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Spent several months in Moscow over the years. Soviet era Moscow the feeling was that WWII happened yesterday. Some amazing military museums in the city. Massive collections of weapons and photographs. Funny how when Stalin became a "non-person" all photographs he was in had his face blurred or removed completely. History revisionists I suppose. The annual Victory Day parade is something to see. The WWII vets always wear all of their decorations, every day. Many of them spend time sitting near their version of the Tomb of the Unknowns Memorial outside the Kremlin wall. One of the museums I was in had an example of what a square meter of ground looked like after this battle. You couldn't step on the ground without stepping on exploded or non exploded ordinance or weapons. They toned things down a bit in the early 2000's but still have a sincere dislike for the German people.
 

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Spent several months in Moscow over the years. Soviet era Moscow the feeling was that WWII happened yesterday. Some amazing military museums in the city. Massive collections of weapons and photographs. Funny how when Stalin became a "non-person" all photographs he was in had his face blurred or removed completely. History revisionists I suppose. The annual Victory Day parade is something to see. The WWII vets always wear all of their decorations, every day. Many of them spend time sitting near their version of the Tomb of the Unknowns Memorial outside the Kremlin wall. One of the museums I was in had an example of what a square meter of ground looked like after this battle. You couldn't step on the ground without stepping on exploded or non exploded ordinance or weapons. They toned things down a bit in the early 2000's but still have a sincere dislike for the German people.
I was only in Moscow once and that was about ten-twelve years ago. We were able to watch the changing of the guard at the memorial you describe. Here it is. There were numerous memorial stones such as the one in the foreground, each for some particular battle, each with a fresh carnation. Pretty heavy stuff, in my view.

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One thing to read about and quite another to have lived through, or, learned from those who did live through it. This year I met a 99 year old survivor of the siege of Leningrad and was inspired to read, finally after all these years, Harrison Salisbury's "The 900 Days." Easy to understand a residual dislike of the Germans AND depersoning Stalin. IMO Stalin was a worse problem to the Russian people than the Germans. After all, he purged a big chunk of his officer corps, refused to believe that his buddy Hitler would actually invade, and hamstrung defense efforts by tying everything to his political survival.

I have plenty of respect for those folks, the Russians. They are tough as nails.
 

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Great comments Tom. Totally the way I see it. Been to St. Pete (Leningrad) several times, beautiful and historic city. "The 900 Days" is an amazing novel about the siege. Wondering if you had the chance to see the underground mall not far from the unknowns memorial? Pretty crazy as it's three stories underground. There's a metro station as I recall that enters on the second level. Did you notice that many Russians also speak fluent German? Whenever my Russian language skills started to fail me I could always fall back to German although it definitely changed the mood of the conversation. The Russian people, not their government, are certainly a force to be reckoned with. Tough as nails may be a bit of an understatement. They endure for sure. One thing I enjoyed was being able to cook a sausage and take a shower at the same time in the old Stalin era apartment buildings. They have on demand water heaters fueled with natural gas right in the shower. By your photograph, it looks like you were there in spring or summer. Winter is the full force effect of the Moscow experience. It's what beat the Nazi's almost as much as the Soviet Army. Coldest place I've ever been!
 

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Winter is the full force effect of the Moscow experience. It's what beat the Nazi's almost as much as the Soviet Army. Coldest place I've ever been!
Seriously? There isn't all that much difference between Bradford area of Pennsylvania and Moscow

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Where I live it's not unusual to see temperatures in the negative numbers, sometimes as low as -35 or so (without the Windchill).
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I guess us Montanans will be even better than the Russians at repelling any kind of invasion.
 
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Winter is the full force effect of the Moscow experience. It's what beat the Nazi's almost as much as the Soviet Army.
What beat the Nazis was the simple fact the the Soviet Union refused to loose.

And, the fact that there were about four rail lines that lead to Moscow, most of the length damaged, and the Nazis had too few trucks with little gas to feed them.
 

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Seriously? There isn't all that much difference between Bradford area of Pennsylvania and Moscow

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Where I live it's not unusual to see temperatures in the negative numbers, sometimes as low as -35 or so (without the Windchill).
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I guess us Montanans will be even better than the Russians at repelling any kind of invasion.
I guess I happened to be there during a particularly cold winter and I'm not a cold weather person. But we can't dispute statics can we? Wind chill has a great effect whipping down the streets.
 
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