Sunday, October 18, 2020

New exhibition hall "On the Scales of Time" has been presented recently in the Poltava Battle Museum

An online presentation of the new exhibition hall "On the Scales of Time" has taken place in the Poltava Battle Museum on October 13, 2020. For Russia, Sweden, and Ukraine, the Battle of Poltava had diametrically opposite consequences, and thus each nation formed a different point of view and time understanding of this determining event. The design of the hall was created by the scientists of the museum during 2019-2020. Visitors to the museum will be able to get acquainted with the main stages of comprehension of this important historical event in Russia, Sweden, and Ukraine. In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, only museum staff and representatives of the Poltava City Council attended the presentation.

Friday, October 9, 2020

The MiG 23 That Flew For 900km Without Pilot Then Crashed in A Farm Killing a Boy

 October 9, 2020 ( The cold war is littered with near ‘nuclear apocalypse’ misses, technological and aviation advancement and a fair number of peculiar incidents. One such bizarre event occurred when it was least expected; right near the end of the cold war. July. 4 1989, Independence day for the Americans, was not an especially exciting day for the 32nd TFS (Tactical Fighter Squadron) also known as ‘Wolfhounds’ then based in Soesterberg, Netherlands.

A MiG 23, in flight with pilot (Wikipedia / Public Domain)

When two very competitive pilots J.D Martin and Bill Murphy were scrambled, they were not expecting that their independence day flights would be to intercept and possibly engage a very strange Soviet MiG. On the same day, Soviet Pilot Nikolai Skurigin prepared his MiG-23M for a routine training flight. When Skurigin’s MiG took off from Kolobzreg, Poland, the pilot had no clue what was about to happen to his aircraft. Soon after taking off, Skurigin realized that MiG’s engine had a major failure and that aircraft was going to crash in few seconds, so he did what every pilot is trained to do in such situations, he abandoned the aircraft and ejected. 

The crash site as seen from above

While descending in his parachute, Skurigin realized that something peculiar had taken place; his MiG was actually gaining height instead of losing it and worse, it was heading straight towards NATO airspace. On the other side, JD and Murphy after being sent to intercept a Russian plane that had invaded their air space, had problems of their own; they were having some major communication issues with Ground Control Intercept. Despite these difficulties, the two pilots got closer to the ‘rogue’ aircraft and discovered that not only the MiG was unarmed it was also unmanned. This posed another challenge to the pilots and ground control since the aircraft was now considered not an immediate threat. US Air Force pilots in their F-15s escorted the Soviet MiG until it reached the 39,000ft mark, after that aircraft started descending possibly due to low fuel levels. When the aircraft started descending, pilots with the help from the ground predicted that it would land somewhere near Lille, on the border of Belgium and France. Later on, the calculation showed that it would rather crash in an empty field inside Belgium, and was coded as ‘non-risky’. 

What was left of the MIG

But the calculations could not predict what actually happened when Soviet MiG crashed in a farm killing an 18-year-old boy. Clearly an avoidable causality on the part of both Soviets and Americans, both nations showed genuine regret on the outcome of the incident. When Colonel Skurigin discovered about the death of the Belgian boy by his MiG, he publicly showed regret for his decision to eject out of the aircraft. The Belgian government made a formal protest to the Soviet Union regarding the lack of notification as to the danger the aircraft posed to the civilian population. Belgian Foreign Minister Mark Eyskens expressed concern that “from the time the MiG-23 was first picked up on NATO radar to the time it crashed more than an hour later, no word of warning came from the Soviet side,” and that “there was also a ‘notable slowness’ on the part of the Soviets in disclosing whether the jet was carrying nuclear or toxic weapons.”  The USSR paid $685,000 in compensation to Belgium.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Without firing a shot: The United States made an unexpected offer to President Zelensky regarding the de-occupation of Donbas

October 7, 2020 ( The United States offered the Ukrainian government a solution to the problem of de-occupation of territories in the east of the country. The American research center Atlantic Council came up with a proposal to completely end all economic ties with the occupied regions of Donbas. First of all, analysts from the United States insist on cutting off the supply of water, electricity, and other resources. In addition, it is recommended to establish a complete social and economic blockade of the uncontrolled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The main purpose of such actions - to complicate the life of the inhabitants of the illegal republics as much as possible and bring the humanitarian situation to a critical point. The Atlantic Council experts believe that the economic blockade will allow the return of the occupied territories. The restriction and complete cessation of the flow of monetary funds will cause a negative attitude of local residents towards the leadership of the self-proclaimed republics.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Ukraine marks Day of Remembrance of Babyn Yar Victims

 September 29, 2020 (Ukrinform) Today, Ukraine marks the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Babyn Yar, one of the most horrific symbols of the Holocaust. The first massacre of the unarmed civilian population was conducted by the military in the Nazi-occupied Kyiv on September 29-30, 1941. From September 29 to October 11, 1941, the SS forces killed almost all Jews residing in the city - over 50,000 men, women, and children. Almost 34,000 people were killed in the first two days. On October 1, 2, 8, and 11, Nazi troops shot dead those who did not appear on orders - about 17,000 people more. The motive for the massacre was a blatant lie about the participation of Jews in mining and explosions in Khreshchatyk Street, which resulted in killing many Wehrmacht soldiers and officers. Babyn Yar, the large ravine on the northern edge of Kyiv, was chosen as a place for mass shootings. It was two and a half kilometers in length and in some places reached a 50-meter depth. At the end of the street, a gate was built, which people were allowed to enter in groups of 30-40 persons. Previously, they had been forced to undress and give up personal belongings. Then they were machine-gunned into the ravine, which was immediately covered over, with some of the victims still alive.

According to various estimates, from 100 to 150 thousand people were killed in the Babyn Yar during World War II: Jews, Roma, Karaites, Soviet prisoners of war, members of the Ukrainian national resistance movement, patients of psychiatric clinic and representatives of other national or social groups. The shootings in the Babyn Yar continued until Kyiv was liberated from the invaders in 1943. In Soviet times, the terrible tragedy was mainly silenced. Writers Viktor Nekrasov, Anatoliy Kuznetsov, and dissident Ivan Dziuba were among the first to raise the taboo topic. Along with Auschwitz, Babyn Yar became a horrific symbol of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe and an example of what misanthropic theories lead to. The Babyn Yar tragedy is commemorated at the state level in Ukraine.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky honored the memory of the Babyn Yar tragedy victims on the day of the 79th anniversary of the mass execution of civilians by the Nazis in Kyiv.

Statue of Lenin given a Balkan makeover in Ukraine

 September 29, 2020 (BBC News from Elsewhere) As statues around the world get toppled and vandalized, one Ukrainian village has found a creative approach to its historical legacy. The monument to Lenin in Zaliznychne, Odesa Region, has been altered to represent the village founders - ethnic Bulgarians who arrived in the 19th century. 

Lenin is now dressed in traditional Bulgarian attire, holding pruning shears and a grapevine, with a bag of grapes at his feet. Villagers argued that such a makeover would be easier and cheaper than demolition.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

An Antonov An-26 plane has crashed near the city of Chuguev

 On 25 September 2020, an air crash took place at Chuhuiv, Kharkiv Region, Ukraine. An AN-26Sh military plane of the 203rd Training Aviation Brigade crashed during a training flight. 26 cadets and officers from the Kharkiv Air Force University and crew members died as a result of the crash. On 26 September Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to the region, creating a commission for investigation of the circumstances of the tragedy and providing all necessary assistance.

According to preliminary information from the Security Service of Ukraine, the cadets didn't directly control the aircraft - the crew commander was in charge. The training flight began at 18:50 and was to end at 20:50. After passing part of the route at 20.38, the commander reported to the air traffic controller about the left engine failure, at 20.40 - invited the landing party, at 20.43 - a long-distance drive, at 20.45 - a plane crash occurred. The An-26 is a twin-engine turboprop airplane manufactured from 1969 to 1986 in Kyiv, Ukraine, when the country was part of the former Soviet Union.
Ukrainian emergency service workers look for survivors at the site of a military plane crash Friday.

Cadet Vyacheslav Zolochevsky is the only survivor of the plane crash.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Kyiv, October 1941.

 In the photo taken in Kyiv in October 1941, German sappers on the porch of the building of the Lenin Museum carry the charge and explosive device of a radio bomb planted by the Bolsheviks during the retreat. Similar explosive devices were planted on Khreshchatyk, the Lavra, and the Opera. Radio-controlled landmines were to blow up the Cabinet of Ministers, the Verkhovna Rada, and this Lenin Museum. F-10 radios were placed to delay the explosion for up to 40 days, at a depth of 2.5 m, and were activated by a radio signal from the distance about 600 km. Thank God, the Germans managed to deactivate some devices. 

Nevertheless, explosions and fires in Kyiv in September-October 1941 destroyed 324 houses and dozens of unique historical monuments. Khreshchatyk turned into a solid ruin. Thousands of Kyivans died. Tens of thousands found themselves homeless.