Victory Day In Russia – One Vignette

Dear Readers:

Congratulating everyone with May 9 Victory Day, celebrating Soviet defeat of the invading Nazi hordes.  There will be much coverage of the big parade in Moscow and the Immortal Host marches.

Boris lives here…

I picked a smaller vignette, this piece from the Komsomolka, featuring a 73-year-old pensioner named Boris Tilichencko, from the small Russian town of Novopokrovka.  And here is a little geography lesson:  There are quite a few “Novopokrovkas” in Russia.  The one in question, where Boris lives, in in the Sargatsky Region within the Omsk Oblast.  Omsk Oblast, with a population of just under 2 million souls, is located in Southwestern Siberia bordering on Kazakhstan — it’s the boonies!

Within the Omsk Oblast there is the Sargatsky Region where Boris lives.  This administrative region was established in 1925.  Current population is around 19,000 people, including Boris.  Boris is among the 17,757 ethnic Russians listed in the census.  His neighbors include 340 Kazakhs, 772 Germans, 211 Tatars, 296 Ukrainians and 638 assorted “others”.  Boris Tilichenko’s town of Pokrovka is so small that it is not even listed on the wiki page’s list of towns in Sargatsky.  Although there is a town called Khokhlovo — maybe that’s where the Ukrainians live — [that’s a joke…]

Boris Tilichenko. Photo by Natalia Graf, Rossijskaja Gazeta

Anyhow, Boris decided to honor the veterans of the Great Patriotic War in his own humble way.  Using his own money (and remember that he is on a pension!), Tilichenko built an obelisk monument in memory of the 105 fellow Pokrovka villagers who perished in the war.

Boris Alekseevich himself was born in 1945, the last year of the war.  His father Alexei had fought in the war, was wounded, and returned home in 1942.  “He was in military reconnaissance,” Boris recounts.  “He went on three recon missions.  On the third, he stepped on a mine.  He was sent home as an invalid.  Two of his brothers also fought in the war.”

Tilichenko was upset by the fact that his village did not have a memorial to the fallen.  Even the smallest Russian towns lost men in the war and have memorials.  Tilichenko approached the town authorities with the idea of building a memorial, but they didn’t want to help.  “I spoke with all the townspeople who have lived here a long time, I gathered petitions one by one.  The town administration promised to help, but did nothing.

Only one town leader helped out, giving Boris 50,000 rubles to buy the stone.  Tilichenko himself carved the names of the 105 fallen into the stone.  He dug out the enclosure and purchased the fencing.  He put it all together and tends the little enclosure himself.

“What if you hadn’t gotten any money for this?” Tilichenko was asked by the reporter.

“I would have found the means somehow.  I would have sold a horse, or a cow.”

According to Boris, the local villagers bring flowers to the memorial and thank him for what he did.  “It is in our blood to help people,” he explains.

This entry was posted in Human Dignity, Military and War and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Victory Day In Russia – One Vignette

  1. Ryan Ward says:

    I saw an interesting story on RT today. A large German cemetery has been created in Russia.

    Struck me as a somewhat (although not closely 😉 ) related topic, and an inspiring story.


    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Inspiring of nausea perhaps.

      Germans, whether living or dead, belong at the dump with the other rubbish, and the Iwans are bloody fools to extend any generosity to these stinkers and their stinking descendants.

      Seriously, I gag at reading this crap:

      ‘The priest spoke of a Russian military officer who visits the German cemetery every year on May 9 and renders a salute, saying that “those are soldiers as well. A soldier doesn’t answer for his command. They were just following orders.”’

      Bollocks on stilts – German military service came with a heavy dose of political indoctrination. They knew exactly what they were fighting for, and they loved what they knew: ‘The Russian must perish so that we may live’.

      F***ing Russians. Bury your delusions in the earth and stop treating your damned enemies like they were human beings.


    • yalensis says:

      One is reminded of the Hector vs. Achilles duel. Upon killing Hector, Achilles was not exactly Mr. High Ground: He tied Hector’s body to his chariot and dragged him around the city several times, then continued to abuse the corpse for 12 days until the gods couldn’t stand the sight any more, and ordered him to return the body to King Priam.

      The ancient Greeks, and indeed most civilizations, make a distinction between fighting a live enemy and fighting against a dead one. They allow for dead enemies to be buried and/or given back to their families.
      Having said that, I think it is a bit much to expect Russians to spend so much care over the bodies of dead Nazi soldiers. I think it would have been sufficient to simply NOT abuse the corpses. To dispose of them in a civilized manner. The priest seems to have something against cremation, “they must be put in the earth blah blah”. Who said so? I think cremation is better, and I personally plan to be cremated when I die.
      Note that I said WHEN I die. Remember that Nazis tended to shove ordinary people into ovens en masse before their time had really come.

      Anyhow, as the piece points out, the Nazi dead soldiers don’t get personal grave markers. That would be going too far and making of their corpses objects of revenge. The best they should expect is something like “Here lies a dead Nazi.”

      The “they were only following orders” thing also rubs me the wrong way. Although I am not as violently psychopathic as Pavlo, I do think this Russian Orthodox priest is a bit of a crank and possibly even a pro-Nazi symp! Just sayin’…


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