On May 9, in the Odintsovo district of the Moscow region in the Patriot park, the opening of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ was to take place. It is also officially called the "Main Temple of the Armed Forces of Russia, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War". Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the grand opening was postponed indefinitely.
In late April, it became known that the interior of the temple was mosaic depicting the current president of the Russian Federation, Putin and some other government officials: Minister of Defense Shoigu, chairman of the Federation Council Matvienko, chairman of the State Duma Volodin, secretary of the Security Council Patrushev, director of the Federal Security Service Bortnikov and chief of the General Staff Gerasimov.
Mosaics and frescoes in temples are sometimes dedicated not only to those who canonized by the church. But in mass perception, they are associated with images of "all the saints who shone in the Russian land." And therefore there was a considerable embarrassment.
On April 26, a spokesman for the Kremlin administration told reporters about the president’s reaction: “Someday grateful descendants will appreciate our merits, but now it's too early to do it.”
Another embarrassment followed - the mosaic was dismantled.
Alexander Kanshin, head of the Resurrection charity fund, which raised funds for the construction of the church, explained:
"Those who are responsible for the design, interior decoration of the temple, could not help but heed the opinion of the president, the minister of defense."
We pay special attention: the Fund is a public organization. And Kanshina, formally and essentially, should only care about the opinion of society. However, this did not occur to him. For him, the holy of holies is “the opinion of the president, the minister of defense.”
But if they “listened to the opinion of the president and the minister of defense,” then those involved in the embarrassment could not find out Stalin’s attitude. But to the indignation and bewilderment of the public ... not just to spit it out: for these figures it simply does not exist. Which, incidentally, is the fault of society itself.
And therefore, probably, the executioner of the Soviet people will overshadow with his face all the parishioners of the Temple of Victory.
Like a demiurge. As a symbol.
The symbol of what? Our thoughtlessness? Unconsciousness? A nation-wide hassle in the minds and souls? A half-secret and focused domestic policy?
It has long been established in the Soviet country and affirmed in democratic Russia a global fraud, according to which the decisive role in the Victory is attributed to Stalin.
In fact, the strategic political mistakes of Stalin and the general ideological and political leadership led to the tragedy of the Great Patriotic War, to terrible losses. (A detailed analysis is in the June series of essays, “How the war began.”)
If we talk directly about the course of battles, about the practice of conducting battles by generals and marshals, including those depicted in mosaics in the Temple of Victory, then we give the floor to the war veterans.
Victor Astafiev is an outstanding writer, an ordinary infantry. From a letter by I. Sokolova, 1973:
"Dnieper bridgeheads! I was south of Kiev, at the very Bukrin bridgeheads ... Only those who could not give a damn about other people's human lives could force us to cross and fight. Those who remained on the left bank and, "sparing no life", glorified our "exploits." And we are on the other side of the Dnieper, on a piece of land, hungry, cold, without tobacco, ammunition from the bill, no grenades, no shovels, died, eaten by lice, rats, pouring masses into the trenches from somewhere ... ( This is not the beginning of the war, but already September-October 1943 - S.B.)
I tried to write a novel about the Dnieper bridgehead - I can’t: scared, even now scared, and my heart is stopping, and my headaches are tormenting ... ” (Victor Astafyev wrote in the 90s about those events in the novel“ Cursed and killed. Book 2. Bridgehead ”, Moscow: Veche, 1995 - S. B.)
From a letter to V. Astafyev - Vyacheslav Kondratyev, June 17, 1982:
“Mediocre commanders, forgotten how to value life itself, litter the soldiers and quarrel! Russia is empty, a huge country has taken up weeds ... But our “marshals”, as they call themselves, on the contrary, show off on the shrine, where they put themselves up. There is one ... "Marshall" ... Beloborodov or someone like him agreed on TV: “Our heroes, heroes, crossed Istra to the waist in icy water, fell into wormwood, drowned, but still took the city. Our first victory! ” And they clap him, and he would be whipped into the snout and say: “You, stupid stuffed, boast of your shame! The Germans near Moscow! Around the forest ... and Istria’s soldiers are crossing your belt in icy water. I don’t understand, because he liked to wade a soldier, who had been transported on the Dnieper with “handy means”, hundreds of people drowned. At least one [...] commander would try to swim under fire on these “handy tools”.
From a letter from V. Astafiev to an unidentified addressee, December 3, 1987:
“You at the front, as a general, ate, of course, from the soldiers' kitchens... Do not lie to yourself, Ilya Grigorievich! At least for yourself!..
How many people lost in the war? You know, and remember. It’s scary to call the true number, is it? .. The enemy was filled up with corpses, drowned in Russian blood. It is no accident, after all, in Podolsk, in the archive, one of the main points of the “rules” reads: “Do not write out incriminating information about the commanders of the Army”.
From a letter to V. Astafyev - Vyacheslav Kondratyev, December 28, 1987:
"The one who" gets to Zhukov "will be a true Russian writer, and not a" heir. " Oh, what an uprising of “father and teacher”! What a poacher of the Russian people. He, he and comrade Stalin burned the Russian people and Russia in the fire of war. With this heavy accusation, we must start a conversation about the war, then it will be true, but we will not live to see it"
From a letter from V. Astafiev to an unidentified addressee, April 1, 1990:
Dear Alexander Sergeevich!
I understand you and, as well as all our other generals who boast, for no one will praise them anymore. Because there is no reason for it... You and the commanders who led you, were very bad fighters... Now everyone already knows, except you, of course, that our losses in the war amount up to 40-50 million... Our people are long-suffering. It was in his blood that they drowned fascism, they threw the enemy into corpses. The first and only war so far from 15 thousand wars that took place on the earth, in which the losses in the rear exceed the losses at the front - they are equal to 26 million, mainly Russian women and the disabled, children and the elderly. Only criminals could litter their people like that! Only enemies could lead the army like that during the fighting. And the penalty companies, and detachments? And order 227? Yes, for one thing, it was necessary to disperse the entire Kremlin camarilla after the war”
(From a book: Astafyev V.P. There is no answer for me... Epistolary diary 1952-2001. Irkutsk, 2009.)
At the first stage of the war, the operational and tactical leadership of the troops was such that in 17 (!) Days the Nazis occupied the Baltic states, Belarus, Western Ukraine and approached Kiev. By July 9, 1941, the front passed along the line of Pskov - Velikiye Luki - Vitebsk - Smolensk - Rogachev - Gomel. On December 11, 1941, Hitler stated in the Reichstag that from June 22 to December 1, 1941, German troops had captured 3,806,860 Soviet soldiers and officers on the Eastern Front. Almost 4 million in the first six months — in fact, the entire staff of the Red Army on the day the war began. (The army was urgently replenished with new conscripts.) Throughout the Soviet years, the retreat was due to the overwhelming superiority of the enemy in manpower and especially in technology. In fact, by the beginning of the war we had more: tanks and assault guns - 3.6 times, aircraft - 2.2 times, guns and mortars - 1.4 times.
From an interview with front-line soldier Anatoly Chernyaev - to a journalist Zoya Yeroshok (in recent years, the USSR Chernyaev was an assistant to the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the CPSU, President of the USSR M.S. Gorbachev - SB):
“The end of the forty-first ... In the first attacks, the soldiers went without weapons at all. The calculation was simple: either you take from our murdered one, or you take away from the German. Before the offensive, I ask the battalion commander: “How will we advance if only one of me has a rifle in my platoon, and the rest have nothing?” But the battalion commander is evil: “You’ll go to the“ second tier, ”then you will collect from your own, and you will get the trophy from the German” ...
If a person was attacking and shouting, it was a solid mate. No one shouted in the attack: “For the Motherland! For Stalin!" This is a propaganda lie. Any honest veteran will confirm ...
In the first months of the war, we owe our main losses to Stalin, and not to Hitler. Four million prisoners alone, not to mention the dead! This is all the result of the Stalinist “great” military strategy! The one that the Stalinist veterans speak with such rapture about today ... I know: in the veteran organizations, mostly generals sit. Previously, there was this division, very clear: a front-line soldier or a veteran ... And this, as in one, now foreign, city they say: there are two big differences. Did those veterans personally go on the attack or not? Or, if they were then big bosses, did they see through the crevices of their dugouts how the soldiers were attacking ?! ”
(Zoya Eroshok. Just people from just life. M., 2020)
In a letter to Viktor Astafyev to an unidentified addressee, General Alexander Sergeyevich, dated April 1, 1990, the phrase: "It is already known ... our losses in the war amount to 40-50 million." Astafyev did not mean absolute statistics (they were not there then), but the so-called calculated data that appeared during the years of perestroika and publicity. From decade to decade, with each new government, the official loss figures have changed: 7 million under Stalin, 20 under Khrushchev, 27 million under Gorbachev. (“Back and forth” 20 million human lives ...) The current government on the day of the 75th anniversary of the Victory announced through Rosstat: “The Soviet Union lost 26.6 million people during the war years.”
However, in 2017, in the State Duma, within the framework of the report “The documentary basis of the People’s project“ Establishing the Fates of Missing Defenders of the Fatherland ”, figures of a completely different scale were published:
“According to the declassified data of the USSR State Planning Commission, the total population decline of the USSR in 1941-1945 was more than 52 million 812 thousand people. Of these, irretrievable losses as a result of the action of war factors - more than 19 million military personnel and about 23 million civilians ... Almost 42 million people. "
Victory belongs to the people. He won the Great Victory over fascism at the cost of heroism and incredible sacrifices. But does he remember this? Starting this year, Russians will come to the Temple of Victory and pray under the mosaic portrait of Stalin?
PS FROM THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH:
“Of course, there should be no image of Stalin in the Orthodox church, since he was a persecutor of the Church, on his conscience the blood of millions of people, including new martyrs and confessors,” said Metropolitan Illarion, chairman of the synodal department, on the air of the Russia-24 television channel External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.