Russia’s Heroes: Vesti Special Documentary On Men and Women Who Honored Their Motherland!
ORIGINALLY AIRED IN 2017. TIME OF RUSSIA
From the Ancient Rus to the Russian Federation. Our country has seen many kinds of joys and sorrows. But whatever happened—interventions or revolutions, Napoleon or Hitler, glorious victories in the 20th century or Crimea's homecoming in the 21st century - all of it is our eternal struggle for the assertion of our sovereignty.
Russia has never seen easy times. It has always been difficult. But we start advancing only after we have come to the edge. And it was always not because of but in spite of difficulties, be it in the trenches of war or the workplace. Our people, as if they were born to overcome, start to do miracles of creativeness. That's when Russia's time begins.
— Have you counted how many aircraft you tested?
— Oh, so many of them.
— Perhaps you draw victory markings somewhere?
— What victory markings? Let's say… Let's just say the number is pretty big.
— Valentin, tell me, please, what is Russia's main strength today?
Valentin Padalka, Hero of Russia: All of this! Our hardware! Our exceptional hardware, which is the most unique and the best in the world. Nothing comes close.
Who could know better than the man who is the first to fly a helicopter the moment it leaves the assembly line? Test-pilot Valentin Padalka has launched all of the Russian rotary-wing legends which are manufactured and maintained in Rostov-on-Don. From the first-born Mi-1 to the striking Mi-28N Night Hunter, which is currently in service in Syria.
— Well, here's our state-of-the-art combat helicopter.
— Yes, this is Russia's latest helicopter. It incorporates cutting-edge technology that's, so to say, suited for the modern battlefield. Also, it has some of the best flight performance characteristics and combat helicopter survivability and crew safety ratings. There's a layer of armor all around the cabin. The cockpit is armored too. So the crew is very well protected.
— Why Night Hunter?
— The direct purpose of this helicopter is to seek and destroy various armored targets such as hideouts, bunkers, personnel, vehicles and other equipment. Night in the name means that it has an exemplary night vision system. It enhances its capabilities. Its attack capabilities are superb. One advantage is the versatility of the rotary cannon's fire control system. We can direct fire 90 degrees sideways.
The first combat missions of the formidable Night Hunters were captured in the sky over Latakia. As part of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the Mi-28N crews provided close air support for the Syrian troops around the city of Al Quaryatayn, which was soon to be liberated from the ISIS terrorists. They participated in the liberation of Palmira.
— When you look at the attack helicopters used by foreign states, you think, «This one is too light, this one is too thin, this one is like it's made out of paper, this one looks like a toy.» Our hardware is sturdy and very well armored. All of its components are protected exceptionally well. Just look!
— The guns!
— So, you shoot the guns here too.
— Yes! Yes, we do a full-scale preparation of a helicopter as soon as it comes off the assembly line.
— If you want peace, prepare for war.
— Yes, you got that right.
The test-pilot from Rostov-on-Don knows better than anyone else about the importance of the fight against the global threat. Once, he had to deal with terrorists himself. Armed bandits stormed this school in Rostov and took 16 schoolchildren and 2 teachers hostage. The terrorists demanded a helicopter. Squadron Commander Valentin Padalka volunteered to fly it.
Valentin Padalka, Hero of Russia: They were boys and girls just like you… I find it very hard to convey the way they looked at me. They saw me as their savior. «Everything's going to be alright,» I said. «Everything's going to be OK.» They showed me my way to the cockpit with a barrel, and I sat there.
«Did you see the attendance at the plenary meeting? Did everyone have a good reason not to come? OK».
— Valentina Ivanovna, your workload has increased lately, hasn't it?
Valentina Matvienko, Chairwoman of the Federation Council: Yes, it has increased a lot. The intensity of work in the Federation Council has dramatically increased, and it makes me happy. The situation we are in now makes people mobilize their potential, pay attention to the results of their work, and the efficiency of their work.
— Do you really feel it yourselves?
— Yes, we do, and, you know, the country has grown more patriotic. People started being proud of their country and its role in the world. The world can't be unipolar, the world can't stand on just one leg of the United States of America or a group of some countries. It should have at least two legs for the sake of global sustainability. And of course, Russia is the second strongest foundation. Nobody will ever make this role smaller. You can't make Russia stand on her knees. There have been attempts, our rich history is filled with them.
The history of all the attempts to exert pressure on Russia is impressive indeed. Politics, the economy, sports… When you look behind to study the past, today's situation, which was thrust upon us in 2014, will create an impression of not only history repeating itself, but a definite case of deja-vu. Take just two American presidents, for instance. Characteristically, both of them are recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.
James Carter, U.S. President in 1980: «Massive Soviet armed forces have invaded the small, sovereign state of Afganistan. The world just can't stand by.”
Barak Obama, U.S. President in 2014: “The referendum in Crimea directly violated both the Constitution of Ukraine and international law. It won’t be recognized by the international community.”
James Carter: Fifty nations have already signed a U.N.
Barak Obama: Security Council resolution condemning the action. Russia's decision to send troops to Crimea met international condemnation.
James Carter: Neither the USA nor any other country will be able to cooperate with the USSR as they did before.
Barak Obama: Isolate Russia for its actions and appease our allies and partners.
As if there has been no 30-year gap between those Democrat presidents. What Obama, offended by the Crimean referendum, did in 2014 is exactly the same thing Carter rehearsed for him in 1980. Back then, they were offended by our introduction of limited troops in Afganistan. Now, it's been long since the Americans themselves got bogged down in Afganistan, devastated Iraq and Libya, and gave birth to numerous terrorist groups all over the Middle East. And once again, they seem to have a beef with Russia, which is apparently guilty of interfering in American affairs, using Trump as a puppet, and being just a bit too active in Syria.
— Is this where the train fell?
— Yes, there, downhill. There was a carriage. Right opposite my house, there was a terrible clatter.
The Nevsky Express speed train went through the border of the Novgorod and Tver Oblasts when there was a blast. The devastated last carriages were simply swept off the rails. They couldn't expect a fast emergency response. There were no population clusters around. There was only a lonely house off the beaten track where a former railroad service employee lived.
ELENA GOLUBEVA: IN 2009, SHE CAME TO THE RESCUE TO THE PASSENGERS OF THE NEVSKY EXPRESS
Elena Golubeva: I came back home and wanted to light the fire in the stove and then close the chimney when it would be hot enough. Then, I was going to have some tea and watch TV. As I sat down, I heard a loud crash. It rattled and I was scared to death. The windows got broken and stones were flying onto the stove. I didn't know where the door was. I couldn't find the door. It was silly of me.
The train wreck survivors went to the house of Elena Mikhailovna Golubeva, then they brought the passengers who were gravely wounded. The old woman was doing her best to make everyone warm and bandage them until the doctors and rescue workers could come.
— One of them asked me to fix his head, his bones were all broken. I started picking him up by the shoulders and he said, „Please, don't touch me, just put something under my neck.“ I propped up his pillow a little higher. He said, „That's better!“ And he died on my bed.
— What about the others?
— Some people were barefoot. They had nothing on. They had only sleeveless shirts on.
— Did you give them clothes?
— They took everything I had. I was tearing my sheets to make bandages for these people.
The story of a kind old woman from the Tver Oblast touched the hearts of many Russians. Some people worried about Elena Mikhailovna living in a half-destroyed house.
»Hello, we saw an old woman in the news. The tragedy happened next to her house. It is our sincerest wish that she be helped. Thank you".
— So, this is your property?
— Well, you can say that, figuratively speaking.
— Although there used to be stray dogs running wild here on the premises.
MIKHAIL KOVALCHUK, THE PRESIDENT OF THE KURCHATOV INSTITUTE
— You know, ten years ago, all of it was ruined and devastated. It's hard to imagine now. Here, there was a company manufacturing chimneys. And here, there was a dump where they burned garbage gathered practically from the entire district. It was horrible, it felt like the place had been bombed.
The Great Patriotic War was in full swing when Laboratory 2 was created in the USSR under the leadership of the physicist Kurchatov. Later, it was to become the Nuclear Energy Institute. The nuclear project that was implemented here transformed the future of human civilization, making an enormous impact on the development of science for decades to come. Those times are back. The Kurchatov Center, which had been destroyed not by war but by the crisis of the 1990s, is leading the world again. A unique source of synchrotron emission is gradually giving birth to a new scientific era for humanity.
— It's a unique place where dozens of experimental stations are gathered. Experts of all kinds: from medical doctors to material engineers, biologists, chemists, and physicist conduct their research. Do you know how many places in the world have both a special synchrotron accelerator a neutron research reactor? Five, maybe six places. It means that we're unrivaled in the world and there are many examples of this kind.
— Why have they had so many grievances against us lately? Some of our people suffer because of all this. Perhaps we should just behave like an average Eastern European country? Why don't we just calmly and quietly kowtow to everyone around us? Why are we so bold?
— The main attribute of a state is its sovereignty. We were pictured as Upper Volta with rockets. They were afraid of us, we scared them, then suddenly, that fear was gone, we opened up, we started going there, they started coming here… And then, patting us on our shoulder, they started taking away everything they could from here. But as soon as we state that we have our own world view and that we have self-respect, we change from being a friend under their patronage to a competitor and basically an enemy. Bernard Shaw, I guess, once said, «The first thing to let us know that we succeed is the increase of resistance against our movement». This is what we see now, so we're doing great.
— What happens at the moment when they put pressure on us and we rebound?
— When there was a referendum for the preservation of the USSR back at the time of Gorbachev, when he was becoming the President or the General Secretary, I told him, «If the Americans have a speck of common sense, they should do everything they can to preserve the USSR.» Because only a dynamic system is stable.
George Bush, U.S. President in 1992: «If I'd stood in front of you four years ago, and described it as the world we could have built you would have said, „George Bush, you must have smoked something“. According to the vision of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, the USSR would have been a great superpower today while we would have faced a nuclear threat».
— They demonstrated, to put it lightly, shortsightedness by practically finishing us off and backing us into a corner. They remained a colossus with feet of clay, standing on one leg. This structure is unstable, we can see it clearly. The world keeps living according to the Yalta agreements. But today they fail to provide that foundation. We need a different foundation. This is the answer to the key question about what our country is doing now.
— And do we really have a chance to do it?
— It's not just a chance, we're one of the few countries which have remained entirely sovereign despite all the desperate attempts to deprive us of it. We will support any state in protecting its sovereignty. And, secondly, we're in fact the only nuclear and space power in the world which is as important as our oversea partners. It's an umbrella that gives us enough time to integrate into the new technological order, to propose and develop, together with our colleagues, the new world order. Do you understand?
THE REPUBLIC OF CRIMEA
— What's going on in the isolated and blockaded Republic of Crimea?
— Most importantly, it's not isolated from Russia. We can bear anything else. I don't doubt it.
SERGEY AKSYONOV, THE HEAD OF THE REPUBLIC OF CRIMEA
— Well, who exactly is trying to isolate us? Just some political figures who are trying to make Russia look like an enemy. But, again, I'm sure this is only temporary. People in Europe will figure out for themselves who's actually a friend and who's a foe. But, believe me, Crimea is losing nothing. On the contrary, today, the citizens have consolidated to solve the problems the Crimeans encounter now. In «isolated» Crimea, the children are playing in their free time. It's Sunday. They're playing five-a-side. All the rooms of this marvelous sports complex are full.
The legendary home of Spartak was built during the sports boom after the 1980 Olympics. And it almost immediately became one of the main hubs for training Olympic athletes. In Alushta, over 150 champions in boxing, fencing, volleyball, powerlifting, catch-style and Greco-Roman wrestling.
— Good job!
— Whop! Sergey Vladimirovich, a pass to you.
— Here you are!
For Aksyonov, the work as the head of the republic is just like wrestling. To achieve big victories, both willpower and time are needed. Thank God the others treat the problems with understanding. I feel a great deal of gratitude to the Crimeans for this. They understand, too, that we don't have any magic wand, unlike the Sorcerers movie, to solve all the issues with just one wave. Nevertheless, we're sure that everything will be recovered and the bridge will be built. Construction is in full swing now.
— We were given just two days to close the gates.
EVGENIY PAL, CEO OF THE ENGINEERING CENTER FOR SPECIAL WORKS AND EXPERT EVALUATION
But these waters are just spangled with bombs and shells. During the war, the Kerch Strait was an epicenter of warfare. Artillery shells and bombs were delivered here by land, air, and sea. These divers from Saint Petersburg are neutralizing a 900-foot-wide underwater corridor for the construction of the bridge. They have discovered 4,600 items, 14 of them were air-dropped bombs and 711 were various mines and shells.
— Now we're going to that target and putting it underwater.
— Next, we're going to the seafloor along the safety line, and finally, we'll be looking for…
— ...the shell.
— The target. Then we'll go up and report what we have found. Then we make an underwater inspection report, documenting everything.
— Is this a mine locator?
— It is.
It's fascinating that the project for constructing the first railway bridge over the Kerch Strait was being developed by our engineers in the middle of the war. The first pile was driven right after the liberation of Kerch. The construction project was finished in just 150 days. The Soviet delegation train crossed this very bridge when returning from the Yalta Conference. But, as early as November 1945, drift ice had destroyed the majority of the structure. The builders didn't have enough time to strengthen the piles back then.
— Will the bridge be sturdy?
— The structure is very reliable, it will last for hundreds of years.
VASILY KHARLAMOV, MANAGER OF CONSTRUCTION OF TEMPORARY INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE KERCH BRIDGE
— Vasily Gavrilovich, they usually say that we have lost both workers and designers in recent years. What's going on in Russia when it comes to workers and industrial designers?
— The construction of this bridge is a testimony to the fact that industrial designers are hard at work, since it's a one-of-a-kind project. There are workers who are capable of implementing this project. There's the equipment itself. That's why I can't say that we have some sort of engineering crisis or issues with manpower.
Manpower arrives in Taman and Kerch from all over Russia. Many construction workers know each other as they worked together on various Olympic venues in Sochi and built the bridge to Russky Island in the Far East before that. Those who are older worked on the Baikal–Amur Mainline together.
— So, let's build the bridge?
STANISLAV VIKULIN, CRANE OPERATOR: «Well, of course. We need this bridge».
The site is very complicated. There a lot of seismic activity, some uneven footing, quicksand, and underground rocks. In the winter, you have to deal with the aforementioned drift ice, which destroyed the former bridge in the post-war era. Now, they have decided to drive inclined piles into the bottom. Additionally, many new technologies are born right here, on the site.
— These pipes are for the piled foundation of the future bridge. The submerging of these wide-diameter pipes is being done at various depths down to 260 feet.
— At a depth of 260 feet?
— We go approximately 130 feet down in a vibroloader and then the installation is finished with a hydrohammer with a 28-ton surge power capacity.
Here, they encountered a problem. Hard rocks turned out to be at the bottom, so the giant pipe was simply folded under the impact of a giant hammer. They had no time to design new stubs for the pipeline and they couldn't buy them abroad due to the sanctions. Here, again, everyone notices the similarity of epochs. At some point in time in the past, the whole country also encountered a pipe-related problem.
— Mikhail Ivanovich, you must be the only politician who remembers these times too. What was it like?
NIKOLAY RYZHKOV, MEMBER OF THE FEDERATION COUNCIL, CHAIRMAN OF THE CABINET IN 1985 TO 1991:
— At that time, I worked at the State Planning Committee, then in the Central Committee of the Party. When we introduced our troops into Afganistan, in 1979, the situation in the world got incredibly complicated. The whole world was against us. «You're invaders, you interfered with the affairs in Afganistan» and so on. By the way, we spent less time in Afganistan than the Americans have now.
— At this point, yes.
— Yes. But we were criticized and beaten at every corner. The Americans, and the entire West, of course, said, «Once you did this to Afganistan...» and they stomped on, as they believed, the most vulnerable spot of ours.
At that time, the nation was involved in a nation-wide construction project: The laying of the Urengoy–Pomary–Uzhhorod pipeline, the very gas pipeline through which gas deliveries to Europe would take place. The very same pipeline was to become an object of blackmail for Kiev many years after that.
— We had to buy both large-diameter pipes and compressor plants for pumping. So, they imposed an embargo on these. You know, I've been reflecting upon the peculiarities of our country, of our people. Sometimes, we find it very hard to get the ball rolling. But in extreme conditions, we become very strong. When they pressured us, we found a solution right away.
The Chelyabinsk Pipe Rolling Plant made another technological breakthrough back then. In part, it happened because the workers of the plant had already had a significant industrial and, one could say, ideological victory over the West under their belt.
ALEXANDER DUNAEV, WELDER: «This is my plant. Pipe casting and welding. I worked here for 25 years, welding pipelines. We would sing songs and raise our voices to stay alert».
At that time, the USSR was building the Bukhara-Urals pipeline and was launching the construction of the Druzhba oil pipeline, which was to connect the USSR to the socialistic countries in Europe. The country bought large-diameter pipes from the Federal Republic of Germany. At that point, NATO stood up against the Druzhba and the USSR's advancement in the oil and gas market. Under the Alliance's pressure, the FRG's Chancellor Conrad Adenauer introduces an embargo on the delivery of pipes to the USSR. The Ministry Council couldn't freeze construction, the Planning Committee was searching for a way to solve the issue. But it was eventually solved by ordinary workers at the plant in Chelyabinsk.
— We decided to build a mill. But at that time, we didn't have any rolling mills. We decided to produce welded cylinders. For the first time in the world, this practice was introduced at our plant.
They didn't produce metallic sheets of the size needed back then. That's why the plant workers, the young welder Alexander Dunaev included, decided to make half of a pipe out of the sheets they had instead of whole pipes. And then use a new method to weld the halves together. And it worked. After that, the Russian workers decided to send a message to the German chancellor right on the first pipe they had manufactured.
— What we wrote was «Screw you, Adenauer!»
— That is why I feel gratitude to the EU and to the United States of America…
DMITRY KISELYOV, JOURNALIST, CEO OF THE RUSSIA TODAY NEWS AGENCY
— As they enabled us to launch a process which I would call, «Getting back on our own two feet».
— Tell me something. Are you standing on your own two feet?
— On my feet I…
— At the base of the Kara Dag Mountain.
— Yes, I'm standing on my own two feet in Crimea. In 2003, I founded a jazz festival here, for one. In 2005, I rented 4,000 square feet of land here and decided to build a small house, a bachelor pad, there. Back then, I was back to being single again, so to say. Here I met my wife Masha, she had more of my children, both of us have four children.
— And is this your bachelor's car?
— Yes, this is a car from Kiev, it still bears a Kiev license plate, region 11 is Kiev. I'm not going to turn down American chewing gum, English cars, Italian-made Ducati motorcycles, which I ride, and I definitely won't say no to jazz. I believe we're trading places with the West in many respects.
At the time of the Cold War, political observers used the traditional clichés: the Russians were compared to a clumsy bear, while the Americans with a bold cowboy. Today, the countries have traded places, as Dmitry Kiselyov believes. We're still like a bear but a fast and agile one, while the cowboy has become overweight and clumsy. That is why, according to Kiselyov, freedom, truth, and even jazz have adopted a new citizenship, a Russian one.
— Jazz is very honest music which is impossible to lip-sync or fake. It's impossible to imitate. This kind of honesty is essential for Crimea now. This is the message to the global community from Koktebel: «Be honest.»
— It's time to go onstage?
— Let's go!
The Russian tricolor was raised here by Dmitry Kiselyov as soon as he settled here. That was back under Ukrainian rule, ten years prior to the Crimean Spring.
— Were there any complaints?
— Well, no, there weren't any because people treated it as something natural. I believe that we should always have shown our flag both in Ukraine and especially in Crimea, both literally and figuratively.
Together with his friends, Dmitry Kiselyov has founded a small community vineyard in Koktebel. Now, he uses it to complete his own personal import substitution program. His own vineyard workers produce wine out of grapes grown in his own vineyard. There are no additives or preservatives. The white sparkling wine makes the vineyard owners especially proud.
— This is the best white champagne in Russia. Brute Zero.
— Masha, will you join us?
— Good day, Masha!
— Good day! What are we drinking to, Dmitry Konstantinovich?
— To Russia and our Crimea.
— Alexander Yuryevich, is this the school you graduated from?
ALEXANDER VITKO, BLACK SEA FLEET COMMANDER, ADMIRAL OF THE RUSSIAN NAVY: Yes, I was happy to study here for 5 years. And I was happy to spend time here. I came here by train in 1979 and got excellent grades in those subjects.
— In math again?
— In both written and oral math again.
— Comrade Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, 11th-grade cadets requesting permission to drill. Drill Instructor Captain Yukhno reporting, sir.
— Very well. Proceed.
— What comes to mind when you come here?
— I recollect the warmth of that time, the camaraderie, and my fellow cadets. The relationship between the cadets. The enthusiasm of youth. I remember my teachers with great respect. Many of them now attend solemn celebrations. We talk and recall the past.
Nobody could have supposed that the glorious history of the Nakhimov School in Sevastopol, which had nurtured thousands of marine officers, hundreds of admirals, and dozens of fleet commanders, would one day cease to exist. Under the Ukrainian flag, they opened the Academy of the Navy here. The Crimean Spring brought the Russian flag back. Soon after that, the president of the country issued an order to restore the Nakhimov School. They managed to restore the old traditions, despite the changing times.
— The title of your dissertation, if I'm not mistaken, is «The Tactics and Strategy of Naval Warfare.»
— It's a new theory of naval warfare based on the current combat environment. The work was dedicated to naval warfare.
— I have a feeling that we're playing a game of Battleship against the West. At the same time, nobody knows which squares contain the other side's ships. How should we play, you think? From the point of view of a naval warfare strategist.
— I think we know far too well in which squares which ships are hidden.
— Do you?
— We do, and so do they. It's not a big secret, especially on the strategic level. All of this is quite easy to count. We should play with all due respect to the adversary, and without losing our dignity when accomplishing our mission objectives. We try to complete our mission and will continue to do so. We will make sure that our southern flank is completely covered.
— This is the chamber where a historic decision was made.
THE FEDERATION COUNCIL
— Yes, in this very chamber, that fateful decision, so to say without any overstatement, was made then. We were fully aware of our responsibility, because, according to the Constitution, these are powers of the upper chamber. If, for a minute, we imagine that there had been no referendum or the residents had voted differently, I'm absolutely sure that these new groveling governments, which can't find a way to stand up to Washington and Brussels, they would have definitely, as they usually do, violated international law, terminated the contract between Russian and Ukraine about the base of our Black Sea Fleet, and, eventually, the NATO Navy would have appeared there instead.
— Do you mean we would've been kicked out of there?
— Without a doubt! I believe our nation would have never forgiven the president for that. They would have never forgotten. It would've remained, it would've hurt the soul of each Russian.
«Sevastopol has joined the Russian Federation».
— So, will we make it? Will we make Russia great?
— Of course, we will! I see how my designs are being built and then issued to the troops.
ALEXANDER IVKO, DESIGN ENGINEER IN THE URALS DESIGN BUREAU OF TRANSPORT MACHINE INDUSTRY AWARDEE OF THE GOLDEN IDEA NATIONAL AWARD
— Alexander, this is that very future that has already become the present of the Russian Army.
— This is the future of the Russian Defense Forces. There are many hopes, many highly efficient engineering solutions packed into this piece of equipment designed to strengthen the sovereignty of our homeland and to increase its defensive capabilities. I can boldly say that this hardware is a technological leap 10 years ahead of its time.
The Ural's design engineers have always been ahead of their time. The legendary T-34, which started the Russian school of tank design, is now mounted on the plinth in front of the entrance to Uralvagonzavod, symbolizing the great victory. In 1945, the pride of Soviet engineering design was demonstrated at the parade. Seventy years later, the paving stones of Red Square bore the Armata Tank, which became a military-technical sensation of modern times.
— It even looks cool. What about its capabilities if you compare them to the previous models?
— The technical solutions that were incorporated here have a great modernization potential, which, among other things, enhances its technical specifications. Despite the fact that this machine has been demonstrated several times on Red Square, we can't yet disclose its specific capabilities yet. But I can say that I have many more ideas in mind that I would like to see come to fruition.
Alexander Ivko's ideas have been awarded prestigious professional prizes several times. But the name of the young designer became well known after the President's visit to Uralvagonzavod.
— As for you meeting with the President back then, what do you recall of it now?
— Actually, you don't have the chance to shake the hand of the most influential man on the planet every day. He turned out to be a charismatic, agreeable man who is easy to talk with.
— So, it was an easy conversation.
— Yes, I was the first to ask the President a question, I asked what his vision of the near-future of the country and of the military-industrial complex was. That man definitely knows where we're going. That's what he made me understand.
— Where are we going now, Nikolay?
— Andrey, now I'm inviting you to attend an event commemorating the Day of the Kuban Cossacks.
NIKOLAY DOLUDA, COSSACKS GENERAL, ATAMAN OF A KUBAN COSSAK TROOP
— What's a Cossack's character like? What is a Cossak in today's Russia?
— First of all, a Cossak is someone who is faithful to his homeland, who loves his fatherland, and who is always ready to defend his fatherland. Since, for historical reasons, patriotism, fatherland and homeland have been the words that were essentially a part of a Cossak mother's milk, something inherited on the level of the genes.
«Welcome, our dear guests! Welcome to our humble abode. Please, come!»
— Mother Russia is a very strong, powerful, great nation! You don't need to challenge its strength. You don't need to try to bite or pinch us. That's why let's drink to our president, our Russia! Let's give it three times—two short and one long! As the Kuban Cossacks traditionally do. And a three and a four…
«Hurray, hurray, hurray!»
SMOLENSK OBLAST THE AGAPOVS, ORDER OF PARENTAL GLORY AWARDEES
— It's not difficult to feed the family as we have our own vegetable garden. We harvest a lot of food in our garden. We're cooking in a four-five gallon pot. To make enough for everyone.
Here, everyone gets enough food and love. Everyone has a say in everything. The Agapov family has managed to build a little fair and just world, where, unlike the big world, there are no wars between their own people and strangers. The modest village postman Vladimir Mikhailovich and his wife Irina Nikolaevna have raised ten children of their own along with eight foster kids.
IRINA AGAPOVA, BRINGS UP 18 CHILDREN
— The first time I wanted to adopt a girl was in 1994. My son went to the hospital's intensive care unit because of staphylococcus. And there was an abandoned child. So, we took that one, and right after that, I adopted four more. So, I adopted Alyona, she was four and she didn't speak, I took her from an orphanage. Then I adopted Marina. She was three, she didn't speak either. Anyway, a family gives a boost to a person, it gives them hope that they are protected.
The Agapovs have never considered their actions to be a feat. They didn't ask the state to grant them additional benefits or any kind of awards. They couldn’t even suppose that one day, they would receive the Order of Parental Glory, handed by the President himself at that.
— He was pinning the medals on our chests. And then he congratulated us. He shook our hands, gave flowers to the women, as for the men, he just shook their hands.
— I didn't squeeze it too hard.
— His handshake is hard enough.
— It went well. Moreover, he knows judo, he can hit hard. It won't be a picnic.
— He's exactly, exactly like he's shown on TV.
— You approach him, he congratulates you, he's a natural Russian man, he is a very good fit for our people, I believe. I doubt there will ever be anyone like him.
Elena Golubeva: There were a lot of flowers. They brought them in by the bucketload. Rest in peace! Even though there's nobody here, it's a place of the dead. Of the dead. There was a war, they won that war, they say there will be no war again. That's what Putin said. He is a good man. He cares about people. He really does. He's a good man. He has a lot on his shoulders. I feel for him.
— Do you?
— I do. He's on our people's side, our Russia's side. Our Mother Russia. His policies benefit the people. He's a good man, that's all. He doesn't give up hope.
The people who got to know about Elena Mikhailovna's feat addressed the President himself. She was in the hearts and minds of everyone in the county.
Vladimir Putin: “You have a kind heart. As does this old lady. Don't worry, we'll take good care of this lady. Thank you for drawing my attention to her.”
TVER OBLAST. ELENA GOLUBEVA: IN 2009, SHE CAME TO THE RESCUE TO THE PASSENGERS OF THE NEVSKY EXPRESS
— So, do you like your new house?
— Of course, I do. I have never lived in such houses. I couldn't think of being brought here. I could never have imagined this.
Elena Mikhailovna started her new life in the new house. Even though a lot of time has passed, she can't bring herself to forget the horrible events of 2009.
— Do you often think about that day?
— I think about it almost daily. And I cry.
— You ought to get one more medal.
— The Star of the Hero.
— No, I haven't yet received the star of the hero yet. Didn't happen.
— But you're a heroine.
— I haven't deserved it yet.
THE CERTIFICATE OF THE VETERAN OF THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR
— Maybe, I'll deserve it tomorrow.
— There's still time.
— Of course.
— Why do we have so many heroes among regular people?
— I think it's our national character. An absolute majority adapts to the outer circumstances, they give up, and that's the end of it. But some people have their strength increased by dozens of times. I guess, among us, the share of such people is much larger than in other parts of the world.
— Moreover, our people agree to eat less, to sleep less for the sake of a goal they have set for themselves.
— You know, my grandfather lived in a village near Gatchina, which was occupied by the Germans. He worked at a power station in the village of Lukashi. My brother and I visited my grandfather when we were little. They had a kerosine lamp, a Kerogas stove or a Primus stove. He said that if you cut a button off a German man's trousers, turn off the light and make him go to an unheated toilet, he'll hang himself that evening in that same toilet. I remembered this phrase once and forever. I think that having spirit is very important.
— Spirit, you say?
Another factor which, according to Mikhail Kovalchuk, predetermined the future of our country, is the ability of the people to look in the distance. Somewhere, in small countries, the mindset of regular people hardly ever goes beyond their own flower garden. «I'd like to plant another flowerbed next spring». Our people may not have any flowerbeds, but our mindset is always planet-wide. How will humanity live next year?
— The 9th of May, 1945. The day of victory in the Great Patriotic War. The Soviet Union, our country, is the winner. In Yalta, we drew the map of what the future world would look like. We're the masters of the world, we're deciding the fate of the world. And that's the truth. Until the 6th of August, 1945. Until the day the Americans did the barbarous act of dropping the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If we, in the 1940s, in the harshest time of war, hadn't started implemented the strategic priority to develop nuclear weaponry, then, on that day, our victory would've become useless, we'd have lost it. After the atomic bomb was used, the Americans had a clear plan to conduct a nuclear attack even on the mountains of the Soviet Union, to destroy the Soviet Union. You and I have to clearly understand that we, as one of a few sovereign states on Earth, have survived until now only thanks to our predecessors, on whose shoulders we're standing now. Thanks to them, nuclear weapons and new delivery systems were developed.
The country managed to make a global breakthrough for the sake of global peace. By creating the atomic bomb, we set a nuclear parity, thus granting all of humanity the guarantee of peaceful existence for many years to come. And only after that did we cast a glance at our flowerbeds. The nuclear project launched a chain reaction of the following discoveries.
— Look, when we were implementing the nuclear project, we only had the bomb. Right? Then, first, Kurchatov turned this bomb around and we created the first nuclear power plant in 1954 in Obninsk. We gave birth to the world's nuclear energy industry. And today, we are successful heirs, as Rosatom is now advancing incredibly fast. Then this nuclear energy, by the logic of its development, moved from a division to a synthesis, and we created the first tokamak in the world. We became the founders of thermonuclear synthesis. Further on, it's been just one part of it. The bomb was turned around to create a nuclear energy device. N.E.D. And that's how our first submarine was created, the second one in the world, The Leninsky Komsomol in 1958. It used nuclear propulsion. The following year, in 1959, the world's first atomic icebreaker, the Lenin, was launched. Now, we are both founders and monopolists in the field of nuclear-powered icebreaker fleets. It grants us a guarantee of a stable presence in the Arctic.
But first, there was a bomb. Just one project transformed the face of civilization for hundreds of years to come. Then, the Soviet Union collapsed, and our brains became donors for intellectual development of the world's sciences. At some point, it seemed that we entirely forgot about ourselves. As it happens, we didn't.
— On the contrary, we reemerged having become richer thanks to the experience of the West. We regrouped, and now we became an integral part of the global scientific landscape, of metascience, first and foremost. And now, by strengthening our position within the country, we're becoming, so to say, a mighty player in our new incarnation. You and I know far too well that, for example, to manufacture turbines for planes or helicopters, to manufacture engines, we need materials for turbine blades, as the temperature is enormous there, and the load is huge. An American company, an English one, and a French one manufacture those materials. So do we.
— Now, the production is going at full speed, right? Is it at full throttle?
— Actually, the assembling line is working 24/7.
ALEXANDER VATAGIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE KLIMOV CORPORATION HERO OF THE SOVIET UNION, TEST HYDRONAUT, CAPTAIN
— These are the key details of an aircraft engine.
— The most essential detail of any engine is a runner blade. This is a detail of an engine which takes up the greatest load, which functions in the harshest conditions. If we take turbine runner blades, the temperature rises up to, in certain engines, the temperature rises up to 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though we know all that burning starts at 392 degrees, but the runner blades bear such temperatures.
— Is it true that his blade is more expensive than gold?
— If we consider the cost of the material combined with the fulfillment of all the cycles to manufacture one, it is really more expensive, on a weight-to-weight basis, than pure first-class gold. It's a fact.
If you want to fly, you must make a blade. It's a unique alloy with dozens of coating. With seventy-eight cycles of processing, only a few manufacturers in the world were able to make this part. The club of aircraft manufacturers has even fewer members than the nuclear one.
— Once, atomic submarines were considered to be the most hi-tech to manufacture. I spent twenty years working for the armed forces, in the Navy, where I worked directly with these submarines, I was involved in the design up to the commissioning them to the Navy.
The director of the Klimov Corporation, Hero of the Soviet Union, Alexander Vatagin, was responsible for the exploitation of the equipment at extremal depths while being a test hydronaut. Now, he is in charge of something that should work smoothly at extreme heights.
— This is the ARD-33 engine with a thrust vector control.
— The one that blew everyone's mind at the Farnborough Airshow.
— Yes, both in Farnborough and in Paris, there was the MiG-29OVT, board number 156.
LE BOURGET AIR SHOW
The first demonstration flight of the Russian multi-purpose fighter. equipped with an engine with a thrust vector control became a sensation. Our MiG was doing acrobatic maneuvers no other aircraft is capable of.
— Here the basics. This is the nozzle, and it's simply moving in any direction.
— It's all-aspect, yes. It moves in any direction.
— Thus enabling the plane to work some miracles in respect of maneuverability.
— It enables the plane to fly in violation of any aerodynamics law to make flick-flacks, somersets, dead leaves— all under control, anything that doesn't observe the laws of aerodynamics.
— Has anyone in the world tried to do anything similar?
— Absolutely everyone tried. Unfortunately, no one succeeded. When the plane was flying at these airshows, Klimov got requests from all the world's manufacturers of both engines and aircraft.
— Everyone is… Rolls-Royce, Lockheed, Martin?
— ...General Electric, Boeing… The plane manufacturers as well — all of them requested to purchase this technology.
But Russia didn't sell this secret technology to anyone. In addition, the government ordered to make the engine manufacturing industry independent of the supply of parts from abroad
— Is it our engine?
— It's our engine. It's the most mass-produced aviation engine in the world. Therefore, it also determines our place in the world to some extent.
The legendary VK-2500 engine was purchased in Zaporozhye until recently. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the helicopter manufacturing plants remained in Russia while the engines for them were produced in Ukraine. Everything went smoothly until Kiev disrupted the military-technical ties between the countries. So, in the shortest terms, on the base of a corporation in Saint Petersburg, an absolutely independent manufacture process was created for both this aviation hit, now, it's called TV-3117, and the engines of combat helicopters. The motherland of the technologies got her children back.
— We're counting that, over the time, it'll become no worse of a bestseller than the TV-3117 engine and its modifications, that it'll become the bread-winner for our enterprise.
— Do you recall that, for two years, we were being scared that, «That's it, we won't survive without Ukraine.» Because the company that manufactures engines for our helicopters will ruin our entire helicopter manufacturing industry. So, as it happens, was it not true?
— Ukraine has nothing to do with the manufacturing or the design of this engine and has never had. It's a purely Russian engine.
Now, this purely Russian engine is becoming a part of a purely Russian Night Hunter. It's one of the key moments in the birth of a helicopter: its heart is being installed. This is not the Hunter, but still, it's a real legend. It's the world's largest helicopter, a record-holder in cargo capacity.
— These helicopters have their own personality too.
— I think it's no worse than a personality of any other Russian citizen, it's robust, strong, and virile. Reliable. It's very important.
— Do you mean people or helicopters now?
— Makes no difference. I believe that our combat and transport helicopters must have all the characteristics of a normal real man, a person.
— So, you talk of them as live beings.
— Of course, I do! Of course! Helicopters have their own personality, their own strength, and even their own mind, when speaking of the modern-time aircraft.
— A brand new cabin of the famous, world's best helicopter Mi-26T. It used to be a regular helicopter, but after such modernization, the cabin looks completely different.
— Is it popular, does the world love it?
— Of course! It's the best and the biggest one in the world, it's incomparable.
The American helicopter Chinook near Kandahar was brought down by the Talibs. The U.S. Commandment in Kabul ordered an urgent evacuation of the machine. But how? Another Chinook won't be able to lift this one. Mission seems impossible. But not for the Russians. Mi-26T, if needed, was capable of lifting two such machines. With just one, it calmly covered 68 miles.
— At that time, only this helicopter was capable to lift this American «giant» and to deliver it to the base. It makes me proud of my country, proud of Russia.
Helicopters of this series can transport both armored vehicles and hundred troopers, they can fight against submarines or put out fires in skyscrapers. They saved thousands of acres of forest from fire in China, France, Germany, Italy, and Greece. They have even evacuated passenger planes. Nobody else in the entire history of helicopter engineering has been able to carry out such operations.
— Maybe, any other pilots would find it unsuitable, but I can see no shame in coming up to a helicopter and say hi to it in your head. «How are you doing? You ready?» «Let's fly for a while!» «We need to do this and that. Will you help me?»
This is exactly what Valentin Padalka said in October 1993, when he was responsible for the fate of Rostov school children who became hostages. After receiving a ransom of ten million dollars, the terrorists let only a few children go. The head of the gang nicknamed Cossak ordered the pilot to fly to Khasavyurt where the bandits were expected. Valentin Padalka flew for a long time, and then he announced the landing. Only it wasn't Khasavyurt, as the bandits thought, but Makhachkala.
— Practically within the borders of the city. We found a pad. We hovered. At night. It happened to be a garden or a hell knows what. There was some kind of short circuit. And we could smell the burning of wires in the cabin. And later, there was smoke. I said, «Cossack, something's burning, we might blow up now!» Jump off! He told me to land, so I did on just one stand. I secretly pulled a lever to imitate a helicopter turnover. But I leveled it at once, and we hovered again.
The crew managed to practically throw the terrorists out of the helicopter who were almost immediately captured by the soldiers. Valentin Padalka was awarded the title of the Hero of Russia. Today, for the first time in many years, the pilot is meeting with the people he saved that day. Vladimir Karavaev, a student of the 9th form at the time, and the teacher Luidmila Selkhova were among the hostages.
— I very much want for nobody to ever live through anything like this again, or see it, or encounter it.
— Thank you very much.
— Yes, thank you!
THE REPUBLIC OF CRIMEA
— So, what is the strategy? We approach it, and then what? We lift it with a hook and raise the anchor. There's a hook on each line, I brought them from Norway when I was there the last time.
Dmitry Kiselyov still wonders what made Europe so offended that they banned him from visiting. Since the times of the Cold War, transparent Europe has never been afraid of journalists. As for him, he definitely doesn't hold any grudge. Moreover, you won't ever catch a shark with Norwegian hooks in Norway.
— Both a cramp fish and a shark?
— A baby shark.
— A beautiful one!
— You did it right! Take him by the cheek. Like this.
— The baby shark is so tiny.
— Let's let him go!
Kiselyov believes that the small EU countries have taken Washington's ideological bait. And they got caught without even realizing how they did it. But we're traditionally generous towards them.
— Let him go!
— Let's let him go! What a handsome fellow! That's it, we haven't even hurt him.
— Let's send him to his mom and dad.
— Go find your mom and dad!
Kiselyov's little fishing company has all the legal licenses. Most fish they catch is immediately sent to a private orphanage, which was founded by Valera the fisherman. The TV-host's family will have something for dinner today as well, a Black Sea spurdog.
— A Russian shark doesn't bite.
And there are cramp fish, which are properly called sea foxes.
— There are two of them, two! It hardly ever happens. It's my first time seeing this.
— Have you ever seen two cramp fishes caught on the hooks next to each other?
— We're catching cramp fish like scads.
Dmitry Kiselyov is the one to gutter his sea catch himself. And he cooks it himself as well. There's not a single foreign product.
— Crimea is ours.
— The cramp fish is ours too!
— And the potatoes are ours.
— What's going on with Europe? I don't ask what's going on with the Americans, as it's clear. What about Europe?
— Well, the Europeans have lost their sovereignty because they neglected it. Maybe, it's because of the American influence, because of what the Americans propose… You know, it's like the Crane and Fox story. They both tried to feed one another with the food which is not suitable for the guest but is good for the host.
— The same goes for them. America proposes for Europe to become a melting pot, I mean, to use the recipe that brought success to America. As for Ukraine, it's the harshest story. Ukraine is being deprived of its manufacturing plants, getting new loans… If they don't produce anything, they can't pay them back. Everyone will grab a piece.
— Thank you, son! Everyone will grab a piece, but then no one will get any loans because because it's absolutely, surely incapable to give the money back. And in the end, everyone will just abandon them. They'll use the principle which is called by some people with a politically incorrect term, «the Gypsy way.» This principle can be summed up by the phrase, «Let no one have you!» Well, I guess, there will be American bases and something else of the kind.
— What's your personal attitude towards Ukraine?
— You know, I spent part of my life there. I'm one-fourth Ukrainian. My mother's maiden name is Nesmachnaya, which means «not tasty.» My grandfather was Ukrainian. I suffer to see what's happening there. It almost makes me feel physical pain. Some people say that I hate it. It's total nonsense, delirium, demonization, and stupidity.
— My dear colleagues, let's now examine the action plan for today. We will start submerging at pole 174. Alexander Sergeevich, please, report the situation, is everything ready for the submerging of the hydro hammer?
Now, the builders are carrying out the submerging of these very poles that caused the troubles at the initial stage of the construction. The edges of pipes were crushed under the hits of the hydro hammer and couldn't be hammered into the ground. So, they managed to solve this problem without any help of the design institutions but thanks to simple Russian creativeness. One of the workers recalled the construction of the bumper on his car and proposed to weld separators into the pipes, like in honeycombs. To make the grid absorb the energy of the giant hammer. Afterward, the modified poles started penetrating the ground like butter. This pipeline story from the bridge construction strikingly reminds of one episode from the past. When the German Chancellor Adenauer, prompted by the USA, embargoed the supply of big-diameter pipes to the Soviet Union. But workers in Chelyabinsk managed to start producing these pipes themselves, enabling the country to continue building oil & gas pipelines. But the story didn't end here back then.
Evgeniy Tkachenko, Photo Correspondent:
— I came to the plant in the morning. I was told that some odd man left a sign on a pipe. It was his greeting to Adenauer. The first word was a curse word. I realized that it was out of the question, so we decided to replace the first word with the word «pipe.»
PIPE YOU, ADENAUER
— The shot I made then was immediately printed in the Chelyabinsky Rabochiy newspaper. Afterward, the shot was reprinted by many international agencies. And it was seen in many countries. Even the chancellor might have seen it. But no one could explain to him what «pipe» meant.
Evgeniy Tkachenko hadn't seen the hero of his historical shot, Alexander Dunaev, in many years. Neither of them had thought that this moment could happen again. That very plant, that very photographer, that very worker…
— Here it is.
— Did you do it?
— I did.
— And I photographed it.
— Is it you in that cap?
— No, this is Evgeniy Ivanovich.
— Where are you then?
— Here I am. This is me, in the beret.
Thanks to these pipes, produced by our country despite the pressure of the West, the Bukhara-Urals pipeline and the Druzhba oil pipeline were built. Meanwhile, thanks to these pipes, the Power of Siberia pipeline will appear. Today, they don't write messages to politicians on the examples of the pride of the Russian industry. Even though they should.
As for Nikolay Ivanovich Ryzhkov, he was lucky to covey his message to the European politicians. Most of them were absolutely confident that the Western embargo would do irreversible damage to the economy of the Soviet Union.
— You know, I leaned and said, «Thank you very much for the embargo. They glanced back on me in a surprise, as if saying, „Are you crazy?“ I said, „Thank you very much for having done it. Or else we'd still be getting our act together.“ „What do you mean?“ „We finished everything, we don't need anything else, we finished everything very fast.“ Well, they didn't even believe me.
— Can we say it today, to say thank you? Can we thank them for the same thing today?
— However strange it may sound, we need to do it.
— Do we?
— Yes, we do. Yes, we really need to do it.
This is roughly what happened. When the former leader of the United States Jimmy Carter, who harmed the economy of the USSR during his time in the office, came to Russia in July 2014.
James Carter: “My meeting with President Putin took three hours. He made a very favorable impression on us. He knows how to handle complicated issues. He was relaxed and his sense of humor is very good. Which was very surprising for us. When we were leaving, he asked our president and European leaders not to lift sanctions against Russia. We were surprised. He explained, „I'm reforming the agricultural and banking sectors, re-evaluating relations with small businesses. It would have been impossible without the pressure of the sanctions.“
— You're a Russian admiral, tell me what is the key to a Russian personality. What is it?
ALEXANDER VITKO, BLACK SEA FLEET COMMANDER, ADMIRAL OF THE RUSSIAN NAVY
— We believe in justice. We, Russians, have always had an acute sense of justice. When we see that justice is violated, that justice is violated beyond any reason, without any grounds, of course, we start to protect our ideas, our thoughts, our Russian core. That's why, in this case, we'll stand firm, and we'll remain adamant. I think this attempt to create a unipolar world we'll eventually destroy the policy our western partners are now creating.
— Alexander Victorivich, tell me where the commander of the Black Sea Fleet lives. What is this house, what is this fountain?
— The Commander lives in two places. This is the main, so to say, residency, it's the Commander's cottage. It's a heritage building, from 1956, The construction was ordered by Stalin. These trees were planted by Gorshkov.
— By Admiral Gorshkov?
— By Admiral Gorshkov. These are heritage trees. After the maintenance last year, I planted a couple of seedlings myself.
— What is happening to the trees?
— This is an American butterfly.
— Seriously? This is an American butterfly and its caterpillar?
— Yes, but next year, it'll blossom and it'll be better than this year.
— They are devouring our trees!
— God grants, it'll be only trees.
— Do you love Sevastopol? What are your ties with it? Besides the service.
— I fell in love with this city in 1978. In Crimea, I proposed to my wife, on the Sarych headland.
— Not far from here.
— Yes, not far from here. During a hiking trip.
Tatiana and Alexader Vitko consider it to be very symbolic that their family which was born in Sevastopol, returned here many years later.
— 47 years. What is it?
— It's a very old photo, the children are still small, in Vladivostok. Here, the children are adults. And here, we have grandchildren already.
— When you told your sons what kind of men they should grow into did you set Alexander Viktorovich as an example?
— Absolutely. You know, always being honest, to yourself, in the first place, and to the others. And, I guess, being a good person, following God's commandments. They have always seen that their father, fist of all, he is a serviceman, he fulfills his duty, his responsibilities. While their mom is just a helper. And she waits for dad at home.
— I was baptized in my childhood, when I was a baby. Then my granny and I always attended the Easter service, the Christening service in the church. Even though it was prohibited back then. Where's God, there's the true life.
The true life, as Irina and Vladimir Agapov say, is the life for the sake of someone. Eighteen children in the family is not a burden for them, as some thinks. It's a gift. That's why the Agapovs have their own attitude to both the signs of the western Russophobia and the events that happen in the world today. There's nothing more devastating than the hatred between nations and religions, be it in Syria or France.
— We just need mutual respect. Among all the nations. We don't need any division, and Putin is doing the right thing that he helps anyone. But most of all, he worries about Russian people. The Russian people, no matter how hard they try to harm it, to spoil it, it keeps defending what is important for it, defending its love. Russian soul accepts anything. It has this ability to forgive. It forgives, it forgives a lot.
Like any parents, the Agapovs want their children to live in a better world. In the world where children aren't used as weapons of terrorists and don't become their victims. Where everyone has a home, a chance to be rescued, and the right for the future.
THE REPUBLIC OF CRIMEA
— Valentina Ivanovna, what do you think, could we have acted differently from what we did back then, in the Crimean spring.
— We couldn’t have. Crimea is in the soul of every Russian, it had always remained Russian. It restored our dignity, it restored our respect to ourselves and our country.
The barriers around Crimea are not being demolished yet, but are already crumbling. Some European touristic agencies started selling tours to the peninsula without much advertising. The first investors' proposals have come from Italy, Greece, Germany. It's better to start sobering up later than never.
James Carter: „Russia taking Crimea was an inevitable step. Russia has always considered Crimea to be its part. Both at the time of my presidency and before that. Likewise, you can't do anything about the Crimeans deciding at the referendum that they were a part of Russia“.
— You must have learned how to swim here.
— I learned to swim here, and I grew very fond of swimming here. The Black Sea remains my favorite.
VALENTINA MATVIENKO, CHAIRWOMAN OF THE FEDERATION COUNCIL
— Do you know, Valentina Ivanovna, that there are even coins with the Swallow's Nest? Look, ten rubles.
— You'll be fascinated if I tell you the story of these coins. The idea was coined by the Federation Council to print two souvenir coins after the reuniting of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia. Incredible, I didn't know about it. And I was shown the samples of these coins. And on the Crimea coin, there was a railway station. I said, „You know, there are the symbols of Crimea known to the entire world“. One of these symbols is the Swallow's Nest.
— So, it was your idea.
— As for this place, it was my idea. Maybe my childhood memories have something to do with this. Memory is now reviving both time and history. Perhaps, the name of this wonderful town will be used again as a common name in international politics if the international situation will make reasonable people recall the Yalta lessons. One of them is very simple. The fate of those seeking global dominance can be very unpredictable if it deals with Russia and its unique people.
— Valentina Ivanovna, this is also a Crimean tradition to throw a coin into the sea for luck, to return here.
— We will definitely be back.
— Good luck to Crimea!