Saturday, February 29, 2020

Ukrainian military conduct large-scale drills to work out repelling amphibious assault on Azov Sea coast – JFO HQ

February 29, 2020 (UNIAN) The Ukrainian military has conducted large-scale live-fire drills titled "Tailwind" to work out joint efforts in repelling an amphibious assault on the coast of the Sea of Azov. The drills were held at one of the training grounds within the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) zone. A certain area of the Sea of Azov, where live-fire exercises were carried out, was blocked for maritime navigation and air traffic. "The purpose of the exercises, which, in fact, is the main goal of the Mariupol tactical group, was to prevent the landing of enemy forces and repel the advanced enemy amphibious troops, force them back into the sea, and destroy them as they retreat," the JFO HQ said on Facebook. 
Participants in the drills were military units of the Mariupol tactical group, including small armored artillery boats of the Navy, ships from the Marine Guard of the State Border Guard Service, engineering equipment of a separate regiment of operational support, as well as mechanized, tank, artillery, anti-aircraft and special units, naval infantry, crews of army aviation of the Ground Forces and tactical aviation of the Air Force, as well as units of the National Guard of Ukraine. In total, about 400 personnel, five ships, and boats, 25 units of various artillery systems, including multiple launch rocket systems, 13 armored combat vehicles (tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and various types of armored vehicles), two Mi-8 army helicopters and a Mi-14 naval helicopter were involved, as well as two Su-25 attack aircraft and two MiG-29 fighters. "Since the exercises are held in the context of countering Russian aggression and directly in the area of the Joint Forces Operation, the situation was as close as possible to the actual projected developments," reads the report.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Varnitsa, the "new Stockholm"

Few people in Moldova know that in the early eighteen century, a small village of Varnitsa located near Bender (Tighina) was known as the "new Stockholm". After the Battle of Poltava, King Charles XII and Hetman Ivan Mazepa managed to escape with a small detachment and took refuge in Moldavia, a country ruled at that time by Turkish sultan Ahmed III, where they spent a total of five years. As soon as Charles XIIl and his soldiers left their camp in Varnitsa in 1714, Turks wiped it out. In 1925 a memorial was erected on the site where the camp was believed to have been located.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

USS Ross en route to the Black Sea

February 23, 2020 ( The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) began its north-bound international strait transit en route to the Black Sea Feb. 23, 2020, to conduct maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness, and naval capability with our NATO allies and partners in the region. This is the first time a U.S. Navy ship has visited the Black Sea since the beginning of 2020. Ross was the last ship to visit in the Black Sea, 2019, marking the 8th by a U.S Navy ship last year.
With this visit, we are consistently strengthening our relationships with our Black Sea partners,” said Cmdr. John D. John, commanding officer of Ross. “Steady operations in the Black Sea are crucial to building a secure maritime environment and ensuring freedom of navigation.” Ross recently operated with the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91) and as part of Combined Task Force 473 in the Mediterranean during FOCH, a major French navy deployment. Ross provided defensive capabilities for the strike group. In addition to the Ross, this French led deployment brought together, one after the other, forces from Greece, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, providing a training opportunity for all participants to improve combat readiness. The ship’s operations in the Black Sea will strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate collective resolve to Black Sea security under Operation Atlantic Resolve. Ross, forward-deployed at Naval Station Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention. U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa. In June 2015 the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) transited the Black Sea during an underway exercise with the Ukrainian navy frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy (U 130). 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The man who immortalized the Nuremberg trials in the drawings

Famous Soviet artist Nikolai Zhukov during the Second World War served as an artilleryman then worked in the editorial office of an army newspaper on the Kalinin Front and at the same time as a war correspondent for the newspaper Pravda.
From the summer of 1943 to 1973, Zhukov was the artistic director of the Mitrofan Grekov Studio of Military Artists. A group of artists from this studio in 1959 created a highly artistic diorama in the Museum of the Battle of Poltava, which reflects the last minutes of the great battle that took place on June 28, 1709.
The diorama in the Museum of the Battle of Poltava created in 1959 by the Mitrofan Grekov Studio of Military Artists.

In mid-January 1946, Nikolai Zhukov, as a correspondent for the newspaper “Pravda”, was sent to the Nuremberg trials as a member of the Soviet delegation. As a person who went through the war from the first to the last day, capturing every day in dozens of drawings, he simply had to attend this terrible trial. For forty days Zhukov was in the courtroom of the tribunal, trying to most fully record all the stages of the historical trial. During his time he made over four hundred drawings: he sketched witnesses of the Soviet prosecution, prosecutors of the Soviet Union, judges and invited guests, correspondents from all countries, as well as all war criminals and their lawyers. These drawings were quickly made in incredibly difficult conditions, from the press places located far from the dock and the judges.
Judges at the Nuremberg trials

Geoffrey Lawrence was the main British judge during the Nuremberg trials and President of the Judicial group.

Hermann Göring and Albert Speer

Alfred Rosenberg and Ernst Kaltenbrunner

Joachim von Ribbentrop and Wilhelm Keitel

Correspondents. 1946. Nuremberg trials

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Oт the Valentine's Day, a thematic excursion "The Great Northern War: Stories of Big Love" was held at the Poltava Battle Museum.

On February 14, 2020, on Valentine's Day, a thematic excursion "The Great Northern War: Stories of Big Love" was held at the Poltava Battle Museum.
Love. This high feeling is capable of changing the whole world. How many literary masterpieces, songs, sculptures, and paintings have been devoted to the eternal theme - the theme of love! There are many examples in history when this light feeling not only magnified, made people better and kinder but also destroyed entire cities, states, mercilessly destroyed entire generations, changed the course of history.
During the excursion, the museum visitors heard interesting love stories of those people whose fates were connected with the Cossack era, the Great Northern War: women in the life of Hetman of Ukraine Bohdan Khmelnytsky, romantic relations of the Ukrainian hetman Ivan Mazepa, personal life of Tsar Peter II and King Carl XII, the love of Hetman Philip Orlik and his wife Anna Hertsyk, the history of women who did not leave their loved ones in exile or during military campaigns. Many cadets from Poltava military college were among the guests of the museum on Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Chernobyl shocker as fungi that eats radiation found inside nuclear reactor

February 8, 2020 ( A type of black fungus that eats radiation was discovered inside the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. In 1991, the strange fungus was found growing up the walls of the reactor, which baffled scientists due to the extreme, radiation-heavy environment.
Ruined reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in in 2016 (iStock)

Researchers eventually realized that not only was the fungi impervious to the deadly radiation, it seemed to be attracted to it. A decade later, researchers tested some of the fungi and determined that it had a large amount of the pigment melanin -- which is also found, among other places, in the skin of humans.

Ukraine shows its newest cruise missile in stunning detail

February 14, 2020 ( The Defense Express Media & Consulting Company has released new footage of the newest Ukrainian RK-360MTs Neptun coastal missile system with R-360 cruise missiles in stunning detail. The Neptune is a coastal missile system designed to engage enemy surface fighting ships and auxiliaries vessels both single and belonging to Task Forces. 
The system consists of an RCP-360 self-propelled command control and communications centre, USPU-360 self-propelled launchers, a TZM-360 transport and reloader machine and special cargo vehicle. The coastal missile system is capable of hitting targets at ranges up to 280 kilometers at any time and under any weather conditions. The R-360 missile weighs 870 kg; the weight of its warhead is 150 kg; its launch speed is about 900 km/h. The Neptune would be able to achieve its full capability if positioned no farther than 25 km from the coastline.

  • Full salvo – 24 missiles, ammunition – 72 missiles,
  • The time lag between missiles launched in a salvo – 3…5 s.
  • Time from the end of mission to ready-to-fire time for the next mission – ≤15 min.
  • ASCM Neptune vehicle range – ≤1,000 km.

The composition of the Neptune Battery can be configured to meet specific customer needs. A Neptune battalion would typically consist of: (1) mobile command and control post, (2) three launcher batteries consisting of two launchers USPU-360 each, (3) operational support battery consisting of six transporter/transloader vehicles each carrying one storage/transport/launch canister TPK-360, (4) logistical units. Each Neptune battalion will have a standard missile establishment of 72. The State Enterprise KB Luch R&D Company, Kyiv, is the primary contractor for the Neptune ASCM System. The Neptune Project is a collaboration involving domestic entities only, including but not limited to: Orizon-Navigation, Impulse, Visar, Arsenal TsKB, Radionix, Telecart-Prybor, UkrInMash, Ukrainian Armored Vehicles, Motor-Sich, and KrAZ.

Friday, February 7, 2020

The 7th of February 2020 is the 114th anniversary of Oleg Antonov’s birthday.

February 7, 2020 ( Oleg Antonov (7 February 1906 – 4 April 1984) was a prominent Soviet aircraft designer, and the first chief of Antonov - a world-famous aircraft company in Ukraine, later named in his honour.
A series of significant transports followed under Oleg Antonov's direction. Antonov aircraft (design office prefix An-) range from a rugged An-2 (which itself is comparatively large for a biplane) through the An-28 reconnaissance aircraft to the massive An-124 Ruslan strategic airlifter. The quad-turboprop An-12 and its derivatives became the primary Soviet military transport from 1959 onward. While less well known, the An-24, An-26, An-30 and An-32 family of twin-turboprop, high winged, passenger/cargo/troops aircraft predominate in domestic/short-haul air services in the former Soviet Union and parts of the world formerly under Soviet influence. Antonov also oversaw the development of the mid-range (An-72/An-74 jet airplanes family. The world's largest production aircraft, the An-124 Ruslan, flew for the first time in 1982, and its specialised shuttle-carrying/extra-heavy cargo derivative, the An-225 Mriya entered development, still under Antonov's guidance, but did not make its maiden flight until 1989 after the death of Antonov. In November 2004, FAI placed the An-225 in the Guinness Book of Records for its 240 records.
To your attention – video of the ceremony of insertion of his portrait into the honourable gallery of International Hall of Fame, San Diego Air, and Space Museum – SDASM, held on April 17, 1999. This Hall was open in 1965 in honour of the most outstanding persons in the history of global aviation and space innovations. At present, this exposition of the pictorial portraits is placed in the Ford Building, which is one of the most outstanding buildings of San Diego. Laureates of the Hall of Fame are defined by a special committee of the Museum and International voters’ council each year. During 55 years 223 outstanding persons of the aerospace field were included in the honourable gallery. General Designer Oleg Antonov was among them. Oleg Antonov’s portrait for San Diego Museum was painted by American pilot and artist Kirk Craig. There are two master copies. One of them is presented in SDASM and the other one in ANTONOV COMPANY’s Museum in Kyiv.

U.S. holding up $30 mln worth of arms and ammo, Ukraine officials say

February 7, 2020 (UNIAN) Final approval for six arms deals worth roughly $30 million has been held up for more than a year, and Ukraine has no idea why four officials told BuzzFeed News. At the heart of the impeachment saga that ended on Wednesday in Donald Trump's acquittal was $391 million in U.S. military assistance for Ukraine that the U.S. president ordered be withheld. But that aid package, which was eventually released last September, wasn't the only U.S. arms transfer meant for the war-torn country that was held up.
Several direct commercial sales of arms and ammunition to Ukraine faced significant delays at the same time – and they remain mysteriously frozen months later, BuzzFeed News has learned. Now, after a lengthy wait and down payments in the tens of millions of dollars for the equipment, Kyiv wants its money back.

Monday, February 3, 2020

The man who is involved in the Gammalsvenskby's life

February 3, 2020 (VIMEO.COM) Zmiyivka, in southern Ukraine, is also known as ”Gammalsvenskby” or ”Old Swedish Village.” The inhabitants of Gammalsvenskby trace their roots back to the 13th century, to Dagö, an island off the coast of Estonia, which was at that time under Swedish rule. When Sweden lost Estonia to Russia in 1721 the Swedes on Dagö found themselves in enemy territory. In 1781 Catherine the Great, the Russian empress forced the 1200 Swedes to leave Dagö and march 1,242 miles to the Dnieper River in Southern Ukraine. 
The people of Ukraine have suffered through wars, pestilence, and famine. Still, the Dagö Swedes have survived and maintained their identity and their language. The old Swedish dialect is still spoken by the elders in the village. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, contact with the motherland, Sweden, has been reestablished and children are learning Swedish in school. Over the last twenty years, many visitors from Sweden have come through here and met the people of the village, but few have become as involved in village life as Tage Brolin. We follow Tage as he visits with the ladies of the village who share their incredible stories of hardship and trials growing up in Ukraine.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Russian State Duma deputy Yevgeny Fedorov: “ Our goal is to capture all the republics of the former Soviet Union and restore the country within the borders of 1945

January 31, 2020 ( Member of the “United Russia” faction of the State Duma, Yevgeny Fedorov, said that the goal of the Russian Federation is to capture all the republics of the former Soviet Union and restore the territory of the "Great Russia" within the borders of 1945. “The territory of the former Soviet Union - it is also a Great Russia - was illegally violated in 1991. Maybe someone in Russia doesn’t understand this? ”, he said in an interview.
Fedorov called Russia's aggression in eastern Ukraine a historical technology for solving this problem. He also noted that this is not only his opinion. “In accordance with international law, the territory of the entire Soviet Union is the territory of our Fatherland, our nation. And we must return to these borders. And we will have to do this,” the deputy continued. At the same time, Fedorov added that it would be wrong to fight with NATO, but it is necessary to restore the historical Russian border, despite the sanctions and the deterioration in the standard of living of Russians.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

U.S. plans to hand over to Ukraine Navy another three Island-class patrol boats in 2021

January 30, 2020 (UNIAN) Representatives of the Ukrainian Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard are negotiating in Odesa the transfer to Ukraine of more U.S.-made Island-class patrol boats, Navy press center reports. The Ukrainian side is represented by the head of the shipbuilding department of the command of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Captain 1st Rank Vasyl Radchuk, while the U.S. delegation is led by Tony Correale, Military Sales Case Manager United States Coast Guard. 
"The issue of supplying three more boats during this and next years is currently under discussion. The acceptance of boats is a long process that requires both updating and modernizing the equipment onboard those boats and crew training," said the Ukraine Navy official. 
Radchuk expressed hope that by the end of 2020 the boats will be fully ready to receive crew Ukraine will send for training in early 2021. "Previously, the first two boats will be part of the Naval forces of the Armed forces of Ukraine in May 2021, the next with a small interval," he added. In addition, during the meeting in Odesa, the possibility is being discussed of preparing boats for transferring, as well as crew training, at the expense of the U.S., as well as the possibility of additional training of Ukrainian instructors at the U.S. Coast Guard base in Baltimore. In the future, the instructors will be ensuring a full training cycle for future crews based on the already received Island boats in Ukraine. As UNIAN reported earlier, the official transfer of two Island-class patrol boats from the U.S. Coast Guard to the Ukrainian Navy took place on September 27, 2018 at a naval base in Baltimore (Maryland, USA). 
On October 21, 2019, said Island-class boats were delivered to Odesa, which in 2018 the United States transferred to Ukraine as part of military aid. Two Island-class patrol boats were delivered to the Odesa seaport, brought by the Ocean Freedom general cargo vessel. The two boats, P190 Sloviansk and P191 Starobielsk, built in 1988, were offered to Ukraine as part of the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program. As reported earlier, Ukraine planned to replenish its Navy fleet with four U.S.-made Island-class boats. The vessels will be based in Odesa, which is now home to the country's main naval base. Island-type boats have a full displacement of 165 tonnes and are able to reach speeds of up to 30 knots, with a cruising range exceeding 5,300 km. They are able to operate autonomously for up to five days. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Two paintings by the artist Ivan Aivazovsky that have been banned in Russia since 1892, are now available for viewing

There were several events in the history of Russia that the government did not want depicted and tried to hide. One of these forbidden pages of history was the famine that swept the southern part of Russia and the Volga region in 1891-92. When news of the famine reached other countries, the American people collected and sent to Russia five steamers with food for the starving population. The main reason for the famine of 1891-92 was the state’s agricultural policy. In order to replenish the treasury with income from agricultural products, Russia exported large quantities of wheat. In 1891, 3.5 million tons of grain were exported from the country, and in the following year (1892), when famine was raging in the Russian Empire, the Russian government and entrepreneurs sold 6.6 million tons of grain to Europe, which was almost twice as much as the previous year.
Emperor Alexander III categorically denied the existence of famine in Russia, declaring: “I do not have hungry people, there are only those affected by crop failure.” The situation in the country was catastrophic, and this terrible news swept Europe and reached America. The American public, led by William Edgar, editor of the North Western Miller weekly, offered humanitarian assistance to Russia. However, the emperor did not grant permission for the aid to enter Russia. Only after repeated requests did he allow the donated food to feed the starving Russian people.

                                      “Aid Ship”, Ivan Aivazovsky, 1892

For several months organizations in the northern U.S. states and the American Red Cross were engaged in the delivery of humanitarian aid to the ports of America, and at the beginning of 1892 the first two ships loaded with flour and grain sailed to distant Russia. From early spring to mid-summer 1892 five steamers with food arrived in Russia with more than 10,000.00 tons of food. The cost of the delivered assistance was estimated at $ 1 million.

“Distribution of Food”, Ivan Aivazovsky, 1892

Ivan Aivazovsky, a Russian Romantic painter who is considered one of the greatest masters of marine art, witnessed the arrival of the ships with the long-awaited cargo, which helped to improve the catastrophic situation in the country. In the Baltic ports of Liepaja and Riga the steamboats were met by welcoming orchestras. Wagons, decorated with American and Russian flags, and loaded with food set off to distribute their cargo to the needy, This event impressed the artist so much, that he produced two paintings: “Aid Ship” and “Distribution of Food”.
The paintings were not allowed to be exhibited in any of Russia’s galleries. Emperor Alexander III was annoyed by the mood of the people shown by the artist in his paintings. Moreover, the paintings demonstrated the emperor’s inability to rule the country and causing the famine in Russia. During a visit to America in 1892-1893, Ivan Aivazovsky donated his canvases to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington.
In 1962, when the USA and the USSR were on the verge of a nuclear war because of the deployment of Soviet missiles in Cuba, the story about America’s assistance during the 1892-1993 famine resurfaced in American newspapers Trying to find examples of US-Russian cooperation in the past, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy borrowed Ivan Aivazovsky paintings from the Corcoran Gallery of Arts for a conference room in the White House. Against this background, the president and his press secretaries made statements on their progress in sorting out relations with Moscow. The Aivazovsky paintings, the Americans argued, were a reminder of past fraternal feelings between the two peoples.
In 1979, the paintings became part of a private collection in Pennsylvania, and were not accessible to the public for many years. However, at a 2008 Sotheby’s auction, both of Aivazovsky’s historical paintings were sold for $2.4 million to a philanthropist, who immediately transferred them to the Corcoran Gallery of Arts. In conclusion, it should be noted that these paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky, painted in 1892, have never been allowed to be shown in modern Russia.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

How Russian Artillery Destroys Eastern Ukraine

Janyary 31, 2019 (Youtube) Put this video together to illustrate some of the larger civilian populated areas and two International airports which Russia's forces in Ukraine have turned into nothing more than rubble.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

President Zelensky signs decree to call up for military service from age of 18

January 19, 2020 (UNIAN) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a decree on calling up for military service from the age of 18. "To call up for military service suitable for health reasons male citizens of Ukraine who are 18 years old by the day of departure to military units, and older persons under the age of 27 and who are not eligible for exemption or deferment from conscription for military service," according to the document posted on the president's website on January 16. 
The draft campaign in 2020 will last from April to June and from October to December. As UNIAN reported earlier, an autumn campaign to call up for military service kicked off in Ukraine on October 1, 2019. The draft age in Ukraine was set at 20-27 years. The duration of service was 18 months, as well as 12 months for those who have higher education (master or specialist degrees). Army conscripts are not involved in combat missions in the area of the Joint Forces Operation in Donbas, eastern Ukraine.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Historical seminar in the Poltava Battle Museum

January 18, 2020 Today in the Museum of the Battle of Poltava, a scientific seminar dedicated to the 169th anniversary of the birth of Ivan Pavlovsky, founder and first director of the museum,  was held. My report was devoted to the work of the Swedish historian Håkan Henriksson, research archivist at ArkivCentrum Örebro län, Örebro, Sweden. 
Håkan Henriksson, research archivist at ArkivCentrum Örebro län, Örebro, Sweden

One of his latest articles is dedicated to the fate of the Ukrainian Cossacks, who were captured by the Swedish during the Great Northern War. For seminar participants, I translated an article by Hokan Henriksson: “Ukrainian Cossacks and other prisoners of war (POW) in Sweden during the Great Northern War (1700–1721)” for our local historians and museum's scientists. Altogether, more than 13.500 POW were brought to Sweden during the Great Northern War (1700–1721) of those about 650 were Ukrainian Cossacks. 
This article gives an overview of the occurrence of prisoners of war in the Swedish Empire during the Great Northern War: their capture, the number of prisoners of war, their nationalities, how they were treated and with a focus on fates of many Ukrainian Cossacks captured by the army of Charles XII. All historians and scientists working for the museum are looking for to meeting Mr.Henriksson in May 2020 in our museum when he is going to deliver us a lecture, dedicated to the Great Northern war 1700-1721.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Zelensky invites Sweden to join investigation into UIA plane crash

January 10, 2020 (UKRINFORM) President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone conversation with Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, expressed condolences to the families of the Swedish citizens killed in the UIA plane crash in Iran and invited Sweden to join the investigation, according to the president’s press service. "We are making every effort to find out the causes of the plane crash and are ready to closely cooperate with Sweden. Our task is to find out the truth. This is the main thing,” Zelensky said, inviting Sweden to join the investigation. He noted that Ukraine is ready to participate as much as possible in the investigation in line with international law, in particular, the Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation. 
The president reminded that the day before a group of Ukrainian experts arrived in Iran to assist in the investigation. He also expressed condolences and words of support for the relatives and friends of the Swedish citizens killed in the plane crash in Iran. “Ukraine is stunned by the tragedy. Thank you for your solidarity and empathy,” Zelensky said. In turn, Stefan Löfven expressed condolences from the people of Sweden and said that official Stockholm was ready to assist in ensuring a transparent investigation. Zelensky also stressed that Ukraine was in constant contact with a group of experts in Tehran and would inform its partners of the progress of the investigation. During the talk, it was noted the importance of the phone call between the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Sweden the day before, who discussed cooperation in the investigation into the plane crash. As reported, January 9 was declared the day of mourning in Ukraine due to the crash of a UIA plane in Iran.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The man who saw the future

Recently, secret details appeared on the Internet from the life of one of the most mysterious men of the 20th century. I am talking about the famous Wolf Messing, whom some considered the greatest psychic, while others saw him as a charlatan. 

Some details of Messing's meeting with Joseph Stalin appeared. Reportedly, it all started in Gomel, where two strangers, having heard about supernatural abilities, took Messing to a hotel to meet with Stalin. At first, Stalin did not believe in Messing's extraordinary abilities and decided to test him. Stalin's first task was to get 100 thousand rubles from a local bank while showing only a blank piece of paper. Messing performed this task successfully - he went to the bank, hypnotized the cashier, received the money and brought it to Stalin.

 After that, Stalin invited Messing to Moscow, where he gave him the task to penetrate without a pass into the well-guarded office of  Lavrentiy Beria, chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus (NKVD). Messing also performed this task brilliantly. As a result, the psychic became a frequent guest with Joseph Stalin. It should be noted that so far there is no evidence for all this, so we can only believe that this was really so.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Swedish alcohol burner in the kitbag of the Soviet officer.

January 3, 2020 Recently I cleaned up a garage that for many years belonged to my father-in-law. He took part in the Second World War and then at the rank of Colonel served in the Poltava anti-aircraft missile high military school. He was among those who tested in the late 1960s the first Soviet anti-aircraft missile systems and trained cadets to use them. One such system was the 9K31 Strela-1 (English: Arrow-1), a highly mobile, short-range, low altitude infra-red guided surface-to-air missile system. Mostly all tests and exercises for cadets took place on the training ground near the city of Berdiansk, located on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov. What I’ve found among different military items in my father-in-law’s garage probably was used in the field camp for boiling water. I am talking about an old smoky brass alcohol burner that you can see in the photo below.
I filled the burner with ethanol and in 3 minutes I got a cup of boiling water. In spite of being old, the burner worked perfectly. You can see it in the video below.

But what surprised me most was what I saw when I cleaned the smoked bottom of the spirit lamp with sandpaper. You can see it by yourself in the photo below.
Unfortunately, the father-in-law had passed away many years ago and I can’t ask him how he got this alcohol burner that was made in a country that in those distant years could hardly be considered an ally of the Soviet Union….