History repeating itself: 1943 soldier’s grave found by the Ukrainian military


War in Donbas

Wings Phoenix, one of Ukraine’s volunteers supplying the Army with necessary equipment, shared a story from the frontlines. The Russian propaganda machine frequently portrays the Ukrainian Army as a fascist movement that disrespects the Red Army that fought against Nazi Germany in WWII (called the Great Patriotic War by Soviet tradition). On one of the days, the Ukrainian soldiers discovered the remains of a Red Army soldier while entrenching themselves.

Let me tell you a story about the “Ukrainian junta troops defiling the graves of our grandfathers who have fallen in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.” Would you like that? Here you go!

Two weeks ago, soldiers of the 79th brigade had taken a strategic position at the border with Russia. They started entrenching themselves and  enforcing their positions. And in one of the trenches they found the remains of a Red Army soldier. According to the date on the newspaper [which was found together with the remains], he died on July 1943.

He was a machine gunner. He was running to his position with two magazines for a DP machine gun (Degtyarev light machine gun system). He still had the magazines in his hands when he died on the spot. He must have been powdered over with soil, maybe that’s why he was never found [and not given a burial]. He had an open razor with him with the letter “I” as his initial on it, a newspaper and some paper for roll-up cigarettes. Nothing else was preserved.

The paratroopers dug him out, put the remains together, took a picture of it all, and dug out a grave to make a formal burial. The deputy battalion commander (if you remember, we greeted him on his birthday and brought him a cake) carried the box with the remains to the tomb. And at that moment the terrorists shelled us with a 120 mm mortar-gun. Oh, and yes, that was during the ceasefire [which lasted from 20 through 30 June 2014]!

The deputy battalion commander later told us he fell down together with that box into THAT very trench and, while pressing the remains against himself, was wondering  whether the “shells never hit the same crater twice” rule still applies after 70 years of time. The answer is – it does, but only partially. A mortar shell fragment went into the ground 15 cm above him. And if he had not been covering himself with the box, the fragment would have wounded him.

The remains were buried with military funeral honors. That was crucial. They are soldiers.

P.S. Search organizations representatives, please contact us, we need to transfer all the materials to you. It should not be that difficult to identify him.


03 04 05 06 07

Translation by: Svitlana Skob, edited by: Alya Shandra

Source: Wings Phoenix FB

Ukraine needs independent journalism. And we need you. Join our community on Patreon and help us better connect Ukraine to the world. We’ll use your contribution to attract new authors, upgrade our website, and optimize its SEO. For as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

Tags: , , , , ,