Born 1924, city of Kiev, Ukraine [former USSR]. Comes from a family of historians. Professional historian. Father was executed in 1937 by being charged as a People's Enemy. Fought in combat in 1st Sub-Baltic Front, Leningrad's Front. Was wounded liberating a city of Vyborg [near St. Petersburg]. After the war received his BA in History. Author of numerous scientific publications. Co-author of the Encyclopedia of Partisan Movement of Belorussia during the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945. Presently resides in Minneapolis, MN.
We were fed very well. We were dressed up well. We were drilled for a long time: about a month and a half. After May 1st holidays [this is similar to American Labor Day], city of Moscow started prepping up for the Victory Parade. We were drilled daily, we were trained to march. To keep our heads up and rifle bayonet raised; to yell Hurray! and Zdravia Zhelayu! [Russ. military greeting] Well, we lined up in front of Historical Alley [a street in a center of Moscow near Red Square] when Marshal Zhukov and Rokossovsky appeared. Then that sense of excitement was gone somewhere. There was a great sense of stress and responsibility. We were present at something very important. I did not realize then that it was an event of historical importance. I understood that something very significant was taking place.
You know, when on May 9 [Soviet WWII Victory Day in Europe], sometimes, I put on my Great Patriotic War decorations, I need it for self-assurance. I feel myself strong, I feel myself tough. I feel that I am not afraid of anything; I am the same good ol soldier! ThoughI don't see it in any other way, it is [pure] symbolical, it is a sign of self-acknowledgement, self-confidence, but nothing else. The same applies to my of Medal for Courage. This is my soldier's medal. I am a soldier.