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Kaleidoscope of Russian Life On the 165th anniversary of Vasily Surikov's birth

The breakthrough of the Leningrad Blockade, 70 years later

A military historical reconstruction entitled "In the Breakthrough Zone," marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the siege of Leningrad, took place in St. Petersburg Region.

Natalia Pietra/RG

A military historical reconstruction entitled "In the Breakthrough Zone," marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the siege of Leningrad, took place in St. Petersburg Region.
It was held near the January Thunder memorial outside the village of Petrovskoe, on the site of the former village of Porozhki, in Lomonosov District, St. Petersburg Region (about 60 km from St. Petersburg).

Natalia Pietra/RG

It was held near the January Thunder memorial outside the village of Petrovskoe, on the site of the former village of Porozhki, in Lomonosov District, St. Petersburg Region (about 60 km from St. Petersburg).
The 872-day-long siege of the city, then known as Leningrad, is one of the darkest moments of Russia's participation in the war.

Natalia Pietra/RG

The 872-day-long siege of the city, then known as Leningrad, is one of the darkest moments of Russia's participation in the war.
The siege began Sept. 9, 1941. German troops surrounded the city, choking off supply routes. An estimated 1.5 million people perished — most through starvation.

Natalia Pietra/RG

The siege began Sept. 9, 1941. German troops surrounded the city, choking off supply routes. An estimated 1.5 million people perished — most through starvation.
The re-enactment replicated Marshal Georgy Zhukov's offensive of Jan. 27, 1944, part of the operation that created a supply channel to the besieged city, ending the siege.

Natalia Pietra/RG

The re-enactment replicated Marshal Georgy Zhukov's offensive of Jan. 27, 1944, part of the operation that created a supply channel to the besieged city, ending the siege.
The progress of the battle was followed by more than a thousand residents of St. Petersburg and the surrounding region and other Russian towns and cities.

Natalia Pietra/RG

The progress of the battle was followed by more than a thousand residents of St. Petersburg and the surrounding region and other Russian towns and cities.
About 400 re-enactors took to the battlefield itself.

Natalia Pietra/RG

About 400 re-enactors took to the battlefield itself.
The guests were shown an exhibition of weapons, divisional and anti-aircraft artillery, military hardware, and air battles between Soviet and German aircraft.

Natalia Pietra/RG

The guests were shown an exhibition of weapons, divisional and anti-aircraft artillery, military hardware, and air battles between Soviet and German aircraft.
The reconstruction was carried out by St. Petersburg's Red Star Youth Military-Patriotic Organization with the assistance of the administration of Lomonosov District, St. Petersburg Region.

Natalia Pietra/RG

The reconstruction was carried out by St. Petersburg's Red Star Youth Military-Patriotic Organization with the assistance of the administration of Lomonosov District, St. Petersburg Region.
In actual fact, the events reconstructed on this occasion took place hundreds of miles away: the battles of January 1943 on the Volkhov and Leningrad fronts, during which the blockade of the city was broken on the Neva.

Natalia Pietra/RG

In actual fact, the events reconstructed on this occasion took place hundreds of miles away: the battles of January 1943 on the Volkhov and Leningrad fronts, during which the blockade of the city was broken on the Neva.
Even so the battle looked very real, with historically accurate Soviet and German uniforms and deafening cannon fire, while the ringing cries of "Hurrah!" filled even the spectators, several thousand of them, with the urge to attack.

Natalia Pietra/RG

Even so the battle looked very real, with historically accurate Soviet and German uniforms and deafening cannon fire, while the ringing cries of "Hurrah!" filled even the spectators, several thousand of them, with the urge to attack.
Observing such events, one could be forgiven for thinking that time has indeed shifted, but unlike real battles, all the participants on this occasion, cold and panting, returned home safely, promising to indulge us with more historical reconstructions in the very near future, for which we are grateful.

Natalia Pietra/RG

Observing such events, one could be forgiven for thinking that time has indeed shifted, but unlike real battles, all the participants on this occasion, cold and panting, returned home safely, promising to indulge us with more historical reconstructions in the very near future, for which we are grateful.
The total liberation of Leningrad is to be recreated the following Sunday, January 27, in two places at once: the town of Pushkin at the Opolchentsi [Home Guard] memorial from 12.00 to 15.00, and in Rzhev Park.

Natalia Pietra/RG

The total liberation of Leningrad is to be recreated the following Sunday, January 27, in two places at once: the town of Pushkin at the Opolchentsi [Home Guard] memorial from 12.00 to 15.00, and in Rzhev Park.
History through reconstruction, in the form of real-life toy soldiers, is perhaps not very academic, but effectual. Maybe it is a way of preserving the memory of the Great Patriotic War, the events of which must never be forgotten.

Natalia Pietra/RG

History through reconstruction, in the form of real-life toy soldiers, is perhaps not very academic, but effectual. Maybe it is a way of preserving the memory of the Great Patriotic War, the events of which must never be forgotten.
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25 January, 2013
Tags: military, ussr, history

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