War Memories From Another Age

Surviving veterans of the Second World War living in Tajikistan often find themselves living on the margins, in a society that has changed greatly since the end of the Soviet Union.

War Memories From Another Age

Surviving veterans of the Second World War living in Tajikistan often find themselves living on the margins, in a society that has changed greatly since the end of the Soviet Union.

Saturday, 9 May, 2009
To mark May 9, Victory Day, reporter Anton Rodin interviewed one veteran,Viktor Zelentsov, who recalled the horrors of fighting on the Eastern Front. His father and brother were both killed in the war.



Originally from Russia, he ended up in Tajikistan because he was posted there in a cavalry unit after the war, to patrol the border with Afghanistan.



Times have changed, and veterans like Zelentsov find it hard to scrape by on benefits that have been almost completely devalued by inflation over the years.



There are often blackouts, and in any case Zelentsov cannot afford to pay electricity bills.



Of the 290,000 people who went from Tajikistan to defend the Soviet Union in the 1941-45 war with Nazi Germany, only 4,500 are still living in the now independent state.



May 9 is one of the few times people remember the veterans these days, and this week black and yellow ribbons are being handed out in the streets in remembrance of their contribution.

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