Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Donetsk Honoured Podvigs of Partisan Fighters of the VOV

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On the eve of the Day of Partisan Glory (22 September), our people honoured the memory of the podvigs* of Donetsk partisan fighters of the Great Patriotic War. The House of Workers Culture held an event, attended by over a hundred people. Ivan Kulaga, Chairman of the Commission for Partisans and Underground Fighters of the DNR Veterans Council, said, “Today, by tradition, we’re getting ready to celebrate the Day of Partisan Glory, to emphasise the podvigs of our Donbass partisans. We veterans are passing on, so, now, we want to hand on the baton to our youth, the heirs of our Victory. Some 1,200 partisans from the underground resistance in Donetsk died during the VOV. To this day, only 43 survive, a dozen of whom are here at today’s event”.

  • Podvig: Should NEVER be “Englished”… one of the most powerful words in the Russian language. There are literally no English equivalents strong enough. Podvig has overtones of “epic”, “heroic”, “bravery”, “self-sacrifice”, “victory”, “effort”, and “triumph”. It’s best to leave it as is, and admit that English lacks the necessary material to give meaning to this word.



Землянка (Zemlyanka: Dugout), a song of the VOV period… STILL popular after all those years…


For the veterans, we produced a documentary film about the most famous partisan operations in the Donbass. Accompanied by student pianist Oksana Tkachenko, Donetsk music school Vyacheslav Seroshtan sang a VOV song Землянка (Zemlanka: Dugout). The gathering remembered all those who didn’t survive to the present, and those shot by the fascist occupiers. VOV vet Aleksandr Kholin, who wrote 11 books on the partisans, said, “When our troops retreated, partisan bands arouse in every part of Donetsk, numbering more than 1,300 people. Of these, the fascists killed 257, and threw their bodies down mineshafts. My book Герои Рутченковки (Geroi Rutchenkovi: Heroes of Rutchenkovki) immortalised all those shot”.

The DNR Ministry of Culture sponsored and put on this memorial event. Relatives of the partisans and children also attended the event. At the end of the official memorial, they held a tea party for the partisan veterans. During the German fascist occupation, partisans did intelligence work and committed sabotage, destroying infrastructure and personnel vital to the occupiers. In the Donbass alone, there were 180 units and groups with more than 4,000 members. Another 836 partisan bands operated in the rear of the fascist occupiers in the Ukraine (outside of the Donbass).

21 September 2015

DAN Donetsk News Agency


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