We often hear how monuments to Soviet soldiers-liberators are being demolished in Ukraine, Poland or the Baltic states. We, of course, are indignant, condemn, accuse, believing that we cannot have anything like this. It turns out that it can.
Recently, veterans of military service turned to the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, to Vseslav Bocharov. They told how in September 2020, in the year of the 75th anniversary of Victory, near Murmansk, in Liinakhamari, a village beyond the Arctic Circle, they destroyed a monument to heroes-submariners. On purpose. They wrapped it in ropes and threw it off the pedestal. According to the veterans, “the police opened a criminal case, there was a lot of noise in the local media, public assurances from the governor of the Murmansk region that the monument will be restored and the perpetrators will be punished.” A year has passed. No one is guilty. And the broken monument still lies on the slope of the hill over which it once towered.
“Into the depths of the sea for mortal combat with enemies.
A submarine is going, obeying the rudders.
And there is no ground firmer for us under our feet,
Than the decks of submarines.”
From a song to the verses of the Hero of the Soviet Union, submariner commander Israel Fisanovich
The monument to submariners was erected in Liinakhamari in 1972. Then a division of small missile ships, the 15th brigade for the protection of the water area and the 42nd separate brigade of submarines were based here. That is why everything that in these places is connected with the exploit of submariners during the war years was sacred for those who lived and served here. These exploits were used to educate sailors.
An almost 9-meter stele and a submarine wheelhouse carved out of stone with bas-reliefs of sailors' figures at the base was installed at Cape Ladin, on a hill where a German stronghold was located during the war. Say, know ours – we will always be on top! The opening of the memorial took place on the day of the Navy: music, flowers, festive formation of sailors, not yet old veterans, scarlet banners, pioneer ties, solemn speeches and promises to keep in memory the feat of the heroes of the North Sea …
But the memory was short. After the collapse of the Union, in 1995, the military unit was disbanded. Those who opened the monument and promised to remember the heroes' exploits reached out to the “mainland”. The town was deserted, and the documents began to call it “depressive”.
Those who came here after the military did not formally make any promises to “remember and preserve”, they were more interested in business. In the fall of 2012, the authorities of the Murmansk region leased the land on which the monument stood to LLC Pribrezhny for 49 years. According to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, the company belonged to the company Pribrezhniy Investments Ltd, registered in Nicosia (the island of Cyprus).
It is strange, of course, that the territory of Liinakhamari, a village in the border zone, which cannot be reached without an FSB permit, was leased out on a long-term lease to an almost foreign the firm. But what can't you do for the money …
When the land was leased, no one in the local administration even remembered about the monument and the fact that the passage to it should be open. The tenants with memory were also not very good – they remembered only about their interests. The passage to the rented land was closed to “outsiders”. Formally, they have the right – a private territory. There was no one to look after the monument. Local residents tried to get to him more than once, but the guards did not let them go beyond the checkpoint.
Until the fall of last year, a shabby and forgotten, with pieces of peeling paint, the monument stood on a grassy hill, like a mute reproach to the new owners of the land , for which the submariners laid their heads and which has now become a stranger to them.
< strong>From the book of the commander-submariner VG Starikov “On the Combat Course.”
“Breakthrough in Petsamo.” “Two cannon shots, one after the other, thundered in the harbor, constrained by the high banks. Two shots meant that the boat had sunk two enemy transports. Each submarine, returning from the sea, saluted the entire fleet with cannon shots about its victories.
Even in the first days of the war, one of our large boats K-2 under the command of Captain 3rd Rank Utkin sank a German transport with artillery fire, which sank after five direct hits. Returning to base, Utkin decided to announce his success with a blank cannon shot. Since then it has become a tradition of submariners of the Northern Fleet. ”
The village with the Finnish name Liinakhamari near the Pechenga Bay is the northernmost mainland point of western Russia on the coast of the Kola Peninsula. Nearby is the only border crossing between Russia and Norway.
When World War II broke out, the Germans came here, turning Liinakhamari into one of their main naval bases on the Barents Sea. From here all year round there was free communication with the whole world, and the way was shorter and cheaper than from the Baltic. It was convenient for the Germans to use this port to fight the Soviet Northern Fleet and the Arctic convoys of the USSR's allies.
Nearby, important strategic raw materials were mined – copper, nickel, molybdenum. In Liinakhamari, nickel was loaded onto ships and taken out. From here, the evacuation of the wounded, the supply of ammunition, fuel and food to all German troops in the Arctic was carried out.
In Liinakhamari, one after another across the sea, loaded to capacity German transports dragged along. Beginning in the fall of 1941, Soviet submarines M-172 hunted them. They were called “babies”. With a displacement of 200 tons, they went through the water at a speed of 13 knots (24 km/h), under water with a maximum speed of 6 knots. Of the armament, they had 45-mm artillery pieces for firing at aircraft. It was impossible to miss the ships – two bow torpedo tubes with ammunition of only two torpedoes – it was impossible to miss.
The submarine was cramped for the “baby” team of 20 people. Usually the crew went to sea for 2-3 days, but even the commander did not have a place to rest on board. There was also nowhere to wash. After a couple of days of the campaign, the sailors were covered with “underwater tan” – a thick mixture of sweat, oily fumes mixed with diesel soot.
These submarines broke through to Liinakhamari along the only possible sea route – the 17-kilometer Petsamovuono fjord, which was guarded by German boats, and from the coast all was shot by artillery. The Germans called it “the corridor of death”, believing that it was impossible to walk along it.
In 1943, the Nazis began to build a powerful fortified area in the fjord. They built underground tunnels, pillboxes, protected firing points … On the hills, from where the Pechenga Bay was visible, huge round concrete foundations were poured under powerful artillery pieces. We prepared thoroughly. Did not help. In October 1944, the famous Petsamo-Kirkenes operation began – the “tenth Stalin strike” – a joint offensive of the Karelian Front and the Northern Fleet in order to defeat the Nazi troops in the Far North.
On the night of October 9, 1944, the Northern Fleet landed an amphibious assault near the port of Liinakhamari. On October 15, 1944, our troops occupied Pechenga, eliminating the threat to the port of Murmansk and the northern sea routes, took control of the entire area of nickel mines and already on October 25 entered Norway to free it from German troops.
Liberating Liinakhamari. , seven people repeated the feat of Alexander Matrosov.
The national monument in honor of heroes-submariners was barbarously demolished in a village beyond the Arctic Circle. Photo: Social networks
From the book of II Fisanovich “The story of the” baby “. (M., 1956).
“The commander raises the periscope for a moment. The desired exit from the fjord is right along the bow. He is still far away. In its welcoming skylight there is a familiar patrol boat, slowly approaching.
– Well, go, watchmen, count the seagulls!
Once again, in tense silence, the boat lets the unlucky watchman pass over it and breaks out of the fjord. And the enemy has already raised the alarm. Distant underwater explosions are heard behind the stern. Through the periscope, the commander sees: occupying the entire width of the fjord, three boats are marching along the front, among them is an old friend of the patrol. Shocked by explosions, the water rises above them like gray hills.
Missed it too late! Apparently, the guards of the enemy harbor were very stunned. Our boat goes to sea. Behind the stern, the bombing of an enemy powerless in his rage is subsiding. “
… On September 14, 2020, an almost nine-meter memorial to heroic submariners in Liinakhamari was thrown from a hill. The stone silhouette of the submarine was smashed to pieces.
The police department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation for the Pechenga region opened a criminal case under Part 1 of Art. 214 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Vandalism”). Moreover, those who were tearing down the monument, tying it with nylon cables, did not even bother to remove them – that's a holey memory! The cables remained lying around the broken boulders.
The Governor of the Murmansk Region, Andrei Chibis, took the situation under personal control and wrote on his Instagram: “It's hard to imagine that there are people capable of this, and they walk on the same land with us. Separately, it is necessary to figure out how the plot of land with the monument ended up in the lease of a private company. ”
They really began to understand the land. Both the prosecutor's office and journalists.
It turned out that those who were considered vandals had not committed anything illegal. The monument was not registered in the cadastral register. In fact, it doesn't seem to exist.
Although the administration of the Pechenga region said that since 2013 they have repeatedly tried to passportize the local memorial by registering it. But the tenants have never allowed cadastral engineers into their territory.
In 2015, the Committee for Culture and Art of the Murmansk Region nevertheless recognized this monument as a cultural heritage site of the region. In 2017, they tried to include it in the unified register of cultural heritage objects of the Russian Federation, which required an examination. It was completed by Valery Gulyaev, Ph.D. in architecture, who determined that the monument has no urban planning and architectural value, and called it “an element of information and tourist infrastructure.” After its conclusion, the monument was excluded from the list of cultural sites.
Local journalists warned officials that now the monument would be easy to demolish, since it was called something like an element of visual agitation. Expert Gulyaev explained his position: “It was a parody of the monument. Well, he just discredited all the memory of the event that took place there during the war. The monument must be decent. It should not cause laughter and bewilderment. “
From the book of the commander-submariner VG Starikov “On the combat course”. (M., 1952). “Breakthrough in Petsamo.”
“… In case we cannot submerge and the enemy tries to capture us, I gave the order to keep an artillery cellar ready …
– With the ascent, I and a part of the artillery crew will go upstairs with hand grenades. It is very possible that we will have to engage in hand-to-hand combat. Take two grenades, Smychkov. Throw them into the artillery cellar at the command from the bridge: “Blow up the ship.” The assistant commander will be in the wheelhouse, and if I am killed or seriously wounded, he will immediately take over command of the ship, – I say, and I myself look intently into Smychkov's eyes. “Yes, your order will be carried out!” – he answers with some extraordinary determination. ”
Perhaps one should heed the professional assessment of the expert Gulyaev about “laughs and bewilderment”, but some worm of doubt gnaws from the inside: what has the town-planning and architectural value to do with it?
Of course, this is not a monument by Tsereteli (although it is not yet known whose is better). A monument to the sailors was erected by enthusiasts. At your own expense. The whole world. They did their best to preserve the memory of those who are dear to them.
As one of the residents of the town recalls, “the monuments on the territory of the Soviet garrisons were built, as a rule, by the“ economic method ”, this is when the initiative craftsmen or simply appointed by the command sailors of the conscript erected artistic sculptures from the materials at hand. Therefore, the episodes of everyday combat life of Soviet submariners depicted on the bas-relief are more like children's drawings. ”
That's right. But maybe this is how such monuments should be built? So that the whole world, with their own hands and from everyone – everything they can. Maybe, when so, it is more valuable, closer and more expensive?
Let them be naive. So what? There are naive pictures painted in the style of primitivism. Because of this, they do not cease to be art? Of course, they are cheaper than paintings by Rubens and Titian, but they also have a right to exist and their own value. Not the price, but the value. Why should it be different with monuments?
How many such “naive” steles, obelisks, monuments are installed in small towns in our country as a reminder of the war? Thousands. Tanks, lorries, anti-aircraft guns, airplanes … And what, to destroy them all? And how many unnamed monuments to the victorious soldier are there in the vastness of Russia? Do they all represent artistic, urban planning or architectural value? Unlikely. They are just our memory. For someone Alyosha, for someone Ivan … But for someone, it turns out, they are “an element of the information and tourist infrastructure.” And, in the opinion of these people, depending on how much this “element” interferes with the development of local business, its urban planning and artistic value decreases in direct proportion.
< strong> Presale
From the book of the Hero of the Soviet Union, Vice-Admiral GI Shchedrin “On board the S-56”. (M., 1959). “Two more.”
“Setting off on another military campaign, we could not have known that it would take place on the eve of the big offensive of the Red Army in the North. Only later did it become clear to us that in these conditions the usual task set for us became even more important: together with aviation, to search and sink enemy ships off the northern coast of Norway. ”
In March last year, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, the administration of Pechenga began to formalize the abandoned monument to submariners as their property. They say they have calculated that it will take about 15 million rubles to restore it. Carrying out a land survey, getting a cadastral passport takes about a year. The process has begun. But at the very moment when permission from the landlord was expected to enter the leased territory, the monument was thrown from the pedestal.
Apparently, after the land survey, the unnecessary “encumbrance” in the form of a monument reduced the price of the site. And the price in the event of a major transaction is for many much more important than any value. So, when the monument, wrapped with cables, was thrown from the pedestal, it was not at all an act of vandalism, but a “pre-sale preparation” of the land.
The land of Liinahamari has always been prized. Back in the early 90s, they wanted to build a large port with an oil terminal and hydrocarbon processing facilities in the Pechenga Bay. It was planned to use the Liinakhamari naval base for it, which, perhaps, became the final sentence for her, the town, people and monuments. But the stagnating economy then thwarted these plans.
In recent years, land owners also planned to deploy a lot here. For example, they talked about the development of the tourism cluster. At the same time, as explained in the local administration, now many are using the excitement around the development of the Arctic, declaring projects with only one purpose – to get funding for them.
But recently a serious buyer has appeared here, interested in a plot for the construction of the port. In August 2019, Port Liinakhamari LLC was registered, founded by Norilsk Nickel. Locals believe that this time Liinakhamari's development plans may well come true.
True, they say, in connection with these plans, those who would like to easily get a tidy sum for a piece of the cold Kola coast, and then spend it through offshores off the coast of the warm southern seas, have become more active. And on the way of achieving this goal for such people there are no obstacles – no monuments, no memory. Why do they need memory, which lowers the cost of an object?
Divers don't die
From Taras's memories Fisanovich about his father:
“The name of the Hero of the Soviet Union of the Guard, Captain 2nd Rank Israel Ilyich Fisanovich, has been forever included in the list of one of the military units of the Northern Fleet. … In 2009, a monument to the members of the B-1 submarine crew headed by II Fisanovich was erected in the Scottish port of Dundee. I would like to believe that the name of the North Sea submariner Israel Fisanovich will be kept in the memory of his people. ”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn said that Fisanovich has only two types of weapons: poetry and torpedoes. He was a writer and poet. And as a submarine commander, he got out of such troubles that he was considered “conspiratorial.” He was a thunderstorm of the German battleships, a friend of Konstantin Simonov and Ilya Ehrenburg. President Roosevelt presented him with the highest US naval award – the Naval Cross.
As a submarine commander, Fisanovich made his very first military exits in 1941, breaking through to Liinakhamari, where he proved that our “little ones” could enter fortified German ports and blow up huge ships there. That is why the destroyed memorial at Cape Ladeyny was also dedicated to his memory.
The Public Chamber of the Russian Federation said that they would not leave the issue of the destroyed monument in Liinakhamari unattended. They will make a request to the name of the governor, and if anything, they will be ready to apply to the Pobeda committee headed by the president.
Now, when the prosecutor's office has started to check this unsightly story, and the governor of the Murmansk region has taken it under his personal control, many are ready to assist in the restoration of the monument. This was announced by Norilsk Nickel, the command of the Northern Fleet, and the Russian Geographical Society (RGO), which entered into an agreement with the local authorities on patronage of monuments and military graves in the Pechenga District.
Even expert architect Valery Gulyaev told local television that he was not against the reconstruction of the monument with the involvement of sculptors and architects, but if it was installed in a new place (a balm for the soul of land tenants!).
By the way, about the expertise: if take a closer look at the monument to submariners in Dundee, Scotland, you will notice that it also does not meet strict artistic criteria. Plain stone slabs with names and silhouettes of submarines. Just like the sailor figures in Liinahamari, they strongly resemble children's drawings.
On the slab near the name of Fisanovich is the sign “Hero's Star” and the number “28”.
That was how old he was. On July 25, 1944, his captured B-1 submarine left the Scottish port of Lerwick and, on its way to Polyarny, was mistakenly fired upon by “friendly fire” from the British Air Force Coastal Command. This fact was hidden so as not to aggravate – soon at the Yalta conference, Stalin was to meet with Churchill.
30 years is a milestone date. Many of our businessmen also distinguished themselves by the age of 30 – they earned their first million. Now this figure is multiplied with age. And this is good. Agree, making a million by 30 is better than dying before you reach 30.
Although, as they say in the navy, submariners do not die. For everyone, they seem to be alive, they just went on a sea voyage and they are still awaited on the shore. They are not considered dead. Therefore, they have no graves. Monuments are erected to them where they are remembered. And they destroy where they forget.
And when they forget about the war, it means that it will soon remind of itself …