one day in the year when Saint Petersburg is called Leningrad. January 27, 1944 the city on the Neva became a hero city, to withstand heavy brutal 872 day siege. On this day, 73 years later, we thank those who have grown on the outskirts of Leningrad tightly, not letting the Nazis. Who desperate effort broke the siege ring and drove the enemy from the unique treasures of Russia.
the Federal news Agency published an interview with one of the few surviving soldiers, the defenders of Leningrad, participant of operations 1943-1944 for a breakthrough and the lifting of the blockade, gun commander of the 189th anti-aircraft artillery regiment of the Leningrad air defense army, Colonel, retired, Basil Vsetkym.
In the end, Vasily Petrovich laments: "it was not an interview but a conversation and I've just not told yet!". But where there is a couple of hours to try to cover the questions and answers all 92 years of his life, which after the war only just begun! He's right: we don't record an interview, we're just talking in a modest room with Soviet carpets, old photos on the walls, with a dresser and crystal, Christmas ornaments, under the quiet chime of medals on the man's chest, retook my city.the
My father was drafted into the army with the outbreak of war in 1941, I went to the front two years later, at the age of 17. From all of our six boys, including me, got on the Leningrad front, because everything had education at least nine years. Although I grew up in Poltava oblast, about Leningrad, of course, knew that this is the glorious city of our country, the city of three revolutions.
In our 17 years we are not still understood, and really proud that I fought for Leningrad, I can later when I learned about all the circumstances of the blockade. But during the war everyone already knew that there is dire conditions, that is not life and death people stood near Leningrad. Everyone knew that in the political and strategic importance the city played a great role, so he immediately was attacked by fascist forces from the Baltic States. The choice was poor: either we defend Leningrad, or it will erase from the face of the earth.
the Hitler openly declared that his city doesn't need that he's not going to take prisoners and to feed the parasites, and to destroy all the inhabitants. Now they talk about that they say, you can not defend so fiercely the city: would not have lost as many soldiers and residents. Nonsense, of course. We wouldn't save, get the Germans to Leningrad.
Well, that Luga line for a month the Nazis held.
Oh, how many people are there put how many cadets artillery school, residents. But during this time in the area of Pulkovo heights building fortifications, have been working on logistics, and this month's delay, though the high price, but it helped not to allow the Germans to our Leningrad. I say. "our Leningrad": I, though not born here, but Leningrad.
From the beginning of the siege, our troops attempted to break through, but until 1943 several operations failed. Our three batteries stood, on the right Bank, directly at the Neva river and across the river was the legendary Nevsky Pyatachok, which we covered, as best he could — that was where the real hell! He was one and a half kilometers long and one kilometer from the river Neva. Finally, in January 1943, from 12 to 18 the number we managed to grab a narrow rim. Conditions breakthrough was the hardest.
When the battle went, and returned only a third of. In the evening we held meeting, counted their losses and took his oath at any price Leningrad hold. By this time we ourselves have not spared: all knew that if we don't, Leningrad will not stand. But especially about some kind of heroism did not think himself would save.
I though mom and dad reminisced at first, but then thought, "No, there whining is not good, every man for himself".
In those places all the time it was very damp, in the dugouts had water, we constantly pumped out and used to make wooden reels from rain and bunks to get some sleep on dry. Once stood guard in the night, asked to change me — this was wet, I wanted to warm up — so little in the brig for it were not included. Prior to that, the Finns cut the whole our battalion because of drunken and asleep the battery commander. On the second day came SMERSH, took him and in the presence of other soldiers were shot without trial.
the Strength we lacked, of course, technical means are not enough, shells, artillery.
Well, then Leningrad started production of ammo, repair equipment. About 1,000 artillery guns even across the Neva was sent to Moscow in support of Muscovites. By January 1943 we stuck on positions, and when achieved a breakthrough, and expanded the free lane, it was a great thing! Right, recently this day was established as an official holiday in the city. Remember, we Germans are beaten, and we no longer notice — salute to the party.
At this time active actions in other parts of the country were in full swing: from Stalingrad, Moscow new forces on Leningrad did not. Here, in Leningrad, was such a manifestation of resistance of our soldiers, this confidence, this desire to win that we did not think even the dead paid no attention to the wounded, when a breakthrough was coming. There was only one thought: go ahead, and we'll never win.the
German for us was the enemy. Cattle.
No more could not be. When the war ended, we participated in the execution of Germans in the Leningrad region. Us, a few people brought to the area, where hung was sentenced to death. We stood in the cordon, and their car set, with the loops at the neck.
Before the car started, some advance themselves jumped overboard. Pity for him there was no: they're with us so did, and at times worse. We knew that this enemy any angrier about whom we read in the books. Fascism is fascism.the
January 27, Marshal Govorov read out the order about the full lifting of the blockade of Leningrad, and on the same day we arrived in the city.
What was happening in the centre, on Palace square, on the quays. People cried: Leningrad ceased to be a frontline city. You can sleep without fear of projectiles, as now in the Donbas are afraid to sleep because the Ukrainian army bombed at night. Our soldiers were asked to help clean up the garbage and the ruins, and we saw how many houses were destroyed in the center.
We have seen how infinitely buried relatives, as picked up dead and carried to the burial grounds. Not to present this to anyone who has not seen. the People were ragged, skinny, hungry. Of course, cold, hunger — how to survive in such conditions? For water go to the river — go and not come back.
We are starved: to bowlers one person sent him some soup pour a spoonful of cereal and three slices of bread. But we firmly given food three times a day. And in Leningrad were starving so we were ready to eat anything.
In January, German forces were defeated near Leningrad, and it was the first military operation of 1944. And this year, our General staff planned the 10 strategic operations for liberation of our Soviet territory and out to the borders.the
With all of the presidents — Medvedev and Putin — I'm in a relationship.
In Leningrad I'm fairly well-known person: a teacher, a scholar, soldier, defender of the besieged city. As soon as the presidents go, I always accompany them. Here and in Moscow after the parade somehow all went together, "veteran joy" to drink, the President is coming to Leningrad to our table with a drink, sees me: "Oh, friend". I was always told about the complaints, suggestions.
Say, complain the veterans, comrade President. Wanted to say "you", but. Say, before benefits, we have serious was on tickets, transportation, and now monetization made, benefits canceled and we paid a penny. And even our veterans complain that not everywhere in the city in toilet free allowed.
He: "So I'll call you." Not at all, comrade President, it is late, no one walks around the city, all at home, sitting or lying. Veterans already almost gone. At a recent event I met the veteran, he Synevirska ledge laid the railway, and we are at this moment covered. To them, the Germans were not allowed to build: only pave, immediately destroy it, so that the rails are laid directly under the fire.
When the trains still went through 17 days, as the locomotive teams lost. But some trains through the corridor and made his way to Leningrad, and we have this road called the road of Victory. We had the road of Life and was a road Victory.
Federal news Agency congratulates all inhabitants of Leningrad-St. Petersburg with a full Day of liberation from the Nazi blockade..