Tragic news today, as it was announced that one of the victims, wounded in the 3rd April Metro attack in St Petersburg had passed away in hospital, taking the death toll to 14 now, with it only yesterday having been announced that all 13 victims of the blast had been laid to rest.
However, little attention in the western media has been given to any of the victims, those killed by the terror metro blast. So, here is who they were.
Mihail Sergeevich Tolstyh – better known under the call sign of Givi – was one of the commanders of the Donetsk People’s Republican army, and he was the second commander, after Motorola, to have been murdered by Kiev in a terrorist attack.
So far, the West was in an almost total information black-out, when news from the civil war in Ukraine and the general disastrous state of affairs in that former country were concerned. A few European journalists would try to give a picture of the events, but their message would largely remain unheard. The best sources of information so far were Lada Ray’s Futurist Trendcast, The Saker, reports from the ground by the freelance crowdfunded journalist Graham Philips, who was there since the day of the referendum of 2014, which Kiev suppressed with artillery. Of the larger news agencies I can mention RT, crowdfunded Russia Insider, and some reports on EuroNews.
NewsFront and Inessa S published newly an English translated documentary about Givi, those soldiers he was responsible and their motivation to defend their land.
UPDATE from September 2022: seeing as YouTube removed this documentary, I re-uploaded my archived version to Odysee and Rumble.
Graham Philips has published his own tribute to Givi:
One of the YouTube commenters nails it:
Reminder for Western viewers that just might have drank the Cool Aid of MSM Here is information detailed by somebody whom has taken a interest and information is realistic. Givi wasnt just some bum off the street, Givi served in the Ukraine army for 2-3 years and rose to the rank of Sargent and commander he finished his service and then returned to life as a civilian. When the Coup d’etat happened in Kiev in 2014 Givi was the one of the 1st to take up Arms when the New Regime announced the ATO operation in the East which Kiev said ‘Would take 72 hours’ 25,000 hours later and that ATO operation is still going on.
What Givi did is exactly what I would have done.
He gave an interview, his last interview, to the RT journalist Alexey Yaroshevsk only 2 weeks ago. The journalist remembers him as being in perfect health, joking, being open, letting the journalist take his time, and answering all the questions that got thrown at him – he answered over 20 questions, whereas only 6 were agreed upon before the interview…
Interviewed Churkin just 2 weeks ago. He looked in good health and was very energetic during the interview. Shocked https://t.co/SAcWVZ1wEJ
— Alexey Yaroshevsky (@Yaro_RT) February 20, 2017
And let us hope that he passed away from natural causes. Because if he hasn’t, the future of the possible perpetrators would look utterly bleak. As many commenters on the internet, both Russian and foreign, noted – there has been far too many deaths of the Russian foreign diplomats and public figures as of late…
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.
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 in the comments:
When I first hear of the crash, the tragic loss of almost the compete Red Army Choir – Aleksandrov Ensemble, death of 9 journalists from three Russian channels, what tugged most at my heart, was mentioning of the Elizaveta Glinka’s name on the list of the people lost. She was know among the people by her endearing name Doctor Liza.
Throughout these past 2 years I have been reading about her valiant work, helping the children of the civil war-ravaged Donbass, where civilians, including many children, were (and still are) wounded, maimed and killed by the Ukro-Nazi artillery shellings.
Grapham Philips, I think the only Western (UK) freelance reporter, who documented the civil war in Donbass, share this fragment of interview with Doctor Liza, that he filmed in April 2016, telling her that “Many people think that you are an angel”:
Let them say, Grisha (a kindly russification of Graham), it is funny, it is pleasant, but it’s funny. What kind of angel am I? I am just a common woman. Let them say it. As for work. I am working a lot. This is very hard, and there is nothing angelic in this work, you see. It entails long negotiations with bureaucrats, which are not always successful. See, for example, I just got a list. This is the new list for admissions to hospital. 2 wounded children. 2 blind children. Children born in 2014, that is already during the war. We are going to transport them, they are going to St.Peterburg, as hospitals in Moscow do not have places for such patients – and I want to draw the journalistic attention to this fact. And there are the documents for the children that have already been transported out – we work on each child case individually.
And in this April 2016 interview fragmet to Graham, he tells that “Everything is possible”:
There was a girl, who was given a terrible outlook, and Vika (kindly shortening of Victoria), she became well, and was coming up to the guard and would dance – a little swan or some other part, she was making such a show – a child that could not even SIT before, she lay on the arms. So, you see… Everything is possible, Grisha (a kindly russification of Graham).
Doctor Liza, you will be remembered and stay in our hearts. Always.
These two RT articles, aptly capture the mood of this loss:
Renowned Russian humanitarian and charity activist Elizaveta Glinka, widely known as Dr. Liza, is feared dead after boarding the plane bound for Syria that crashed Sunday morning off the Sochi coast.
The 54-year-old head of the ‘Fair Help’ fund was supposed to travel to Latakia to deliver medical supplies to a hospital, according to the Human Rights Council.
Her fund also said that Glinka was “taking humanitarian supplies for the Tishreen university hospital in Latakia,” while the Defense Ministry confirmed the passenger list included her name.
There was some confusion regarding Glinka’s fate after the plane stopped over in Sochi for refueling. Several news outlets reported that she failed to board the flight after a security check.
As time passed, however, her mobile phone remained hopelessly switched off.
Eventually, Elena Pogrebizhskaya, author of a documentary film on Doctor Liza, wrote on her Facebook page: “Liza’s phone is out of coverage. She has not been in touch with anyone for 11 hours. This includes her family. Gleb [Glinka’s husband] says he wants to be alone… This is a nightmare.”
This was an additional shock to Russians on top of the death of the 64 members of the Alexandrov army choir.
“We were hoping for a miracle until the very last moment. And she was a miracle herself, a heaven-sent message of virtue,” head of the Presidential Council for Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov told Interfax.
“Dr. Lisa was the darling of all hearts for one simple reason. For many years, almost every day, she provided palliative medical care, feeding the homeless, giving them shelter and clothes. She took the sick and injured children from Donbass under a hail of bullets, so that they could get help in the best hospitals in Moscow and St Petersburg. She organized a shelter for children with amputated limbs, where they can undergo rehabilitation after treatment in hospital.
“To save the lives of others – this was her mission everywhere: in Russia, Donbass, Syria…” Fedotov added.
Born into a military family, which also includes a famous dietitian, Glinka graduated from the Russian National Research Medical Institute in Moscow to become a pediatric anesthesiologist. In 1986, she and her husband emigrated to the US, where she studied palliative care and graduated from Dartmouth. In America, she became involved with the work of hospices. Glinka later participated in the work of the First Moscow Hospice, after which the family moved to Ukraine for two years. In 1999, she founded the first hospice in Kiev.
In 2007, Glinka founded the ‘Fair Help’ fund in Moscow, which provides financial support and medical care to cancer patients, underprivileged families, the homeless, and others in need.
Last year, Dr. Liza organized an evacuation of children with heart conditions who were in need of urgent medical help, from Donbass to Russian hospitals. Parents and doctors told RT that due to the humanitarian crisis, it was impossible to treat them locally.
Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave out state awards for outstanding achievements in charity and human rights activities. Glinka was the winner of the first award, saying she would soon travel to Syria.
“We never know whether we come back alive, because the war – is hell on earth, and I know what I’m talking about. But we are confident that goodness, compassion and mercy are stronger than any weapon,” Glinka said, receiving the award.
Human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva, founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group, said Glinka’s death was a huge loss.
“She was a saint, had enough strength for everyone, and was ready to help both the homeless and children,” Alexeyeva told TASS.
“It’s hard to speak about her, this is a huge loss, people like Dr. Liza are born once in a thousand years,” the human rights activist added. According to Alekseeva, Glinka was carrying a large amount of humanitarian aid to Syria.
Former human rights envoy Vladimir Lukin told TASS he was shocked by the tragedy.
“I am shocked. She was a wonderful person, she has done a lot of good things,” he said.
Those who never met Dr. Liza have also been deeply saddened by the tragic news.
“Eternal Memory # doktorLiza! Thank you for helping our children,” Aleksey Dyatlov wrote on Twitter.
“A human with a capital H, and a woman of action! Will never forget! Everlasting memory!” Aleksey Chenskykh wrote.
“Why is it that the best are the first to leave,” Nikita Kuznetsov asked.
People have been bringing flowers and candles to the office of the ‘Fair Help’ fund in Moscow.
“She was a miracle. She did things that most people thought were impossible to do. But that’s exactly what Elizaveta was all about. She worried about her colleagues to the point where she preferred to travel to hot spots herself,” Lana Zhurkina, Dr. Liza’s former colleague, told Life.ru.
A young mother in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, whose child Elizaveta Glinka helped when it suffered a serious disease, shared her sorrow with journalists.
“My daughter was diagnosed with congenital heart defect, she had to be urgently operated on. We met her [Glinka] in Donetsk – she sent us to St. Petersburg, where the child was successfully operated on, on the second day of [its] life.”
“This is a terrible tragedy, she has helped so many children, so many adults, and provided hope and faith,” the woman said.
A Russian Defense Ministry medical facility is to be named after the renowned humanitarian activist, Deputy Minister of Defense Ruslan Tsalikov told journalists.
“The humanitarian cargo of the ‘Fair Help’ fund was sent by another aircraft. It is already in the airport of Khmeimim, and of course we will finish Elizaveta Glinka’s job,” Tsalikov added.
Meanwhile the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, said that a children’s clinic in Grozny has been named after humanitarian activist Elizaveta Glinka.
“Dr. Liza devoted herself to the most noble cause – saving children,” Kadyrov wrote on Instagram. “She had a brilliant medical training and could have worked in some clinic, but she chose the hard path of helping those, who could not get help from elsewhere.”
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has given an order to rename the republic’s main children’s hospital after famous Russian doctor and charity activist Elizaveta Glinka, also known as Doctor Liza, who died in the plane crash off Sochi’s coast on Sunday.
“I have decided to name the republic’s Children’s Clinical Hospital in Grozny after Elizaveta Petrovna [Glinka]. [Head of the Alexandrov Ensemble] Valery Mikhailovich [Khalilov] has been posthumously awarded the Chechen Republic’s medal for merit. I am confident that the names of these great people will forever remain in Russia’s history,” Kadyrov wrote on his Instagram page.
He wrote that Elizaveta Glinka had dedicated herself to the most noble of all causes – saving children in places of war and conflict – and will forever remain in people’s memory because of that. He added that the death of the members of the Aleksandrov Ensemble was a tragic loss, as they have inspired Russia’s military to heroic deeds for many years.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has ordered that one of Russia’s military hospitals be named after Elizaveta Glinka, the Defense Ministry’s press service reported on Monday. In the same statement, the Russian military promised to complete the philanthropist’s mission and pass on the aid that she had wanted to personally deliver to the hospital in Latakia, Syria. In fact, the aid has already arrived at the Russian Air Force base in Khmeimim on another flight.
The minister also ordered that the Moscow School of Music be named Valery Khalilov, the press service reported.
The Tu-154 airliner belonging to the Russian Defense Ministry crashed into sea off the coast near Sochi in the early hours of Sunday morning, killing 84 passengers and eight crew members. The passengers included 68 performers from the AleksandrovEnsemble, a famous Russian military orchestra and choir, including its director and conductor Valery Khalilov and nine journalists from three Russian TV channels.
Elizaveta Glinka, often known in Russia by her nickname ‘Doctor Liza’, also died in the crash. Glinka was known as a selfless philanthropist, the founder of the first hospices in Russia and Ukraine, and the head of the NGO ‘Fair Help,’ which provides financial support and medical care to cancer patients, underprivileged families, the homeless, and others in need.
In 2015, Glinka organized the evacuation of many sick children to Russian hospitals from the unrecognized republics in Donbass.
Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented Glinka with the state’s top award for the year for her outstanding achievements in charity and human rights activities. At the ceremony, she promised that she would soon travel to Syria.