Year after year the events of the Second World War move away from us. There are less and less veterans of the Great Patriotic War, and therefore the memories of each participant in the military events become more valuable for us.


Film: “Tell Me about the War.Veterans of Moldova”


Year after year the events of the Second World War move away from us. There are less and less veterans of the Great Patriotic War, and therefore the memories of each participant in the military events become more valuable for us.

After all, veterans are not just old people crowned with unfading glory and turned gray on the battlefields with the Nazis, but a non-renewable human resource, which is more valuable than gas and oil, shale and metal ores.

Veterans are the most important source, from which any nation draws spirituality, moral values and strength to overcome life’s difficulties and understand the ongoing historical processes.

We have practically no family that has been bypassed by the war with the Nazis. Each of us has the ancestor who fought, and often more than one, who either came from the front or fell on the battlefield.

The spiritual legacy of the Great Patriotic War reveals to us the basic life values and human landmarks for the third millennium. These are, first of all, patriotism, justice, nobility, solidarity, loyalty to one’s family, moral and legal obligations to society, the idea of serving the Fatherland.

The memory of the war has been and will remain. It is important not to replace it, not suppress it, and not conceal it. After all, the last real witnesses of the war, as hard work and bloody massacre, pass away. Veterans, who teach us to value the peaceful life and life of every person, pass away.

Amid the corona virus pandemic, which humanity faced for the first time, amid the quarantine in Moldova, our organization, the Moldovan Section of the International Society for Human Rights, has been at pains to find the surviving front-line soldiers and the way of safe communication with them. We wanted interviewed them without endangering their health. We were helped over this matter by the Organization of Veterans of the Botanica sector of the city of Chisinau and its chairman, Vladimir Alexandrovich Shchetinin.

We organized video interviews with those of them who still had the physical strength to leave the house and meet outdoors with the film crew. Veterans told young people about the war, sitting on the bench of the Eternity Memorial Complex in the city of Chisinau, the capital of the Republic of Moldova.

As part of the Tell Me about the War project, we were able to record video interviews with 5 veterans out of the last 200 veterans of the Second World War who live in Moldova.

We have interviewed:

Colonel Pavel Vasilievich Gladkov – born on May 9, 1921

Colonel Nikolai Petrovich Gushchin – born on April 30, 1925

Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Vasilievich Zhukov – born on February 14, 1926

Colonel Vasily Semyonovich Litvinov – born on December 28, 1925

Colonel Ivan Ivanovich Sukhorukov – born on November 07, 1926


The 99-year-old Pavel Vasilievich Gladkov says about himself that he is still a young man and intends to celebrate his centenary on May 9, 2021.

In 1941 he, a young medical student, was sent to Orenburg to take courses in anti-aircraft artillery commanders. He participated in the battles for Stalingrad, for the liberation of Ukraine and Belarus, and ended the war in Germany near Rostock.

“Among the fighters in my battery, I counted representatives of eleven nationalities. I’ll tell you this, none of us was interested in what nationality each of us belonged to, everyone was equal, and everyone had an equal opportunity to die in battle. I also remember such an episode near Stalingrad. At night, in the light of the moon, a group of soldiers, about 60 people, was moving towards us, and very carefully at that: They walked then stopped then walked again. We sent scouts there.” he said.

“The scouts left, the group was getting closer and closer, but there was no signal, no rocket, no firing, nothing from our guys. We, of course, had a huge nervous tension … Finally they all appeared together, our scouts and this group of people wearing high caps. It turned out that it was Romanian soldiers who intended to surrender.” he said

Suddenly one of the Romanian soldiers loudly addressed Red Army soldiers, “Hello, comrades!”

“Hello! How do you speak Russian so well?” asked him Red Army soldiers.

“I am a Moldovan! Antonescu sent us here, but we do not want to fight!” he replied adding foul language against Antonescu.

Vasily Semenovich Litvinov told about his participation in the Great Patriotic War as part of the 259th Infantry Regiment of the 179th Infantry Vitebsk Red Banner Division of the 1st Baltic Front. Vasily Litvinov joined the ranks of the Red Army in 1943. After the liberation of Ukraine from the Nazi occupation, he went from Zaporozhye to Klaipeda with his way served from an ordinary soldier to the commander of the Maxim heavy machine gun team. He was twice wounded.

“We carried on a desperate but noble struggle, and therefore we won. If we devoted 1 minute of silence to each victim, we would have to be silent for 38 years. ” he said.