Колыма – родина нашего страха / Kolyma – Birthplace of Our Fear


It’s -55 °C outside. And this is Kolyma. A land as beautiful as
it is harsh, with a terrible past and a
complicated present. For many years, Kolyma was the citadel of
Stalin’s repressions, one of the most horrifying periods in
Russian history. About a million prisoners went through
this place, even though a lot of them didn’t
commit any crimes. Tens of thousands didn’t come
back home. Hundreds of thousands did, but with broken
bodies and lives. Down here, Gulag’s prisoners mined
for gold, tin, uranium, and other valuable
resources. They also built the 2000-km-long
Kolyma Highway, one of Russia’s toughest and most
dangerous highways. We’re taking the Kolyma Highway from
Magadan to Yakutsk. On our journey, we’ll talk to people
who live here. The episode you’re about to watch
has two goals. First one: to tell some and to
remind to others about the horror our country
went through. Second one: to show that
our planet has seemingly uninhabitable
places, but even in those places, people can adapt,
live, and find happiness. I hope you’re watching this
indoors. Let’s go! A young girl just out of school, [Moscow, Museum of Gulag History]
[Room temperature]
A young girl just out of school, [Moscow, Museum of Gulag History]
[Room temperature]
found a job selling ice cream. [Moscow, Museum of Gulag History]
[Room temperature]
Met some old classmates in the park Met some old classmates in the park [Roman Romanov, director of the museum]
with her ice cream cart. [Roman Romanov, director of the museum]
Happy to see her friends, she gave everyone an
ice cream, thinking she’d cover
it later as she turns the day’s
earnings in. That evening, she arrives at the warehouse
to leave the product, but before she has the chance to cover the
free ice cream that she gave to her former
classmates, the cart is sealed up, she’s accused of
embezzlement and they send her to
Kolyma. This is a well-documented
story. This is just one tiny
episode. She wasn’t charged with any
political crimes — just run-of-the-mill
felony. And they sent her to a camp on
felony charges. Hold on. After all the rappers, comedians, musicians,
actors, and directors, why in the world are we engaging this complex
and disturbing subject? Two reasons. Number one. In October
of 2018, VTsIOM* published a survey that
left us in a stupor.
[* Russian Public Opinion Research Center] Almost half of young people
aged 18 – 24 have never heard of Stalin’s
repressions. We saw it as a challenge and sought the right moment
to accept it. Reason number two. I don’t know about you, but all my life, I’ve been
hearing my parents say: “Be cautious. Don’t attract unnecessary attention.
Don’t stick out. “And besides, we’re simple people —
we don’t decide anything.” My parents are wonderful people, and I love
them to death. But they’ve been saying this
for decades, even in situations where common sense is
obviously trampled, where injustice wins, and we’re
obviously right. I always wondered: what’s the origin of this fear
in the older generation? Of this desire to coat everything
in gray? Why are they afraid that the slightest boldness will
surely result in punishment? My theory is that this fear was born in the
first half of the 20th century, and reached us through
generations. One of the places where this fear
originated is Kolyma. For maximum immersion, we traveled the
entire Kolyma Highway. 2,000 km of brutal road, nine days
of driving, and absolutely savage,
ridiculous cold. How did people live here back then,
during the repressions? How did the prisoners and the imprisoners
live afterward? We wanted and we needed to find
out these things. Everything we’ve learned, we’re about
to share with you. [Magadan]
[Temperature: -15 °C (feels like -30 °C due to wind)]
Rost, are you as cold as I am? [Magadan]
[Temperature: -15 °C (feels like -30 °C due to wind)]
I’m freaking freezing. I can barely operate my
mouth. – And you’re local!
– Well… What is this place? [Rostislav Kuntsevich]
[Historian, Magadan’s breakdancing champion]
We’re not far from the shore where, [Rostislav Kuntsevich]
[Historian, Magadan’s breakdancing champion]
on July 4, 1928, on July 4, 1928, the First Kolyma Geological Expedition
landed, led by Yuri Bilibin. [Yuri Bilibin (1901-1952)]
[Geologist, engineer, head of the FKGE]
[that discovered the North-Eastern Gold Region]
These people were sent to find gold here [Yuri Bilibin (1901-1952)]
[Geologist, engineer, head of the FKGE]
[that discovered the North-Eastern Gold Region]
and report back to Stalin in Moscow, right? [Yuri Bilibin (1901-1952)]
[Geologist, engineer, head of the FKGE]
[that discovered the North-Eastern Gold Region]
Exactly. Their main goal was to confirm that there was placer gold out here. How did they find it? One half of the expedition went
to investigate the shores of the Sea of Okhotsk
not far from Magadan — the spot where Magadan was
eventually founded. The other half went to the mouth of
Srednekan river where gold was allegedly discovered
as early as… Well, in early 20th
century. [The Soviet Union needs money ↓]
Yuri Bilibin wrote a memo about the
work done here. [Let’s send geologist to the east]
[It’s uninhabited, but there’re rumors of gold ↓]
Sent it to Moscow. Went with a report himself. [Let’s send geologist to the east]
[It’s uninhabited, but there’re rumors of gold ↓]
He would later say that he was in awe [Bilibin and other geologists find gold ↓]
of the numbers in his own estimates. By very rough guesses, in ten years,
this territory would’ve yielded 100 tons
of gold. Eventually, [The Soviet Union gets the money for]
[“Socialist Construction”]
his words came true. [The Soviet Union gets the money for]
[“Socialist Construction”]
Basically, in ten years, the territory [The Soviet Union gets the money for]
[“Socialist Construction”]
yielded 80 tons of gold. But they were here in summer.
Not this time of year. – Yeah, July 4th onward.
– And it was still rough? Sure was. They didn’t have
any food. At some point in the
expedition, they even resorted to eating a
fallen horse. That’s a real incident. – The conditions in general…
– And the mosquitoes, right? Impassable taiga, gnats, yeah, blood-sucking insects, mosquitoes — it was all there. I mean, even now, with modern-day
equipment, it’s still nigh impossible to retrace the route
that… We still get intrepid daredevils who attempt to
retrace the route of the FKGE, but it’s really hard, it’s really
extreme. And back then, it was
doubly so. As of 2018, what numbers for Gulag prisoners
and Gulag victims are the closest to truth? Well, 20 million is the number of people who went through the
camps from 1930 to 1956. This number, I would say, is recognized today by
all historians. And I doubt it’ll get much
bigger if we suddenly discover
something. How many of those 20 million
ended up dead? According to the data of those
same researchers, two million people. Today, Magadan is a 100,000-strong city 8 hours
of flight away from Moscow. There are a few versions of the
origin of its name, but the most believable one is that
it comes from the Evenki word “mongdan,”
“a windy place.” Magadan stands between
two bays, and it’s got more gust-o than
our title tune. Main attraction is the monument called
The Mask of Sorrow, designed by Ernst Neizvestny. All of Magadan’s guests climb
this hill to solidify the city’s connection
to the repressions. First thing that surprises the guests
are the foxes. One, with how readily they approach
people. Two, with their look. They look more like stray
dogs than the graceful animals from
children’s stories. In 2016, some vandals defaced the
Mask of Sorrow. They wrote in red paint:
“Stalin lives.” “Magadan Regional Museum of Local History”
– “Magadan Regional Museum of Local History”
They usually put stars like this one on factory roofs. The star itself was wrapped
in red fabric. The sockets had lightbulbs
in them. What was its purpose? If the prisoners met the quota
on time, a set production
norm, the star lit up with red light in
the evening. When they didn’t meet the
quota, additional work hours were ordered, and the
star wouldn’t light up. So the prisoners knew they had hours
of work ahead. This is Stepan Garanin, head of Sevvostlag from
1937 to 1938. He was sentenced to ten years
of camps. – He was the head…
– That’s right. – …and became a zek himself.
– Became a prisoner, yeah. This is his mug shot. Paperwork says he went
missing. There was a breakout of
four prisoners. And apparently, Stepan Garanin was designated
as “canned food.” This was common practice — when planning a breakout, one escapee was
meant to be eaten. Three people agreed to bring a fourth one
along to eat them? – Yes. Rostislav actually has
two jobs. One is giving tours in the local
history museum. The other is training
kids. He used to be the city’s breakdancing
champion. Now, he teaches the craft to
boys and girls. Rostislav is a full-time member of
our expedition. He’ll accompany us all the way
to Yakutsk and help us understand how Kolyma lived
in the last century. In addition to him, we’re bringing along
Artyom Kovalyov. Simply put, he is Magadan’s Ilya Varlamov*.
[* Blogger, journalist, activist, entrepreneur] He’s involved in urban
studies and is passionately concerned about people
leaving Magadan. Which IS happening. And not just youths,
but adults too. Artyom will travel with us for most the road
to help us understand how Kolyma lives today. We’re in Nagayev’s Bay. That is where ships unloaded the zeks they brought in
their cargo holds. People were then sent to the
so-called “tranzitka,”*
[* Short for “transit concentration camp”] and from there, they were assigned to
Kolyma’s many camps. Snezhny 7
Uptar 30
Yakutsk 2012 Tell us what did your
father do [Moscow, Musical Theater]
[Room temperature]
to be sent to Kolyma? [Moscow, Musical Theater]
[Room temperature]
This is a rhetorical question, right? [Moscow, Musical Theater]
[Room temperature]
What did he do? Nothing. Right? What did he do?
Nothing. [Yefim Shifrin]
[Entertainer, born in Kolyma]
My dad, -8 diopters in both eyes. A simple accountant
from Orsha. He wasn’t in a single political party,
not even the Bund. [The Bund was a Jewish labor party that interpreted]
[Marxism as a great Jewish mission and was mostly]
[active in Eastern Europe in 19 and 20 centuries]
Being a Jew. [The Bund was a Jewish labor party that interpreted]
[Marxism as a great Jewish mission and was mostly]
[active in Eastern Europe in 19 and 20 centuries]
A family of ten people. [The Bund was a Jewish labor party that interpreted]
[Marxism as a great Jewish mission and was mostly]
[active in Eastern Europe in 19 and 20 centuries]
They had to be fed. He was the eldest. [The Bund was a Jewish labor party that interpreted]
[Marxism as a great Jewish mission and was mostly]
[active in Eastern Europe in 19 and 20 centuries]
He worked from sunrise to sunset, [The Bund was a Jewish labor party that interpreted]
[Marxism as a great Jewish mission and was mostly]
[active in Eastern Europe in 19 and 20 centuries]
trying to support this family. On August 19th, 1938, someone knocked, you know? Beginning of a book:
“Someone knocked.” He was reading… This became a family
meme. Like a household
legend. That night, he was reading Anatole France’s
“The Gods are Athirst” that tells the horrors of the French Revolution
with all the guillotines and the rivers
of blood. In a blind coincidence, it all started
that night. They yanked his glasses and the
buttons off his pants — he had to hold them
like that — and took him to Orsha
prison. [Orsha is a city in Vitebsk Oblast, Belarus]
It’s still in the center of the city today. [Orsha is a city in Vitebsk Oblast, Belarus]
Only it houses this thing… [Orsha is a city in Vitebsk Oblast, Belarus]
a Jesuit school. For real. Jesuits. I paid them a visit once, I’ve been in
Orsha many times, and said: “You should make a corner
or something in memory of the things that happened
here.” I mean, horrible things
happened. During one daytime interrogation, a doctor my dad knew jumped
out of the window. To his immediate death,
obviously. So they started interrogating
at night. Interrogating at night is
easier. There was nothing to interrogate my
dad about. He was a completely apolitical
person. I mean, this was 1938! How could someone be
political? Fear had soaked the skin of
the people. This was… You know, one indiscreet word
could… And my dad was a very
careful man even at the age when
I knew him. So I’ve nothing to answer the question,
“What did he do?” They went with Article 58.
“Espionage for Poland.” – Poland?
– Yes. Though he didn’t know a word
in Polish. Yefim Shifrin is a superstar
of Anshlag, home of television comedy of the ’90s
and early ’00s. Born in Magadan Oblast. His father, Zalman Shifrin, was among those
sent to Kolyma, but rehabilitated after Stalin’s
death. Zalman Shifrin couldn’t leave Kolyma for
almost 30 years. Did the fact that he was Jewish play a
role in it? You want to know something horrible? His first interrogator was Jewish. The most cruel and ruthless
of them all. They later executed
him too. His last name was
Ginzburg. Dad couldn’t forget that name because
I, too, can’t not cry recalling the way he
interrogated him. They brutally beat him trying to tie him with the Bund
somehow — that via the mother of some Bund
fellow from Slonim, [Slonim is one of the oldest cities in Belarus]
however you
pronounce it, [Slonim is one of the oldest cities in Belarus]
he was sending some sort of spy
intel to Poland. What intel? He was an accountant in
a firm. What kind of intel? The country was obsessed with spymania to
the point of insanity. ‘Cause after reading The Drummer’s Fate*,
I started looking over my shoulder.
[* Children’s propaganda story] This was the era.
“Spies!” The word “spies” has gone out
of fashion. Today, we have pochvenniks, liberals, enemies
of the public or of the state. Back then, people were obsessed
with spies. We played spies
outside. “Hat means spy.” All crime stories were
about spies. There was a Bulgarian film
The Golden Tooth. I couldn’t sleep afterward because
The Golden Tooth was… he was a spy! All the books were about spies.
The Tarantula! Green Chains. We binged on those books.
Spies were everywhere! This was momentum
of 1938. Everyone was someone’s spy.
Meyerhold was a Japanese spy. [Vsevolod Meyerhold, a great theater director]
[Arrested in 1939. Executed in 1940]
[Rehabilitated posthumously in 1955]
All the purged were someone’s spies. [Vsevolod Meyerhold, a great theater director]
[Arrested in 1939. Executed in 1940]
[Rehabilitated posthumously in 1955]
What were they reporting and how? [Vsevolod Meyerhold, a great theater director]
[Arrested in 1939. Executed in 1940]
[Rehabilitated posthumously in 1955]
Like, in this age of technocracy, sure, you can steal a chip or send a tape, like in Fate of the Resident
or Mistake of the Resident, some kind of technology. What could a regular person turn
over to “them?” Especially to Poland. But everyone believed
in that and suspected each other to
be spies. This famous quote from Dovlatov: “Who wrote
all the denunciations?” But these were denunciations against “spies.”
Who else? Against underminers. Against… Do you think people wrote
denunciations hoping to shield
themselves? Or was it just the craze? I wouldn’t understand the psychology
of a snitch, because… I don’t know the motives of the people who
wrote denunciations. At the same time… I was always curious… I keep seeing this quote
on Facebook so often that it’s making me
nauseous. Everyone goes, ” Dovlatov, Dovlatov… Who wrote all the denunciations?” My question is: why were they
investigated? What judicial law, what legislation,
what constitution said denunciations had to
be investigated? Never mind the
investigators. The Special troika. A new kind of adjudication. Three guys say you’re done — 
and you’re done. Millions of denunciations: truth of myth?
It’s a myth.
People of the USSR reported on each other not much
more often than people of any other country experiencing
political instability. Denunciations played a role in mass
arrests, but most arrests were made on account of
previously made lists of unreliable citizens from the
so-called “NKVD index” that listed over 8 million
people in the second half of 1930s. Millions of denunciations: truth or myth?
Moreover, people often wrote denunciations
being under investigation,
i.e. under enormous pressure.
It is known for a fact that almost all prisoner
reports condemning the persons themselves
and others were obtained by torture. Shifrin was born in Neksikan. It’s a settlement that
no longer exists. It’ll take us several more days to reach Susuman,
a town not far from it. Meanwhile, our first stop. [MAGADAN] [UST-OMCHUG] [Ust-Omchug]
[Temperature: -44 °C] A guard tower right in the middle of
residential housing. Many can see this monument just
looking outside. This is how camp and everyday life are
intertwined in Kolyma. Of the two hundred camps spread
around Kolyma, a few were particularly
bad. Butugychag is one of
those. In Evenki, it means
“a cursed place.” Inmates mined uranium and tin here, some of the most
radioactive minerals in the world, without any radiation
protection. [And rock was everywhere: behind us,]
[Before our eyes and all across,]
[It’s all that was. – Ye. Vladimirova]
without any radiation
protection. [And rock was everywhere: behind us,]
[Before our eyes and all across,]
[It’s all that was. – Ye. Vladimirova]
You can’t reach the ruins of Butugychag
in winter. [And rock was everywhere: behind us,]
[Before our eyes and all across,]
[It’s all that was. – Ye. Vladimirova]
The closest major settlement is called
Ust-Omchug. The closest major settlement is called
Ust-Omchug. Is this real dinnerware? Yes. This is real dinnerwear found at
old camp sites. Dinnerwear made out of
tin cans. They just recast tin
cans? No, they just riveted them together
any old how. This is from basically chopped
up salvage, like, hoods of old broken
down cars. They coated it with tin. You can see the word
“Magadan.” So it was made
here. This is a fork. Inscription says
“Magadan Promkombinat.” Why did they create
the Gulag? Two reasons. First one. In the 1920s, the Bolsheviks were
actively persecuting anyone who was unhappy with the
new government. Very soon, all existing detention facilities
became overpopulated, and building new prisons required money
they didn’t have. Then they remembered the practices of early
revolutionary years, when they isolated class and
political opponents and put them in concentration
camps. Building and maintaining camps was
a lot cheaper than building and maintaining
prisons. Reason number two. In 1928, the first Plan for the development of national
economy was adopted. Completing it required a lot of manpower,
which was in deficit. At that point, the idea to use forced inmate
labor was introduced. In 1929, concentration camps were officially renamed
to corrective labor camps. The agency managing this whole
shabang was called The Main Administration of Camps*
and Jails. The Gulag.
[* “Glavnoye Upravleniye LAGerey”] Among Gulag’s inmates’ missions were industrial
and infrastructural construction and development of remote
territories. 70% of Gulag’s facilities were located
next to major cities, where inmate labor built tens of hydroelectric
power plants, dug out several reservoirs and canals,
including the Moscow Canal. Among other things, inmates helped build
two of the Seven Sisters: [In Kotelnicheskaya building, the inmates]
[did all the carpentry: parquet, doors, windows]
the MSU building and Kotelnicheskaya
Embankment Apartments. [In Kotelnicheskaya building, the inmates]
[did all the carpentry: parquet, doors, windows]
In remote
regions, [In the MSU building, inmates did all the finishing]
Gulag’s inmates mined
for ores, [In the MSU building, inmates did all the finishing]
felled trees, built railways, roads,
and entire cities: Magadan, Norilsk, Vorkuta,
Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Ukhta. So, in rough conditions and free of charge,
they did work that they would’ve been paid for
in normal life. Did you ever cry while
studying [Inna Gribanova]
[Ust-Omchug Museum Keeper]
Gulag documents? [Inna Gribanova]
[Ust-Omchug Museum Keeper]
Yes. Very often. Very often. More and more often you hear
sentiments like: “The Gulag? So what? They were mostly
felons anyway.” “Felons! There were basically no
innocents there.” – This is what they say now.
– Okay. What’s the truth though? The truth is that they WERE
mostly felons. But that doesn’t mean that those felons
were all that guilty. They were mostly thieves. But there were thieves convicted under
the Criminal Code. Article 162, I believe. [Article 162 of RSFSR Criminal Code —]
[secretive taking of another’s property (theft)]
And there were those
who [Article 162 of RSFSR Criminal Code —]
[secretive taking of another’s property (theft)]
were convicted under articles
of the Act. [Article 162 of RSFSR Criminal Code —]
[secretive taking of another’s property (theft)]
There was the act of
1932 There was the Act of
1932 and the Act of
1947. This was right after our famine years, right?
After the famine. These acts introduced punishments for
stealing “socialist property.” There were a lot of people convicted
under them. It’s also known as The Law
of Spikelets. They were in for petty
theft. [Anastas Mikoyan (1895 – 1978)]
[Member of Politburo from 1935 to 1966]
“Pioneer Scheglov Kolya, “born in 1923, “from village Poryabushki, “officially, via mail, informed the director of his regional department “of NKVD this August “that his own father, “Scheglov Ivan Nikolayevich, “steals building materials from
their sovkhoz. “He was arrested. And a large
stock “of materials were found at this
Scheglov’s house. “Pioneer Kolya Scheglov, “who understands what the Soviet Government is
to him and to the people, “after seeing that his own father…
is no father to him, “because this father steals socialist
property, “he asked the NKVD to eliminate his father
as an enemy of the people. “What incredible people we have,
comrades! “What incredible pioneers we have! THIS is the
host of our power — the people!” If you take home ten spikelets of wheat from
the kolkhoz… – Yes.
– …you get? – You get seven years.
– Of camps? Of camps. – And you move from Belarus, Ukraine, or any
Black Earth region to…
– Yes. Or ten years. Under 1932 Act, you could only
get ten years. Under 1947 Act, you could get
seven to ten. Whereas theft articles in the
Criminal Code, 162nd and others, said three to five. – So, I rob an apartment, I get three to five.
– Yes. – I take ten…
– It was seven in rare cases. I take ten spikelets [Robbing an apartment — three to five years]
[Stealing wheat spikelets — ten years or execution]
from a kolkhoz, I get ten years. [Robbing an apartment — three to five years]
[Stealing wheat spikelets — ten years or execution]
That happened too, yes. [Robbing an apartment — three to five years]
[Stealing wheat spikelets — ten years or execution]
The point is, the punishment didn’t match
the crime. The article that was called “counter-revolutionary” or “political,” it was Article 58 or corresponding
articles of Criminal Codes of other
republics, these accounted for about 25% of
all inmates. But that doesn’t mean they were
all lily-white. There WERE people among them who had
worked with the Germans and did other bad
things. And some were put there for
telling a joke. If you don’t believe that you could end up
in a camp for nonsense, let’s look at the example of one of Kolyma’s
most famous prisoners. Even if you completely missed Soviet cinema, you definitely know Georgiy Zhzhonov. He played the kind patrol officer in the great
comedy film Beware of the Car and the Captain in the disaster
film Air Crew. In 1938, a 23-year-old Zhzhonov was cast in
the movie Komsomolsk. On the train, he met an American diplomat
heading for Vladivostok. Soviet cinema personnel noticed Zhzhonov
talking to the American. Zhzhonov was arrested, charged with espionage,
and sentenced to five years in camps. Let’s repeat that,
just in case. Five years of slave labor for talking
to a foreigner. In 1955, Zhzhonov was completely
rehabilitated. He made a fantastic career in cinema and lived
a very long and eventful life. He died in 2005,
aged 90. Am I right to say that Butugychag was one
of Kolyma’s worst camps? Yes. Yes. Not just because in addition to tin they also
mined uranium there, but also because it’s one of the windiest places
in Magadan Oblast. The number of days with
blizzards down there is 107 days
per year. In 1952 particularly, there were 140-something days
that year. They would occasionally have
blizzards in summer. And the snow was compressed so densely,
that they had to saw it. Saw it or hack it with
an axe. Because it was as hard
as boards. There was no water. The snow didn’t melt
in summer. – So they just melted and drank it?
– Yes. Georgiy Zhzhonov writes in his short
story Little Sledge: “Man is the most resilient creature
on earth. “He’s survived every adversity: “Famine, cold, illness, loneliness… “Beast dies. Man lives. “Especially the Russian man… “He’s felt the hands of political opportunists
of every color. “The history of Russian people is just endless
struggle for life, for survival…” “Center! This is Zarya-1! Ignition!” “Roger that. Engaging ignition.” On April 12, 1961, man first flew
to space. This incredible project was spearheaded by the
man holding the microphone, Sergey Korolyov, the main figure of
Soviet space, the Elon Musk of his era and one of the progenitors of
the technological marvels that you and I enjoy
today. Looking at the crowded streets, at the nationwide
rejoicing, you can hardly believe that twenty years prior to
this flight, Sergey Korolyov was sent to
serve time in correctional labor camps
of Kolyma. [Moscow, the Korolyovs apartment]
[Room temperature]
The date June 27, 1938, [Sergey Korolyov was arrested on June 27, 1938]
radically changed my father’s life and our family’s. On this day, the NKVD arrested
my father. [Natalia Korolyova]
[Daughter of Sergey Korolyov]
Of course, after they arrested Tukhachevsky and Ideman, followed by Kleymyonov, Langemak,
and Glushko, [M. Tukhachevsky (1893-1937), a Marshal of USSR]
[Accused of planning high treason]
[His case initiated purges in the Red Army]
[T. himself was executed on the night of the ruling, ]
[on June 11-12, 1937. 15 of his relatives were prosecuted]
[Rehabilitated posthumously in 1957]
who worked in the Jet Institute
with my father, [M. Tukhachevsky (1893-1937), a Marshal of USSR]
[Accused of planning high treason]
[His case initiated purges in the Red Army]
[T. himself was executed on the night of the ruling, ]
[on June 11-12, 1937. 15 of his relatives were prosecuted]
[Rehabilitated posthumously in 1957]
Kleymyonov was the head of
the Institute, [M. Tukhachevsky (1893-1937), a Marshal of USSR]
[Accused of planning high treason]
[His case initiated purges in the Red Army]
[T. himself was executed on the night of the ruling, ]
[on June 11-12, 1937. 15 of his relatives were prosecuted]
[Rehabilitated posthumously in 1957]
Langemak was the head
engineer, [M. Tukhachevsky (1893-1937), a Marshal of USSR]
[Accused of planning high treason]
[His case initiated purges in the Red Army]
[T. himself was executed on the night of the ruling, ]
[on June 11-12, 1937. 15 of his relatives were prosecuted]
[Rehabilitated posthumously in 1957]
he held the position after
my father he held the position after
my father. His friend Glushko designed engines. [Ivan Kleymyonov (1899-1938)]
[Head of the Jet Institute in 1933-1937]
[One of the designers of Katyusha rocket launcher]
[Charged with wrecking and executed on Jan 10, 1938]
[Rehabilitated posthumously in 1955]
After their arrests, [Ivan Kleymyonov (1899-1938)]
[Head of the Jet Institute in 1933-1937]
[One of the designers of Katyusha rocket launcher]
[Charged with wrecking and executed on Jan 10, 1938]
[Rehabilitated posthumously in 1955]
my father obviously expected [Ivan Kleymyonov (1899-1938)]
[Head of the Jet Institute in 1933-1937]
[One of the designers of Katyusha rocket launcher]
[Charged with wrecking and executed on Jan 10, 1938]
[Rehabilitated posthumously in 1955]
that he could suffer the same fate. [Valentin Glushko (1908-1989), engineer and scientist]
[His engines sent Soviet Union’s first rockets to orbit]
[Arrested in 1938 and sentenced to 8 years of camps]
[Beaten and tortured during interrogations]
[While sentenced, worked in closed OKBs]
[for convicted engineers and scientists]
But people always hope for the best, don’t they? [Valentin Glushko (1908-1989), engineer and scientist]
[His engines sent Soviet Union’s first rockets to orbit]
[Arrested in 1938 and sentenced to 8 years of camps]
[Beaten and tortured during interrogations]
[While sentenced, worked in closed OKBs]
[for convicted engineers and scientists]
They always do. [Valentin Glushko (1908-1989), engineer and scientist]
[His engines sent Soviet Union’s first rockets to orbit]
[Arrested in 1938 and sentenced to 8 years of camps]
[Beaten and tortured during interrogations]
[While sentenced, worked in closed OKBs]
[for convicted engineers and scientists]
My mother told me that on that day, [Valentin Glushko (1908-1989), engineer and scientist]
[His engines sent Soviet Union’s first rockets to orbit]
[Arrested in 1938 and sentenced to 8 years of camps]
[Beaten and tortured during interrogations]
[While sentenced, worked in closed OKBs]
[for convicted engineers and scientists]
she was coming from work at around 9. [Valentin Glushko (1908-1989), engineer and scientist]
[His engines sent Soviet Union’s first rockets to orbit]
[Arrested in 1938 and sentenced to 8 years of camps]
[Beaten and tortured during interrogations]
[While sentenced, worked in closed OKBs]
[for convicted engineers and scientists]
Back then, we lived in my father’s first apartment,
given by the state, on Konyushkovskaya street. It was in building 28. This street is near the
zoo. At the entrance, my mother saw
two men. They were smoking and surveying
passers-by. She told me that her
heart sunk. She rushed to the sixth floor. We didn’t have
an elevator back then. We lived on the sixth
floor. It was a small apartment with
two rooms: one was 12 square meters,
the other — 11. Mother got to the sixth floor.
Father was at home. She told him that she saw these people
near the entrance. He said, “Must be after me.” He said: “I sold a bond today and
bought a record. “Let’s listen to it.” I have this record in my home museum.
It’s in there. One side is Blizzard.
I got a copy later. The other side is There Stood a Birch
in the Field. The record is of old format,
of course. They listened to these
songs, and they sat there without changing or turning
the lights on. They sat until late in
the night, when at half to midnight, there was a knock
on the door. They asked who it was.
The answer was: NKVD. It was those two. They brought the house
manager as a witness. They sat my parents on
the sofa. I wasn’t at home at the time because
it was June, and I was at my grandma’s dacha with
my nanny Liza. They sat my parents on the sofa and said
they can’t get up. They showed a warrant for
arrest and search. They started taking things out from the wardrobe,
from everywhere. They took out the dishes and even
the medications. My mother saw one of the
NKVD guys pocket the malachite cufflinks that my mother’s father,
Maximilian Nikolayevich, gave to my dad as a
wedding gift. But she didn’t dare to say
a word. [Start of search – 11:30 PM]
This continued until
six in the morning. [End of search – 6:00 AM]
At six o’clock, they told him to
gather his things and that they’re taking him
with them. He looked at my mother and could barely
recognize her. He said, “You sure did experience
this night.” She wanted… She got him a pair
of underwear, picked it up from the floor, put it
in his suitcase. Toothbrush, tooth powder —
as it was at the time. She wanted to see
him off. He put on his only leather
coat. He said, “You know that I did
nothing wrong.” She wanted to walk him to the car, but they
said it wasn’t allowed. They took him
away. She watched through the stairwell
window as they put him in their car
and drove off. After that, as mom told me,
she couldn’t even cry. She moaned. She paced in the apartment
and moaned. Then she called her
mother-in-law, Sergey Pavlovich’s mother. Maria Nikolayevna was always
afraid that father could commit
suicide because of all the
arrests of his friends from the
Institute. He had a gun because it used to be a
military institute. She was really
scared. Mom said,
“Sergey is gone.” And hanged the
phone. Grandma grabbed grandpa and took a taxi
to Konyushkovskaya. First thing she said was,
“Is he alive?” “Yes, he is. But he’s gone. “They arrested him and took
him away.” Grandma said, “Thank God!” Mom said: “Maria Nikolayevna, you
must’ve misunderstood. “They arrested him. How can you thank God after
something so terrible?” “No. Because he’s alive, we’ll fight
for him.” And she did start fighting for
her only son. “One day, a man showed up. [Alexei Leonov]
[First man to conduct extravehicular activity]
“One day, a man showed up. [Alexei Leonov]
[First man to conduct extravehicular activity]
“Average height. Stocky. “‘Hello, sokoliks*.’ That’s what he called
all the pilots.
[* sokolik – “little falcon”] “He talked with us for a
long time. “He told us about future space
flights. “And said it’s gonna be
very soon. “That next year we’ll fly in the
Vostok ship. “We didn’t believe
him. “That we’d then have Soyuz
ships. “Then orbital stations, and so on,
and so on. “It was hard for us to even imagine
all that.” Obviously, her station as the wife of an arrestee
wasn’t rosy. Because we led a very poor life
back then. Besides, mom constantly feared getting
arrested too. ‘Cause sometimes they’d arrest the
wives too. She packed some things for this
scenario — she kept a small suitcase in
the hallway. And she got another
job. In addition to working as a doctor at the
Botkin Hospital, she started working at
the clinic. She’d also work ambulance night
shifts. She’d work 13 to 15 shifts
a month. Because she needed to provide for the family
and help out my father. – On the day of the arrest…
– They seized all the money, right? Yes, all the money we had
was seized. There was also the matter of my
nanny Liza. Because we had absolutely no money
to pay her. The next day, Liza came back from
our dacha. Grandma sent her. And Liza said… She was Ukrainian by the way.
A young Ukrainian girl. She was my nanny. Because my mom was away
at work. She said no. She said she wanted
to stay and we’d get by on her
money that she’d earned working
for us, because she doesn’t want to
leave us and because she loves our family
very much. That’s how faithful a friend
she was. When we came back from dacha with
fall encroaching, because it had no heating and it was
getting cold there, the neighbors’ boy who I used to play with,
he lived across, he was four, and I was three, he suddenly told me, “Mom says
I can’t play with you, “because your dad’s
arrested.” I started crying and ran up to
my mom, and said, “He doesn’t want to
play with me.” And mom said… Mom got very upset about that.
She said: “Don’t go to play outside anymore.
Go to the zoo with your nanny. “Go to the zoo with nanny and
grandma. “Don’t go outside and don’t play
with anyone.” She was certainly very upset
about that. ‘Cause people started
avoiding her. Even those who enjoyed her
company. She was very beautiful, very open,
very charming. My mom had Italian
heritage. Her maiden name was
Vincentini. But people crossed to the other side
of the street, because she was the wife of an
arrested husband. Some doctors even refused to assist her
during surgeries. She was a surgeon, a trauma
orthopedist. They refused to assist because she was the wife
of an arrested husband. So great was the fear.
This awful fear. “Gagarin’s first flight paved the way for a true
assault on space. “More and more cosmonauts came to train in
Zvyodzdny Gorodok*.
[* Star City] “They’d fly off. And the head engineer would always
see them off and greet them at the cosmodrome. “We sent the first woman in the world into space,
Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova. “Korolyov kept bringing new
ideas to life. “Alexei Leonov was the first person to leave
the craft in space. “During the mission, in a way, he became a living
satellite to Earth.” They brought my father to
Butyrskaya prison. There, they gave him… He filled out the arrestee
form. The top corner of this form said
“wrecker.” I have a copy of this
form. He was charged under
Article 58, paragraphs 7 and 11, “harming the industry” and “participation in the
organization… a Trotskyan wrecking
organization.” Like probably everyone else
at the time. He wrote in this
form, he wrote,
“I plead guilty.” In his first interrogation statement,
he wrote: “I plead not guilty. I did
no wrong.” But the interrogators needed to get a guilty
plea out of him. So they used repressive measures,
so to speak. They’d beat him up. They broke
his jaws. Which made it impossible to insert an
endotracheal tube during his surgery. On January 14, 1966, he died on the
operating table. [Sergey Korolyov died on January 14, 1966]
[during a surgery to remove a rectal sarcoma.]
[Due to complications, he required a tube to be inserted]
[into his trachea, which the doctors couldn’t do.]
[One argued reason was that K.’s jaws had been broken]
[during interrogations and grew back improperly.]
On January 14, 1966, he died on the
operating table. [Sergey Korolyov died on January 14, 1966]
[during a surgery to remove a rectal sarcoma.]
[Due to complications, he required a tube to be inserted]
[into his trachea, which the doctors couldn’t do.]
[One argued reason was that K.’s jaws had been broken]
[during interrogations and grew back improperly.]
He had two broken
jaws. [Sergey Korolyov died on January 14, 1966]
[during a surgery to remove a rectal sarcoma.]
[Due to complications, he required a tube to be inserted]
[into his trachea, which the doctors couldn’t do.]
[One argued reason was that K.’s jaws had been broken]
[during interrogations and grew back improperly.]
But he wouldn’t admit
guilt. [Sergey Korolyov died on January 14, 1966]
[during a surgery to remove a rectal sarcoma.]
[Due to complications, he required a tube to be inserted]
[into his trachea, which the doctors couldn’t do.]
[One argued reason was that K.’s jaws had been broken]
[during interrogations and grew back improperly.]
Then the interrogator used a
psychological trick. [Sergey Korolyov died on January 14, 1966]
[during a surgery to remove a rectal sarcoma.]
[Due to complications, he required a tube to be inserted]
[into his trachea, which the doctors couldn’t do.]
[One argued reason was that K.’s jaws had been broken]
[during interrogations and grew back improperly.]
He said:
– “If you don’t sign these charges put
against you today, “tomorrow we’ll arrest your wife, and you daughter will
go to an orphanage.” So my father conceded to these charges and
signed them, planning to deny everything
in court. The court hearing was on
September 27. But what kind of a hearing
was it? The Troika was presiding, headed by Ulrich.
The Troika. They accused my father of
being a member of a Trotskyan wrecking
organization, and his main charge was that he’d destroyed
a rocket aircraft that was standing safe and sound in the
Institute’s courtyard. He said, “You can go and see the
aircraft right now.” They said, no, you signed the charges during
your interrogation. Well, anyway, the sentence was ten years of
correctional labor. They didn’t let my father say anything to defend
himself and led him away. Can you imagine? I imagined what
he must’ve felt — an innocent men who’d been
serving his country and did everything to improve the defenses
of the country he loved. He was a patriot. They go ahead and charge
him like that. How many were imprisoned for a reason?
And how many were innocent? In different years, 25% to 30% of prisoners are
known to have been innocents. So, on average, 600,000 people
a year. Most convictions followed direct orders from the
Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, which ignored the Criminal Code and often
contradicted it. Historical documents of the repressions
reveal that arrests and executions were carried out
within certain caps. The top sent down plans to regions that
they had to fulfill. In response, regions developed
counter-plans, requesting arrest and death sentence quotas
to be increased. Here is Anastas Mikoyan (we’ve already shown
him in this video) requesting a larger quota
for Armenia. There’s still a lot of people there who need
to be punished. Names for these plans were often taken from phone
books and tenant registers. Selected people weren’t actually
criminals. It was a sort of a lottery… with sinister
consequences for its losers. When we arrived at this settlement last night,
it was -52. It’s morning now, and it’s a lot
warmer: -43. We wanted to show you what cold
below -40 looks like. [Talaya urban locality]
[Temperature: -43 °C]
We wanted to show you what cold
below -40 looks like. We wanted to show you what cold
below -40 looks like. To do that, we’ll do an
old trick colloquially known as
“Yakutian fireworks.” We’re not in Yakutia yet by the way. This is still
Magadan Oblast. And here is what this firework
looks like. [Water in the thermos is ~100 °C] – Artyom, remind us: where were you born?
– In the settlement Myaundzha. Is it as cold as where we’re
standing? It’s 800 km away from Magadan.
And it’s just as cold. [Artyom Kovalyov]
[Lives in Kolyma. Loves Kolyma]
It’s 800 km away from Magadan.
And it’s just as cold. [Artyom Kovalyov]
[Lives in Kolyma. Loves Kolyma]
How do you live and grow up in a place where it’s
this cold for six months a year. How do you live and grow up in a place where it’s
this cold for six months a year. When you live there, especially
as a kid, I don’t think you notice the
cold at all. Though before going
outside, you do have to wrap yourself
properly. For kids, only their eyes
are peeking out. They’ve got scarves and hats on.
One hat, two hats. You walk around like that,
and… When I was a kid, it was like, you open the building
door, leaving the warmth, and you imagine yourself walking in
space on some… – On the Moon.
– Yeah, Mars, the Moon, whatever. You’re in space. And you go to school.
Like that. We spent all our childhood
years outside. The cold never
bothered us. We were perfectly okay
with it. [Warning!]
[Descent from]
[Dedushkina Lysina*]
[pass]
[997 MASL]
[* “Grandpa’s bald dome”]
– [Warning! Descent from]
[Dedushkina Lysina* pass]
[997 MASL]
[* “Grandpa’s bald dome”]
What can you say about Kolyma Highway? – Kolyma Highway does NOT forgive mistakes.
– Yeah? If you’re a fucking dolt, stay the fuck away.
That’s my opinion. If you didn’t prepare your
car. [Antokha]
[Our driver in Kolyma]
– [Antokha]
[Our driver in Kolyma]
Prepare how? The car has to be in good
condition. If it’s winter, it has to be
insulated. You need to be prepared for any
scenario. Like, warm clothes, valenki, an axe,
matches. You keep the engines running,
right? Of course. ‘Cause it might not
start again. So if we turn the key right
now, and the engine stops, it won’t start again? No, it will. But we had
situations where we’d make a stop in some town, kill the engine,
go get some tea or coffee, then your turn the key, and it will
not start. We’re used to the fact that in the Far East,
fruits and vegetables cost around twice as much as in Russia’s
central regions. But getting used to prices on fuel which they
certainly don’t extract in Moscow, Krasnodar, or Tambov Oblast,
is impossible. For those who don’t drive, in Moscow, diesel fuel costs
around 47 or 48 rubles per liter. On Kolyma Highway, it costs
72 rubles. Meaning, 1.5 times
more. [Kolyma Highway]
[Temperature: -40 °C] Winter fuel works up to -35. It’s -48 outside.
So there you go. Kolyma’s got some hardcore
truck drivers! Even with heavy-duty
vehicles… Diesel leaves much to
be desired. Isn’t it risky what he’s doing?
Won’t it catch fire? Or is it only gas that explodes,
and diesel doesn’t? Nah. There aren’t any
fumes. Even a full tank couldn’t
explode. Why does it explode? It’s because
of the fumes. – Right.
– I’ve never heard diesel to… Even if you spill some on the asphalt and try to set it
on fire, you won’t be able to. I mean this is nuts,
honestly. I feel bad for him to have this shit happen
when it’s this cold. But again, it’s the diesel quality
at fault here. It’s not as winterized as it
should be. Or as its paperwork
says. I reckon, there’s no pure winter diesel as such
in Magadan anyway, because they mix it with
summer type. Like, you didn’t sell all your summer diesel.
What are you gonna do with it? No one’s gonna pump it out of those gas
station tanks. Mixed in winter-grade:
“Good shit, dudes! “Winter diesel, clear as tears. Gonna get you where
you need to go.” Then to fucking get stuck like that: freeze your hands,
freeze the truck, fucking everything, I’d go back and burn the
damn station. It’s wrong to say that. But some people just
don’t understand that common working Joes toil in such ungodly
conditions out here. In this cold. And in addition to paying 73 goddamn rubles
per liter of diesel, they have to fuck with
their cars. One time, we were coming back from a business trip
on a winter as cold as this one, and saw a car on the road
that just died. It was obvious because, from up-close, we saw that
the windows were iced on the inside. A door opened, and the driver leapt
out towards us. He was screaming: “Don’t leave me here!
Don’t leave me here!” It was obvious that the car
died on him. The closest settlement was
50 km away. I mean, it’s a very scary
situation. [112 Emergency Help Button]
In order to prevent such
situations, to help people survive if something like
that happens, we have these emergency call
stations. These are special containers.
They’re self-sufficient. [Facility saves life]
[Under video surveillance]
[Under protection]
These are special containers.
They’re self-sufficient. [Facility saves life]
[Under video surveillance]
[Under protection]
The person needs to reach it and press
the button, The person needs to reach it and press
the button, the door will open, it will automatically call the
emergency service, and a rescue team will be dispatched
to this location. In this container,
the person… A heating system will turn on,
you’ll get warm air. It has a medkit, a MRE, a blanket, even a
phone charger. [CELLULAR SIGNAL AREA]
[3G for MTS clients; emergency call (112) for others]
It has a medkit, a MRE, a blanket, even a
phone charger. [CELLULAR SIGNAL AREA]
[3G for MTS clients; emergency call (112) for others]
You also get cell signal here. And you can stay
in this container for 24h, You also get cell signal here. And you can stay
in this container for 24h, until help arrives. We were driving along with a
French group. [Lyokha]
[Our other driver]
We were driving along with a
French group. They were filming something
about the Gulag. And on the road, in the middle
of nowhere, nearest settlements 100 km
away both ways, there was a cat freezing on the
side of the road. It was like -40 outside. We’re driving past him, I go,
“Woah, a cat!” The French went up in arms:
“Let’s take him! Let’s take him!” But we had a crazy route
ahead too. We were going to Topolinoye, Oymyakon,
then Magadan. And the cat went on this
trip with us. They bought him cat food,
a litter box… And he rode with you
in the back? Yeah. He slept right here, on the
dashboard. – On the dashboard? As you were driving?
– Yeah, he slept there. When we got to Magadan, they got paperwork made for him,
gave him the shots, and he went to live
in France. And he lives there now. They send
us pictures. I mean, he was meant to die
that day, but ended up in… We even joke now, saying, “Fuckin’, should’ve
been me freezing on that road. “So they’d take me to
France.” Would’ve been cool. When you’re driving across Kolyma in winter,
you can’t help but wonder. All members of our expeditions were dressed
roughly the same: insulated thermal socks,
special boots, two — yes, two — layers of thermal underwear
for both upper and lower body, waterproof pants, a parka, a scarf or,
in my case, a BUFF, a hat, mittens,
and a hood. This is a special set that would work
even in Antarctica, but in Kolyma, even like this, we didn’t want to stay
outside for more than 30 mins. So I wonder: since it was tough for us even with the
best modern gear available, how did Gulag prisoners feel and work
back in the day? Their clothing was very different.
But the cold… was the same. Father died in 1984. [Anna Baukite]
[Director of state-funded body Yagodinsky Social Center]
[Daughter of the repressed Zigmas Baukus]
Sadly. He was ill, because… [Anna Baukite]
[Director of state-funded body Yagodinsky Social Center]
[Daughter of the repressed Zigmas Baukus]
It was tough out here. It was rough. Sometimes, he told, you got stuck with
frozen hair in the barracks. You’re raising your head,
but it’s stuck. Because during the night, there was melting,
and your hair froze you to something. Did you ask him about the technical
matter of clothing? We came with specialized
gear, but… They wore vatniks, pants. Having an undergarment
was… – …a bliss.
– It was cool. Got it. Valenki. If they wore
out… Valenki were a luxury.
Most wore shoes. Not shoes. Kirza boots.
And footwraps. – Hat?
– Ushanka. That’s it. How can you survive and work dressed
like that when it’s -50? They survived. They survived. Barracks didn’t have
heating. There was a burzhuika stove on one
side of the barracks. That was it. Heat didn’t reach the other side, hence the hair
freezing shut to things. First of all, prisoners lived
in tents, tarp tents stretched over
frames. They measured 7×21
meters. They were very… The only heating was a
barrel, an iron barrel made into a makeshift
furnace. They put… They didn’t have any firewood or
coal at Maldyak*.
[* Gold placer in Magadan Oblast] So they burned branches, dry tree
branches. They slid them into the
barrel. It was very cold. They wore these pea coats, these knee-long
telogreikas. They also wore
valenki. Cotton wool pants and
ushankas. But they were still very cold,
because in Kolyma, cold struck a lot earlier than
everywhere else. It was also really tough
because they gave the so-called
“political prisoners” the hardest jobs. They had to mine ore. The ore that they trommel-washed
for gold. They chipped off chunks of ore
with pickaxes. – Like this one, right?
– This is the ore, yes. They gave me this bit when I
visited Maldyak. You can see gold peppered
inside it. – There’s a little gold in there. Can you see it?
– Yeah. So… To all requests and complaints, if they tried to talk
to the management, the camp management
said: “You’re doing time. We’re not responsible for you.
If you die, they’ll bring others.” Varlam Shalamov.
The Kolyma Tales. “He didn’t blame people for
indifference. “He’d long since realized where these numbness and
coldness of the soul came from. “The cold, the same cold that froze
spit mid-flight, “had reached the human
soul. “If bones could freeze, if the brain could freeze and
go numb, the soul could freeze too. “You couldn’t think about anything
in the cold. “It was simple. Between cold and hunger, the brain
wasn’t properly supplied, “brain cells dried up — it was clearly
a material process, “and God only knows if this process was reversible,
as doctors say, like frostbite is, “or if the degradation was
permanent. “Same with the soul: it froze through, shrunk, and maybe,
it would stay cold forever.” [Selling ASAP!!!!]
[one-bedroom apartment with modern layout]
[Everything included: fixed up, new furniture, appliances]
[MOVE IN AND LIVE!]
[Price tag — 250 thousand rubles (~$3,900 in 2019)] Artur, it’s -55 outside. You’re eating ice cream.
Are you okay? [Artur Fyodorov]
[Our Kolyma guide]
You’re eating ice cream.
Are you okay? [Artur Fyodorov]
[Our Kolyma guide]
The ice cream is from a freezer.
It’s only -15. The ice cream is from a freezer.
It’s only -15. I’m warming myself. [Kolyma River] They gave him ten years
of camps and permanent deportation to Dalstroy without the
right of correspondence [Dalstroy — collective name for Kolyma camps]
and permanent deportation to Dalstroy without the
right of correspondence [Dalstroy — collective name for Kolyma camps]
for these ten years. [Dalstroy — collective name for Kolyma camps]
His correspondence led to — after the ban
had been lifted — His correspondence led to — after the ban
had been lifted — it led to marriage with my mother
and to my birth, ’cause he met my mom
via letters. And she lived where? – In Orsha.
– In Orsha, Belarus.
– Yes. And people used to meet through
letters, right? – Then version of…
– Hang on. It was after the war. Boys gone.
Girls gone. Everyone rushed to introduce people, to meet people,
to look for people. You needed to connect
people. Agniya Barto’s program Find a Person wasn’t
coming out yet, I don’t think. [Finding a Person was a radio program hosted by writer]
[Agniya Barto, in which she helped people separated]
[by the war to find each other]
Agniya Barto’s program Find a Person wasn’t
coming out yet, I don’t think. [Finding a Person was a radio program hosted by writer]
[Agniya Barto, in which she helped people separated]
[by the war to find each other]
So after the war, everyone started looking for
people and introducing people. So after the war, everyone started looking for
people and introducing people. My dad’s brother and my mom’s sister worked in the same
school in Orsha. Mom’s sister taught Russian language
and literature. Dad’s brother taught math
and physics. One day they were
talking, two Jews talking — there WILL be
introductions. And so… My dad came up. At that point, everyone knew that
they were innocent people toiling away in Kolyma and
beyond the Ural. It was known in silence. Nobody would… But everyone knew they were
there for nothing. Nobody thought of them as criminals
or recidivists. Political prisoners even had a
sort of a… this kind of a…
attractiveness to them. ‘Cause they were mostly educated
people. And marrying one could’ve been
quite a catch. – Sharp, but oppressed.
– Exactly. They got in touch. Dad sent her his picture in
his prisoner robe. Mom evidently sent
hers. Mom was pretty. Dad wasn’t.
AND he was bald. And he also took his picture without the glasses.
He had really poor eyesight. You couldn’t fall in love with that photo if
you wanted to. But she did. ‘Cause he had a way
with words. He knew several languages. And he was very
eloquent with Russian too. Though, at home, we spoke
Yiddish. What does mom do? In spring of 1950,
I think… Today, you buy a plane ticket,
right? You board, get out in Magadan, transfer —
and you’re in Susuman. Not back then. It was a whole echelon to
Vladivostok. – It’s like 8 days, right?
– 7 or 8. – 7 or 8 days.
– Then by sea. Then… No. Then you need to get
to Magadan. – By sea.
– Yes. By sea. You imagine those ferries, those motor
ships of the time? Sailboats or whatever. [How they used to get to Kolyma:]
[10 to 12 days on the Moscow – Vladivostok train]
Sailboats or whatever. [How they used to get to Kolyma:]
[10 to 12 days on the Moscow – Vladivostok train]
They were packed like sardines in a can.
Only with people. [5 to 7 days on a ship from]
[Vladivostok or Nakhodka to Magadan]
They were packed like sardines in a can.
Only with people. [5 to 7 days on a ship from]
[Vladivostok or Nakhodka to Magadan]
I mean, this was
just… I mean, this was
just… They didn’t have a schedule, like, “Bus 314
arrives at 12:10 PM.” It arrives when it
arrives. This train I also picture
quite vividly. In part thanks to films, of which I’ve watched my
full when I was little. So yeah, it was a super comfortable
trip for her. She was a bold woman
to go. A little crazy too,
because… Mom was really daring. Like, nothing could ever stop her. So she went after this person. A year later they had
a baby. My older brother. We grew up separately,
unfortunately. When he was two, they sent him to our
grandma in Orsha, because at the time of his birth, the place had
nothing for kids, NOTHING. Then the following happened.
And I’ll stop there. She got pregnant a second
time, and to give birth, she had to
go to — I don’t remember exactly, it’s 40 or 50 km
away from Susuman, because it didn’t have its own
delivery ward — to the settlement Neksikan. The cockpit seat was taken by
some mister going to Neksikan on
business. – The truck cockpit.
– Yeah. He had a briefcase. Mom got to ride in the back
of the truck. The Kolyma Highway isn’t
as smooth as the highways between New York City
and Chicago. She jolted about in
there. The baby got strangled by the umbilical cord
or something. He was stillborn. They called him Marik and buried him right there,
in the Neksikan graveyard. At 41, she decided to
have me. So in a way, I owe it to
the life… I owe MY life to this person’s
death. Marik. A guy named Marik I never
got to know. He would’ve probably grown up to
be a great guy. But his lot is to lie in
Neksikan, which, too, is gone. Literally everyone had
scurvy, because they didn’t get any
vitamins, and the food was
scarce. Sergey Pavlovich ended up with
scurvy too. He began to show… He lost almost all of
his teeth. He later wrote that he lost 13 teeth
in Kolyma. His legs started to cover with
literal crust. He couldn’t walk
anymore. So eventually he was bound to his bed.
He couldn’t… Besides, the chief prisoner, who was
one of the criminals, he took my father’s
ration, he literally took his ration and sent him to
do the hardest jobs, because he was mad about my
father’s attitude. One day, Mikhail Aleksandrovich Usachyov
arrived at the camp, he was the director of
the plant where they built the plane in which Chkalov crashed
in December of 1938. So obviously they immediately arrested
Usachyov. [Valery Chkalov (1904-1938) was an aircraft test pilot.]
[In 1937, he completed the first nonstop flight]
[via the North Pole from Moscow to the US.]
[On Dec 15, 1938, he crashed in the new I-180 fighter]
[on the Central Aerodrome (near Polezhayevskaya)]
So obviously they immediately arrested
Usachyov. [Valery Chkalov (1904-1938) was an aircraft test pilot.]
[In 1937, he completed the first nonstop flight]
[via the North Pole from Moscow to the US.]
[On Dec 15, 1938, he crashed in the new I-180 fighter]
[on the Central Aerodrome (near Polezhayevskaya)]
Usachyov was a boxing Master of Sports
and trained boxers. [Valery Chkalov (1904-1938) was an aircraft test pilot.]
[In 1937, he completed the first nonstop flight]
[via the North Pole from Moscow to the US.]
[On Dec 15, 1938, he crashed in the new I-180 fighter]
[on the Central Aerodrome (near Polezhayevskaya)]
He was very strong
physically. He was very strong
physically. When he arrived at the camp,
he realized that he needed to have a proper talk with the chief prisoner
using language he’d get. He called the chief prisoner and said,
“Show me your premises.” They got into the tent where my
father was. The chief prisoner said, “And here we have the King.
One of yours. “This one’s not getting
back up.” Usachyov came up to his
bed, they had wooden bunk
beds, and saw my father whom he knew
from work. Before the arrest, of course. He saw my father lying in
dirty rags. He was in awful condition. Usachyov was surprised: how could he have
gotten so bad? He talked to the chief, probably punched
his teeth in, ’cause it was the chief who’d brought
him to that, and demanded that they put my father in the
infirmary, the medical facility, and to give him more food, to have those criminals give him a
part of their ration. And my father eventually got better.
As much as he could’ve. At least he got back up.
Because… Tatyana Repyeva would bring raw potatoes
from home, [Tatyana Repyeva was the doctor of Korolyov’s camp.]
[Natalya Korolyova considers her her father’s savior]
Tatyana Repyeva would bring raw potatoes
from home, [Tatyana Repyeva was the doctor of Korolyov’s camp.]
[Natalya Korolyova considers her her father’s savior]
and they’d rub their
gums with it. [Tatyana Repyeva was the doctor of Korolyov’s camp.]
[Natalya Korolyova considers her her father’s savior]
I mean the prisoners suffering
from scurvy. I mean the prisoners suffering
from scurvy. They’d brew shrubs and
pinecones. They didn’t have any other medicines.
No vitamins or anything. But it still helped to a
degree. They’d bandage themselves with
torn sheets. Without proper bandages, they made makeshift ones
to treat their legs. And my father eventually managed to get up
and come back. Much later, when he was the
chief engineer, he found this Usachyov and made him deputy chief engineer in his
design bureau. I heard Usachyov wasn’t the most disciplined
worker in the bureau. In the bureau, Usachyov
was… He enjoyed a drink,
so yeah… One day, his superior
said… He complained to Sergey Pavlovich,
but my father said: “Whatever he does, you won’t lay
a finger on him. “Because he saved
my life. “Full stop.” “I was terribly unlucky. “I wake up in the morning on this
bunk bed. “Has the man to the right or to the left of me died?
One time, it was both. “I went to the medical office.
Can’t remember why. “And they told me, ‘One of yours
was over.’ “‘Who?’ “They talked between themselves a little
and go, ‘Korolyov.’ [Dominik Severuk]
[Aircraft designer, Doctor of Engineering, Professor]
“They talked between themselves a little
and go, ‘Korolyov.’ [Dominik Severuk]
[Aircraft designer, Doctor of Engineering, Professor]
“I’d heard about Korolyov, but had never met
him in person. “I’d heard about Korolyov, but had never met
him in person. “That’s how we met. “I’ll tell you how they escorted us
to work. “The whole crowd gathers at
the gates. “It was usually early. It was
still dark. “There were three rows of barbed
wire. “People make three-wide
column. “The relief commander orders the sentries to
take their places. “It means the following. One rifleman
walks in front. “Another one in the back. And a machine gunner
further in the back still. “And some sprinkled a bit further away. And two dogs
on each side usually. “The loudspeaker on a pole always plays the
same song. “‘I know of no other such country where a man
can breathe so freely.’ “And to these very words we hear
the command: “‘A step to the left or to the right will be considered
an escape attempt.’ “‘Sentries are to shoot without warning.’
And they did.” A free, daring beauty… – …on a trip like that.
– I thought she was very beautiful. I double checked it. I thought: maybe I imagined it.
Being her son and all. No. When we were at mom’s funeral, and she was
completely… breathless, like, there was no life in her,
she was in a coffin, I was standing next to
my dad, and I though: what is he going
to say? He touched my arm like that and said,
“Look how beautiful she is.” She was 77. So this impression of her
beauty, it lived on in him, even when you couldn’t say
it about her anymore. She was a corpse. And I was standing there
crying my eyes out. And my dad goes, “Look how
beautiful she is.” While Sergey Korolyov was
in Kolyma, his mom and his wife were desperately
fighting to free him. Among the deputies of the Supreme Soviet of USSR
(it’s something like State Duma today), there were two aircraft test pilots, Valentina Grizodubova
and Mikhail Gromov. They supported the Korolyov family and helped
send the case to retrial. Sergey Korolyov was summoned from
Maldyak camp to Moscow. Back to Butyrka prison. He had to travel through Magadan
and Vladivostok. He arrived in Magadan. There, a group of prisoners were gathered to
travel on SS Indigirka, set to depart on
December 8. Sergey Pavlovich would’ve made
it in time, but they told him there was no room, because the
group was full. So no room — no way to get
on the ship. He was really upset about
that, because it meant waiting for the
next transport. You know, what ship will
travel next. But it saved his life, because Indigirka — there was a storm
in the Sea of Okhotsk — and Indigirka hit reefs, and all the prisoners trapped in the
holds died. They died suffering. When was your father able
to return? They rehabilitated him
in 1955. Thus came up the matter
of destination. Where do you go? First, you need
money. What kind of money could a person
who’s been… trommeling ore mere days
ago have? Second — where? He decided he couldn’t go
back to Orsha. Even though mom lived there. He said he wouldn’t be
able to walk past… – Past the people who imprisoned him?
– Past the prison. No, past the prison on the main street. It stands in the
center of Orsha to this day. Well, nowadays, it’s all painted, all Catholic like,
all… with the turrets. He couldn’t walk past it,
because… He just couldn’t bear the thought
of going back. So we spent there ten
more years. Because we needed to leave
for somewhere. Then all the Khrushchev concessions
followed. “The thaw.” In those books about Stalin, you could cross him
out like that with a red pencil and not get punished. All the books had Stalin and Lenin bas-reliefs.
On every page. Stalin’s childhood, Lenin’s childhood,
Stalin’s… You could tear ’em up! – Did you do it?
– Of course! First order of business — slashed him
with a red pencil. I also got in a fight with another boy in
the kindergarten. I said he was a
traitor. And he said, “No, Stalin
is good.” And we jumped at each
other. I wanted to… In order to get him so mad
that he’d… …that he’d foam, I ruined Stalin
with a pencil. I remember that. That was my first
Deed in life. In order to raise the spirits of imprisoned
professionals, the heads of NKVD allowed visitation for
immediate family. My mom received
a card that said that the two of us could go see
father in Butyrka prison. I didn’t know my father was
imprisoned. I was five. They told me my father was
a pilot, that he was flying and he had an
important job, but he’s finally here, and we
can go see him. And then he’ll leave
again. We arrived at the Butyrka
courtyard. I remember that it was very
small. We got up on the second floor and
entered a room. It had a table and four
chairs. Mom and I sat in our
chairs. My father, accompanied by a guard, came in
through another door. I immediately asked: “Daddy, how did you manage to land your airplane
in such a small courtyard?” Before he could reply,
the guard did. He said, “Sweet child, landing
here is easy. “Leaving is the hard
part.” From 1940 until 1944, Korolyov worked in prison-type design
bureaus, first in Moscow,
later in Kazan. Sergey Korolyov was completely released from
imprisonment in July of 1944. Artur, who was the crazy guy going to Yakutsk in
parallel with us on a bicycle? Our girls sent out a message throughout
WhatsApp groups. “Emergency! Everyone! If you know anyone
in Karamken! “There’s a cyclist riding from either Italy or Spain,
talking gibberish. “It’s -30 outside…” It was where THEY were.
Near Yagodnoye, it was -55. They found him on the pass.
In his tent. He was sleeping. His bicycle was right there.
It was all frosted over. [Jose Andres Abian Pajares]
He was sleeping. His bicycle was right there.
It was all frosted over. They woke the poor guy up.
Got him out.
[Jose Andres Abian Pajares] They woke the poor guy up.
Got him out. The most recent information is that he’s en route to a
hospital in Magadan. Frostbite. Ewan McGregor’s trip around the world,
you saw him in Star Wars, it went through Magadan,
didn’t it? His visit to Magadan
made it a place of biker pilgrimage
of sorts. He rode a bike,
by the way. He rode a bike.
He wrote a book. And now every year, we get regular motorcycle
rallies from Europe. Large groups of bikers gather
together. We held an international festival
last year. People rode all the way from China, Korea,
Mongolia, London… Bikers from America and Mexico
came over. And this cross-Russia trip is called the
Road of Bones. I’ve lived in Magadan for seven
years now. Ended up here by
accident. A friend came over to the mainland
to visit. Said this place had great skiing and
snowboarding. I told my superiors: yo guys,
Imma go to Magadan. They laughed of course. Said,
“Are you outta your gourd? “There are other skiing spots,
you know?” So I come down
here. And the guy pulls a quick one on me
with my money. The money I sent him. And I lived for a month in a rented
apartment eating noodles. I looked at a newspaper: “Score!
‘Car washer wanted.'” I go, “Awesome! Washing cars? That’s easy!
Grab a rag, a mop — and get to it.” Got a job at the car wash. The pay was
1000 rubles per shift. I realized I needed to get to the
next level. So I duped them — said I also did dry cleaning.
Didn’t know a thing about it. But it worked out perfectly
in the end. They started paying reasonable
money. But I knew plane tickets were
expensive. After a while, I built a helluva
client base of people who wanted ME to
wash their cars. The liked the quality of
my work. Boss saw how many people I… And I was being
paid a percentage. Something like 25% of the profit
I brought. So come payday, he decided to
shaft me: instead of 80 thousand he
paid me 30. So I told him, “Arrivederci, Azazel!
Go fuck yourself.” I had the money I needed for
the ticket. And then I met my current
wife. She drove in to get her
car washed. So you know, we got to cracking jokes,
having fun. Laughter, jokes, the festive
mood. She said, “Take the trip and come back.
I’ll be waiting.” Where were you
flying? I was about to fly to
Ukraine. So… I came home, saw my folks,
stayed a while Two weeks later, I got back to
Magadan and started looking for a
proper job. This is Talaya
Resort. [UST-OMCHUG]
This is Talaya
Resort. [UST-OMCHUG]
It’s over 200 km away from
Magadan. [TALAYA]
It’s over 200 km away from
Magadan. It’s got a healing spring,
mud baths. And people come here to improve
health. At some point in the past, they discovered this spring
that could heal ailments. Meaning, people drank this water, it improved
their digestion. Basically, it helped heal various
ailments. And in the Soviet times, they decided
to build… Basically, in the forest. ‘Cause there’s nothing
else around. They decided to build a
resort and use this water to heal and
help people. The Soviet ritz has worn off
a little. – Unfortunately.
– What can be done about it? If I was designing the concept
of this place, I would’ve focused on the idea of
a journey to the past. In the sense that… It already is a journey to
the past. We’re not showing our rooms so as
to not offend anyone. But it IS a journey to
the past. The key idea is… There’s no point in trying to compete with
Turkey or Egypt. They… I’m sorry. When it’s -50 outside,
it’s especially funny. I mean the design and the overall
approach. I think it would be cool if you could
come here and get quality Soviet ritz, and be able to put a record on, take some
old-school… – A record? Like Utyosov?
– Of course. – Gotcha.
– Any of that music. Main thing here is using
records. And in general, having artifacts of the past
that you can interact with. Take some film camera shots. Get the pictures
later by mail. You know, focus on… Or read an
actual book! This place has almost no Internet.
Or none at all? It’s an E. It’s an E down here.
Like on Yamal. So yeah, a paper book, a tape recorder or a record
player. – To make this place…
– Comrades*!
[* Used here as a generic “gentlemen!” address.] Yes? Stop the shouting. Interviewers… We’ll be quiet. [Desk clerk lady]
We’ll be quiet. [Desk clerk lady]
With your interviews… [Desk clerk lady]
Go to bed. Go to bed. We’re going in ten. Artyom Kovalyov is an important member of
Magadan’s artistic intelligentsiya. He works at the local history museum, but believes
his real mission is to explain to everyone that Kolyma is more
than just camps. In his blog, he writes about ways to improve
public spaces in the city, shoots videos to show the country’s
summer splendor, invites us to one day visit the
Jack London Lake — and indeed, it IS amazing — and gifts cards designed
by his wife. [Magadan, the place where you’re at peace]
and gifts cards designed
by his wife. [Magadan, the place where you’re at peace] [Magadan, the city of occasional warmth]
[Magadan, the city visited by whales] [Magadan, the city where everyone has a hat for summer]
It’s actually true about the hat. Even in the history of camps, among horrible suffering,
Artyom looks for acts of heroic creative
work. One day I learned about the composer
Vsevolod Zaderatsky. I came to a museum on the
Night of Museums. [Vsevolod Zaderatsky (1891-1953)]
[Composer, pianist, writer. Taught music to]
[Tsesarevich Alexei. Fought in WWI.]
[Was arrested and sentenced to six years in 1937.]
[Released early, in 1939, after a retrial.]
I came to a museum on the
Night of Museums. [Vsevolod Zaderatsky (1891-1953)]
[Composer, pianist, writer. Taught music to]
[Tsesarevich Alexei. Fought in WWI.]
[Was arrested and sentenced to six years in 1937.]
[Released early, in 1939, after a retrial.]
And I was just strolling around,
looking at things. [Vsevolod Zaderatsky (1891-1953)]
[Composer, pianist, writer. Taught music to]
[Tsesarevich Alexei. Fought in WWI.]
[Was arrested and sentenced to six years in 1937.]
[Released early, in 1939, after a retrial.]
And he piqued my
interest. [Vsevolod Zaderatsky (1891-1953)]
[Composer, pianist, writer. Taught music to]
[Tsesarevich Alexei. Fought in WWI.]
[Was arrested and sentenced to six years in 1937.]
[Released early, in 1939, after a retrial.]
He was a
composer, [Vsevolod Zaderatsky (1891-1953)]
[Composer, pianist, writer. Taught music to]
[Tsesarevich Alexei. Fought in WWI.]
[Was arrested and sentenced to six years in 1937.]
[Released early, in 1939, after a retrial.]
he taught music to Tsesarevich
Alexei. he taught music to Tsesarevich
Alexei. Yes, he was his
teacher. Later events turned out in such a way that he
ended up in Kolyma. And here, in a camp, he composed a whole cycle of
works for the piano, without any instruments, just on
bits of paper. And they basically first played his music
50 years later. He was writing this music for
the eternity. Sure, it’s not simple music. It’s probably not very
accessible for normal people. Without stepping away from the exhibit, I opened iTunes,
and typed “Vsevolod Zaderatsky.” I didn’t have headphones with me, so I held the phone
like that, and listened to it. I was utterly overwhelmed
emotionally. Because that’s… That’s really
heavy. If you bring a few books and download
some TV shows, Talaya Resort can definitely make you forget the
history of this place. Oh, and also if you’re clueless that there’s
an abandoned jail a 15-minute walk away
from it. Initially, they sent some of the most dangerous
criminals here. To this camp. Why does it look like
that? There was a major accident
in 2005. The 300 prisoners that were being
held here were transferred to the south and
to Magadan. What kind of accident? An explosion. The whole camp lost heating
on a cold month. You can tell yourself. The cold is
savage here. It was being built in the
Gulag years. It was put into operation after all
the repressions. So it began to function properly
in late ’50s. – So they didn’t detain anyone here in Stalin times?
– No, they didn’t. It was mostly for dangerous criminals,
as mentioned. – But it’s standard, right?
– Yes, it’s standard. They built these all over
Kolyma. Cells were basically the same
everywhere. They were all like those you
see here. The settlement of
Yagodnoye. Birthplace of Yuri Shevchuk, leader of
the band DDT. His family was deported to Siberia
in the ’30s. Yuri Yulianovich lived here until
he was 7. Our backbone editor
Zhenya and I couldn’t resist the temptation to get a picture
in front of the house where one of the worthiest men in modern
Russia once lived. Today, the settlement’s biggest celebrity
is Ivan Panikarov. He moved here for the gold placers
37 years ago and stayed. After meeting some of the Gulag survivors, he started
to build a memory museum. It’s located in his very
apartment. One room for living. One for the
museum. This is just 20% of everything
I’ve collected. I have a garage. Thankfully, I don’t have a car.
And it’s full. I transferred part of it to the community
center to work there. [Ivan Panikarov]
[Historian, social figure]
I transferred part of it to the community
center to work there. I transferred part of it to the community
center to work there. Part is behind these
doors. It’s my archive. This is the purpose of my
whole life. I want to tell people the
truth. About the negatives and about
the positives. It’s custom to avoid the
good parts. Take the years 1937
through 1939. These were ghastly times down here,
true. The entire history of Kolyma boils down
to those two years. That’s why they call
Kolyma Planet of Death —
or of Bones. There are all sorts of names on
the Internet. You rode — what? — 600 km, was it? And you caught the real winter
with -50, right? Imagine, back then, there were no lights
or roads here. You drove on a road, maybe stopped for
gas along the way. There was nothing. How could you mine for gold here? So you’re asking what’s more important: mining out the gold
or using slave labor? No. Obviously, slave labor is
not a solution. Then the answer is:
you couldn’t. Then the Americans would’ve probably long
since owned us. Though they soon will
anyway. Maybe someone
else will. The thing is… We did win the war, but Kolyma played a very big
role in that. During the war, they mined around 400 tons of
gold in Kolyma. Most of it was used to cover the
Lend-Lease. They moved planes
here. [Lend-Lease was a US federal program that regulated]
[shipments of various goods to Allies during WWII,]
[including ammo, hardware, food, medical equipment]
[and drugs, strategic resources, including oil products]
They moved planes
here. [Lend-Lease was a US federal program that regulated]
[shipments of various goods to Allies during WWII,]
[including ammo, hardware, food, medical equipment]
[and drugs, strategic resources, including oil products]
We, our generation, are very good and
very smart. [Lend-Lease was a US federal program that regulated]
[shipments of various goods to Allies during WWII,]
[including ammo, hardware, food, medical equipment]
[and drugs, strategic resources, including oil products]
Yeah, yeah! We dug these
things up! Yeah, yeah! We dug these
things up! We know how they shot people,
and hanged them, and starved them, and froze
them to death. We know what bastards our fathers and
grandfathers were, right? But we are so good! Visiting journalists, especially those
from Europe, always recoil from Panikarov’s blunt
rhetoric. But don’t think that this man condones
the Gulag and adamantly defends the means used
to conquer Kolyma. It’s a lot more complicated.
Here’s an example. There’s a stereotype about Kolyma that all of its
camps were human grinders. They did all drain the prisoners’
health: many died to starvation and
unendurable labor, but execution by shooting was used sporadically,
usually as punishment. Though a few places WERE basically offices
of Hell on earth, where people were sent specifically
to be killed. One of these camps, called Serpantinka, is a 30-minute
ride away from Yagodnoye. It’s a ghastly place. The horror of 1937
and 1938, when they arrested Berzin
Eduard Petrovich. He was the original head of
Dalstroy. Their plan was to shoot 5,000 of first
category prisoners. Second category meant up to
ten years. Yeah, ten years. They shot here, in
Serpantinka, in the Susuman region at the Maldyak gold field,
and somewhere near Magadan. In Serpantinka… Nobody knows how many were
shot there. In 1991, I went with Svyatoslav Vladimirovich
Timchenko, god rest his soul, he worked for Severnaya Pravda* newspaper,
I worked at a building company,
[* “Northern Truth”] but we bonded over this subject,
and we… Svyatoslav found two former prisoners of Serpantinka, survivors. And so… One of them came over. He told us where
Serpantinka was located. We went there and put a memorial stone
there in May of 1991, despite the district committee of the Party and
everyone else. Yeah, we’re not far from
the glen where the so-called Serpantinka
was located. There were two
ditches. One slightly above the
other. They first lined people up in front of the
first ditch. The second ditch was being
dug in parallel. And the soil shifted in the process was then used to
cover the bodies that fell into the first ditch. A technology if you
will. When the first ditch was full, they started shooting in
front of the second one. There was a settlement nearby,
right? There was. It was called
Khatyngnakh. For a time, it was the center of Northern
Mining Administration. It had geologists, independent
contractors… – So, free people who just…
– Yes, free people who were mining gold. In most cases, by the way, they didn’t know what was
going on here. For the longest time, they didn’t
even suspect. They’d start a tractor at
night to… It’s usually quiet at night, nobody’s working in a
normal settlement. In order to hide the screams and the gunshots,
they’d start several tractors and block out the sound of shootings
this way. What is the Great Terror? This is the name given to the years
1937 and 1938, the bloodiest portion of the political
repressions. In that span, 681 692 people
were executed. The term “Great Terror” was introduced in 1968 by the
British historian Robert Conquest. In our country, this period is usually called
“Yezhovschina,” after the People’s Commissar, then term for minister,
of the USSR Nikolai Yezhov. Yezhov became the head of
NKVD in 1936, but only three years later, he was arrested, charged with
preparing a coup, and executed. Nikolai Yezhov wasn’t
rehabilitated. What are these doors? These are doors from camps
and prisons. It’s our collection of those
doors. This is the introductory exhibit of the
Museum of Gulag History. Some of these doors we brought
from expeditions. Others are gifts from people from the
Federal Penitentiary Service. This door is from Nikolskaya Street, 23,
in Moscow. This was the Military Collegium of the
Supreme Court. In 1937 and 1938, it was the key repression node
of the Great Terror. Military Collegium of the Supreme Court
was the place where they passed sentences. Moreover… It’s called “the Shooting
Building.” And there are actual documents
of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court,
rulings, that say: “Supreme penalty* to be carried out
immediately.”
[* Term for execution in USSR law] When it said “immediately,”
then yeah… I’ve been in this building, saw the cellars,
and… The infrastructure there allowed carrying
out shootings. – And this is the cellar door?
– Yes, it’s the cellar door from that building. Is it actually called
“the Shooting Building?” Yeah, you can google it. It’ll say
“the Shooting Building.” What’s there today? The building is currently privately
owned. And we’ve heard fairly recently that the owner
of the building plans to turn it into a perfume
shop. [As of now, there’s no store on Nikolskaya, 23.]
[The battle rages on. Public organizations]
[and activists have been campaigning for years]
[to open a museum in the building.] Who’s Blokhin? This was a man who wasn’t just involved with all this, but was a
literal executioner. It is said that he is responsible
for thousands of executions performed
personally. And it’s recorded? It is. There are even records of other execution
agents, who said that he had this special little
suitcase that he’d bring to
shootings. In that suitcase, he carried a
special outfit, a leather apron and cuffed
gloves. And this visage would shock even the other
executioners. That was his work
attire. These are recollections of his
co-workers. – Not to get splattered on?
– Yeah. [YAGODNOYE] [SUSUMAN] We’re in the city of
Susuman. [Susuman]
[Temperature: -54 °C]
We’re in the city of
Susuman. [Susuman]
[Temperature: -54 °C]
This is a rare case where you can record a
conversation on a city’s main street, This is a rare case where you can record a
conversation on a city’s main street, because cars pass by once every
several minutes. This is the Young Engineer
Center. Here, school kids learn… They have clubs for aeromodelling,
rocket modelling. In 1986, the head of the Young Engineer Center,
Aleksandr Smirnov, convinced the local authorities to allow the
installation of this cockpit. It was brought from Magadan,
from 700 km away. And it’s stood there
since 1986. Can they enter it from
the building? Yes, of course. It’s a real
cockpit. You enter from the building. You can sit in
the pilot’s chair, check everything out, the buttons —
it’s all working. 20 years ago, Russia was hooked
on heroin. Here’s its modern
version. Loans. “Money for friends.” “Bring friends. Get loans.” Disaster and dismay. The microloan ad is hanging next to Susuman’s
biggest trade center. It’s simple and compact. The Gulag museum is right in
the lobby. Next door to it — a linoleum
store. One man manages both the store and the museum.
His name is Mikhail Shibistiy. [Mikhail Shibistiy]
[Businessman, public figure]
One man manages both the store and the museum.
His name is Mikhail Shibistiy. [Mikhail Shibistiy]
[Businessman, public figure]
I was told you know
Tumanov, [Mikhail Shibistiy]
[Businessman, public figure]
who is known to have been friends with
Vladimir Vysotsky. who is known to have been friends with
Vladimir Vysotsky. Yes. So we can’t help
but ask: what’s your stance on the renaming of the Magadan
airport to Vysotsky Airport? Friends, do not
rename it. Sokol* Airport is a great
name.
[* Falcon] People of Susuman are outraged. How can you
rename it to that? If you want to call the waterfront after Vysotsky
— go ahead. It’s got his statue. I think people remember… He was only here for
two days. How did he come here?
Do you know the story? He was visiting his friend. It was a
short trip. – Rumor has it that he came here randomly.
– Yeah, he did. He saw in the airport that the next flight was to
Magadan, and he just went for it. Is it true? Maybe that’s how he came up with the lyrics:
“I tire of waiting for a flight to Odessa. “I’ll go to Magadan instead.” Maybe.
Who knows? We already mentioned that Susuman is the
hometown of Yefim Shifrin. But buildings like this one only started to appear when
his family was already packing for Latvia. Don’t be surprised by the
tiny legs. That’s normal for permafrost
construction. First time I saw a bath was somewhere
around 1965. [Susumansky Region is our destiny!]
First time I saw a bath was somewhere
around 1965. First time I saw a bath was somewhere
around 1965. A real one. Used for
bathing. – You were nine?
– I was nine. It was the first proper apartment building
in Susuman. My classmate Sasha Misarapyan wanted to show me
their future apartment. And I saw a bath for the
first time. And I thought: why are we moving? We’ll probably have
one too if we move in. And it had both cold and hot water. I’d never heard
about hot water. But Kolyma means
mosquitoes. They’re fierce like Stalin’s
bodyguards. They’re… They’re animals! Those gnats are as big
as birds. You know the joke? “Nurse, get these birds off me.”
They’re huge. What’s the medal for? I came to Myaundzha, picked up a hockey team, and drove them
to Omsukchan. They had a championship
there. – For hockey teams.
– Junior league? Yeah, junior league. So I drove them. They met us, got us settled.
It was nice. Their coach was kinda
wishy-washy. Didn’t have a core, you know?
To whack someone. To yell at the kids to prop up when they
were noodling. I realized I needed to shove the coach
to the side and give the kids a piece of my mind
and my tuition. I went into their changing room, picked up the
goalie’s stick, I think, and went: “Guys, if you lose this one, I’ll whack y’all
stupid with this stick.” They started laughing. I go: “Get your shit together, girls.
‘Cause I swear, “your trip back to Myaundzha is gonna
be a cold one. “No heaters for you. I’m gonna freeze
your asses.” They’d had a fight in the team between the
goalie and the players. They all ganged up on
the poor kid. I said, “Do you realize that if you bully him
before the match…” Like, morally. “You didn’t catch
the puck!” “You shitting me? The fucker’s tiny.
Plus, the speed. “It’s a motherfucker of an ask! It’s not a huge
round ball, is it? “That you blow up on a beach.
‘Go deep!’ “They even drop THOSE! “He’s catching a fucking
puck!” Of course he got
mad. You know, he got offended.
I think. I said: “Guys, let’s put this
behind us. “Let’s be a single, powerful
team.” I noticed the goalie kid perked up, sort of
found some confidence. They got out on the
ice. And the Ust-Omchug team and I also
cheered for them. You know, “Go, guys, go!” They ended up destroying the
other team. It got them the second
place. And when it was time for the
award ceremony, 1st place winners, 2nd place winners —
Myaundzha placed 2nd, they called me onto
the ice. I came up to them. I go, “Give me the cup. I want a
photo with the cup.” And when they were handing out medals, they gave
me one too. There it is. They said, “Because you were like a second coach,
here’s a medal.” Did you get emotional? Well, duh! I mean the guys,
it felt like… I was so worried for them. We really
became buddies. Like a family or something,
you know? It was awesome. One of Kolyma’s biggest attractions is the ghost
city of Kadykchan. Almost 6,000 people used to live and mine
coal here. In 1996, there was an explosion in the mine that killed
several people. The mine was closed. The state began to relocate people, and by 2010, the
town was completely empty. People from all over the world come here to either
check out the ruins or spend a night in one of the
abandoned buildings. But we decided to check
out Myaundzha. [SUSUMAN] [MYAUNDZHA] The hometown of the hockey team so passionately
coached by our driver Antokha. Myaundzha is 15 km away from
Kadykchan. And you can still witness here how exactly
life leaves Kolyma. There are still people here, but there are also
abandoned streets like this one. – Is this your town?
– Yes, it’s my home. Why does this particular street has empty houses and a
community center in such a shape? A lot of settlements become thinner by the day.
People are leaving. Environment gets rougher.
Nature retakes ground. When I was leaving, there was a tree growing on
the roof of one of the buildings. [Myaundzha settlement]
[Temperature: -52 °C]
When I was leaving, there was a tree growing on
the roof of one of the buildings. When I was leaving, there was a tree growing on
the roof of one of the buildings. When I was visiting this summer, there was a
forest on the fifth floor. Your mom and sister moved to
Gelendzhik. – Yes.
– But you stayed. Even though your hometown is
not doing well. I’m not urging — just asking: why do you stay? Because despite all this
post-Apocalypse, I love the place of my birth,
I love this country, and I want it to flourish instead of what’s
happening now. Is there a chance it will
flourish? There’s a hope.
I’m hopeful. There are no evident
indicators… – …logical premises. Yeah, there’s no logic to the idea why it will all
suddenly become great. But I have this hope that things will
change. There are no restaurants in
Myaundzha, and we’ve got 320 km of road
ahead, which translates to 5 – 6 hours with
local speeds. We didn’t have a place to unpack our
supplies and snack, so the local sports center treated us the way you
SHOULD treat travelers in a scrape: they not only let us in, but also offered one
of their offices, so we could unpack our sausages,
and cheeses, and other supplies and have a
peaceful lunch. Russian North. Tell us where
we are. We’re in the sports and health
center. It’s not in this picture,
right? It’s, yeah, it’s somewhere in the
back there. It’s probably the best place
in town. It has a pool. It has sports
rooms. You can play football, basketball… It has a sauna,
a gym, table tennis, and so on. It’s our locus of
pull. Basically, a place where you can escape the
cold and boredom. When I was a kid and went
to school, at least every Friday, we’d come here to swim
and play sports, then come out, hop on the bus in -50 and
go home. Or -40. Those are some of my fondest
childhood memories. The Internet’s slow,
right? – The Internet’s slow…
– Does anyone have wi-fi at home? I think some people do, but it’s more about whether the access is
limited or unlimited. The Internet is generally
bad here. If we had fast and reasonably
priced Internet, life would’ve probably been
more fun. According to various sources, five to eight thousand
people have left Kolyma. [Yakutsk]
[Room temperature]
According to various sources, five to eight thousand
people have left Kolyma. [Yakutsk]
[Room temperature]
– Five to eight thousand.
– In one year? – Five to eight thousand.
– In one year? Yes. With overall population of…
140 – 150 thousand? The city* has 98 thousand.
Maybe even…
[* Note: They are talking about Magadan, not Yakutsk.] – And Kolyma combined?
– Kolyma combined is around 146 thousand. These are huge numbers.
Huge. It’s the high prices. The prices with local
salaries… The average salary in Kolyma, well, in Magadan,
is 30 thousand*.
[* $460 in 2019] Tomatoes cost 550 rubles
per kilogram. Cucumbers… All produce is
really expensive. Take any other city. The average
salary may be a bit lower, but produce is
a lot cheaper. Life there is easier in that
regard. And if you’re someone with two kids, own or rent
a flat, pay utility — you’re drained dry. What are your plans? Do you intend to live
here your whole life? No, I’m definitely not spending
my life here, because, first of all, I can’t see a future
for my kids here. I think we need to move somewhere
warmer, like Krasnodar Krai. First of all, if you move to live
in Krasnodar, in a way, you live on
vacation. You don’t need to save up money
for tickets to simply go to the sea, to somewhere
like Gelendzhik. I can even name the top three cities where people
move from Magadan. They’re Belgorod, Krasnodar, and
Saint Petersburg, probably. There are lot of immigrants from Magadan
in those cities. There’s a whole streets of people from Magadan
in Belgorod. Why Belgorod? I think the atmosphere and the climate
suit a lot of people. It’s true. People are leaving
Magadan. Do you want to leave
too? I plan to, yes. I plan to. I’d even say
I want to move from Magadan. I think of going to
Petersburg. It’s clear as day. It’s a very beautiful city with a lot
of opportunities, where you find cool new things to do on
every corner. When your pals hear about this,
won’t they say: “Boo! You’re betraying Magadan!
You’re betraying home!”? Some will support me.
Some might say that. I mean, you have to also consider the
way they live. Some of my friends are completely
content. He’s got mortgages to pay, loans to pay,
stuff like that, no weekends, and he likes living like
that. He says: “I love Magadan! I really like it!
It’s incredible!” I don’t get that. There are reasons to love the city, but people mostly
love this place for its nature. But we don’t live in the
forest. Maybe 15 – 20% are hunters or
fishermen. The rest are your normal working folks.
I mean… So I don’t get it when people say:
“This place is great. “I wouldn’t change a thing.
It’s perfect.” I don’t get these people. I don’t even want to
hear their opinion. And there are those who will say: “Dude, you got the
right idea. Bolt while you’re young.” Things should’ve been done earlier to retain
young people. Right now, I don’t see any prospects that’d make
young people want to stay. Do you plan to leave
Kolyma? Not today. – What about tomorrow?
– Not tomorrow either. I don’t rule out the possibility. [Artur Fyodorov]
[Our Kolyma guide]
[He was the one eating ice cream in -55 cold]
I don’t rule out the possibility. [Artur Fyodorov]
[Our Kolyma guide]
[He was the one eating ice cream in -55 cold]
I mean, time will tell. I mean, time will tell. I might leave because of
my parents. I might leave with my kids in
order to get them into college. My son’s 13. So it’s gonna be
pretty soon. What does HE say? Does he want to go to
Moscow or Petersburg? Drop sick rhymes and make
vlogs? Yes. He wants to. He’s not comfortable
here. He sees what life’s like elsewhere.
It’s different. He’s tired of the cold. Do people of Kolyma feel separated
from Russia? I think so. I mean, there’s even the expression
“to go to mainland.” We feel like we’re on
an island. The only way off this quote unquote island
is by plane. Of course we feel
separated. Okay, not the only
way. There’s the highway.
Kolyma Highway. But in summer it gets washed
out. You can barely drive
on it. Some do, but you risk to kill
your chassis or, God forbid, get stuck
somewhere. So few drive themselves. Most save up. So yeah, a lot of people
feel that they’re separated from
normal life. You go there on vacation and
you see: there’s this convenience,
that convenience, and you got that building,
and this thing, and there’s quality
service… You come back to Magadan —
there’s none of that. I think we shouldn’t abandon
this place. A lot of people took offense and felt left behind,
and decided to leave. That’s not my path,
personally. My mission, as I see it, is to work things out and do
everything I can on my level. When you abandon a place,
this happens. “On that day, kolkhoz workers brought their entire
families to the village post office. “A short and simple address on the
telegraph form: “Moscow, Kremlin, for comrade
Stalin. “From these lines, Joseph Vissarionovich
will learn “that agronomist Maltsev’s family also
wishes him “happiness, health, and a long
life. “Threads not only of telegraph
lines “but also invisible threads of spiritual
bonds “stretch out from country’s every corner
to Moscow, to Kremlin, “where Stalin lives and
works. “An endless flood of letters and telegrams is
headed for Kremlin. “Put together, they become a tremendously
insightful, “beautiful and majestic narrative poem
about life, “happiness, the heroism of Soviet
people, “and their eternal love for
their Vozhd*.”
[Lit. “leader, chief.” Used exclusively]
[for certain Soviet leaders.] He wrote a letter to
Stalin. He wrote a detailed letter to Stalin from the
Novocherkassk prison. But obviously it didn’t reach
him. Most likely. But he didn’t believe that
Stalin was involved in his
situation. He probably didn’t
believe it. But YOU know that Stalin was aware of
everything, right? Of course Stalin was aware. Stalin was definitely
aware of everything. But there was this mania about
spies. A mania that there was the threat
of spies. That wreckers were
everywhere. That there were counter-revolutionaries
and so on. It was terrible. However, when Stalin
died, [Stalin died on March 5, 1953, at age 74]
However, when Stalin
died, [Stalin died on March 5, 1953, at age 74]
my father wrote these
words, [Stalin died on March 5, 1953, at age 74]
I mention them in my
book: I mention them in my
book: “Our comrade Stalin
is dead.” He doesn’t say “dear” or
“beloved,” but plainly: “Our comrade Stalin
is dead.” He took this loss very hard.
Very hard. Oh, so it wasn’t
ironic? Our family took it very
hard too. Everybody cried, literally. I remember this time
very clearly. In March of 1953, I was already studying at
an institute. We all wanted to go and bid our
farewells to Stalin. Literally everyone was
crying. Every single person
was crying. Mom was crying. Grandma was
crying. We were all crying. We didn’t know what would
become of us, because Stalin was God, literally God,
at the time. How do you feel about
Joseph Stalin? Wonderful. Wonderful. Despite the fact
that my father was repressed and illegally
imprisoned, when… It was his word. He taught us that Stalin
was great. – Your father did?
– He won the war. And when he and his friends gathered
to drink, they’d drink and they’d always drink
to Stalin. There was always a toast
to Stalin. This was in the ’70s
and the ’80s, when he was alive. How do you
explain it? He caused him… He basically changed
his whole life. And not necessarily for
the better. You know, my understanding is that it
wasn’t Stalin. I mean, there were a lot of
people executing those orders. It wasn’t Stalin himself, but the people who… The others. For some reason he believed that Stalin
was great. Stalin won the war. Stalin rebuilt the country. Stalin probably was an
ideal. And you see, nevertheless,
people consider Stalin a winner and
a hero. Not a tyrant, not a… Just to clarify: that’s not just your father;
you believe that too? Yes. Yes. This name was never uttered at
our home. Ever. It was like a swear
word. We never said it. Because Stalin… I grew up with the knowledge that he’s
a monster. That he…
That this man… You know what else played
a role? These books came out. I learned to
read early. And this green or blue
book, Documents of the 20th and 22nd
Congresses, I almost wore it out reading it, because it was a
crime novel. [On the 20th Congress of the Communist Party]
[in February of 1956, Nikita Khruschev presented]
[a report about Stalin’s crimes to Soviet people]
I almost wore it out reading it, because it was a
crime novel. [On the 20th Congress of the Communist Party]
[in February of 1956, Nikita Khruschev presented]
[a report about Stalin’s crimes to Soviet people]
Those weren’t Brezhnev’s dry reports that you
couldn’t bear to read. Those weren’t Brezhnev’s dry reports that you
couldn’t bear to read. About these… Reports that everything’s
great. Just boring nonsense not
for kids. This was the Count of
Monte Cristo! ‘Cause Khruschev was exposing
people. There were names! Lyosha Svanidze, his final words. [Alexander Svanidze (1886-1941), friend of Stalin]
[and brother of his first wife. Arrested in 1937.]
[Charged with wrecking, Trotskyism, spying for Germany.]
[Shot on August 20, 1941. Before his execution,]
[he was offered a pardon if he apologized to Stalin,]
[but Svanidze replied: “Apologize for what? I didn’t commit]
[any crimes.” Rehabilitated posthumously in 1956.]
Lyosha Svanidze, his final words. [Alexander Svanidze (1886-1941), friend of Stalin]
[and brother of his first wife. Arrested in 1937.]
[Charged with wrecking, Trotskyism, spying for Germany.]
[Shot on August 20, 1941. Before his execution,]
[he was offered a pardon if he apologized to Stalin,]
[but Svanidze replied: “Apologize for what? I didn’t commit]
[any crimes.” Rehabilitated posthumously in 1956.]
How Kirov was assassinated. [Alexander Svanidze (1886-1941), friend of Stalin]
[and brother of his first wife. Arrested in 1937.]
[Charged with wrecking, Trotskyism, spying for Germany.]
[Shot on August 20, 1941. Before his execution,]
[he was offered a pardon if he apologized to Stalin,]
[but Svanidze replied: “Apologize for what? I didn’t commit]
[any crimes.” Rehabilitated posthumously in 1956.]
It was better than Monte Cristo, [Alexander Svanidze (1886-1941), friend of Stalin]
[and brother of his first wife. Arrested in 1937.]
[Charged with wrecking, Trotskyism, spying for Germany.]
[Shot on August 20, 1941. Before his execution,]
[he was offered a pardon if he apologized to Stalin,]
[but Svanidze replied: “Apologize for what? I didn’t commit]
[any crimes.” Rehabilitated posthumously in 1956.]
because my dad was involved in all of that. [Alexander Svanidze (1886-1941), friend of Stalin]
[and brother of his first wife. Arrested in 1937.]
[Charged with wrecking, Trotskyism, spying for Germany.]
[Shot on August 20, 1941. Before his execution,]
[he was offered a pardon if he apologized to Stalin,]
[but Svanidze replied: “Apologize for what? I didn’t commit]
[any crimes.” Rehabilitated posthumously in 1956.]
I mean, my dad, he!.. I mean, my dad, he!.. I don’t know if could pronounce the word
“rehabilitated” at the time, [Sergey Kirov (1886-1934) was a high ranking official in]
[Leningrad and one of Stalin’s closest allies.]
[Assassinated on Dec 1, 1934, in Smolny Institute.]
I don’t know if could pronounce the word
“rehabilitated” at the time, [Sergey Kirov (1886-1934) was a high ranking official in]
[Leningrad and one of Stalin’s closest allies.]
[Assassinated on Dec 1, 1934, in Smolny Institute.]
I probably learned to
immediately. [Sergey Kirov (1886-1934) was a high ranking official in]
[Leningrad and one of Stalin’s closest allies.]
[Assassinated on Dec 1, 1934, in Smolny Institute.]
This automatically made my dad like
everyone else. This automatically made my dad like
everyone else. And… The whole settlement was
like that. There were some free contractors
too though. But you know… Regarding Stalin…
I still argue on Facebook sometimes with some
stubborn people, but I realize it’s like talking about God with a
religious person. I don’t possess the gift
of the gab. I’m an atheist. I think he was the tyrant of
tyrants. And my opinion about him is strictly
negative. I went on vacation this
year and visited Rzhev. They have a Stalin Museum
there. [Rzhev is a town in Tver Oblast where some of the]
[most violent battles of the Eastern Front took place.]
[There is a Stalin house museum in the settlement of]
[Khoroshevo near Rzhev. Stalin spent one night in]
[that house on his way to the front in August of 1943.]
They have a Stalin Museum
there. [Rzhev is a town in Tver Oblast where some of the]
[most violent battles of the Eastern Front took place.]
[There is a Stalin house museum in the settlement of]
[Khoroshevo near Rzhev. Stalin spent one night in]
[that house on his way to the front in August of 1943.]
A house
museum. [Rzhev is a town in Tver Oblast where some of the]
[most violent battles of the Eastern Front took place.]
[There is a Stalin house museum in the settlement of]
[Khoroshevo near Rzhev. Stalin spent one night in]
[that house on his way to the front in August of 1943.]
I didn’t even
enter it. [Rzhev is a town in Tver Oblast where some of the]
[most violent battles of the Eastern Front took place.]
[There is a Stalin house museum in the settlement of]
[Khoroshevo near Rzhev. Stalin spent one night in]
[that house on his way to the front in August of 1943.]
For some reason, I didn’t want to even cross
that threshold. For some reason, I didn’t want to even cross
that threshold. He’s guilty of many
things. Many things. But Stalin wore kirza boots, or box calf boots, and
overcoats his whole life. And never had a
vacation. I’m not saying it’s a good
thing, no… They say it’s a
myth about kirza boots. He lived quite
luxuriously. Well, God forbid he’d have lived like
I do now. But you mentioned kirza
boots. – Well yeah, yeah.
– But now you agree that it wasn’t so. He lived in luxury. Well, I won’t respond to that,
okay? – So you believe that…
– I don’t support him, okay? But if I start mentioning the good
things… At the Memorial in Moscow, I always end up
arguing with people. You mention one good thing, they go:
“Oh, you “approve of the past, you support
Stalin.” No, without supporting — what are some of the good
things that he did in your opinion? I won’t argue with you
on that. It’s hard off the
top… The BAD things are obvious. We know them
since childhood. The Gulag, the shootings,
starving people. But if I bluntly say that he won
the war… “He didn’t win the war!
The people did!” Of course it was the
people. But the fact that going into battle, people cried:
“For motherland! For Stalin!” — that’s unimportant,
right? That doesn’t count as an…
upside? Or what would you call it?
I don’t know. But you may respond
that between the bad and the good that
he did, the bad outweighs. Of course, I agree with
that. But we shouldn’t forget the good
things. – But you agree that the bad outweighs the good?
– Of course! What do you, after all these years, think of
Joseph Stalin? You personally. Not your father.
You. You know, it’s very hard
to tell, because to all of us, Stalin was
literally God. Of course, after the 20th Congress
of the Party, where Khruschev revealed all the crimes that
had been committed, it’s very hard to judge these
things. There were a lot of good
things. But the repressions were obviously
horrible. It was horrible, because so many
people died. Thank God, my father wasn’t
one of them. It was incredible
fortune that fate protected him,
you know? But many people died, and it was
horrible. And I think Stalin must have known
these things. But he did a lot of good
things too. For example, under Stalin, we had stronger
discipline, more resilient, better
discipline. Then the fact that Stalin didn’t abandon
Moscow when the enemies, the Nazis, were literally
behind Moscow’s walls. He even held a parade on the
Red Square. It’s hard to judge. I condemn him, of course I do, for those
horrible repressions. He couldn’t have not known about them.
He absolutely knew. But megalomania and persecutory delusion did
follow him everywhere. What do people in your museum think of
Joseph Stalin? I’d say, people are basically divided into two camps
based on their opinions. Some genuinely praise
him, because the man — kind of —
won the war. This is the first thing they say, and one I disagree
with completely. Why? Who won the
war? The Soviet nation won the war.
People won the war. [Total number of USSR citizens who died]
[fighting on the Eastern Front: 27 million]
The Soviet nation won the war.
People won the war. [Total number of USSR citizens who died]
[fighting on the Eastern Front: 27 million]
Some support my
viewpoint. [Total number of USSR citizens who died]
[fighting on the Eastern Front: 27 million]
Others even say
things like: [Total number of USSR citizens who died]
[fighting on the Eastern Front: 27 million]
“Let’s not discuss this. There were far
worse people. “Let’s not discuss this. There were far
worse people. “Why always Stalin? “Why not Beria or
Yezhov?” Because Stalin was the Supreme
Commander. He is fully responsible for everyone who
died here. That’s it. I heard that the President of the Academy of Sciences
Alexandrov once said something during the celebration of Cosmonautics
Day that left a great impression on me. Anatoly Petrovich Alexandrov was the President of the
Academy of Sciences after Keldush. He said, “If our rocket engineers and our military leaders
hadn’t been arrested, then there may have not been a
war at all — at least it would not have been as
long and costly.” You see, these words
shook me, because obviously Sergey Pavlovich and other
arrested rocket engineers would’ve done much more to help
their motherland if they didn’t waste so much time
toiling in Kolyma. You know what Stalinists are at
their core? They’re… formalists. They only care
about numbers. They count and recount,
and recount. They think that if they lower the number of
victims to some acceptable threshold, it’s somehow gonna
make it okay. “After all, some of them WERE
criminals.” There were. There probably
were. But what is a “political criminal?” Is it bad
enough for prison? – You cannot convince them.
– But the numbers are huge regardless. They’re gonna appear on the screen now.
But they’re huge. [From 1930 to 1958 Gulag processed]
[20 000 000 prisoners.]
[2 000 000 of them died.]
They’re gonna appear on the screen.
But they’re huge. [From 1930 to 1958 Gulag processed]
[20 000 000 prisoners.]
[2 000 000 of them died.]
They’ll say they’re
incorrect. [From 1930 to 1958 Gulag processed]
[20 000 000 prisoners.]
[2 000 000 of them died.]
– “Incorrect,” huh?
– They’ll say they’re fabricated by the liberals. – “Incorrect,” huh?
– They’ll say they’re fabricated by the liberals. They’ll say Yakovlev and the Perestroika crowd
made them up. They’ll say it’s all Jewish fairy
tales. They’ll find what to
reply. But you cannot budge
them. You can push with all you’ve got, but he’ll
remain a Stalinist, and on March 5, he’ll go to his grave,
not Prokofiev’s, [The great Soviet composer Sergei Prokofiev]
[died on the same day as Stalin, March 5, 1953.]
and on March 5, he’ll go to his grave,
not Prokofiev’s, [The great Soviet composer Sergei Prokofiev]
[died on the same day as Stalin, March 5, 1953.]
to bring his lousy
carnations. to bring his lousy
carnations. Problem is, there were barbarians in
offices too. And he didn’t know. For example, does Vladimir Vladimirovich (Putin) know
what’s going on in Kolyma? He says we should open hospitals
in villages, but the one in Sinegorye is
closing down. How is this possible? Who’s guilty? – Not him?
– Not him. Duh. Who is? I don’t know. I’m trying to
find out. Stalin coordinated literal genocide in
our country. We hate this word, but how else do
you call it? When you consider 1938,
1948, and, right before he took a dirt nap,
1952 or whatever. Those were peaks of
repressions. Could this story repeat? What, you think history gives
immunity? A rake can hide in the grass so well, you’ll step
on it once, twice… History only teaches that you
have to learn to make it out,
but nobody does. Cyrus, Artaxerxes, Peter I — what about
them? They’re figures etched into history as people
who changed the world. Stalin changed the world
in a way. First off, he halved it… Okay, the number crowd will
get mad. First off, he considerably
reduced it. Second, he changed the map
of the world. Not Lenin. All Lenin did was light up
the flames of world revolution. While the one-sixth-of-all-land territory
is Stalin’s work. He’s the gatherer of
lands. You ask if it could happen again.
At any moment. History is very fickle. Despite the letter to the Congress, warning all the
party members [Lenin’s letter read out by his wife Krupskaya in 1924]
[in front of the Congress of the Communist Party.]
[Includes evaluations of closest allies. It describes Stalin]
[as a person who “has accumulated incredible power in]
[their hands, and I am not sure if they’ll always be able]
[to utilize said power carefully.” Initially, Stalin announced]
[his resignation from the office of General Secretary]
[(held from April 3, 1922), but members of the Party set]
[up a vote. Stalin got the majority and kept the office.]
Despite the letter to the Congress, warning all the
party members [Lenin’s letter read out by his wife Krupskaya in 1924]
[in front of the Congress of the Communist Party.]
[Includes evaluations of closest allies. It describes Stalin]
[as a person who “has accumulated incredible power in]
[their hands, and I am not sure if they’ll always be able]
[to utilize said power carefully.” Initially, Stalin announced]
[his resignation from the office of General Secretary]
[(held from April 3, 1922), but members of the Party set]
[up a vote. Stalin got the majority and kept the office.]
that this person could not be put in charge of
anything at all, [Lenin’s letter read out by his wife Krupskaya in 1924]
[in front of the Congress of the Communist Party.]
[Includes evaluations of closest allies. It describes Stalin]
[as a person who “has accumulated incredible power in]
[their hands, and I am not sure if they’ll always be able]
[to utilize said power carefully.” Initially, Stalin announced]
[his resignation from the office of General Secretary]
[(held from April 3, 1922), but members of the Party set]
[up a vote. Stalin got the majority and kept the office.]
in 1922, Stalin eagerly began his experiment
with the country. [Lenin’s letter read out by his wife Krupskaya in 1924]
[in front of the Congress of the Communist Party.]
[Includes evaluations of closest allies. It describes Stalin]
[as a person who “has accumulated incredible power in]
[their hands, and I am not sure if they’ll always be able]
[to utilize said power carefully.” Initially, Stalin announced]
[his resignation from the office of General Secretary]
[(held from April 3, 1922), but members of the Party set]
[up a vote. Stalin got the majority and kept the office.] [Lenin’s letter read out by his wife Krupskaya in 1924]
[in front of the Congress of the Communist Party.]
[Includes evaluations of closest allies. It describes Stalin]
[as a person who “has accumulated incredible power in]
[their hands, and I am not sure if they’ll always be able]
[to utilize said power carefully.” Initially, Stalin announced]
[his resignation from the office of General Secretary]
[(held from April 3, 1922), but members of the Party set]
[up a vote. Stalin got the majority and kept the office.]
When I hear “effective manager” and
“industrialization,” When I hear “effective manager” and
“industrialization,” my counterarguments
dry up, because I immediately think of the
price of all of it. The price! I mean, you can build a factory one way or you
can build it by killing… They say, “What about Peter I?” Peter I had no effect on my
life at all. I got a 46-year-old
dad. It hurt to lose him. Because at that age, people become
grandpas. I wanted a young dad. Many prisoners and their relatives
were certain: “Stalin didn’t know what was happening
in the camps.” Didn’t he though? Stalin knew absolutely everything about the repression
system as a whole and the Gulag in particular and personally signed execution
lists. In fact, it was Stalin who steered the evolution
of the camp system. For example, in 1939, on Stalin’s
proposal, Gulag canceled its early parole
system. As a result, prisoner conditions suddenly became
a lot rougher. On Stalin’s orders, speculation offenders were
forbidden amnesty release. 20 years of katorga labor were introduced
as punishment for escape from places of forced
settlement. Here are some more documents signed
by Stalin himself. [List of people set for trial by the Military]
[Collegium of the Supreme Court in]
[Ordzhonikidze Krai. Stalin put a mark “in favor.”]
Here are some more documents signed
by Stalin himself. [List of people set for trial by the Military]
[Collegium of the Supreme Court in]
[Ordzhonikidze Krai. Stalin put a mark “in favor.”] [List of people set for trial by the Military]
[Collegium of the Supreme Court.]
[Stalin’s mark: “in favor.”] [Name list where Stalin crossed out Yenukidze]
[and wrote: “Not yet.”] [1st category (shooting) name list]
[for Moscow. Stalin’s mark: “in favor.”] [Cipher message to Stalin from Kalinin (Tver)]
[requesting permission to judge 1,500 more kulaks*]
[as 1st category (shooting). Stalin’s mark: “in favor.”]
[* Wealthy peasants resisting collectivization] Where does the idea of overzealous
subordinates come from? That Stalin didn’t know. It’s not so much an
opinion… There was a myth that
Stalin… When people were being arrested
at the time, there are recollections of
them saying: “Please, inform comrade Stalin!
Stalin doesn’t know!” Even upon release, leaving camps,
many were convinced that Stalin didn’t know about
this business. As someone who studied psychology,
I read this as: the country, after the Revolution,
after… the Great Purge, after all the repressions,
after the war, it was orphaned, both literally and
figuratively. The literal part is that
fathers, brothers, grandfathers,
uncles went to camps, to the front,
were shot. The country was
orphaned. And Stalin’s figure became a
father figure who won the war,
and facilitated… Propaganda played a huge role in
that too. And probably does to
this day. So this kind of conceived
this holy… – Image.
– Image, yeah. And the myth. I think that’s where it
comes from. The rest is excuses. Things don’t add up, so the mind comes up with
explanations and says: “No, it’s falsification.” Or: “It never happened.”
Or: “Stalin didn’t know.” And many other counter-arguments and
forms of denial. Less than half of Kolyma Highway is located
in Magadan Oblast. A larger portion of this road is bound to the cold
soil of Yakutia. To physically experience the scale of
our country, at least once in your lifetime, you gotta visit
Yakutia specifically. You may have seen this infographic showing which
countries could fit on its territory. To make it even clearer: Yakutia is larger
than Kazakhstan, larger than Argentina, and almost as large
as India. If Yakutia was its own country, it would’ve been the
eighth largest in the world by territory. In short: wow! The food place that everyone in these
parts knows. At least one thing makes the wonderfully
named café Cuba famous: for over 200 km that way and
200 km that way, there’s not a single opportunity to get warm
and have a bite. But you have that opportunity
here. Is it made up that Tom Hardy
stopped by here? They were passing by — either advertising
cars or just traveling. [Tom Hardy is an English actor]
[Venom, The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max, RocknRolla]
They were passing by — either advertising
cars or just traveling. [Tom Hardy is an English actor]
[Venom, The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max, RocknRolla]
It was called A Trip to Siberia, or Extremes, or Hardened in Siberia. It was called A Trip to Siberia, or Extremes, or Hardened in Siberia. Can’t remember the exact name. But they were
filming this thing. [Sergey]
[President of Cuba]
Can’t remember the exact name. But they were
filming this thing. Can’t remember the exact name. But they were
filming this thing. Did he try venison
goulash? Sure did. They ate in
the café. – Were they amazed?
– Didn’t complain. Did any of the visitors recognized
them? I didn’t even recognize him
at first. “Tom Hardy.” “Tom Hardy.”
It’s like… “It’s a guy from across
the ocean.” I knew his face. From movies
and stuff. But I never bothered to remember his name.
Then I learned it. Cool! This is our anti-vandalism
device. They laid a new optical cable recently,
for Internet, right? [Samples of optical cables]
[They don’t have copper or other precious metals]
[Composition: kevlar, optical glass, lead, plastic]
They laid a new optical cable recently,
for Internet, right? They laid a new optical cable recently,
for Internet, right? Is that it running next to
the highway? Yeah. It runs from Yakutsk to Magadan.
It’s a test cable. As you know, we’ve got our share of precious
metal enthusiasts. So we put up samples to show that it’s just kevlar and
glass inside, no useful metals. Simply to prevent people from stealing it and
trying to sell it. So you made this
display? Yeah. To show to “interested”
people. If it stops two out of ten, that’s a
win already. Why is the café called
Cuba? There was a settlement nearby
called Kyubume. People said “reached Cuba.” It was shortened
from Kyubume. – Right.
– The village Kyubume. And the place was called Cuba.
For short. What does Kyubume mean? There was
something pretty… I don’t know. “Valley of Death”
or something. Everyone translates
differently. – Real pretty!
– I don’t know exactly. But it doesn’t mean something good.
So there you go. People said “Cuba” for
short. Then it turned out that “kouba” means
“swan” in Yakut, so it’s pretty in local
tongue too. Anyway, it’s a bunch of stuff smashed together,
and it works. – There’s a lot of bears here.
– In summer, yes. The funniest thing was when we were driving
the Poles, on the stretch from Tomtor to
Oymyakon. There was road construction. And there was a Yakut
driver from Tomtor on the bulldozer. He was spreading the gravel
dumped on the site. And this bear would…
He showed up, and he liked the tractor or maybe the
tractor’s driver, so he would sit down on his ass ten meters away from
the bulldozer and watch it work. For real, he’d sit down — just like
a person. – Like a child.
– Yeah. He was just curious, so he’d stay and watch. But it wasn’t as fun for the
bulldozer guy. No biggie if you wanna piss. Open the door and piss
standing on the tracks. But there are things more serious and complicated in
this life than taking a leak. They ended up evacuating
the guy and just leaving the tractor there
for a while. In fact, they froze it. It stayed there
the whole winter. But this was a story that I’d heard.
I didn’t believe it. So when we were driving the Poles, we found
the tractor, and there was a fucking bear sitting and staring
at the tractor. I was blown away. Like, holy crap,
it’s true. He wasn’t a big bear. An adolescent.
Maybe five years old. – A teenager.
– Yeah, yeah. Like a teenager. They’re curious about
things. – Do you like living here?
– Yes. – I like living here.
– Why? I was born and raised here. I dig local
freedom. Nature, fishing. I love it. Though I could move abroad. I’ve family
abroad. – You’re German.
– I’m ethnically German. But I won’t go there. I won’t be
able to adapt. Why? I have a different kind of wit to me.
I don’t know. They lack our Russian
raspizdiaystvo*.
[* Obscene yet funny word that means “carelessness”] Like… You know what I mean,
right? They got it all very
strict. I love visiting and seeing my
relatives, but going there to stay — I know it’s not for me.
I won’t even try. I won’t be able to live
there. We are in Oymyakon, the coldest place
in our country. [UST-NERA]
We are in Oymyakon, the coldest place
in our country. We are in Oymyakon, the coldest place
in our country. [OYMYAKON]
We are in Oymyakon, the coldest place
in our country. -71.2 °C. [Oymyakom – The Cold Pole]
-71.2 °C. [Oymyakom – The Cold Pole]
It’s been this cold once. But today,
it’s MUCH warmer. It’s been this cold once. But today,
it’s MUCH warmer. Let’s enjoy it! [Oymyakon]
[Temperature: -47 °C] Just a minute! I forgot to take the
earrings off. [Tamara Vasilyeva]
[Citizen of honor of the Oymyakon Ulus]
Just a minute! I forgot to take the
earrings off. [Tamara Vasilyeva]
[Citizen of honor of the Oymyakon Ulus]
It’s cold outside. [Tamara Vasilyeva]
[Citizen of honor of the Oymyakon Ulus]
They’re metal. You can easily freeze
your ears. They’re metal. You can easily freeze
your ears. We, Yakut women, usually wear hats with ear
covers in winter. Then you can wear earrings. But this way, they’ll quickly
get cold, and you can freeze your ears. That’s why short hat means earrings
stay at home. A lady from India came last year
to swim. – An Indian woman?
– Yes. – Swam in unfrozen…
– In Indigirka, yes. We have warm water coming up from
the earth, and even -60 °C ice can’t
close it. We have open spots like that in
Indigirka. You had Miss Vietnam
over? Yes. She was celebrating the New Year with
her boyfriend. Her boyfriend is a photographer from
Saint Petersburg. He invited her for New Year
and gave her, as a sort of a present, a journey to
the Cold Pole. They celebrated the New Year
here. There was another couple, though they were
older people, and he proposed to her at the
stela. – Where were they from?
– They were… Austrians. – Austria?
– Yeah. – Did she say yes?
– She did! They even later sent a wedding
invitation. – To you?
– Yes. There is a settlement of Tomtor an hour ride
away from Oymyakon. This is where writer Varlam Shalamov’s
deportation ended. He spent 15 years in Kolyma and was one step away
from death multiple times, but caring doctors brought him
back every time. When Shalamov was hospitalized for the
second time, they didn’t just save him, but also trained
him to be a feldsher. He began to work in different Kolyma
settlements. Shalamov continued doing it for two years after the
end of his sentence, because he needed money to buy a ticket
to the mainland. The reason he spent his last years in
Tomtor specifically is because it had the only post office for
hundreds of miles away. Correspondence, particularly with
Boris Pasternak, was Shalamov’s connection to the
free world. You know, they’d often ask me, especially the
foreign journalists: was Sergey Pavlovich
proud? And how did he feel about his
country after it treated him so
cruelly? He was a patriot of his country in every
sense of the word. His pride wasn’t about getting praised for
something, but rather to have the first satellite
be ours, to have the first person in space
be a Russian, to have the first EVA performed by
our cosmonaut. Ours. He was a patriot of his
country. As proof of that, I can
tell you what he wrote when I was about
to turn 18. This was April 5, 1953. I was born on April 10. He was at the Kapustin Yar launch site
at the time. On April 10, 1953,
I turned 18. [Kapustin Yar is a rocket launch]
[site in Astrakhan Oblast]
On April 10, 1953,
I turned 18. On April 10, 1953,
I turned 18. He wrote: “Natasha, in a few days, you will attain
the age of majority. “You’ll have the full right to consider
yourself an adult. “I wholeheartedly congratulate you
on this day “and wish you to become a worthy citizen of
our great motherland. “Despite all the hardships we endured in
the previous years, “our motherland didn’t stop caring for you
even for a moment. “No matter how hard it got, you grew
and you studied, “and your life was bright. “Always remember that. “And always love our people and the land
you grew up on. “I wish you that in everything and
for all time.” I told the same to my grandchildren when
they turned 18. Those were words of a true
patriot. He loved his country probably more
than anyone. We reached our final destination, Yakutsk,
after sundown, [MAGADAN → YAKUTSK]
We reached our final destination, Yakutsk,
after sundown, We reached our final destination, Yakutsk,
after sundown, so we couldn’t capture the greatest tragedy of this place
— crossing the river Lena. But you can look up
pictures. Yakutsk is a large, 300,000-strong,
city, cut off from all Russian roads, most importantly
— from Kolyma Highway. In winter, people cross it either in their own cars
or in a hovercraft. In summer — by ferry. But when the ice
is already too thin, and the ferry isn’t running yet, Yakutsk
lives in isolation. In part, because all the attention, energy, and money
are put into the other bridge. The Crimean one. You said the country was soaked with
fear back then. Do you see any legacy of this fear in
Russian people today? By Russian people I mean all
the republics. No. Your generation is completely free
of that fear. I know that. But in me, it’s alive
and kicking. How does it show? In many ways.
I worry. That you’d get into trouble or blurt
something out? Like, yesterday I said… No, not yesterday.
The other day. On Pust Govoriat,* when they all started clamoring,
the episode was about me,
[* “Let Them Talk.” A talk show.] I said: “You’re clamoring like we’re
in the Duma! “Take turns. I can’t make out
anything.” I said this and
forgot. This morning, I came up to the director and went:
“Hey. You know the thing I said? “‘You’re clamoring like we’re
in the Duma.’ “But they got this new law now saying that you
can’t offend or insult them.” He goes, “Was that an insult though?”
I went, “Well, they don’t clamor anymore.” Can you imagine? Like I don’t have better
things to think of. No. Fear… is a sticky beast. Sadly, we grew up in
this fear. Some of those who will watch our video
to the end will say: “Dud’, what is it with you and Stalin?
Why do you keep bringing him up? “Didn’t someone tell you not that long ago that one
of Russia’s main problems is that it lives in the
past? “That it’s still busy discussing if Stalin
was right or wrong?” We traveled the Kolyma Highway not to discuss
if Stalin was right or wrong. You don’t need us to give the right answer to
that simple question. We traveled the Kolyma Highway, because it’s not
about our past. It’s about our present. “Fear… “is a sticky beast.” Fear is the greatest enemy of
freedom. Fearing nothing means missing screws
and being stupid. But fearing a rustle, a look, or worst of all,
your own opinion, means never risking, or exploring new things,
or developing yourself, your community, and your
country. We traveled the Kolyma Highway to remind everyone
two simple human values. They’re actually common, but our people
often forget them. Don’t be afraid.
Respect yourself. Maybe then our country won’t see any
more times where people are treated worse
than animals. Peace, everyone. SPECIAL THANKS TO
Galina Ivanova, Doctor of Historical Sciences
Tatyana Polyanskaya, Candidate of Historical Sciences
Ilya Udovenko, historian
Sergey Bondarenko, historian




Comments
  1. Мы сделали английские субтитры, поэтому рекомендуйте друзьям, которые не говорят по-русски.
    Внутри:

    2:16 Почему сталинские репрессии касаются каждого из нас? 
    6:08 20 миллионов через ГУЛАГ прошли, 2 миллиона там погибли
    6:50 Что такое Магадан сегодня? 
    9:55 За что репрессировали отца Ефима Шифрина? 
    14:12 Помешательство на шпионаже и доносах
    17:50 Зачем придумали ГУЛАГ? 
    20:58 Отец украл доски – прошу ликвидировать его как врага народа
    21:57 Как сажали за пустяки. Великий актер Георгий Жженов получил 5 лет за разговор с иностранцем
    24:55 Главный человек советской космонавтики тоже был на Колыме. За что?
    39:36 Сколько людей сидело за дело, а сколько были невиновными? 
    48:20 Как не околеть в -50? И как можно было не околеть, когда в заключении?
    53:20 Как познакомились родители Шифрина? История, в которую невозможно поверить 
    58:22 Благодаря кому Сергей Королев выжил на Колыме?
    1:06:47 «Я этого Сталина везде красным карандашом перечирикал»
    1:07:44 Дочь Сергея Королева о первой встрече с отцом после возвращения
    1:13:00 Удивительный санаторий посреди снегов и мороза
    1:17:12 Заброшенная зона
    1:25:12 Что такое Большой террор?
    1:27:35 Про человека, который расстреливал лично (и много)
    1:30:58 «Ванную я увидел в 9 лет»
    1:34:54 Поселок, который пустеет на глазах. Жутковато
    1:44:11 Сталин – тиран или красавчик? 
    1:59:59 Многие зеки и их родственники были уверены: Сталин не знал, что происходит в лагерях. И правда не знал?
    2:03:44 Якутия! Вы даже не представляете, какая она огромная
    2:04:44 Том Харди был в Якутии. Серьезно? 
    2:09:36 Самый холодный населенный пункт планеты Земля
    2:11:37 Что такое патриотизм
    2:13:44 Про то, что мосты надо строить не только в Крыму
    2:14:28 Чувствуете ли вы в себе этот страх до сих пор?
    2:15:37 Так для чего мы все это сняли?

  2. Мразотная страна. И её царёк соответствует. Дудю – огромный респект, что поднимает такие темы.

  3. Браво, Дудь! Я вот ловлю себя на мысли, что история идёт по спирали, и я очень боюсь нового витка репрессий, тем более, что предпосылки для этого уже появились. И ещё, когда смотрю ваши репортажи, радуюсь, что журналистика в России жива.

  4. Дупа, может перестанешь срать? Я понимаю деньги, но страх то иметь надо? Или ты думаешь Петух-ходорок тебя спасёт? Вспомни свинью орхана джамаля. :). Надеюсь следующая "командировка" у тебя в ЦАР?

  5. Зато сейчас за спекуляцию дают премию и уважают таких. Хотя они унижают и разграбляют простых людей.

  6. Юрий Вы большой молодец!Вы показали свет в темном царстве 🙏Нужно говорить правду и нести ее в массы.

  7. Дудь, ты красава.
    Когда произойдет революция, ты будешь во главе её!

  8. да блять что правда то правда, но не боятся сейчас всё трудней, когда видишь что людям ломают ноги силовики просто зато что рядом пробегал, подкидывают наркотики, ломают жизни за репосты. Я порой убераю лайк после того как его поставил, потому что малали что, и такие случаи уже не редкость. И на последок, Юрец снимай почаще подобные видосы вроде этого и фильма про беслан, действительно очень интересно смотреть

  9. Про Говнореперов и актеров даже и смотреть не буду…пытался один раз вчера, врать не буду, не зашло… Беслан , Колыма зацепили , если получиться продолжай только в этом русле , удачи

  10. Ефим Залманович привет из Орши ) классный канал , приятно и интересно смотреть !

  11. Больно видеть на что становится похожа великая страна! Из за того что большей части все делается в расчете заработать а не для будущего народа, для которого и должно существовать государство – подобные угрюмые места как в этом фильме, есть по всей стране((( Есть НАДЕЖДА на то что однажды жизнь простых людей будет лучше!! Спасибо Юрий за выбранный вектор!…

  12. Венок на могиле сталина: «Посмертно репрессированному от посмертно реабилитированных»

  13. Сложная тема.
    Интересно, потеряя очередное поколение, когда в очередной раз тонуть в крови будем, где в это время будут Дуди, Собчаки, Навальные и им подобные…

  14. Цитируя слова Историка Юрия Николаевича Никулина (ВОСПОМИНАНИЯ О ВОЙНЕ) – "никто на войне не кричал за родину за Сталина, а была слышна густая матерная брань и крики на поле боя!""

  15. Очень интересный и содержательный фильм, а главное то что ты смотришь в корень. Мы все боимся, выразить себя, сказать свое мнение и прикрываем это все чем угодно и обманываем себя. Я примерно твоего возраста и наше поколение не свободно от страха и чтобы от него освободиться для начала его нужно увидеть и признать. Спасибо что ты говоришь об этом.

  16. Не особо отличается от сегодняшнего положения дел. Еще немного и начнут опять засылать на освоение Колымы.

  17. Досмотрел до конца! – Надеюсь однажды мы все научимся извлекать уроки из прошлого, перестанем быть двуличными, будем жить во благо мира и светлого будущего ближних!..

  18. щас так же про президента говорят что он якобы ничего не знает и что он не вкусе и просят у него помощи….

  19. Водитель рассказал историю, про то как угрозами добился результата )). Как сталин прям

  20. Когда говорят русский север , люди наверное не знают что туда куда пришли русские , там были коренные народы . Не пойму когда говорят русский север , русский Кавказ , всё русское .

  21. 29:44 Жаль не было кофемолки, так бы забрали. Ничего в этой стране не меняется. Кофемолку у Навального наверное упер внук того, что спер запонки.

  22. да уж…. историки-брейкдансеры, журналистки Новой газеты, дно еще не пробито.

  23. Спасибо Юрий! Это очень сильно! Все герои твоего фильма – замечательные люди.

  24. Да блин, Хрущёв просто ненавидел Сталина и вёл антисталинскую пропаганду! Специально чтобы очернить Сталина

  25. Неловкий невырезанный момент про Краснодар… ЗАЧЕМ его оставили?!!!
    Люди! он не резиновый! Первое место по пробкам в мире. В Школах классы от А до Ц. Записаться к врачу – прием через пять месяцев. В детсадах по 80 чел в группе. Забудьте об этом названии это не тот город, что был еще 2,5 года назад. ЖЕСТЬ полная. Не усугубляйте ее
    А фильм хорош! За фильм огромного спасибо!!!! На одном дыхании

  26. У нас великий, сильный, мужественный народ. Был тогда и остаётся сейчас. Я верю, что ко всему перечисленному, совсем скоро, можно будет добавить ещё и свободный. Свободный от страха, свободный в праве выбора, свободный в своих мыслях и суждениях. Спасибо, Юрий. Вы делаете потрясающие вещи. Удачи Вам и всем нам.

  27. Просмотрела на одном дыхании, отличная работа!!! Уважение и пожелания удачи

  28. Красавчик, Юра. Очень сильно уважаю тебя. В своём молодом возрасте ты уже делаешь великое дело для своего народа. Делаешь правильно, делаешь красиво.
    Уважение из Украины!

  29. Юрий, Вы делаете очень важное дело, всяческих Вам успехов и новых, интересных идей.

  30. Сказать что фильмы отличные, это не сказать ничего…… Посмотрела Беслан, теперь Колыма….. просто слов нет…. Побольше таких фильмов

  31. Юрий! Спасибо Вам за то, что Вы есть. Значит есть надежда, что в России будут перемены. Привет из Латвии! Одного моего деда-латыша расстреляли 14 апреля 1938 года, второй дед-латыш отсидел в ГУЛАГе 17 лет! Будь проклят этот режим!

  32. Про путина можно так же говорить как про сталина, он просто не знает что происходит

  33. Можно я кроме восторга от фильма выскажу респект за то, как Вы ведёте диалог с героями. НЕ знаю, может что-то осталось за кадром.. Но думаю так всё и было. Очень достойно! Уважаю!)

  34. Много сталинистов дизлайки натыкали. Этим дизлайщикам надо уран подабывать в – 50, тогда мозги бы на место встали! ДУДЬ КРАСАВА! РЕСПЕКТ ТЕБЕ И УВАЖУХА! 👍👍👍👍👍

  35. х3… с одной стороны, жи3неннго, годно, молодец что съе3дил. с другой, о колыме и сталинских ужасах столько мифов. и столько гря3и на это льется, скидывается косяков. … это как если ска3ать, что Гитлер единственный, кто виноват в ужасной войне прошлого. или как если ска3ать, что Билл Гейтс сделал Майкрософт в одиночку. … ну не правда это.

  36. Верится в это… видео. да. Этим людям. Но это не полное отражение нашего прошлого и настоящего. Лишь па3л в ма3айке. Сочувствую, что было такое… ужасное место. Но рад, что было и множество прекрасного в те времена. Тем, кто считает такую колыму чем-то уникальным…. ооох, добро пожаловать в курс истории любой ра3витой страны. Чего стоит ре3ервации индейцев или гетто меньшинств в США или Франции. Пожалуйста, 3атрагивая такие боле3ненные ужасности , попробуйте отринуть мысль, что это было сделано кровавым человеком, который спал да видел, как бы насолить остальным. У любого явления есть цепь факторов, вникнув в которые, вы уже не будете реагировать…остро и просто. …

  37. Посмотрел с перемотками. Живу в Якутии. Как в ссылке, только добровольной. А куда ехать?

  38. На соловьева не обращайте внимание….Это карлик по сравнению с тобой!!!!!!Особенно соловьев любит,когда ему подтявкивает что-то справа в студии "вестей"…Делайте свою работу. Мой сын просмотрел твои фильмы. Были у него вопросы.( это из-за нашего ЕГЭ)… Я ему все разъяснил….Не останавливайся!!!!!!!!Тем более соловьев занят телеграммом))) Пусть он там счастье ловит)),как косточку для шавки!!!!!

  39. Юрий, это отличная работа !!!! Сними фильм, дабы дать огласку всему беспределу, который происходит с нашим таежным лесом, так нельзя, столько леса едет в китай, столько денег очередной зажравшийся депутат кладет себе в карман, а природа гибнет, надеюсь мой комментарий поддержат лайками, что бы Юрец увидел )

  40. Мне всё больше кажется, что любовь к Сталину, это какое-то желание быть ребёнком, маленьким, слабым, но вместе со строгим, жёстким, но таким справедливым отцом, который нас всех любит и помнит каждого. Всё это носит в первую очередь какой-то биологический аспект, желание повиноваться, быть " хорошим" ребёнком перед Богом во времена христианского фанатизма, перед Гитлером, перед Сталиным. Помрачение разума, иначе это и назвать нельзя. Вспоминается действие вируса таксоплазмы на поведение грызунов, которые вместо того, чтобы делать ноги при запахе выделений кошки, наоборот бегут к этим запахам и быстро оказываются в желудке. И конечно Стокгольмский синдром. Про интересную роль Сталина в победе над нацизмом мы наслышаны, спасибо, больше не надо.

  41. Алло, люди! Вы что? Вам срут в уши о "невинно осужденных" убийцах, шпионах, грабителях. О том, как "бедную продавщицу" посадили за "недостачу в кассе". А вы лайкаете и припеваете о том, как же херово жилось при совке и каким негодяем был Сталин.

  42. Спасибо, Юра, молодец !

    Мне 16 лет, с удовольствием посмотрел твои, очень интересные и важные фильмы, пробуждают интерес к политике и истории.

    Вы сейчас стоите в противовес бесконечной лжи, пропаганде нашей власти, доносите правду до народа.
    Продолжайте в том же духе, мы за вас!

  43. Юрчик, а я думал ты только интервью брать умеешь! Спасибо, за кино! Молодчик)))))

  44. Большое спасибо. Много ,что не знала.
    Второй фильм,после Беслана, который смотрела с большим интересом

  45. а теперь эти нквдшники стоят у руля… вот что надо знать о режиме сейчас

  46. как можно сравнивать Королёва с предпринимателем-жуликом Илоном Маском?????? Юра, ну ты блин даёшь!!

  47. Откуда столько дизлов – Оскорбление является обычно наградой за хорошую работу!

  48. сталинский режим – преступный
    тот, кто хвалит его – ублюдки, не знающие истории

  49. Да хорошо что сейчас не Сталин у власти, пиздец он бы все правительство перестрелял вместе с депутатами, губернаторами и мэрами кто бы нами тогда правил?

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