MOSCOW: Daniil, 27, was wearing a Putin t-shirt and had a Russian flag tied to his bag as he walked in Moscow on Victory Day (May 9). Daniil said he attended an WWII event that remembers family members that fought during the war. Daniil attended the event near Red Square with his mom to remember his grandfather, showing photos from the event on his phone. He said his grandfather survived the war, helping defend Moscow, but died tragically while working in Siberia in the post-war period. Daniil said his grandfather saved a drowning woman, but died himself in the process. Daniil, whose father was murdered when he was young, runs his own small business putting down decorative floors. He said he got into the business after helping a friend one day. He said he decided to work after completing his military service, rather than finish his higher education. As for the Putin shirt, Daniil said he had more respect for the Russian President after he refused to buckle under the threat of US sanctions. As we talked, a police officer approached and told Daniil that tying the flag to his bag was inappropiate and to put it away.
The cab driver arrived at the Moscow airport, a confederate-themed song playing in his car. He said that he had read a lot about the American Civil War and loved reading historical original documents. He shared his views on the American Civil War and then segued into a discussion about WWII.
He then mentioned that his grandfather had been freed from a German prisoner camp by US soldiers and taken to California along with a few thousand other Red army personnel for further medical help. The US offered to let the Red army soldiers stay in the US, but nearly all chose to return….
She was born in 1926 in Western Ukraine into what would become a large family. WWII devastated her country and may have contributed to her mother's premature death in 1944 from pneumonia. She took one of her younger brothers under her wing and helped raise him in her home. But, she never had any children who could care for her in old age. So, nearly 70 years later, roles have reversed. Her younger brother has taken her into his home to care for her. ''It is my moral obligation,'' he told me. ''She did so much for me as a boy.''