Voices from Russia

Saturday, 3 February 2018

3 February 2018. A Seen by Vitaly Podvitsky: 75th Anniversary of the Defeat of the German Fascists in the Battle of Stalingrad

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Today, 75 years ago, Soviet troops defeated the German fascists in the Battle of Stalingrad. Eternal glory to our heroic grandfathers!

2 February 2018

Vitaly Podvitsky Masterskaya Karikatury

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Saturday, 27 January 2018

Putin’s Message at Annual Leningrad Siege Memorial: Never Again

Soviet war dead being given an honourable hero’s burial in contemporary Leningrad Oblast

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He who doesn’t learn from history is doomed to repeat it; Russians understand this fact better than any when they recall the storms of World War II and the bloody Siege of Leningrad. Russia can’t afford to forget… more than 20 million Russians perished in the Great Patriotic War, which is more than the population of several modern countries, including Romania, the Netherlands, Greece, and many more. Take a moment and imagine an entire country obliterated, that’s how great the death toll was for Russia. However, those millions of Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Poles, other Slavs, and Soviet citizens weren’t obliterated from existence. Their eternal memory and resolve gave the living strength, and with it, they endured as they always have, and they captured Berlin, ending the largest holocaust in human history.

By far one of the bloodiest battles in human history was the Siege of Leningrad (also called Petrograd and St Petersburg today). Casualties were around one million people… one million, for one city. The real number is possibly higher, as many people went missing. Bear one thing in mind when you read what President Putin said, remember it, and never forget it… his brother was amongst the dead. President Putin’s own brother, a child, died of disease during the terrible siege. TASS reported what President Putin said to veterans and celebrants at the anniversary:

We must use every occasion to remind ourselves about [the tragic events of the Great Patriotic War] so that we never forget about this so that the entire world remembers this and so that nothing like this ever happens again in the destiny of our country or in the world at large.

There’s an old Russian saying, “The only time you’ll ever see the back of a Russian soldier is when he’s dead”. In principle, Russians don’t take one step backwards. As a result, to this day they still find the remains of Russian soldiers in the thick northern swamps around St Petersburg. Their weapons always point forwards towards the enemy. President Putin commented on this:

They didn’t retreat anywhere and they died with weapons in their hands in battle as they marched forward. This attitude to the Motherland is typical of our people and this is what we must seal for long years to come for all the future generations. This is what Russia has always relied on… self-sacrifice and love for the Motherland, especially during difficult years of ordeals.

Next time you hear a Western leader scurrilously compare Putin to Hitler, remember that unlike almost all Americans, Putin’s family was under fire during one of the bloodiest battles of the bloodiest front of the bloodiest war in history. Remember that Putin’s own brother died in this conflict, buried in one of the unmarked graves of Leningrad. Just imagine what restraint it must require for him to throw those who make such comparisons across the room. Quite understandably, it’s in bad taste to make a Holocaust joke or to make light of the Jews killed. If anyone compared the Israeli Prime Minister to Hitler, the highest echelon of the Western world order would condemn such a remark. There’d be mass outrage, and rightly so! Hitler, the Nazis, and their supporters are despicable villains best left in the dustbin of human history.

The only question is, why is there no outrage when they compare Putin to Hitler? Where’s the outcry for the 20 million Russians killed? Applying a double standard to the deaths of millions is not “just” politics; there’s only one word for it… “degeneracy”. Disgracing the honoured dead makes a man just as guilty as their killers because that kind of pathetic disregard for the writing on the wall allowed such wars to happen in the first place. Should the world ever forget the horrors of the Great Patriotic War, they wouldn’t take steps to prevent another such conflict, and it’d surely repeat itself. That’s Putin’s message… we must do everything to prevent this from happening, not just for Russia, but for all humanity.

TASS also summarised the events of the Leningrad siege brilliantly. In the interest of understanding history, you may feel inclined to check it out:

Siege of Leningrad

The Siege of Leningrad started on 8 September 1941 and lasted 872 days. On 10 September, the Luftwaffe bombed and burnt the city’s warehouses, leaving Leningrad without significant food supplies. Gradually, fuel and water reserves ran out in the city, stopping electricity and heating. Hunger swept the city in the autumn of 1941. Leningrad introduced rationing in Leningrad to provide residents with food. The bread rations dwindled to 250 grammes a day for workers and to 125 grammes for the rest of the population by 20 November 1941. During the blockade, the Germans dropped over 107,000 incendiary and high-explosive bombs, they fired more than 150,000 artillery shells, destroying about 10,000 buildings and structures. Despite the blockade, over 200 enterprises continued to work in the city, including seven shipyards that built 13 submarines. The industry of besieged Leningrad produced 150 types of military products. Overall, during the years of the blockade, Leningrad enterprises produced about 10 million shells and mines, 12,000 mortars, 1,500 warplanes, and rolled out or repaired 2,000 tanks.

On 12 January 1943, Soviet troops of the Volkhov and Leningrad Fronts launched Operation Iskra, aimed at routing the German forces south of Lake Ladoga and restoring Leningrad’s land connection with the rest of the country. On 18 January 1943, the Volkhov and Leningrad Fronts broke the city’s encirclement with the support of the Baltic Fleet and restored its land connection with the rest of the country. On the same day, the Soviet troops liberated the Shlisselburg fortress and drove the enemy away from Lake Ladoga’s entire southern coastline. Within 17 days, the Soviets built new rail lines and highways across the resulting corridor; on 7 February, the first goods train arrived in Leningrad. On 14 January 1944, the Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts, together with the 2 Baltic Front, launched the Leningrad-Novgorod strategic offensive. The lifting of the siege happened on 27 January 1944. A salute of 24 salvos from 324 artillery guns in the city honoured this victory.

No more than 800,000 residents remained in the city by the end of the blockade out of the 3 million people that were in Leningrad and its suburbs before the blockade. According to various estimates, from 641,000 to 1 million Leningraders died in the siege from hunger, bombing, and artillery shelling. Almost 340,000 people were wounded, 716,000 residents were left without shelter, and 1.7 million were evacuated across the Road of Life and by air during 1941-42.

26 January 2018

Nick Ivanov

Russia Feed

http://russiafeed.com/putins-message-annual-leningrad-siege-ww2-memorial-never/

Monday, 22 January 2018

22 January 2018. Lest We Forget… The Bravery of Leningrad in the Siege

V V Putin’s elder brother was one of the dead… the war still resonates in Russian hearts

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This vid has English subtitles

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Americans think that they defeated the fascists. That’s moonshine. The end of the beginning was in December 1941, when the counteroffensive opened outside Moscow… the beginning of the end was in January 1943, when Paulus surrendered at Stalingrad. Both of these events occurred before any American forces landed in Europe. That is, the Wehrmacht was on the run before the USA even landed troops in Europe! At best, the USA shortened the war in Europe… it didn’t play a major role in the defeat of the fascists… how could it when 85 percent of the fascist casualties were on the Russian front? The Germans were bled out by the time the Yanks came in. History is what it is…

BMD

Monday, 8 January 2018

V I Stalin… Was He What the Khrushchyovites Claimed That He Was?

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Editor:

There’s been a great deal of comment on the RuNet about V I Stalin, I V Stalin’s son. Often, where one falls on this issue depends on one’s social position. Those who fancy themselves “intellectuals” or intelligentsia declare him evil, just as they do his father. Those who suck up to Westerners (those who act like Anglo “conservatives”, labelled “liberals” in Russian discourse) take a similar stand. However, most working-class and lower-middle Russians stand up for Vasili Iosifovich. The internet gives them a voice… a voice that the state doesn’t censor. As one of my friends at the Centre put it:

Unlike the Americans, we don’t censor the internet… for good reason. You see, we can find out where public opinion is heading, and take proper action. There’s no need to arrest people or bully them as they do in America.

Ordinary Russians RESPECT “The Vozhd*”. ALL OF THEM. Note that I didn’t say that they “love” him. No one loves I V Stalin. NO ONE. As one friend put it in an email (he’s an engine-driver on the yeliktrichka trains, a communist, and an Orthodox believer):

  • Vozhd: “The Leader”, the most-common name for Stalin amongst working-class and lower-middle Russians (and their counterparts in the post-Soviet Near Abroad)… if an ordinary Russian uses “The Vozhd”, they mean I V Stalin, and no one else.

He was a hard man in a hard time. He made life better for little people, like us, and he made the bosses toe the line. No… he wasn’t a good man… but he was a great man, like Pyotr Veliki. Sometimes, harsh times call for harsh measures. Didn’t FDR trample on the bosses in your country, too?

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not sweeping I V Stalin’s actions under the rug. However, I AM saying:

Take all of his actions together… the good and the bad… weigh them in the balance. Take collectivisation and the repressions on the one hand and the victory in the VOV, the country’s industrialisation, and the mass literacy and health programmes on the other. I think that you’d come to the realisation that great men in history may not be “good” men. Think on that… think on it hard.

As for V I Stalin, I agree with most ordinary Russians. He was an honourable man who refused to malign his father and the dishonourable attacked him for that. There’s no other possible conclusion. Therefore, like most ordinary Russians, I think that V I Stalin’s refusal to cast mud at his father covers many sins… unlike his sister, who maligned her father and family at the behest of the Amerikantsy pigs.

Bright and eternal memory to Vasili Iosifovich… he refused to dishonour his father… and paid the price for doing so.

What follows is a representative selection of some of the writings of ordinary Russians on V I Stalin.

BMD

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Vasili Iosifovich Stalin (1921-62) , Lieutenant-General of Aviation, veteran of the Great Patriotic War. He went from being a pilot-instructor in an aviation regiment to being commander of the 3 Guards Aviation and 286 Fighter Aviation Divisions. Postwar, he headed the aviation units of the Moscow Military District (1948-52)! HE KEPT IN MIND THE HONOURABLE WORD OF A SOLDIER OF OUR FATHERLAND…  like his late father, unlike Khrushchyov’s renegade gang of bastards and traitors.

16 March 2016

Yevgeny Spitsyn

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They chose the Motherland as their highest ideal

Eternal memory and glory to heroes!

No one is forgotten; nothing is forgotten!

VASILI IOSIFOVICH STALIN

Soviet military leader, Lieutenant-General of Aviation, son of I V Stalin

21 March 1921-19 March 1962

Vasili Iosifovich Stalin, son of Iosif Stalin, son of Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliuyeva, born on 21 March 1921 in the Kremlin. He went to a regular Moscow school, taking an ordinary tram without a security detail. Like many other children of the Soviet nomenklatura, Vasili Iosifovich became a pilot. Aged 20, he went to the front as a captain. During the war, he flew 27 combat missions; he shot down one enemy plane; he received three Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Suvorov (II Class), and the Order of Aleksandr Nevsky. In 1942, he became a Colonel, in 1946, he was as Major-General, and in 1947, he was a Lieutenant-General. V I Stalin was one of the youngest generals of the Soviet Army. At the end of the Great Patriotic War, he commanded a Fighter Aviation Division.

18 March 2016

СССР. Прекрасная страна, в которой мы жили

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ON THE MEMOIRS OF V I STALIN

Soon after his father’s death, Vasili Iosifovich Stalin, who had already been sacked, asked the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China for political asylum. The son of the Vozhd had good reason to make such a request. He felt the clouds gathering above his head. He understood that the people he’d openly accused of killing his father wouldn’t leave him alone. V I Stalin’s fears weren’t groundless. On 28 April 1953, Stalin’s successors arrested him on charges of anti-Soviet propaganda and abuse of office. After an “investigation” that lasted for more than two years, they sentenced him to eight years in prison. He could’ve copped out, with a full removal of the charges and with restoration of his former status if only he’d repudiate his father and publicly condemn him. However, Vasili Iosifovich refused to do it. As a son, he couldn’t betray his father’s memory. As a communist, he couldn’t betray a leader who did great deeds or abuse his ideals.

29 February 2016

Nikolai Shirshov

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On 21 March, a legendary man was born! Vasili Iosifovich was a good fighter pilot who piloted all kinds of aircraft that were in VVS service! He didn’t sell out or betray his great father… Comrade Stalin! He never dishonoured his father’s name or that of the Stalin family! Eternal Memory to Vasili Iosifovich Stalin!

21 March 2017

Aleksandr Kharchikov

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Vasili Iosifovich Stalin (1921-62) was a Soviet military pilot, Lieutenant-General of Aviation (1949), Commander of the Moscow Military District aviation units in 1948, and the youngest son of I V Stalin. Under Khrushchyov, V I Stalin served eight years in prison, and his accusers threw all manner of accusations against him. They called him an alcoholic, a womaniser, immoral, a mediocrity, a scoundrel, a low-life, a bastard, and a spoiled son. Of course, Vasili Iosifovich wasn’t an angel; he was a drinker and married three times, so that gave his enemies many opportunities to fix on him many pejorative labels.

During the war, V I Stalin flew without a parachute, for he knew that in the event of failure, it’d be better to die than to be captured and to give the Germans a bargaining card like having another son of Stalin in captivity. He flew 26 combat missions and shot down two enemy aircraft. He wasn’t in combat long, because I V Stalin himself banned his flights when he found out that the Germans were actively hunting for his son. I V Stalin himself made him to resign as commander of the Moscow Military District aviation units, when Vasili Iosifovich showed up at a government reception drunk. Stalin’s son pulled other gaffes… his father sent him to study at the Frunze Academy, but Vasili Iosifovich defiantly didn’t attend classes and showed no interest in studying. The following year, I V Stalin died (or was killed). Vasili Iosifovich believed that his close entourage murdered his father, so he tried to pass this information to the Chinese, but state security arrested him.

Unlike his sister Svetlana, Vasili Iosifovich refused to cast aspersions at his father. Outside of official life, V I Stalin was a great promoter of sport. He formed all sorts of sport teams in the air force. V I Stalin’s son A V Burdonsky became a People’s Artist of the Russian Federation in 1996 for his activities as a theatre director.

21 March 2017

Rafik Timirgaliev

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