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Russian lawmakers have proposed legislation banning publicly “equating the goals, decisions, and actions” of the USSR and Nazi Germany. In addition, the bill prohibits denying the “decisive role of the Soviet people in defeating Nazi Germany or the humanitarian mission of the USSR in liberating the countries of Europe.” To find out more about how this new law might affect the work of historians studying the Second World War, Meduza turned to Russian military historian Mikhail Meltyukhov.
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Soviet setting meets American pin-up style in the art of Valeriy Barykin. Another collection of the Russian artist for bright emotions and inspiration!
Above – “Do not be late for production work”
“Do not waste working minutes!”
‘Pioneer, keep the distance!”
“Soldier must endure combat hardships with courage” – from the Soviet military regularion.
“Do not enter! Deadly danger!”
“The sun began shining in the sky, clouds hid behind the houses. Police shoulder straps make girls go mad!”
“Shall we fly?”
“Feature film: Scout’s personal – 2”
“Pioneer is the example for all guys!”
“Pioneer sticks to the rule: Clean up the mess when you’re finished with your meal!”
“Improve your health in the pioneer camp!”
“Move forward, detachments of Red Pathfinders!”
“Workers of the TV studio, make sure that your actions are coordinated while preparing for live stream!”
“I am asking to be sent to the toughest place!”
“Say “NO” to hard drinking! Do not rise to the bait: “One more round!”
“Get in for a drive!”
“Worked hard? Take a good rest!”
“To Moscow by train!”
“To Moscow by car!”
“Help out a novice driver!”
“Give all the salary to your wife!”
“High-quality service to every client!”
“Have you been working today well?”
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Putin responds to Biden’s insinuation that’s he a ‘killer’: says US President is likely projecting, but ‘I wish him good health‘ — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union
18 Mar, 2021 11:47
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The high speed of 5G internet can now be experienced at over a dozen of the most well-known locations in Moscow, and the locals who spoke to RT didn’t seem to share the concerns of skeptics about the technology.
5G being available to the public is a “breakthrough” because “it is the only way we can make sure mobile networks keep developing,” Victor Belov, president for technology at Russian telecom giant MTS, which is behind the pilot project, told RT.
The new standard will allow mobile phone users to “watch videos in Ultra HD and even some newer formats.” The people “won’t have any trouble doing a live-stream from a packed venue during a concert, even if everyone around is doing that too,” he said.
A truly autonomous transport system, which includes self-driving cars and delivery drones, will also only be able to function property when 5G is widespread, Belov added.
RT’s Ilya Petrenko tested the network at Nikolskaya Street near the Kremlin, which became well-known around the globe after being chosen as the No.1 gathering spot by football fans during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The connection speed stood at almost 1,300 megabits per second, allowing him to download a two-gigabyte file onto his phone in an “impressive” 35 seconds.
When the introduction of the technology began internationally in 2019, it brought about numerous conspiracy theories alleging that it was harmful to human health. Some people, and even a handful of internet celebrities, went so far as to blame the tech for the outbreak and spread of Covid-19.
But the MTS representative brushed off those concerns, pointing to numerous studies that have proved the safety of the next-gen tech. And Muscovites mostly seem to agree with the scientists, with one girl telling RT that the conspiracy theories were just “nonsense.”
Other locals also didn’t mind having 5G transmitters set up above their heads, calling the new network standard a huge step forward for the whole IT sector. However, there was one woman who insisted that the health effects of the technology need to be studied further.
Also on rt.com China to build 30 ‘fully connected’ 5G factories by 2023
People also shouldn’t be concerned when more and more 5G masts pop up around them, Belov explained, adding that some think “it’s more dangerous… but the actual fact is the more transmitters there are – the lower the level of electromagnetic radiation each one of them emits.”
So far, the Russian capital has 5G transmitters erected in 14 locations, including the area around the Bolshoi Theatre, the Gorky Park, the observation deck at Sparrow Hills, and Zaryadye Park.
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During the late 1950s, the Soviet administration decided to design a helicopter with the world’s largest carrying capacity. The tests of the new helicopter began ten years later. However, it just so happened that no one wanted to replicate the potential pride of Soviet engineers.
The helicopter is known as B-12, and it is unofficially known as Mi-12. Its unsuccessful story has proved that world records may at times be reductive.
During the 1960s, the production of helicopters was thriving, and military requirements were getting increasingly demanding. It was during those times when engineers designed the first intercontinental missile.
First-generation intercontinental missiles were too heavy to be transported on any means other than trains. A R-7 warhead could only be delivered by plane or train because the warhead without fuel weighed 26 tons.
First Lockheed U-2, then B-12
Needless to say that railway transportations could be easily tracked. The USSR found that out after a story with the American reconnaissance aircraft.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, the United States took every effort to prevent such attacks in the future.
Thus, the Lockheed U-2 appeared in 1955. The aircraft was carrying various modules, including those using ray tracing and ultra-precise lenses.
The camera of the US reconnaissance aircraft was so powerful that it was possible to count cows in a photograph of a field, taken from an altitude of 18 km.
The aircraft was flying quietly over the USSR for more than five years, until one of them was shot down and its pilot was taken hostage in 1960. However, 24 previous flights helped the Americans find out the whereabouts of Soviet military facilities, including missile ranges.
It was easy to track down those facilities on the ground with the help of conspicuous railway tracks. The USSR was convinced that it was about time to develop aerial means of transportation for missiles.
By 1963, the largest Mi-6 helicopter could lift 12 tons, but it was not good to carry a 26-ton cargo. This prompted Soviet engineers to start working on the B-12 helicopter.
At first they simply wanted to upscale the Mi-6, but it then became clear that one huge rotor could not be adapted to the laws of physics. Soviet designers decided that it would take them too long to stabilise the new technology.
They opted for a different variant, in which they took 35-meter rotors with a total capacity of 26,000 horsepower from the Mi-6 helicopter and arranged them to the sides of the hull.
The rotors moved in the opposite direction to balance each other, while the rear wing was stabilizing the swing.
We can now see this solution in the design of modern-day drones, but there were no helicopter models with this type of rotors in the past.
In terms of the size of the hull, it was larger than the Boeing 737, which can house up to 189 people.
The B-12 could carry a record 192 passengers. As for equipment, the new helicopter could fit a nuclear intercontinental missile.
In April 1965, a decree was adopted to build the first prototype of the helicopter. Two years later, the helicopter was ready, and five years after the beginning of development, the B-12 took the first flight test.
The first test turned out to be unsuccessful due to a resonance in the movement of rotor blades. Simply put, the pilot lost control of the helicopter.
The helicopter became unstable immediately after takeoff, and it started hitting the ground from a height of 10 meters. This ruined the chassis and took engineers another year to correct the mistake.
During the second test in 1969, the B-12 lifted 31 tons. A year later, the B-12 was able to hold a record 44 tons at an altitude of 2.2 km, which proved its efficiency in the task of transporting missiles weighing 25 tons.
B-12 triumph at Le Bourget
The successful performance of the new jumbo helicopter prompted it to appear at Le Bourget international aerospace exhibition in Paris in 1971.
Being 37 meters long and 69.1 tons heavy, the B-12 was twice as large and four times heavier than largest American exhibits. The B-12 holds this record to this day.
The B-12 could develop the speed of up to 260 km/h and reach altitudes of up to 3.5 km.
Six crew members were required to pilot the B-12: the pilot, the co-pilot and the flight engineer would sit in the cockpit on the first level, and the navigator, the radio operator and the electrical engineer would help them on the second level.
Such capabilities and requirements demonstrated the military purpose of the helicopter. At the same time, the helicopter needed to be developed further. Landing and takeoff were still difficult to control, and airborne stability was far from being satisfactory too.
The exhibition in Paris became the brightest and the last triumph of the jumbo B-12 helicopter. It became redundant when new missiles were invented. The development of the helicopter was stopped 15 years after the idea to design it emerged for the first time.
There were two reasons to shelve the project:
In 1972, the USSR and the United States signed the first arms control treaty. Due to advanced espionage through space satellites, it became more difficult to hide missiles.
By 1974, the super-helicopter project had been wrapped up completely because warheads obtained much lighter solid fuel tanks. Therefore, new missiles could be hidden штывшу train carriages to make it look like common cargo transportation.
Only two prototypes of the B-12 have been preserved to this day. The first one remains in the Museum of the Air Force of the Russian Federation near Moscow, and the second one is located in Tomilino as part of Mil and Kamov National Helicopter Center.
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Controversial Russian Communist MP Valery Rashkin has asked the country’s General Prosecutor’s Office to investigate if Moscow is legally allowed to refuse free travel to pensioners who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Last year, the city’s Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, from the pro-Vladimir Putin United Russia party, decided to block the social cards of the elderly, forcing them to pay for travel until they get inoculated. According to Rashkin, the Communist leader in the capital, this is tantamount to compulsory vaccination.
“The mayor’s decree violates the rights of citizens of the city of Moscow over 65 years of age to discount travel on public transport by blocking social cards,” Rashkin wrote in a letter to the General Prosecutor. “For a long time, pensioners have not been able to use public transport [making them] cut off from life, or are forced to buy a Troika card to pay their fare.”
Also on rt.com Communist MP wants top Russian TV host prosecuted for calling Hitler ‘a very brave man’ in debate about comparisons with Navalny
Rashkin is not the first person to challenge the mayor’s decree. Earlier this year, lawyer and pensioner Yuri Kachan appealed to the Moscow City Court, who noted that he could legally provide legal services but could not ride the bus for free. In response, the court rejected Kachan’s complaint, declaring Sobyanin’s decision lawful.
In recent months, Rashkin has become a more prominent member of the Communist Party and has been vocal on several issues. Last week, he wrote to the authorities to investigate whether TV host Vladimir Solovyov had broken the law after calling Adolf Hitler a “very brave man.”
The politician is also no stranger to infighting within his own party. On Friday, long-time Communist head Gennady Zyuganov threatened to kick Rashkin out of the party after he spoke out against what he called the “persecution of dissidents,” “terror against any opposition,” and “political repression.” In particular, he came to the defense of Nikolay Bondarenko, a Communist politician in Saratov, who was fined 20,000 rubles ($270) for having attended an unsanctioned rally in support of opposition figure Navalny.
Also on rt.com Extent of mental health toll in Russia from Covid-19 pandemic revealed as number of those seeking help increased up to 30% in 2020
“If Rashkin speaks for Navalny, he will be kicked out of the party!” Zyuganov said.
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Emboldened after surviving months of historic demonstrations against his rule, the authoritarian leader of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko is drawing on Soviet-style political theatre to cement his grip on power.
Lukashenko, Europe’s longest-serving leader who was previously the director of a collective farm in Soviet Belarus, is presiding over a people’s assembly beginning Thursday to unveil political reforms he promised last year to calm the protests.
The gathering of nearly 3,000 delegates in the capital Minsk comes six months into a resolute crackdown on critics sparked by the 66-year-old Lukashenko’s claim to a sixth term in elections last August.
In power since 1994, Lukashenko has kept his landlocked homeland wedged between Russia and EU member Poland largely stuck in a Soviet time warp BELTA / Nikolay PETROV
The erratic leader was seen as clinging to power as he unleashed a brutal put-down of the wave of unprecedented and spontaneous protests, which were seen as the most significant challenge to his 27-year-rule.
His government has hand-picked the nearly 3,000 loyal delegates invited to the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, a hold-over from the Soviet era, which has no legislative power or opposition representation.
He has not given any indication what the reforms could be and instead made clear he intends to retain power, rebuffing calls from Western leaders and the opposition whose leaders have been exiled or jailed.
President Lukashenko insists that Belarus is not ready for a woman leader AFP / Sergei GAPON
“I will not suddenly give up the presidency,” Lukashenko said recently. “I have nothing other than Belarus. I cling to it and I hold on to it”.
Lukashenko almost instinctively reverted last year to the use of brute force to crush the protests, in a response that left at least four dead, thousands detained and hundreds reporting torture in prison.
The tactics were similar to how he put down the last large demonstrations against his rule, in 2010, when his unrepentant use of force reinforced his reputation as the overseer of “the last dictatorship in Europe”.
Alexander Lukashenko detained his main opposition rivals ahead of Sunday’s poll and then vowed he would not allow them to “tear the country apart” POOL / Sergei GAPON
Lukashenko viewed one protest rally last year from a helicopter, describing the demonstrators as “rats,” and later disembarked in a bullet-proof vest carrying a Kalashnikov.
The recent crackdown appears only to have energised the opposition AFP / Sergei GAPON
His authoritarian streak stretches to his views on women, including political novice Svetlana Tikhanovskaya who ran in the August vote in place of her jailed husband and is widely believed to have been the vote’s true winner.
He has said that Belarus could not possibly have a woman leader because she “would collapse, poor thing.”
Amnesty International has accused Lukashenko’s government of “misogyny” and targeting female activists with discriminatory tactics.
Lukashenko’s latest election declaration said that he is still legally married but few can recall ever seeing the wife he wed in 1975.
He concluded a 2012 argument over rights with Germany’s openly gay former foreign minister Guido Westerwelle by saying: “Better to be a dictator than gay.”
This machismo is accompanied by folksiness that appealed to voters used to the stiff octogenarians that dominated Soviet political life around the time of the superpower’s collapse in 1991.
Lukashenko likes being filmed driving tractors or picking watermelons and potatoes. He once gave US action actor Steven Seagal a carrot that he cleaned himself with a peeler and joined Putin at amateur ice hockey matches.
He refused to introduce a coronavirus lockdown and instead issued health tips like drinking vodka and taking steam baths.
He has appeared with his youngest son Nikolai at state functions and official foreign trips since the 16-year-old was a toddler, raising speculation he was grooming a successor.
Yet these peculiarities make Lukashenko an unpredictable ally for Russian President Vladimir Putin who has sought to return Minsk into the Kremlin’s fold.
Lukashenko watched with worry as Moscow seized Crimea in 2014 and to distance himself from Moscow has dangled the promise of political and social changes long demanded by the West.
But since the protests erupted, he has warmed again to closer ties with Putin and the two leaders have discussed deeper integration.
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Note: With the upcoming 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War just around the corner we are publishing more material related to that epic conflict that is so important to Russian collective memory.
Comprehending the massive human and material losses suffered by Russians and other peoples of the Soviet Union is crucial to understanding why this is so.
This article is the third chapter of a research paper from the pen of RI deputy editor and contributor Marko Marjanović. Other chapters are to follow in the coming days. Here are the links to the first chapter and second chapter.
G.F. Krivosheev has established that Soviet records indicate the Red Army and the NKVD sustained 8.67 million irrecoverable demographic losses in the Soviet-German War. This is probably the most widely cited figure for Soviet military losses in WWII particularly in Russia, but also in the West. It is the case, however, this figure is not actually synonymous with deaths among Soviet military persons.
First of all Krivosheev himself points out his estimate refers only to losses from listed strength. They do not include losses among 500,000 reservists who were called to service in the first days of the war, but were captured by the enemy before they could be integrated into their units and by and large perished in Wehrmacht’s POW camps in 1941-42.
Even more importantly Krivosheev’s figures permit just 1.1 million deaths from listed strength to have taken place in German POW camps. He estimates the Red Army and the NKVD lost 4,059,000 men from listed strength captured. Of these he maintains 1,836,000 were repatriated after the war and 939,700 were re-taken on strength before the end of the war and nearly 180,000 managed to avoid repatriation and emigrate. This leaves a difference of 1,103,000 who perished in German custody.
German historiography, however, has established that a far greater number of Soviet POW died in such circumstances. The lowest figure given is at least 2.5 million, with usually figures above 3 million being cited. It is the case that numerous reservists en route to their units, militiamen and members of various Soviet paramilitary formations, as well as simple civilians of fighting age were captured as prisoners of war and left to starve to death in German camps, however, the great majority must have been Red Army regulars, meaning there must have been far more than 1.1 million of them.
Krivosheev’s figures can not be reconciled with what we know about the occurrence of death among Soviet prisoners of war. His total of 8.7 million irrecoverable losses (or 8.5 million deaths after accounting for losses due to prisoners of war who avoided repatriation after the war) is therefore almost certainly a sizeable underestimate.
Krivosheyev’s research, however, is nonetheless the best starting point in determining the extent of deaths among Soviet regulars due to causes not connected to mortality in German POW camps. According to their records the Red Army and the NKVD sustained 5227 thousand killed in action, 1103 thousand died of wounds, 270 thousand died of disease and frostbite, 155 thousand died of other causes, mainly accidents.
Additionally of the 3396 thousand Red Army regulars reported missing in action and 1162 thousand unreported losses from units in encirclement Krivosheyev estimates that 4059 thousand entered captivity, but the other 500 thousand fell in combat. In sum there were some 7.25 million deaths of Soviet regulars due to combat, accidents and disease.
The figure for combat deaths in reality includes a small number of Soviet soldier who were shot by their officers for refusing to carry out orders without procedure in the heat of battle and a greater number of Soviet soldiers executed by German combat troops immediately upon capture. From the onset of the German invasion of the Soviet Union the Germans treated any Red Army soldiers who in the course of a retreat found themselves behind their lines as franc-tierurs and especially targeted female soldiers and political officers for execution. Occasionally they massacred captured soldiers deemed to have put up too much of a fight prior to capture.
Most Soviet citizens who fought in the Soviet-German War fought as regulars in the units of the Red Army or the NKVD. Many others, however, ended up fighting and dying in the various auxiliary and irregular forces. These included local anti-aircraft defense units, the paramilitary formations of policeman and railwaymen and the istrebitel’nyi militia. By far the biggest of such organizations, however, were the opolchenie militia and the Soviet partisans. Deaths in the ranks of these two forces made a significant portion of deaths among Soviet combatants as a whole.
It is without a doubt the case that Soviet partisan guerrillas in fighting the much better euqipped, provisioned and positioned enemy troops took much greater casualties than they inflicted themselves. Thus the Swiss historian Christian Gerlacht has established on the basis of German records that major German anti-partisan operations on the territory of Belarus cost the occupier the lives of 1,500 German and auxiliary troops but killed some 9,500 Soviet partisans. Altogether Gerlach estimates the Germans suffered between 6,000 and 7,000 dead against the partisans in Belarus. Gerlacht also accepts as reliable the work of Pjotr Kalinin according to whom the partisan formations in Belarus reported the loss of 37,800 dead and missing.
The British military historian Matthew Cooper estimated that across the entire USSR some 15 to 20 thousand German troops were killed fighting the Soviet partisans. Presuming the basic ratio of German to partisan losses of 1:6 that may be gleaned from some of the indices relating to the partisan war in Belarus this would imply the Soviet partisans suffered some 100 thousand combat deaths in turn. Accounting for deaths from disease and deprivation and unreported deaths the partisan dead may be in the ballpark of 150,000.
In 1941-42 about two million men, who were mainly volunteers from the Soviet urban centers, served in the battalions and divisions of the opolchenie militia. These units were hastily assembled directly by the Communist Party apparatus rather than the military and were normally terribly under-equipped. When employed on the front they often suffered grievous losses with numerous captured and killed. Several of people’s militia divisions suffered annihilation or near-annihilation, particularly in the Vyazma cauldron, as well as did numerous opolchenie battalions in the Kiev encirclement.
Total opolchenie losses may number in the low hundreds of thousands, however, a very high portion of its losses came in enemy encirclement operations. This means a very high percent of its losses was in terms of captured rather than dead. The casualty reports of the regular army themselves indicate that in 1941 it lost three or four captured for every soldier killed. Opolchenie then likely primarily died in German POW camps rather than in combat, with the front perhaps directly claiming the lives of some 100,000.
Many other Soviet citizens fought and died from 1941 through the end of 1945, but not as part of Soviet forces. The most numerically significant of these were the deaths among Soviet citizens in German service. They include a relatively small number of members of the Polish and Lithuanian nationalist resistance, a comparatively tiny number of anti-Soviet partisans in Estonia and Latvia, as well as a large number of UPA fighters in Western Ukraine.
During the war up to one million Soviet citizens entered into German service. They served in the Waffen-SS, the Wehrmacht and the Auxiliary Police. For many the motivating factor was local nationalism from which stemmed a principled opposition to rule from Moscow. For many others it was a matter of basic survival. Entering into German service meant escape from starvation rations, access to sometime badly-needed medical care, or a shot at winning the release of a relative in German captivity. For numerous people carrying a rifle for the Germans was not a matter of politics, but the difference between life and death of disease or malnutrition in captivity or under the occupation. In any case Krivosheev estimates some 215,000 Soviet citizens in German service lost their lives in battles against Soviet forces. A much smaller number would have also fell in other theaters, in Italy and France against the Western Allies and in the Balkans against the Yugoslav partisans.
The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) was organized by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and became active in early 1943. Under the German occupation it mainly fought the Soviet partisans, albeit between August and December 1943 it also took on the Germans. When it moved to expell ethnic Poles from Volhynia and Galicia it clashed heavily and bitterly with the Polish Home Army. After the Soviets reoccupied Western Ukraine it resisted Soviet rule battling the Red Army, the NKVD, police and the government-sponsored Istrebitel’nye militia into late 1940s and early 1950s.
Unlike the UPA the Polish Home Army (AK) was active against the Germans from the start. However, until 1944 it fielded fewer than 7,000 active fighters across the entire pre-war Poland. For the most part it did not seek battle against the Soviet partisans who were instructed by Moscow to do the same and the engagements between the two were limited. The Polish government in exile in November 1944 instructed the Home Army to cease any operations against the Soviets and in January 1945 the movement was formally disbanded by its leadership. Though many Polish fighters disregarded these instructions this nonetheless meant that Polish nationalist resistance after Soviet reoccupation was limited.
The Lithuanian nationalists did not offer armed resistance against the German occupation, but organized a number of guerrilla formations to combat the Soviets.
Soviet reports indicate the various Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Polish anti-Soviet guerrillas suffered nearly 120,000 deaths in 1944-1945, the great majority of them UPA members in Western Ukraine, but including 12,000 in Lithuania. This figure is almost certainly greatly inflated, since the same reports indicate only 6,000 deaths among the Soviet NKVD, police, militia and army members, which would give a fantastic casualty ratio of 20:1. If the 120,000 figure for the losses of anti-Soviet guerrillas is halved this produces a more plausible death ratio of 10:1.
The Ukrainian Insurgent Army may have lost some 60,000 members from 1943 through 1945, the majority of them after Soviet reoccupation, but with some 10,000 during the German occupation. Perhaps some 10,000 Soviet citizens lost their lives in the ranks of the Polish Home Army, the majority of them under the German occupation, with a few thousand at most in the Polish anti-Soviet struggle after the Soviet reconquest. By the end of 1945 some 5,000 Lithuanians fell in the Lithuanian nationalist anti-Soviet struggle.
In all about 7.5 million fighters for the Soviet side died due to combat, accidents and disease (as opposed to dying in German captivity or being executed by the Soviet military authorities), of whom 7.25 million were regular soldiers and 250 thousand were militiamen and partisans. Some 290,000 Soviet citizens simultaneously lost their lives as part of various non-Soviet fighting forces, including 215 thousand in German service and the rest as part of Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the Polish Home Army and the Lithuanian anti-Soviet resistance.
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Red Army dead in combat
Red Army dead due to disease
Red Army dead due to accidents
Total Red Army dead due to combat, accidents and disease
Soviet partisan deaths
Opolchenie militia deaths
Total frontline deaths among Soviet forces (that is excluding POW and court martialed)
Soviet citizens killed fighting in German service
Soviet citizens killed as part of Ukrainian Insurgent Army
Soviet citizens killed as part of the Polish Home Army
Soviet citizens killed as part of Lithuanian anti-Soviet resistance
Total Soviet citizens who died as fighters for non-Soviet formations
Total Soviet ciziens who died under arms
18. G. F. Krivosheev, ed., Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century (Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books 1997): 236.
19. G. F. Krivosheev, “Nekotorye novye dannye analiza sil i poter’ na sovetsko-germanskom fronte”, Mir Istorii, no.1 (1999).
20. Krivosheev, Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century, 85.
21. Ibid., 236
22. Christian Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde: Die deutsche Wirtschafts-und Vernichtungspolitik in Weissrussland 1941 bis 1944 (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1999).
23. Matthew Cooper, The Phantom War: The German struggle against Soviet partisans 1941-1944 (London: Macdonald and Jane’s Publishers Limited, 1979).
24. Krivosheev, Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century, 278.
25. Alexander Statiev, The Soviet Counterinsurgency in the Western Borderland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) 110, Table 4.4, 125, Table 4.10.
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Prominent opposition activists have been arrested at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport where they gathered to greet their leader, Alexei Navalny, who is returning to Russia from Germany after recovering from an alleged poisoning attempt.
Lyubov Sobol and Ruslan Shaveddinov from Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) were detained at one of the cafes inside the airport, along with activist Konstantin Kotov. The reason for their arrest currently remains undisclosed.
According to various media reports, around a dozen of Navalny’s supporters have so far been apprehended by police at Vnukovo.
The airport’s administration earlier warned that public gatherings have been banned on site as part of measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Entering the airport building is only allowed for those with plane tickets.
Navalny is returning to Russia on Sunday aboard a plane belonging to low-cost airline Pobeda. Media reports have been claiming that he could be arrested at the airport over a breach of probation terms.
The opposition activist and blogger has been in Germany since late August 2020. He was delivered to Berlin in a coma after feeling sick on a domestic flight in Russia a few days before that.
The medics at the Charite clinic in the German capital claimed that their tests showed the activist was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok, while Navalny blamed the Kremlin for being behind the attack against him.
Also on rt.com Flight scheduled to bring Russian opposition figure Navalny home to Moscow & possible arrest takes off from German capital
Russian authorities have flatly denied those accusations, pointing out that all requests for the activist’s medical data have been left unanswered by Berlin, as have offers to investigate the incident together.
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