SOVIET WAR MONUMENTS OF THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR BY GREG KAMINSKI
If you travel throughout Russia and the former republics of the old Soviet Union, you will always come across monuments dedicated to their Heroes and the nameless men and women who died fighting the Fascists. Up until the breakup of the Soviet Union, these monuments were revered and well maintained. But these days, there is no money for their maintenance and some have fallen in disrepair and others vandalized.
In the smaller cities and towns, you will sometimes see monuments consisting of a Soviet tank on a concrete pedestal. I was told that it was customary for the first tank of the liberating force to be enshrined as a memorial. Heroes of the Soviet Union were honored with stone monuments erected in their hometowns. Twice Heroes of the Soviet Union were accorded bronze busts. Every 9th of May (Victory Day) (note: read more about Victory Day in Henry Sakaida's excellent article here), Komsomol members would lay flowers at the base of the monuments, followed by public offerings. Unlike the United States, the Soviets went to great lengths to show their appreciation of (continued)