Panoramic Image © 2005 Andrey Ilyin
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Moscow, after V-day parade

Moscow May 9 2005

The square in front of the Bolshoy Theatre – traditonal place where veterans meet old comrades, those who remain alive. Even 20 years ago this place was crouded with aged, but hale and hearty veterans, keeping in their hand the packards with the names of units where they used to serve.

Now this square is half-empty. In 1945, 18 millions of soldiers and officers lived to see the end of the war, just 1 million lived so long to V-parade 2005.

It won’t be overstatement to say that without women the Soviet Union could lose this war. Over 800,000 women were conscripted in all combat arms, their share in medical staff was 61%, 52 women got The Hero Star – the highest Soviet decoration.

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