The Vulnerable Half Million…

“…during the war over half a million women fought in the Soviet armed forces. However, rather than improving the status of women, this left them more vulnerable to mistreatment. It has come to light from recently opened Soviet records and the confessions of Red Army veterans that female soldiers were routinely sexually abused, especially by… Read More

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Hunger & Bombs…

“Over a quarter of the estimated 25 million fatalities suffered by the Soviet Union during the war were the result of starvation. A fearful example of what was endured is evident in the statistics relating to the siege of Leningrad. The siege lasted 900 days from September 1941 to January 1944.A million people, one in… Read More

Transported Suffering…

“How much the Soviet people suffered can be expressed very simply. At the end of 1941, after only six months of war, the following losses had been suffered: half the Soviet population was under German occupation a third of the nation’s industrial plant was in German hands iron and steel production had dropped by 60… Read More

A War of Attrition…

“It was a war of attrition. From near-defeat in 1941 the Soviet Union drew the German forces deeper and deeper into Russia until they were overstretched and vulnerable. The Soviet armies then counter-attacked, pushing the enemy back into Germany until Berlin itself fell in May 1945. Soviet casualties were prodigious. In the worst years, 1941-42,… Read More

What is Operation Orbital?

Formally established in 2015, Op Orbital will turn five years old next month. It was recently extended for another three years to March 2023. As part of Op Orbital, staff at the mission’s Kiev-based headquarters are now planning to expand the training to include a broader range of capabilities. Since its inception, more than 17,500… Read More

Courage to Retreat…

“In the Soviet army it takes more courage to retreat than advance.” Joseph Stalin (1878 to 1953) Joseph Stalin, Russian in full Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin, original name (Georgian) Ioseb Dzhugashvili, secretary-general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922 to 1953) and premier of the Soviet state (1941 to 1953), who for a quarter… Read More

Kuril Islands: Japan & Russia in 1945

“In 1945, two days after America bombed Hiroshima, Joseph Stalin declared war on Japan and Soviet troops attacked Japanese-held territory. They grabbed the southern Kuril islands, even though Russia had acknowledged them as Japanese since 1855. For two years the islanders lived alongside the occupiers. A touching photograph in an exhibition in Nemuro shows Russians… Read More