Voices from Russia

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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Sunday, 20 November 2016

20 November 2016. A Photo Essay: Russia Remembered and Marked 7 November…

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On 7 November, a re-enactment of the 7 November 1941 October Revolution parade took place in Moscow. For all intents and purposes, it celebrated the USSR and its victory over the fascists in the VOV. Most working-class Russians are for a return to the USSR and its values… at the same time, many are practising Orthodox Christians. The Church seems to prefer honest Soviet values over corrupt Western “values”; the commies have dropped all opposition to religious faith and practise. The atheists in Russia are the Westward-leaning bourgeois… the believers are socialist workers.

Fancy that. The Church and Party are on the same page… the Westernisers and irreligion are on the same page. I can see why people want the USSR back… they’re tired of the corrupt non-values of the West and its Russian lapdogs. If I were in Russia, I’d vote for the KPRF gladly. Reflect on this… the commies are the faction closest to the Church… what does that tell you about the rebels in the diaspora who want to ally the Church with godless anti-Church rightwing forces? I’d advise to think well on that…

BMD

Saturday, 10 September 2016

75th Anniversary of the Beginning of the Siege of Leningrad

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Today marked 75 years since the beginning of the siege of Leningrad by the fascists during the Great Patriotic War. The blockade lasted 872 days (from 8 September 1941 to 27 January 1944) and became one of the most tragic pages in the history of the Second World War. To memorialise this momentous occasion, we prepared a thematic collection:

Video:

Blockade album

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The blockade as seen in a Sergei Loznitsy documentary

8 September 2016

Orthodox Journal Foma

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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Reburial of Red Army Heroes in Czechia with Full Military Honours

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At the Red Army cemetery in the Czech town of Hlučín (Moravian-Silesian Kraj), the remains of two Soviet pilots… G S Rogachko and Ye I Slyusarenko… received burial with full military honours. This cemetery is one of the largest burial places of Soviet soldiers in Czechia; it has the remains of 3,895 Red Army soldiers. Until now, records had the pilots as “missing”.

In August 2015, Czech searchers located the crash site of a Soviet Yakovlev Yak-9 fighter (s/n 5315374), shot down on 15 April 1945, near Zabreg (near Hlučín). In the wreckage, they found the remains of its 25-year-old pilot, Guards Lieutenant Yevgeni Ivanovich Slyusarenko. The searchers identified the Soviet fighter plane and its pilot through the serial numbers of the engine and aircraft, along with documents from TsAMO in the Russian Federation. In September 2015, in Petrovice u Karviné, searchers found and recovered the wreckage of another Soviet fighter, an American-built Bell P-39 Q-25 Airacobra (s/n 44-32665), shot down by German anti-aircraft guns, which crashed into a swamp near the railroad tracks. The shootdown of the American fighter, received from the USA under Lend-Lease, occurred on 13 April 1945. Russian documents identified the pilot as 27-year-old Senior Lieutenant Grigori Sergeyevich Rogachko, deputy commander of a squadron of 268 Fighter Regiment of 310 Fighter Aviation Division of the VVS-RKKA PVO. At the crash site, searchers found not only remnants of the aircraft, but also the remains of the pilot and some of his personal effects. According to documents, Guards Lieutenant Ye I Slyusarenko, born in Kiev in 1920, received his call to service from the Petrovsky RVK in 1939; Senior Lieutenant G S Rogachko came from Grodovka (Donetsk Oblast), being born in 1918.

The honour guard at the ceremony were members of a military history re-enactment group. They wore VOV-era uniforms and laid wreaths at the burial-place. We were able to establish the names of the pilots due to preserved documents and anthropological forensics, with participation from the Minoborony Rossii office for maintaining military memorials in Czechia. Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in Ostrava Aleš Zedník noted:

Today, thanks to hardworking researchers, we bid farewell, not to unknown heroes, but to heroes known to many in Moravia and Silesia by their names and by their podvigs*. Thus, instead of the dry phrase “didn’t return from combat mission”, we shed light on their all-too-human fate.

  • 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.

A N Budaev (Consul General of the Russian Federation in Brno), Aleš Zedník (Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in Ostrava),  P Pašek (Mayor of Hlučín), I V Shchepin (Military Attaché of the Russian Federation in the Czech Republic), V V Konnov (head of the Minoborony Rossii office for maintaining military memorials in Czechia), Russian Orthodox church representatives, ordinary Russians, and members of Czech veterans and public organisations attended the burial ceremony. Fr Nikolaj, pastor of the Orthodox parish in Ostrava, served Pannikhida.

28 August 2016

Minoborony Rossii

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