Russia Running Out of Weapons 2.0 – A Documentary

It was very surreal listening last year to Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union speech, standing there in a brown suite, giving a OUN/UPA Nazi collaborator greeting, and then proclaiming that Russia was taking chips out of dishwashers. So much so, that it prompted us, while working on the translation of “2 Years” – A Danish Underground Publication from 1943, to create a historical parallel caricature. At the same time, media was in a frenzy about how Russia, any second now will run out of missiles, or had actually already done so. It was also presenting a portent analogy to the media frenzy in the German-affiliated press in 1941, just as Nazi Germany invaded the USSR. I was saving the links to those publications back then, for a better time, which happened to be now…

Bizarre delusions of grandeur to go with self-seductive propaganda narratives seem to be inherent as Western imperialism once a century launches project “defeat and conquer Russia”.

German Nazism once displayed it big time, and EU and NATO now parrot their predecessor while openly aligning politically with Fascism.

Since the start of the SMO western MSM have consistently reported “Russia out of missiles”. A mantra that didn’t age very well and the humour is lost on no-one, when the articles are viewed in one take. We added some 1940s deja-vu, plus a little something for the full-spectrum experience.


The video is also published on the “Beorn and The Shieldmaiden” Telegram channel.

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Western songs of the ’90s that codified the youth of the USSR – Pet Shop Boys and Scorpions

Back in the early 90s I, just as lots of other youths in Russia and the post-Soviet space listened to a multitude of Western pop groups, like Scorpions, Pet shop boys, A-Ha. With my command of the English language becoming more solid, I was also starting to understand the lyrics – remember, there was no Internet to check the texts, so you got by with what you understood on your own.

And the understanding was that of a warm and fuzzy welcoming feeling – the West invitingly offering to become the best friend of Russia. Or so it seemed. Later, in the naughts, came other musical preferences, and Scorpions with PSB faded into the background.

Now, many decades later I re-listened to some of my favourites from that time. And, what is more important, re-watched the clips. It’s important to keep in mind that not all music of that time had a political undercurrent or agenda, in fact, the majority of the clips were perfectly innocent in this regard. And then there were occasional musical items that failed the smell test of time.

“Wind of Change” by Scorpions seemed like a nice peace-building work of musical art, a hand of friendship outstretch to the new Russia… until 2023, when they changed the lyrics to suite the new political agenda of pandering to Ukraine, with Ukraine becoming the new target for this song.

Pet Shop Boys has two clips that drew my attention with the modern knowledge of the past events. Watch closely “Go West”. I always thought of it as addressing the wider Soviet audience, luring people into the sweet embrace of the West (that with the hindsight turned out to be a sweet honey trap). Yet, watch closely the clip.

Pay attention to the blue-and-yellow “Ukrainian” colour scheme…

…the gesture of the OUN-UPA Bandera Nazi collaborators nonchalantly thrown at three places in the clip…

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Debunking the false claims about the Russian word “Slava” – “Glory”

A few days ago I was made aware of a post in a German Telegram channel that seemed to liken praising “Glory to Russia” with a Nazi salute. This prompted me to write an analytical reply pointing out to the root of this malicious misconception, adding linguistic, historical and cultural references to support the debunking of this claim. But first, here is the post in question, followed by an automatic translation of it to English.

The Wagners and Russians would be outraged if they had to read this.
This is and remains a fascist salute.
The Russians have expelled the Heil-Hitler-Schreier from their country and will certainly not shout Heil Russia.
Anyone who brings such a saying has nothing, but also nothing, understood.
But you have already noticed here more than once as a provocateur.
There should be an @admin looking there!

It seems that the author thinks of the Russian words “slava” (слава) – “glory” as as some kind of Nazi salute. The root of this misconception lies in the association of the Russian «Glory to Russia» to the Ukrainian Nazi slogan “Glory to Ukraine”. However, anyone making such an extrapolation is not only demonstrating ignorance, but is also playing into the hands of those who are driving smear campaigns at Russia from all thinkable angles.

There is one fundamental, crucial difference: «Glory to Russia» was never used to greet the German Nazi invaders, it was never used as a slogan to which terrible atrocities were committed, as was the case in Ukraine under the Banderite rule.

Ukraine has a two-fold problem with their slogan: first OUN-UPA used it, basically binding the whole country in blood. They didn’t take «Glory to Bandera» as their slogan – even in Germany the slogan was limited to «Heil Hitler» and was not a «Heil Deutchland». And even then no one says that the German word «heil» should be removed from the German dictionary.

The second half of the problem came when Ukraine doubled down on the OUN-UPA legacy and continued to use that particular slogan in their modern neo-Nazi state-building policy.

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“Unconquered” by Valerij Kipelov. Russian Heavy Metal Group’s Tribute to Blockaded Leningrad

This song by the famous Russian heavy-metal group “Kipelov”, written 5 years ago to the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War deeply touched me. The powerful words, the strong voice of Kipelov and the documentary footage from the blockaded Leningrad, all merged into a whirlweend of emotions and memory.

The title of the song is “Непокорённый” – “Nepokorjonnyj”, which means both “Unconquered”, abut also “Defiant”, “Unbowed”. And this word takes all these meanings in the song.
Lyrics translation is mine.

Небо Балтики давит свинцом, город держит за горло блокада;
Медный всадник и ангел с крестом батальонам подвозят снаряды.
Львы из камня срываются с мест, чтоб с бойцами подняться в атаку –
Непокорных жестокая месть. Наступление. Крушение мрака!

Непокорённый, прошедший сквозь ад;
Непокорённый, герой – Ленинград!
Непокорённый, на все времена;
Непокорённый, город Петра!

Пишет Жизнь слабой детской рукой даты смерти на саване снега.
Что тогда бы случилось с тобой; смог остаться бы ты человеком;
Не сдаваться и в голос не выть, убивая за хлебные крошки;
Свет надежды сумел бы хранить под раскаты немецкой бомбежки?

Непокорённый, прошедший сквозь ад;
Непокорённый, герой – Ленинград!
Непокорённый, на все времена;
Непокорённый, город Петра!

Чернота. Хрупкий Ладожский лёд, уходящие дети под воду.
Метроном отобьет скорбный счет всех погибших в блокадные годы.
Нервы города – к сердцу земли, силы взять, и к весне возродиться,
Медный всадник к победе летит, неподвластной забвению птицей.

Непокорённый, прошедший сквозь ад;
Непокорённый, герой – Ленинград!
Непокорённый, на все времена;
Непокорённый, город Петра!

Город Петра!


The Baltic sky is laden with lead, the city is held by the throat by blockade;
Bronze Horseman and Angel with Cross bring shells to the forces forth.
Lions of stone break from their plinths to rise with fighters in charge –
The unconquereds’ brutal revenge. Offensive. Darkness will fall!

Unconquered, having passed through Hell;
Unconquered, the Leningrad-hero!
Unconquered, for all time;
Unconquered, the city of Peter!

Life writes with a weak child’s hand the dates of death on a shroud of snow.
What would have happened to you back then; could you have kept yourself human;
Not to give up and howl out loud, killing for crumbs of bread;
Would you be able to hold onto the light of hope under the thunder of German shelling?

Unconquered, having passed through Hell;
Unconquered, the Leningrad-hero!
Unconquered, for all time;
Unconquered, the city of Peter!

Blackness. The fragile Ladoga ice, and children going under.
The metronome will mournfully beat the count of those, died in blockade.
Nerves of the city reach to Earth’s heart, strength to take, and be reborn by the spring,
The Bronze Horseman flies to Victory, a bird that will never be forgotten.

Unconquered, having passed through Hell;
Unconquered, the Leningrad-hero!
Unconquered, for all time;
Unconquered, the city of Peter!

The cty of Peter!


Yaroslava Degtyariova and her amazing performance of “The Ballad of the Three Sons”

A few days ago Lada Ray posted an article A Tiny Russian Girl with Huge Mystical Talent: My Collection of Songs by 9-year-old Yaroslava Degtyariova, where she literally discovered for me an amazing, pure singer, a 9-year old Russian girl, Yaroslava Degtyariova.

One song especially touched me – “The Ballad of the Three Sons”. It is an allegoric song in which one can see echoes of the classic Russian folk fairy tales, as passed through the generations. It also holds a key.

On many occasions I saw the term of the “mysterious Russian soul”, which the Westerners bemoan having trouble deciphering and understanding. This song can unlock this mystery, as the key to the Rus soul is hidden in the actions and aspirations of the third son, while the first and the second sons depict the typical traits of the Western civilisations.

And so, here is the song by Tatyana Shilova, performed in the pure voice of Yaroslava Degtyariova, with my attempt at a poetic translation below.
Yaroslava Degtyariova at the Day of Love & Family concert, July 8, 2017, Murom: THE BALLAD OF THE THREE SONS.

В краю средь гор и цветущих долин
Текла река, исчезая вдали.
Прекрасней не было страны,
Где рождались баллады и сны.

В дорогу звал глас таинственных гор.
Три сына там покидали свой дом.
Один был горд, другой – упрям,
А третий был сердцем смирён.

Слова Отца были грусти полны:
“В любви моей вы росли, как цветы.
Что ждёт вас там, в чужих краях?
Да хранит вас молитва моя”.

И звучало в ответ эхо горных вершин
“Сохраните богатство души
И любви нескончаемый свет”.

Прошли года, затерялись вдали.
В краю средь гор и цветущих долин,
Встречал отец своих детей,
После долгих разлук и скорбей.

И первый сын возвратился домой:
“Гордись, отец, – я великий герой.
Вся власть моя, и в этом суть
На крови я построил свой путь”.

Второй принёс золотые дары:
“Смотри, отец, я могу все миры
Купить, продать и слёзы всех
Превратить в серебро и успех.

И звучало в ответ эхо горных вершин.
Разменяли богатство души
Ради славы и блеска монет.

А третий сын на коленях стоял:
“Прости, отец, я великим не стал.
Смиренным был, врагов прощал”,
А отец с теплотой отвечал:

“Душа твоя и добра и чиста.
И пусть богат ты и знатен не стал,
Но ты хранил любовь мою.
Я тебе свой престол отдаю!

Но ты хранил любовь мою.
Я тебе свой престол отдаю!

И звучало в ответ эхо горных вершин:
“Кроток сердцем и духом смирён,
Верный сын унаследовал трон!”.

Amidst the mountains and blooming dales,
Where river flowed out of sight,
There was no land more fair,
Where the ballads and dreams were born.

Three sons were setting off,
To the call of the mysterious peaks.
One was full of pride, the other was stubborn,
While the third was pure at heart.

The Father’s words were with sorrow filled:
“As flowers you grew up surrounded by my love.
What awaits you in the far away lands?
Let my payer keep you safe.”

And the mountain peaks echoed back:
“Preserve the richness of your soul
and the never-ending light of love”.

The years passed, lost in sight.
In the land amidst mountains and the blooming dales,
The Father was welcoming back his sons,
After long tribulations and partings.

And so the first son returned home:
“Be proud of me, father – great hero I am.
All power is mine, and that’s the crux,
On the blood I paved my path.

The second one brought home the gifts of gold:
“Look, father, I can buy and sell
All the worlds, and turn the tears,
Into silver and luck.

And the mountain peaks echoed back:
You exchanged the riches of your soul
For fame and the shimmering gold.

While the third son sank down to his knees:
“Forgive me father, I did not become great.
I was filled with humility and forgave my foes”,
And the Father replied with warmth:

“Your soul is both kind and pure,
And even though you didn’t become rich and famed,
You kept my love true.
So my throne I shall give to you!”

You kept my love true.
So my throne I shall give to you!”

And the mountain peaks echoed back:
“Kind in heart and humble in soul,
The faithful son has inherited the throne!”

World Cup 2018 in Russia – A Welcoming Echo of the Olympics 1980

Back in 1980 Russia welcomed sports enthusiasts from all over the world for the Olympics. Watching the welcoming and uplifting reports from all over Russia now, during the World cup 2018, I have the theme tune of the Olympics ’80 playing in my mind. It’s the same message of friendship and inclusiveness. See, for example, a collection of video at Russia insider in the articles Moscow Is Basically a Giant Street Party Right Now #WorldCup (Video) and How Many People Are Rocking the World Cup From Which Countries? – Russia Breaks Records

The Olympics ’80 song was written by R. Rozhdestvenskij, with music by D. Tuhmanov and is sung by Tõnis Mägi, a pupolar in USSR Estonian singer. He, alas, betrayed the spirit of this song later in 2014, when he initiated boycott of Steven Seagal, who performed in Sevastopol after Crimea’s democratic reunification with Russia.

Still, whatever his present views and actions are, that is no reason to boycott him or write him out of history. And so, the excellent Olympics ’80 anthem, performed by Tõnis Mägi, with my translation of the lyrics to English below the video frame.

Unfurling high above and calling to us is this golden Olympic flame.
The Earth shall be happy and young!
We must do everything so that the Olympic flame is not extinguished forever,
The Sun is starting into the sky, as if for the first time.
Реет в вышине и зовёт олимпийский огонь золотой.
Будет Земля счастливой и молодой!
Нужно сделать всё, чтоб вовек олимпийский огонь не погас,
Солнце стартует в небе, как в первый раз.

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“Russian Soldier Saved the World” – WWII memorial song by Artyom Grishanov

Now that Victory Day – the 9th of May – is drawing close, we constantly see the ever-increasing attempts to re-write the history of WWII and to erase the Russian-Soviet victory which cost us 21 million people’s lives.

So does grow the importance of remembrance and of not allowing to have this memory to become sullied. Song has always been one of the strongest conduits of people’s emotions and memory, and the song below is a very emotional tribute and reminder.

Artjom Grishanov has the talent for condensing the essence of a topic into a few well-selected strong words, backed by equally concise and poignant imagery. Russian soldier saved the world shows in no uncertain terms what the West wants to have remaining of the memory, and what we really should be remembering. Please, take a moment to listen to it (with English subtitles) and to remember.

Transcript of the documentary and the song

UPDATE from November of 2023. The transcript below was done for our new Telegram channel “Beorn and The Shieldmaiden”, and published there in two parts: part 1, part 2.

Russian news anchor:
“Polish authorities intend to demolish more than 500 Soviet monuments. We are talking about the monuments erected in gratitude to the USSR for liberating this country from fascism.”

Some liberal speaking in Russian:
“These are all the pillars of the empire. Since the empire has been in the dumpster of history for 25 years, all these pillars must be sent there as well”

Ukrainian nationalists intimidating a WWII veteran (spoken in both Ukrainian and Russian):
“For your own safety, I recommend you to sit at home, calmly, quietly and to not provoke people.”
“Today you are punished.”

Intimidation of veterans on the 9th of May in Ukraine.
“- Get away those red rags”
“- How can you insult the memory of the veterans?”

On a talk show, a liberal, then confronted by the hostess of the show:
“- Yes, a person worries about the most precious and hides it. This is normal, in principle.”
“- Do not mix up a veteran with Pinocchio. He does not hide the most precious thing, he hides what is sacred.”

Some liberal:
“I understand why you hold on to the past so hard. It’s because everything is bad for you in the present, while you probably have no future at all”

President Putin:
“All attempts to distort, rewrite history are unacceptable and immoral. Oft-times, a desire to hide one’s own dishonour is behind such attempts.”

“The soldiers of the UPA are remembered as an example of heroism in relation to Ukraine.”

“We all remember the Soviet invasion of both Ukraine and Germany.

François Hollande, the president of France:
“They were our liberators. France will never forget what it owes to those soldiers, what it owes to the United States.”

Some Polish radio host:
“Why did we all get so used to the fact that Moscow is the place where the end of war is celebrated, and not, for example, London or Berlin, which would have been more natural?”

President Putin:
“It only occasionally seems to us that they are speaking some kind of delirium nonsense. Pure nonsense. That it will slip past and no one will notice. No, you see, this is being implanted into the minds of millions of people.”

US citizens asked on the street:
“Who had the largest role, the most casualties in the fight against the Nazis during the Second World War?”
“- I am not totally [sure?]. Is it not the US?
“- France?”
“- Can you think of another country?”
“- America.”
“- Japan lost. Russia lost.”
“- Seriously? Which country took Berlin? Which army?”
“- The United States?”
“- I say the United States of America.”
“- The United States, Great Britain, France.
“- How about the Soviet Union?”
“- Yeah.”
“- It was the former Soviet Union?”
“- Oh, actually, it was Russia or the Soviet Union that had the most casualties. What’s you reaction to this? Are you surprised?”
“- Just, please, don’t put this on TV.”

The lyrics of the song:

Such a short memory –
It didn’t last even for 100 years.
Such a great impudence –
To cast a shadow over the memory of the victories.

The traitor chokes, spitting fire,
Looking askance at out Parade.
Oh, how he doesn’t like the truth that
Russian soldier saved the world.

Levitan’s radio announcement, chronicles:
“Today, on the 22nd of June, at four o’clock in the morning, without a declaration of war, the German troops attacked our country.”

The earth was torn to shreds
And the people were awakened by the war.
The horde invaded in the early morning,
Burning houses behind them.

The blow was devastating,
But the victory escaped their grip.
The enemy encountered the unheard of force –
The Russian spirit.

“Today, not only Moscow is behind us, not only our vast Motherland. Today, the whole world is looking at us, holding its breath.”

It’s not enough to just kill it.
Just try to fell it to the ground.
It will gnaw with its teeth,
Even in an unequal battle.

The force was becoming stronger, day by day,
Just not a step back.
And the news broke out like thunder:
Russian soldier saved the world.
Russian soldier saved the world.
Russian soldier saved the world.

Meanwhile those who surrendered their cities
In the first days of the war,
Do not wish and will never comprehend
The joy of the Russian soul.

In the happy and torn-asunder May,
The Nazis’ hell was stopped.
Remember, never forget:
Russian soldier saved the world.
Russian soldier saved the world.

Then and now.

“The gravest mistake is to dismiss the Russians, to consider the Russian people weak.”
“God forbid you mistreat or rob the Russians. They will return, demolishing any obstacle in their path.”
“Russians love peace, Russians build peace, Russians defend peace. Russians do not want war, but they can fight better, than anyone.”

The motto of the 9th of May: I Remember. I Am Proud. In the colours of the St. George Ribbon.

The Magic of the Children’s Films from the Soviet Union

UPDATE from September 2022: Quite a number of English-translated films listed in this post have disappeared from YouTube since I published this in 2017. I have update “The Visitor from the Future” with the working links, but could not find English translations of some of the other now-missing titles. Still, I am leaving them in the post as a future reference.

One characteristic of the Soviet films that I hold dear, is that they are humane, moral (often without being moralising), centre on the characters, rather than action and events. The films for grown-ups, be it a war-time film or a film about a mundane everyday life, would always have several layers of meaning – good film makers knew how to convey what they wanted to say to the audience without raising the alarms of censorship. All that resulted in films that would have depth, satire, criticism, thoughtfulness in them.

But here I want to write about children films. The films that formed our, my, world view, that taught us about fairness, compassion, friendship, the pitfalls of negative relations. They were a joy to watch, and they left a trace in your heart, a moral compass that no religion can give you, as morality was based on your own desire to do good, rather than fearing a punishment from the holder of the scriptures if you do wrong.

One such outstanding film is “The Visitor from the Future”, released in 1985 and filmed at the Central Studio of Children and Youth Films named after M. Gorky in Moscow. And the bright star of that film is its title song, “The Beautiful Faraway”. In 1985 nothing was outwardly speaking of the time of troubles that lay ahead, in just short 7 years, the Wild 90’s and the Desolation of Yeltsin. But in retrospect, this song turned out to be prophetic, and at the same time it was a testament, an oath of how to conduct oneself in the difficult times ahead, how to stay strong. The song does not promise paradise lands, but rather trials and only asks to not be treated too cruelly along the way to the unknown future, walking the untrodden path towards the future of 2084.

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The Singing Weapon – The Alexandrov Ensemble (Documentary with EngSubs)

On the 25th of December 2016, 1/3 of the world-renowned Alexandrov Ensemble perished in a single plane crash, en-route from Sochy, Russia to Syria. This is tragic loss and a strong blow against Russia, against the singing ambassadors of Russia abroad and a bright symbol within.

As a tribute, I translated the following 2008 documentary, titled “The Singing Weapon”, which is how Winston Churchill referred to it after listening to its performance during the 1945 Yalta Conference in Crimea. If it is a weapon, then this ensemble is a “weapon” of peace unity and accord, which it brings with song and dance to all peoples.

The formatted subtitle file in ASS format can be downloaded separately. Full text of the script is below the video frame.

EDIT 11.05.2022

In the recent bout of censorship against all things Russian, YouTube also blocked the VGTRK channel, where the untranslatable original version of the film resided. I’ve now reviewed my translation, fixing a few things, and uploaded the video both to Odysee and to Rumble. The original you-Tube-related text is moved to the bottom of this post, past the transcript, for historic reference.

Back in 2017, when my translated version was taken down on third-party copyright claims, I relayed this development in a comment at Lada Ray’s Futurist Trendcast, and she nailed the overall problem in her reply:

Unfortunately, these silly indiscriminate western capitalist practices have penetrated Russia. Very sad. Those who do it are just like robots. They aren’t paid to think, just to block everything. Those at the helm don’t get it that you are actually helping promote their material by exposing it to wider western audience.

Alas, with this model Russian companies allow Western companies to control and censor what materials are available to the Western audience!

The complete song “Sacred War” (or “Holy War”) with my English translation of the lyrics:

Plus, an older translation in the comments on YouTube:

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Crimea Celebrates the 2nd Anniversary of Reunification – Legendary Sevastopol

On the 18th of March 2016 Crimea and Sevastopol celebrated the second anniversary of the joyous event of their reunification with Russia, after a 60-year long separation.

Lada Ray published a very much needed recap of the events that lead to the reunification in:

#Sevastopol #Krim #Rossia: 2nd Anniversary of Crimea’s Reunification with Russia

Following the February Ukraine coup, on March 16th, 2014, Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and reunite with Russia. 95% to 97% voted for reunification, depending on the area. Simultaneously, a referendum whether to accept Crimea and Sevastopol as two new subjects of the Russian Federation took place in Russia. 95% of Russians said ‘yes.’

On March 18-19, Crimea and Sevastopol joined the Russian Federation as two newest subjects. The transition went smoothly and peacefully, not a single shot was fired and only two casualties were registered on both sides, shot by a provocateur Ukrainian sniper sent there to attempt inciting violence (by the old CIA playbook).

At the time, 16,000 Russian troops were stationed in Crimea, based on the Black Sea Fleet Sevastopol base lease agreement with Ukraine. Simultaneously, 20,000 Ukrainian troops were stationed on the peninsula as well. Out of these 20,000, about 18,000 Ukraine troops pledged allegiance to Russia, while only 2,000 chose to leave back to Ukraine. They were allowed to leave peacefully and with dignity.

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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.