Voices from Russia

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Who Saved Russia?

The Nameless

Yuri Platonov



THIS was the cost of the Great Victory…


There are no atheists at the front. Those who saved Russia during the Great Patriotic War know the truth of this…

Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias said that the veterans of the Great Patriotic War were the saviours of Russia. In anticipation of the 65th anniversary of the Great Victory, the First Hierarch of the MP met with frontline veterans in the main church of Russia, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Today, there are about 137,000 frontline veterans of World War II in the Russian Federation, and, in addition, some 200,000 more who served in support units. With every day, the number of living witnesses of that war becomes fewer. Several hundred of them gathered at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Many know each other well, and they happily hugged each other before meeting with the patriarch, celebrating yet another year survived. His Holiness said to the veterans, “You’ve been an amazing part of our lives. You veterans are living heroes. Dear brothers and sisters, you walked the harsh path of war, you looked into the eyes of death, and you survived terrible trials to which people born after the war cannot even imagine. Your difficult personal experiences are a precious legacy for all of us, but that’s especially so for our young people, for they were born and grew up under new and comfortable conditions. Such evidence has great power… the power of persuasion. We can believe you because everything that you say is associated with your actual experience”.


A Widow: Her Veteran Did Not Live to See the Holiday

Vladimir Kutilin



Every year… fewer and fewer.


Frontline scout Ivan Lytkin, who came to the meeting at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, said to our VOR correspondent, “People should know the truth about the war and keep the memory of it alive. I’m proud that when I was only 18-years-old, I helped to defeat fascism, getting three combat wounds in the process. I’m strongly opposed to those who attempt to revise and alter history in general and the history of the war in particular. We must stick to what was, not come up with odd fancies. Indeed, we found everything on our path, but we did end with a victory over a powerful enemy. We veterans are hurt when we hear those who lie in their attempt to revise history. After all, we soldiers will never forget the war, we won’t forget our experiences at the front, where we roused ourselves with cries of ‘Ura!’…” Ivan admitted that in the most desperate and terrible moments of battle, even though he was nothing but a youth raised in an atheist atmosphere, he offered hastily composed prayers to God. “After all, death was constantly beside you at all times, and you yourself could at any time could become its victim”, he said. There were many like him, who, during the Great Patriotic War, became believers.


The Unbeaten

Vasili Nesterenko


These were our heroes… not those who collaborated with the occupiers…


Priests accompanied the ordinary soldiers fighting on the different fronts. At the very beginning of the war, the Nazis had fervently hoped for assistance from the Orthodox Church, which, in their view, was “victimised” by the Soviet regime. However, since they did not receive the support and assistance that they expected from the Church, the Fascist occupiers decided to change their plans and they tried to break the spirit of Russian people with public executions of Orthodox clergy. The war changed the attitude of the atheistic government towards the Orthodox Church. In 1943, an Archpastoral Council elevated Metropolitan Sergei Stragorodsky to the patriarchal dignity, renewed the institution of the episcopate, and restored Orthodox dioceses all over Russia.

5 May 2010

Voice of Russia World Service

Milena Faustova




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