The Battle of Kursk participant shares his thoughts to the matter in accordance with the 75th anniversary of the Victory over Fascism in an op-ed

Interview with World War II veteran Konstantin Kruglikov

Konstantin Maksimovich Kruglikov (born in 1924) is a native of the village Novosyolki of the Gomel Region, a scout of the 336th regiment of the 5th Rifle Division of the 3rd Army of the Bryansk Front. He began a military career in a partisan detachment in the Gomel Region. He is a participant in the Battle of Kursk, Operation Bagration, offensive operations of the Red Army in Germany, and others. After the war, he tied his life to finance by becoming a mobile mechanized column chief accountant.

– In connection with injuring in East Prussia and early discharge from the hospital with an open wound, I returned home at the end of April 1945. So, due to circumstances, I met the victory in my native village. The house was burned down. My mother and brother lived with neighbors. Since the village was far from the district center, there was no celebration of Victory Day in 1945. Everyone met, congratulated each other, and undoubtedly rejoiced, but there were no mass events on this occasion.

Now, in our country, on May 9, excellent events for Victory Day are held annually. Even this year, despite the epidemic of coronavirus, the Victory Parade was held in Minsk. Moscow held it on June 24, 2020.

War veterans in the Republic of Belarus are treated well both at the state or local level, as well as by the public. Material conditions are acceptable: they pay a pension, previously allocated an apartment. Local authorities always give good gifts and congratulations on holidays. Through the Housing Association or the Council of Veterans, we are invited to meet with the youth of educational institutions and the public. Pupils eagerly listen to the stories of eyewitnesses of the war and ask about the military path. And even on the street, when I put on my parade dress uniform, people show interest and ask about the events of the war but mostly foreigners, though.

By the way, what it comes to foreigners, in my opinion, the friendship between representatives of different nations became one of the main reasons for the victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War. I still advocate such friendship and consider unacceptable conflicts between the fraternal peoples of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and others. None should look in history for reasons for enmity between peoples, what the representatives of the authorities of some states try to find in the 21st century to use for their own purposes. The memory of the war, however, like history as a whole, was given to us so that we could draw on positive experience and the right values. Such values, in my opinion, are the value of human life, which cannot be encroached on under any circumstances, and the value of friendship and camaraderie hardened in a person through military service and live communication.

In conclusion, I would like to wish the younger generation health. Do not forget about the horrors of war and preserve the right values and heroic history of your people in order to prevent the recurrence of such events in the future.

Konstantin Kruglikov

On the photo (from right to left): Konstantin Kruglikov (veteran), Ivan Kotlyar (Professor, Chairman of the Board of the ISHR (Belarus)), Andrey Dylyuk (Head of the Youth group of the ISHR (Belarus).

The interview was conducted as part of the implementation of the “Tell me about the war” ISHR project in Belarus.