` Veterans Celebrate ` Victory Day ‘ and Their Memories of World War II ‘

#AceHistory2Research – VETERANS VICTORY DAY – May 09 – Sergey Blinov was a bomber aircraft pilot, who since the start of the war against the Soviet Union in 1941 was regularly asking his chiefs for being sent to the war zone.

He was allowed to do so in 1942, when Nazis were getting closer to Stalingrad. Blinov had managed to carry out several successful missions before a fatal one, in which his plane was downed by Nazi machine-gun fire.

Aleksandr Panin (above) went to war straight after military school.

By 1944 he was commander of squadron.

Mikhail Vecher (center) fought with the Tyumen rifle division, which took part in military actions around the Karelia region in north-western Russia. After the war he wrote a book “From Tyumen to Kirkines: on operation record of the 368th Pecheng Order of the Red Banner rifle division.” The picture was taken in Karelia in 1943.

Vera Panina was typewriter at the historic Tehran conference in 1943, which was where the “Big Three” Allied leaders (the USSR, the US, and the UK) gathered for the first time.

Mikhail Nikolsky, battery sergeant-major at the 661st rifle regiment, joined the army three days after the Nazi invaded the USSR. Nikolsky was severely wounded on the head in November 1941, but recovered and made it all the way to Berlin in 1945.

Iosif Bregadze (on the right) served in the army during the entire length of the war – from 1941 till 1945. He was a surgeon and served at Bryansk front, later at 1st Belorussian front.

This picture is taken in Berlin near the Brandenburg Gates in 1945.

Mugalim Khalilov was deputy political commissar at one of the squadrons of 814th rifle regiment and was severely wounded in action.

The picture was taken just before the war in May, 1941.

Aleksandr Landyshev served as a border guard in Estonia when the war began. He fought the Nazis in some of the deadliest WWII battles, including the Siege of Leningrad, and the Battle of Königsberg, for which he was awarded a medal. Landyshev regularly posted his stories and poems to the frontline newspaper. He celebrated victory in East Prussia.

Nikolay Panov was drafted into the Soviet Army in 1943 at the age of 17. Born in the northern Russian city of Vologda, he fought his first battle in Ukraine and later took part in the liberation of Czechoslovakia from the Nazis. Twice injured in battles, he received a Medal of Valor.

Galina Samkova (lower row center) volunteered to serve in the Baltic Fleet when she was 17. To pass the Soviet Navy’s size requirements, she stuffed some cloth in her shoes to look a bit taller. For five years Samkova fought near Leningrad and survived the city’s blockade.

Veniamin Karpov was a military pilot. Starting the war at the Battle of Moscow, he fought for Belarus and Königsberg (now Kaliningrad). Here, he is pictured in January 1945 in East Prussia.

Courtesy of the Russian Times Staff and Editors

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` Donbass Roots of Violence and Division But Who Really Founded the Capital but a Welsh Engineer ‘

#AceHistory2Research – UKRAINE – April 22 – When President Vladimir Putin described Donetsk as “Novorossia” in his call-in show late last week and stressed the region’s ties to Russia, he left out the fact that the region’s capital was actually founded by a Welsh engineer and entrepreneur named John Hughes.

Imagine the scene. It is 1870 and a hundred ironworkers from Merthyr Tydfil, Dowlais and Rhymney suddenly find themselves in the wilds of Czarist Russia, in the area we now know as the Ukraine.

“This is Novorossia: Kharkov, Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odessa did not belong to Ukraine in tsarist times,” Putin said. “All these territories were transferred to Ukraine in the 1920’s by the Soviet government.

But what exactly is Donbass, where armed separatists are so determined to create their own autonomous state?

The area over which Russia and Ukraine have locked horns for the past several weeks has an especially complex history, one that may be unknown even to the separatists touting a “People’s Republic of Donetsk” who have captured government buildings and hoisted the self-proclaimed autonomy’s red, black and blue flag on their masts.

Hughes left his mark on Donbass after receiving permission from the Russian tsarist government in 1868 to develop metal works there, and a year later he founded the area as Yuzovka — derived from the Russian pronunciation of Hughes’ name. It was later renamed Donetsk.

The term “Novorossia” goes back even further and denotes territory of modern-day south-eastern Ukraine that was conquered by the Russian Empire from the Crimean Khanate and Ottoman Turkey in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Novorossiya (Russian: Новоро́ссия, Ukrainian: Новоросія; literally New Russia) is a historical term denoting an area north of the Black Sea which was conquered by the Russian Empire at the end of the 18th century.
It included the southern part of the Zaporizhian Sich and the steppes between the Zaporizhian Sich and the northern coast of the Black Sea which had previously been controlled for centuries by the Crimean Khanate and Ottoman Turkey.
Administratively the newly incorporated area became known as the Novorossiysk Governorate with Novorossiysk (present-day Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk, not to be confused with present-day Novorossiysk, Russian Federation) as its capital. In the 19th century Novorossiya was the name of the General Government centred in Odessa, a major port on the north-west coast of the Black Sea.

Novorossiya was changing during the beginning of the 19th century due to the intensive movement of Russians who rapidly created towns, villages and agricultural colonies in the area.

The word Donetsk refers to the Donetsk coal basin, which stretches roughly from the Dnipropetrovsk region in Ukraine to the Rostov region in Russia. It is also just one of many terms for areas of modern-day southeastern Ukraine and south-western Russia with roots in different historical periods, from the 16th century to the Soviet era.

Ace Related History News:
1. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/donbass-roots-of-violent-division-geography-history-culture/498447.html
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novorossiya
3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/legacy/waleshistory/2010/06/john_hughes_the_ironmaster_of_yuzovka.html
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hughes_(developer)

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` Cosmonautics Day Marked with a Cherry Tree Grown from a Pit that was in Space Bursting into Bloom 6 Years Early ‘

#AceHistory2Research – TOKYO – April 12 – A cherry tree grown from a pit that was in space burst into bloom in Japan six years earlier, Japanese media reported on Saturday.

The “space” tree surprising Japanese botanists grows near the Buddhist temple Ganjoji in the Gifu prefecture.

In 2008, seeds of one of old Sakuras growing near the temple were handed over to the Japanese Aerospace Research Agency, and astronaut Koichi Wakata, currently the commander on board the International Space Station, took the seeds with him to space. After ten months in space, the seeds were returned to Japan and planted into the ground in 2010.

Over the four years, the tree, called by Japanese reporters “space”, has grown impressive four metres high and burst into bloom this spring for the first time. Such early blooming is rare. Usually sakuras bloom at the age of about ten years.

Scientists could not explain why it happened, a botany professor at Tsukuba University said. Probably, the growth was fast after the influence of space radiation, he supposed.

Meanwhile, people in the temple see a sign in the early blooming. “It was symbolic. The tree was grown from a seed of a Sakura aged more than 1,200 years and would be its successor in our garden,” the temple rector said.

In 2011, marking the 50th anniversary since Yuri Gagarin’s legendary space flight, the United Nations General Assembly, on the initiative of the Russian Federation, declared April 12 as International Day of Human Space Flight.

Russia marks the memorable date as a national holiday for more than 50 years. In 1962, a few days before the first anniversary since Gagarin’s space flight, the Soviet Union Supreme Council declared Cosmonautics Day.

Most Japanese schools and public buildings have cherry blossom trees outside of them. Since the fiscal and school year both begin in April, in many parts of Honshū, the first day of work or school coincides with the cherry blossom season.

The Japan Cherry Blossom Association developed a list of Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots with at least one location in every prefecture.

Courtesy of: Japanese and Russian Media and News Sources.

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` Russia’s Crimea Celebrates 70 th Anniversary of Liberation from Nazi Invasion '

#AceHistory2Research – April 11 – CRIMEA – Three Crimean cities— Kerch, Dzhankoi and Krasnoperekopsk mark on Friday the 70th anniversary since the liberation from Nazi invaders in 1944.

It is symbolic that the date is marked shortly after the reunification with Russia, which Crimea also views as a great victory. For the first time, the date is marked on the peninsula under the Russian state three-colour flag.

Commemoration events began in the Hero City of Kerch on Thursday, when remains of 39 Soviet soldiers, found in search near the city in the autumn of 2013, were reburied at a military cemetery.

A ceremony will be held in the city on Friday to lay flowers at the Eternal Flame at Glory Square.
During World War II, Kerch was almost completely destroyed.

The title of Hero City was awarded to Kerch in 1973.

The Nazi occupation of Dzhankoi lasted 893 days. Thousands of Soviet war prisoners were killed in Nazi camps, and thousands more were shot dead on the northern outskirts of the city. Many Dzhankoi residents were driven to Germany for work.

Krasnoperekopsk was almost razed to the ground. Liberation Day is the second birthday for the city, Mayor Taras Filipchuk notes. A meeting on the central square, a concert and fireworks are planned in Krasnoperekopsk to mark the anniversary.

Kerch, Dzhankoi and Krasnoperekopsk were freed from the Nazi occupation at the beginning of the Soviet troops’ Crimean liberation operation that lasted from April 8 to May 12, 1944.

The Soviet troops liberated Armyansk on April 8, Simferopol, Feodosia and Yevpatoria on April 13, Sudak, Alushta and Bakhchisarai on April 14, Yalta on April 16 and so on. Memorial events will be held in all the cities.

Sevastopol will celebrate the liberation anniversary (May 9, 1944) together with Victory Day.

Russian History and Media News

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` On the 65th Anniversary of `NATO ' Debate over the Organisations Expansion remains Contentious '

#AceHistory2Research – NATO – April 04 – On the 65th anniversary of NATO, the debate over the organization’s expansion remains highly contentious, with some viewing it as a broken promise to Russia after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

NATO, an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty, was signed on April 4, 1949 when the US, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland joined the members of the Treaty of Brussels to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The idea of the alliance was to provide defence against a prospective Soviet invasion. In the early 1950’s, the focus of the communism vs. capitalism fight shifted to Asia, where a series of bloody proxy wars played a major role in convincing Europeans that the Soviet Union and its allies were extremely dangerous and had to be contained at all costs.

Since the reunification of Germany, NATO has almost doubled in size – from 16 member states in 1990 to 28 currently.

Most senior Russian officials feel tricked by NATO and accuse the West of not following through with its commitments made during German reunification negotiations, when NATO agreed not to expand to the East.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet president at the time, confirmed that there was a promise not to enlarge NATO, not even “as much as a thumb’s width further to the East.” But this commitment was never formally documented, and since then the alliance has grown drastically.

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