Did Putin cast faux ‘veterans’ for Victory Parade?

By Slava Tsukerman

One of the unexpected results of the Moscow WWII Victory Parade is a scandal concerning some supposed war veterans that took part in the celebration widely covered by Russian Internet

The scandal began with the publication of the photos of some especially familiar characters who appear each year in the crowd of veterans traditionally gathering on the V-day in the center of Moscow. The chests of many veterans are covered with military orders and medals, which easily can be purchased on flea markets.

Here is a photo of a person who sports on the right side of the chest a badge of “Special Department of KGB” and on the left side of his chest two stars of Hero of the Soviet Union and a star of Hero of Socialist Labor and 7 Orders of Lenin. (!)

In the history of the USSR there were only 154 twice Hero of the Soviet Union. According to recent data only 27 of them are alive today. Of these, 24 are cosmonauts and three are pilots. In the history of the Soviet Union there were only eleven Hero of Socialist Labor receivers who were also Heroes of the Soviet Union. The only one survivor, Vasily Holovchenko – not a general, just a sergeant, now is a director of a collective farm.

There are many photos of a strange woman in the uniform of Major General awarded with two stars – the ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’ and ‘Hero of Socialist Labor’. During the parade she was standing on the Red Square podium very close to President Putin.

Here is the photo of the same woman made in 2010. There were insignia of colonel on her shoulder straps. And there was only one star of the ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’.

A year later in 2011 the woman miraculously became a general and ‘received’ second star of Hero of Labor.

It’s known that the last person was awarded this star in 1991.  Since then this award ceased to exist. And the only woman in the entire history of USSR who was awarded both stars was a famous aviator Valentina Grizodubova, who died in 1993.

The woman on the previous photos also sports three Orders of the Patriotic War.

The only female who has such three awards was another famous aviator, at 21 Deputy Squadron Commander of the 46th Guards Regiment of Female Night Bombers 4th Air Army of the 2nd Belorussian Front, ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’, Nadezhda Popova, a major, now 91 years old.

How come that the obviously fake general, whose fakeness was obvious in 2011, was placed in 2013 on the podium not far away from Vladimir Putin?

Many Russian bloggers think that Putin, organizing grandiose Victory Day campaign, fueled the need for “veterans”. The bloggers suspect that the presence of the fake veterans is not a result of their own activity but a government planned action.

Apparently there was an order to organize a number of “heroic veterans.” The authorities need such faithful “veterans”. They will not complain about the miserable pensions and expensive drugs they cannot afford, they do not say a word about the fact that there are more and more government’s unfulfilled promises to veterans, and there are less and less veterans alive. Fake veterans will symbolize Russian victory.

Popular blogger with a nickname “Drugoi” wrote in his blog:

“I want to ask the all-powerful Federal Security Service, the protocol service of the Kremlin and others – how come that on the central podium of the Victory Parade there were such individuals? On the Victory Day in Moscow one could not walk in the streets – there were numerous fences; thousands of police and trucks blocked the alleys. In fact, the center of the city was under siege, and those carnival clones were sitting in the Red Square. What a humiliation for real veterans! “

Updated: May 21, 2013 — 4:40 pm
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