack on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 was the result of a serious geopolitical process.

An important question is: who was behind Hitler, who in Europe needed such a Germany and why? Aggressive, militarized, anti-Bolshevik and anti-Russian.

What would Germany be without American loans? Without investment from American companies? Germany could not have fought in the East without receiving for free the top-notch factories of Czechoslovakia, which it gained by the Munich Conspiracy of 1938, when England and France gave up the whole country to Hitler. What for? What were the Western politicians planning?

Why did the allies take so long to open a Second front and what is the Bank for International Settlements? Why did its participants meet every month throughout the Second World War?

How many foreigners fought in the SS, and who defended the Reich Chancellery in May 1945? For whom in Europe were Hitler’s ideas so dear: nationalism, anti-Semitism and living space in the East.

The film “The Great Unknown War” is a story about what the Soviet Union actually faced. And the terrible cost at which we won a war that we were not supposed to win.

Stalin’s Speech at the November 7th 1941 Parade on the Red Square

This historic speech was given by Iosif Stalin at the darkest hour, when the enemy was at the gates of Moscow. The speech and the parade marked the turning point of the war. In many ways it is prophetic, but it also has references to the immediate past, which are important to understand.

Knowing this text will be important for the context of two translations that I intend to publish on and after the Victory day.

The complete text in Russian can be read here.



Comrade fighters of the Red Army and the Red Navy, commanders and political instructors, labourers, collective farmers, workers of intellectual work, brothers and sisters in the rear of our enemy, temporarily fallen under the yoke of the German brigands, our glorious partisans, destroying the rear of the German invaders!

On behalf of the Soviet government and our Bolshevik party I greet and congratulate you on the 24th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.

Comrades! It is in difficult conditions that we have to celebrate the 24th anniversary of the October revolution today. The treacherous attack of the German brigands and the war imposed on us have created a threat to our country. We temporarily lost a number of regions, and the enemy found themselves at the gates of Leningrad and Moscow. The enemy counted on the fact that after the first blow our army would be scattered, our country would be brought to its knees. But the enemy cruelly miscalculated. Despite temporary setbacks, our Army and our Navy are heroically repelling the enemy’s attacks throughout the entire front, inflicting heavy damage on them, and our country – our entire country – has organized itself into a single military camp in order to carry out the defeat of the German invaders together with our Army and our Navy.
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Dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of the Victory. Hero-City of Sevastopol. NTV video-tribute

Sevastopol. The Crimean city that the locals say survived three sieges, the longest one ending in 2014. The second siege was between 1941 and 1944, when the city ultimately fell under the German control yet retained it fighting spirit until its liberation.

Below is an NTV tribute to the Hero-City of Sevastopol with my translation of the transcript

By the start of WWII, Sevastopol was the largest port of the Black Sea, and the main maritime military base of the USSR. Thus it was among the first Soviet cities bombed by the German aviation on the 22nd of June 1941.

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Zavgaev’s Method. Why they don’t destroy memorials to our soldiers in Slovenia

Contrasting to what is happening in the Czech Republic – where they newly tore down the memorial to the saviour of Prague, Marshal Ivan Konev – and other Eastern-European countries, Slovenia appears to be an island of sanity. This article from “Argumenty i Fakty” from 11.09.2019 delves into how it was achieved.

A related and very important background reading, is the following Lada Ray report from 2016: Putin’s visit to Slovenia, Slavic Union and Russia! It describes events, to which the translation below makes a reference.


Zavgaev’s Method. Why they don’t destroy memorials to our soldiers in Slovenia?


Monument to the Sons of Russia and the Soviet Union who died on Slovenian soil during the First and Second world wars

Behold Slovenia. The Ambassador’s name is Doku Gapurovich Zavgaev. The very same who led Chechnya (or rather, the Chechen-Ingush ASSR), then was the Ambassador to Africa (Tanzania), Deputy Head of the Foreign Ministry and its General Director. And since December 2009 is the Ambassador in Ljubljana.

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