Communists celebrate 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Lugansk 

Commemorative events for the Day of Liberation of Lugansk were held today, February 12. The Communists, together with the leaders of the city of Lugansk, laid flowers at May 9th Park, the Pylon of Glory, the Acute memorial-grave complex and the Monument to Soldiers-Liberators.

Lugansk was under German occupation for seven months (212 days). At dawn on February 14, 1943, Soviet troops forced the fascists out of many Lugansk neighborhoods, and by 10:00 they had liberated virtually all of Lugansk. But the battle in the vicinity of Lugansk had not ended – fighting continued in the area of Modern Agrarian University until February 16.

The 3rd Guards Army under the command of Lieutenant General Dmitri Danilovich Lelyushenko and the 5th Panzer Division under General Ivan Shlёmin fought in the battles for Lugansk. Among those who died bravely were Guard Major General Gerasim Vasilevich Mukhin, Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Matveyevich Kurakin, Major Matvei Ilyich Zhukov, and Platoon Commander Gemzadaf Kasimovich Nurgadzhiev. In all, more than 10,000 people were killed in the battle for Lugansk.

Lugansk remembered and will always remember the feats of its liberators!

Press service of Lugansk Communists - Union of Left Forces

Femslash February Day 6

Pricefield! A Last of Us AU, part 1. Hoping to write more parts throughout the month. They’re early-to-mid twenties here. Other familiar faces will pop up along the way, of course!

“I’m sorry about Warren.”

It was strange to hear Chloe’s voice shaking like that. Max looked up at her and didn’t know what to say. When they were kids, Chloe was always the confident one. She’d look out for Max, pave their way into the world with her arms spread wide. Now she stood, shifting uncomfortably from one foot to the other, distress clear on her face.

This was too surreal. Max had no answer for her. In the span of twenty-four hours, her childhood best friend had landed back in her life once more, she’d escaped soldiers’ bullets and clickers’ bites, and now Warren had found a grave in the State House. Yesterday morning, her biggest concern had been nothing more than ration cards or another trade. Then Chloe Price had reappeared out of the ether, bringing with her somehow the excitement and chaos that had always been her trademark.

“It’s…not your fault.” Certainly she didn’t blame Chloe. What had happened hadn’t really hit Max. Seeing the bite on Warren’s throat, then seeing him splayed and glassy-eyed on the floor…it seemed like an impossibility. Sooner or later she would blink and return to a world where he was alive and by her side, her steady partner in running a smuggling mission out of the Boston QZ.

…Just like she used to know she would wake up and there would be no outbreak, no infected, a solid and secure world at her feet instead of an imploding one.

“It is!” Chloe paced back and forth. Her voice sounded too loud in the morning air. Max had never seen Boston before the outbreak, but nonetheless its desolate landscape was unnerving. A decade ago, people had walked their dogs here in this park, with no idea of the horror to come. “I come back and fuck up your life. I shouldn’t even be here. God, Max, what if it’s you next?”

“Whoa.” Max stood and placed a hand on her old friend’s shaking shoulder. Those bright blue eyes turned to look at her. They were brighter than they should have been. “I’m not going to get bitten, and I’m not going to die. I’m not little Max anymore. You saw back there: I can handle myself.”

“So could all of the other people I’ve seen die! Max, you should just leave me now. I’ll get there myself. Just go back to the quarantine zone.”

“I’m not going anywhere.” There were birds singing. Of course there were birds in the QZ, but it was stranger to hear them out here, with grass and trees about them. “Warren wasn’t your fault, Chloe.”

Chloe tried to pull away, distress still written all over her face, but Max held insistently onto her.

“Do you have any idea how happy I was to see you again? Chloe, after the outbreak, I thought you were dead. Or at least that we’d never see each other again.” Max was very aware that her voice was now the one shaking, but she didn’t care. “Now you come back, and you’re alive, and you might even be the cure for humanity? There’s no way I’m letting you go.”

There were tears on Chloe’s cheeks, but she wiped them away with her tattooed arm. The healed bite, odd white and pink on the skin, contrasted with the ink there as her sleeve fell up to reveal both. Max had smiled when she had first seen it; who found the time to get a tattoo or dye her hair during the apocalypse?

Chloe Price.

“You always were a better friend than I deserved,” she said, and then without warning her arms wrapped around Max. They stood there in the sunlight, hugging, and it was so warm and solid and real that suddenly it occurred to Max that all of this had really happened. Her oldest friend had fallen back into her life. They had really stood back-to-back again, guns in hand, facing down soldiers and infected. They were together, and it was real. And Warren really was gone.

“Maybe if I had been a little better, I wouldn’t have just left you during the outbreak,” Max said as they pulled apart.

“Nobody’s perfect,” Chloe said, and salt was still glittering on her cheeks, but she smiled, and it was even more radiant than Max remembered. “So where are we headed, then, Smuggler Max?”

“Well…” Max looked out at the ruined city about them. Boston had never really felt like home, but even so it was strange to leave it behind them. She wondered what it would have been like to come here with Chloe ten years ago, when the shops were filled with customers rather than clickers, when the streets weren’t breaking up piece by piece. “Warren—” Her voice broke a little, but when she saw the look that flashed across Chloe’s face, she steeled her jaw and her resolve. “Warren and I trade with a loner living in a town to the north. Brooke’s…not the easiest to get along with, but she’s smart. She might be able to repair a car.”

“Road trip!” Chloe held up a hand, and Max couldn’t help but smile a little as they high-fived. “Remember when we used to talk about doing this? Cross-country, just the two of us?”

“I don’t think we expected it to be like this.” Still, Max did remember. She remembered afternoons playing on Chloe’s couch, pretending it was a pirate ship, pretending it was their getaway from everything. Now they were together once more, no longer children, a broken world before them.

“When life hands you lemons…”

Max grinned and shook her head. “Come on. I think the highway’s this way.”

They had a long road ahead of them.

Sadness hangs in the air at this German WWI cemetery. 44,000 German soldiers are buried here. There is a mass grave containing nearly 25,000 bodies, about 7,000 of which are unknown. It’s located in a small village in Belgium nearby which poison gas was first deployed as a modern weapon of mass destruction.

@wsswatson tagged me! 💕

Rules: write the first ten songs that come up on shuffle (no skipping) and quote your favorite lyric from each song, then tag 10 people.

[gonna break the rules a bit here as i’ve recently thrown a bunch of new songs in my itunes which i don’t know yet so to choose favorite lyrics would be silly]

  1. Morrissey - Shame Is The Name
    Politician - can you listen
    To yourself for just once in your life?
    Because there’s something you said
    To mean soldiers are dead
    Because the money you save
    Seniors are in their grave

    (i can’t really write these apart because they need to go together, you know)

  2. Japan - Gentlemen Take Polaroids
    Just a foreign town with a foreign mind
    Why is everything so cut and dried?

  3. The Smiths - What Difference Does It Make?
    …and your prejudice won’t keep you warm tonight

  4. The Beatles - Yesterday
    Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say
    I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday

  5. Troye Sivan - BLUE
    I want you
    I’ll colour me blue
    Anything it takes to make you stay

  6. Morrissey - Late Night, Maudlin Street
    When I sleep with that picture of
    You framed beside my bed
    Oh, it’s childish and it’s silly
    But I think it’s you in my room
    By the bed (…yes, I told you it was silly…)

    (this was so fucking hard)

  7. David Bowie - Andy Warhol
    Andy walking, Andy tired
    Andy take a little snooze

  8. Troye Sivan - WILD
    Kissing up on fences
    And up on walls
    On the way home
    I guess it’s all working out, now

  9. The 1975 - Facedown
    Broken heads in hospital beds
    Saving ends and pulling your friends

  10. David Bowie - (You Will) Set The World On Fire
    Kennedy would kill
    For the lines that you’ve written
    Van Ronk says to Bobby
    She’s the next real thing

wow sorry i made this post so long for absolutely no reason

i tag: @mahhz, @paul-mccantney, @high-on-newwave-z, @watch4cyclist@mozzalozzadingdong (i’m lazy so 5 will do for now)

Pundolovskoe cemetery is located in a pine forest near the village of Yanino -1,5 km from St. Petersburg. The cemetery was founded in 1910, the total area today is 40 hectares. The area is divided into 12 lots, designated for standard, luxury and family graves.
There is also a mass grave of Soviet soldiers killed during the Great Patriotic War, one of them is pilot Nikita Kharitonovich Rzhavsky - Hero of the Soviet Union.

59° 56’ 58.16" N  30° 36’ 53.04" E

Torch and Twang | Patrick James

This week on The Progressive Torch and Twang we featured the music of Patrick James during Torch Recommends! 

“North Side Gal” – JD McPherson
“I’ve Been Failing” – Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
“Unknown Legend” – Shovels & Rope with Shakey Graves
“Highwater (Soldier)” – Luther Dickinson
“Come Early Mornin'” Buddy Miller with Jill Andrews
“Changes” – Langhorne Slim & The Law
“Magpie” – Aoife O’Donovan
“Factory” – Lucinda Williams
“Stoplight Kisses” – The Cactus Blossoms
“The First Time” – The Black Lillies
“How To Forget” – Jason Isbell
“Let Me Get By” – Tedeschi Trucks band
“Mahogany Dread” – Hiss Golden Messenger
“Springterror” – Frontier Ruckus
“Young Moses” – Josh Ritter

Full playlist here

Keeping the war dead engraved on our minds

By Michael Binyon

Reproduced here by permission of The Times

They are still laying the fallen to rest, more than a century after the Great War began. Almost every year the bodies of British soldiers are found beneath the Flanders mud or in mass graves where they were hastily dumped by their German enemies. And with due ceremony, the bones are reinterred beside their comrades in neatly tended war cemeteries that dot the former battlefields.

Each year also names are added to war memorials across Britain and Europe – names of men only recently identified by research in the archives, or soldiers who died in hospitals after their discharge but were overlooked in the final tally of the war dead. Only in November, the Duke of Kent unveiled six new memorial tablets in Brookwood Military Cemetery, near Woking, bearing the names of 264 men who died of war wounds almost 100 years ago.

Brookwood already contains more than 5,000 dead from the two world wars, and is one of the largest of 13,000 sites containing war graves in Britain, containing 300,000 graves – largely of combatants who died in hospitals. Their graves, like those of 1.7 million Commonwealth soldiers scattered across 154 countries of the world, are the responsibility of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the body set up in the aftermath of the First World War. Its task is to commemorate in perpetuity the dead of two world wars. 

It has a vast responsibility. The dead are buried in some 23,000 locations. Some are vast and tragically magnificent: acres of white headstones, row after row, stretching across the fields of France and Belgium where the British army once fought. The cemetery at Tyne Cot, in Belgium, holds 12,000 casualties from the battle of Passchendaele – many of them still unidentified. Others are just a few graves, in a dusty corner of the Middle East or in the jungles of south-east Asia, where men fell in localised engagements. There is a war grave on Ocracoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina, where four merchant navy seamen are buried; others, across the United States, hold the remains of airmen killed during training flights in the Second World War.

When the guns fell silent in 1918, Britain was challenged by the enormity of its war dead and how they should be honoured. Early on during the fighting, it had been decided that the dead should be buried where they fell – it was almost impossible to bring home so many bodies while war was raging, despite the pleading of many distraught parents and relatives. The Commission, then named the Imperial War Graves Commission, was set up in May 1917. And only 11 days after the armistice, a report was published which laid down the far-sighted but controversial principles that have governed its running ever since.

First, it was decided, all should be equal in death. There was to be no distinction in the design of the headstones or location of graves between officers and men, nor between British and other nations of the Empire, nor between Christians, Muslims, Jews and other religions (except that Muslim graves all face Mecca). Second, it was laid down that the graves should be marked only by a simple white headstone, on which was inscribed just the name, age, regiment and rank of the soldier, together with a cross, crescent or Star of David and any brief phrase or religious verse that his family wanted. And thirdly the report urged the military architects to build cemeteries that would for ever be oases of tranquillity and beauty, ornamented with flowers and grass paths, shaded by trees and enclosed by walls to preserve their privacy. 

There was anguished debate in Parliament in 1920 over these principles. It was almost unknown to make no class distinction between different ranks, and to prohibit the grander families from bringing home their sons to inter in the family vault. But the principles held firm and the cemeteries were built, using distinguished architects such as Edwin Lutyens and the garden designer Gertrude Jekyll. And so the son of Herbert Asquith, the wartime prime minister, lies beside his comrades killed on the Somme with no special distinction. Nor does the gravestone of John Kipling indicate that he was the beloved only son of Britain’s most famous poet.

The cost of tending the war graves is significant. The CWGC had a yearly budget of some £70 million. It employs around 1,200 staff worldwide, including 750 full-time gardeners, making the Commission one of the world’s largest horticultural organisations. There is also the permanent and ongoing task of restoring headstones worn by the weather – some 12,000 a year are commissioned in France. And the Commission, with its headquarters in a large dour building in Maidenhead, spends much on making archives available and carrying out extensive research before new names are added – often those of missing airmen and sailors – to the memorials in home ports and wartime air bases.

Some 80 per cent of the cost is born by Britain and the rest shared with the governments of the five largest Commonwealth countries contributing troops: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India, in proportion to the number of their war dead.

Most graves are situated where the battle was fought, but many lie in places where access is now difficult or dangerous – in Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan, Libya and in war zones where anti-British feeling may run high. And yet the CWGC has been able often to find local volunteers who have valiantly risked much to tend the graves and prevent vandalism. In Iraq where the allies lost 54,000 in both world wars, many of them from India, the graveyards had to be largely abandoned during the Gulf wars. Those in Basra and Kut have now been restored, though Mosul, since its capture by Isis, is completely inaccessible. In Benghazi Serb gardeners now go in to work under armed guard. And only now are some of the war cemeteries that lay behind the Iron Curtain being restored.
  Surprisingly, there was little vandalism or destruction of British First World War cemeteries by the Nazis. Both sides respected the sanctity of graveyards. The vast Menin Gate memorial to the missing in Ypres was left intact throughout the Second World War. In Berlin a cemetery for Indian prisoners of the First World War was used as a tank ground by the Russians after 1945. But in 2005 it was returned to the Commission and has been restored.

Indeed Britain is responsible for the graves of some 12,000 Germans who are buried on British soil – most of them prisoners from both world wars who died in captivity, as well as fighter pilots shot down. They include Field Marshal Ernst Busch, who surrendered at Luneberg [umlaut on u] in 1945 and died of a heart attack weeks later in captivity in Aldershot. He is buried in Cannock Chase German war cemetery in Staffordshire. Germany pays Britain some £1 million a year to look after its war graves, mostly discreetly located on the edges of big cities.  

The Commission also looks after the graves of thousands of soldiers killed in many incidents now largely forgotten – the 300 killed in Ramleh during the Palestine mandate, for example, or the Palestine Police killed in Jerusalem. But the commemoration, in perpetuity, of the dead of two world wars, remains their primary task. Many fewer soldiers are now killed in battle, and repatriation is both possible and popular – as the moving receptions for the British casualties in Afghanistan have demonstrated. 

Less than 3,000 of those lying in Britain’s war cemeteries are women. This reflects that fact that women did not join front-line units in either world war. But there are many women nurses on troop ships as well as special agents – especially from the Second World War – dropped behind enemy lines whose names are commemorated on war memorials. One prominent war casualty was the sister of Sir John French, the Chief of the Imperial Staff, who is buried in Thessaloniki, having become a heroine in Serbia for tending their war wounded. 

The centenary of the First World War has stirred huge public interest, and this has been reflected in the big increase in the number of visitors to the war cemeteries across Europe, as well as the growing traffic on military websites and war archives. For the Commission, the challenge is ongoing. The wars ended long ago. But the grandchildren of the combatants making pilgrimages to the sites where their ancestors fell are still touched by the respect and tranquillity of the cemeteries in which they lie. And maintaining those final resting places is a task that has no end.