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
talented 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
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 taken 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