Seventy-four years ago, on 6 November 1943, the Soviet army expelled the Nazi occupiers from Kyiv. Stalin ordered to seize the capital of Ukraine by the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik coup, 7 November. As the result, the losses of the Red Army in the Kyiv Offensive are estimated as 417,000 people, more than 3 times the German fatalities.
Soldiers of so-called “penal battalions” and mobilized residents of formerly occupied Ukrainian territories were first forced to swim across the Dnipro river. They drowned under the enemy fire in great numbers making the water read and salty from the blood.
In total, almost 4 million soldiers and officers from both sides were involved in the Battle of the Dnipro, and more servicemen died in it than in the Stalingrad Battle. Only one-fifth of Kyiv’s prewar population survived the two years of Nazi terror.
Russian Livejournal user Sergei Larenkov, who combines archive military photos with the modern appearance of the locations, created a series of photos dedicated to Kyiv during World War II. The modern photos of Kyiv were made in June 2012, just before the European football cup.