Voices from Russia

Friday, 15 January 2016

15 January 2016. The March of the Immortal Regiment

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They marched to protect the Soviet Motherland. They left, but we live on. We are one, without distinction of nationality or religion. Eternal memory to them… thanks, from us, their descendants.

15 January 2016

Oleg Nevzorov


Friday, 25 September 2015

Memorial Event to Honour Donetsk Partisans of the VOV Held in Lenin Komsomol Park

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Today, a memorial event to honour Donetsk VOV partisans occurred at Lenin Komsomol Park near the Donbass Liberators Memorial. Donetsk Mayor Igor Martynov, First Deputy Mayor Igor Ponomarenko, VOV veterans, schoolchildren, students, and ordinary citizens attended the event. Martynov pointed up:

It’s very good that we honour the memory of those who fell behind the lines, causing damage to the enemy. Their activities were no less important than the units that advanced and fought at the front. Every year, unfortunately, the cohort of frontline and partisan veterans becomes smaller, but it’d be good if they were to see peace restored in the Donbass. I think that’d be the best gift that we could give them.

For the occasion, the sponsors prepared a concert of military and patriotic songs. Veterans remembered their wartime days and shared stories. The participants observed a moment of silence in memory of those partisans killed in the war and of those who didn’t live to see this day, meeting observed a minute of silence. Ponomarenko said:

We have no right to forget your podvig*, to forget how you rescued Donetsk from a subhuman enemy, from those that murdered millions of innocent civilians. Unfortunately, history repeated itself after many years. We thank you, veterans, for you gave us a city to protect. We assure you… we won’t forget your podvig.

Colonel Yuri Kovalchuk, a VOV vet and Commissioner of the DNR Union of Former Soviet Officers, noted:

The Day of Partisan Glory is a splendid holiday; it honours the celebrated memory of the heroism of the Soviet underground, of the Soviet partisans, for without the partisan movement, we wouldn’t have won the victories at Kursk, Leningrad, and Stalino {the name of Donetsk during the VOV: editor}.

In conclusion, those present laid flowers at the Donbass Partisan Memorial.

During the Great Patriotic War, more than 6,000 partisan detachments and clandestine cells totalling about a million people operated in Wehrmacht rear areas. Approximately one in five won high state awards, and 223 received the title Hero of the Soviet Union. The Day of Partisan Glory occurs every year on 22 September.

23 September 2015

DAN Donetsk News Agency


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


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

28 July 2015. Translated Russian Demot… The Victims of the Wołyń Massacre 1943-45

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