Faina Savenkova: Letters From the Frontline

NEW – April 24, 2022

Hello, great-grandfather Vasily! We are again on the eve of Victory Day. And I want to apologise to you. I’m sorry that we made a lot of mistakes that have to be corrected now. After all, you and your comrades defended Moscow, froze in the Belarusian swamps and liberated Prague. And now they say it was for nothing. That your victory is an occupation, that Leningrad could have been surrendered, that I need to feel sorry for the fascists, and that Victory Parade is an idolisation of victory. How can I do that? Of course, I can’t.

Hello, grandfather Miron! I was told how you chased Banderists through the forests of Ukraine, not thinking about sleep and warmth. Liberating it and slowly moving forward. You saw villages burned by them and children killed. You got rid of these evil spirits without sparing your life. And now their descendants say that they are heroes. And that I have to say Glory to heroes and renounce you, a Soviet soldier. They say that they won the war, but as before they are fighting against children and the elderly, destroying towns and villages, leaving scorched earth and ashes on their boots. How can this be, if only 77 years have passed since the Victory? But it can. I’m sorry we couldn’t destroy them all.

Hello, great-grandmother Elsa. Sorry for the fact that the yellow star is back in fashion, just this time it is for Russians. Now they say that the Russians are not liberators, but subhumans. How familiar. Once they said the same thing about you during the pogroms in Lvov and Kiev. Who gave them the right to decide who is worthy of being called a human and who is not? We did. With our indifference to our history.

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Hello, Russian soldier! I’m sorry that we couldn’t protect our world from war. We relaxed and decided that peaceful life is forever, and freedom is given without a fight. It turned out that this was not the case. Fascism is next to us. It is walking on our land again, flashing its flags and chevrons of “Azov“, “Aidar” and “Right Sector“. All this is near to us. All this is already here. And that’s why you’re back in the ranks, just like in that terrible 1941. You are a Chechen, Bashkir, Ossetian, Abkhazian, Ukrainian, Buryat or Belarusian. You are a Russian soldier, whoever you are! You have come to protect those who are weak and helpless. You’ve come to win. Over and over again. As you did once in the trenches of Stalingrad, you do in the same way now in the steppes of Donbass.

This war will be as hard as it was back then. Not everyone will be able to live to see victory, but fascism will be destroyed and will never raise its head again. I believe that victory will come. In the restored cities of Ukraine and Donbass, May 9 will be celebrated. There will be a parade in Kiev, Donetsk, Lugansk, Odessa, Slavyansk, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk and other cities, where, as many years ago, the Victory Banner will be carried through them. And flags of the Nazi Ukraine that has existed will be thrown to the ground near the monuments of the heroes. And we will live long enough to see  this victory.

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Faina Savenkova

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