The Soviet propaganda used to create images of a traitors exactly with
the same profusion as a heroes and often they have not been a people
who deserved this name.
One reason the bunkers are neglected and forgotten is the
personal conflict between Stalin and the man in the picture. This is General
Andrey Andreyevich Vlasov who commanded all of Kiev's fortified areas.
In Soviet times the name Vlasov was a synonym for a traitor.
All Vlasov's have been unlucky people, they had to explain everywhere
that they are not relatives of General Vlasov the Traitor. Even for offical
papers when they put their signature, they often added /not relative
of General Vlasov/.
He still not rehabilitated here. To judge who this man really was is
a question history should reconsider. He was a very talanted military
leader, rebelian, a man with idea.
Vlasov observed how millions were dying for no good reason.
His perception was that liberating Soviet Union from Stalin was more
important than defending from
Hitler's attack. With the support of the Germans he raised army
of Soviet captives, later thousands of dissidents joined his army. The Soviet judgement was harsh.
He was sentenced to death in 1946.
Soviet history presents the battle at Kiev's fortified area as a
failure of General Vlasov. It is why later the bunkers were
abandoned and their story forgotten.
From my point of view his efforts were not a failure. Germans didn't break through
all the defence lines. Here, for the first time in this war the Soviet army
counter-attacked, overcoming the onslaught of Hitler's Blitzkrieg.
The Soviet Army began a retreat from the fortified area because
German army kept
advancing to the East. Cities and towns fell one after another and soon
Kiev appeared to be in danger of capture. Stalin didn't want to retreat
meanwhile all the smart
military commanders in Kremlin warned him of a catastrophe.
Stalin never gave the order to withdraw. The decision to retreat was
by marshals and it was taken too late.
Everyone hoped they would break a way through, but as columns
of technics, army and civilians moved some 70 kms on East, they became
trapped in the so called- "Kiev Encirclement" and more than 600.000 died or been captured.
Here, we are in Borshov village.
Soviet troops intended to cross Trubeg river at this place. As
they came by, they found out that there wasn't a bridge which everyone
had on their maps. It was a topographic mistake. Columns stuck on the
marshy bank and gotten under bombardment.
In this battle generals stood side by side with soldiers,
fighting the way through encirclement. Commander of all Soviet
South-West army Kirponos died with carabin in hands.
The only successful escape through the encirclement was lead by General Vlasov.