Voices from Russia

Friday, 23 December 2016

23 December 2016. These are MY Heroes… Yekaterina Illarionovna Kalinchuk Demina

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Today, 22 December, is the 91st birthday of Yekaterina Illarionovna Kalinchuk Demina… a legendary veteran of the VOV. At 16-years-old, she became a medical orderly in the 369 Separate Naval Infantry Battalion of the Danube Flotilla. She served with that unit throughout the entire war, being at the front in the Caucasus and Stalingrad, ending up in Hungary and Austria. She was a frontline hero, winning not only the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin, but also two Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of the Patriotic War (First Class), and the Medal “For Courage”.

Congratulations, Yekaterina Illarionovna! Happy birthday! We wish you health and many years!

22 December 2016

Yevgeni Spitsyn

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Editor:

Compare Yekaterina Illarionovna to John McCain… there’s no comparison between a real heroine and a posturing cowboy, is there?  McCain was no coward, but he was no hero either. Old hands warned him many times that his recklessness would end badly, but he refused to listen to his elders and betters (nothing much has changed in him, has it?). The US Navy refused to promote this son and grandson of admirals to flag rank (a friend told me that the Navy didn’t want such a man in command of a task force… they feared that he’d kill others to prove his macho creds). On the other hand, Yekaterina Illarionovna did her duty at the front, showing not only prudence (for she did survive four years of the most-gruelling war ever fought), but also heroism (as her decorations prove to all comers).

I know whom I admire. It’s NOT John McCain. I confide that I’m not alone in thinking that way.

BMD

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

75 Years Ago… the Counterattack at Moscow Began

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5 December: The Day of the Beginning of the Counteroffensive by the Soviet Forces in the Battle of Moscow

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On this day in Russia, 5 December, we mark a “Day of Military Glory of Russia”; the counterattack by Soviet troops at the Battle of Moscow began on this day. The counterattack, the second phase of the battle of Moscow, started on 5-6 December 1941, with the Kalinin Front hitting Yeltsa. The fighting immediately became bitter and furious. In the early days of the offensive, despite a lack of superiority in manpower and equipment, and despite below-zero temperatures and deep snow cover, the troops on the left-wing and right-wing of the Western Front smashed the fascist defences south of Kalinin, cut highway and rail links to Kalinin, and liberated many towns from the enemy. Simultaneously, troops of the Southwestern Front attacked northwest of Moscow. The Red Army hit the flanks of the fascist Army Group Centre grouped around Moscow, forcing the enemy to regroup and to take measures to save its troops from a débâcle.

On 8 December, Hitler signed a directive to transition to the defence all along the Soviet-German front. Army Group Centre received orders “to retain strategically important areas at any cost”. On 9 December, the Soviet troops liberated Rogachevo, Venev, and Yelets. On 11 December, they freed Stalinogorsk, on 12 December, they cleared Solnechnogorsk, on 13 December, they liberated Yefremov, on 15 December, they entered Klin, on 16 December, they took Kalinin, and 20 December, they occupied Volokolamsk. On 25 December, on a broad front, Soviet troops advanced to Oka. On 28 December, they liberated Kozelsk, on 30 December, they took Kaluga, and in early January 1942, they freed Meshchovsk and Mosalsk.

By the beginning of January 1942, the armies of the right-wing of the Western Front reached the banks of the Lama and Ruza Rivers. By that time, the troops of the Kalinin Front reached Pavlikovo and Staritsa. The troops of the Western Front, in the centre, liberated Naro-Fominsk on 26 December, they freed Maloyaroslavets on 2 January, and entered Borovsk on 4 January. There were also successful counterattacks on the left-wing of the Western Front and by the Bryansk Front (re-established on 18 December 1941, with the 3, 13 and 61 Armies; commanded by General Ya T Cherevichenko, A F Kolobyakov as head commissar, and Major General V Ya Kolpakchy as Chief of Staff). By early January 1942, the Bryansk Front, cooperating with the forces of the left-wing of the Western Front, reached Belev, Mtsensk, and Verkhovye. All this has created a serious situation for the fascist Army Group Centre; it removed the threat looming over Moscow.

The victory of the Soviet troops near Moscow and the beginning of the counteroffensive not only had great military significance, it also had political and international Importance. For the first time in World War II, someone stopped the hitherto-invincible Wehrmacht and defeated it. Today, the date of 5 December is another reason to remember the heroes of that war…

5 December 2016

Russia-Российская Федерация

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Monday, 25 July 2016

25 July 2016. From the Russian Web… The 75th Anniversary of the Fall of the Brest Fortress in the VOV

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Russia remembers not only the triumph of victory… but also the agony of defeat. The resistance at the Brest Fortress tied up fascist troops that could’ve been at the frontline. Their sacrifice bought precious time for the Soviet forces to regroup. By the way… Russians haven’t changed…

Nothing is forgotten… no one is forgotten…

BMD

Saturday, 7 May 2016

7 May 2016. Did You Know? The Last Shots Fired by the Red Army in the VOV Were on Holy Easter?

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The last shots fired by the Red Army in the VOV were at the fall of Festung Breslau in Silesia on 6 May 1945… Holy Easter Sunday that year. It was also the holyday of St George the all-Victorious (as it is every year). So, even though the formal surrender didn’t come into force until 0200 MSK 9 May 1945, the fellow with the placard is correct, in fact (it always takes time for formalities to catch up with realities).

Betcha didn’t know that one…

BMD

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