Group Re-enacts Battle From the Siege of Leningrad
Published: February 20, 2013 (Issue # 1747)
The re-enactment of the final battle of the Siege of Leningrad will take place on the site of the original conflict and employ authentic military hardware.
There is no shortage of outdoor winter activities in and around St. Petersburg, from skiing to sledding to sleigh-riding, provided the weather is good. This Saturday, when Russia celebrates the Defenders of the Fatherland Day, sees a rather special event, however, involving real weapons and a serious fight. The town of Kirovsk in the Leningrad oblast will play host to the re-enactment of the final battle of the Siege of Leningrad.
This year, Russia marks the 70th anniversary of the final lifting of the Siege of Leningrad.
The battle in Kirovsk, where the historic events took place in 1943, will mark the opening of a military re-enactment festival titled Russian History in the Open Air, and is sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Culture’s Tourism and Regional Policy division.
The activities kick off at midday but the historical re-enactment will not begin until 3 p.m.
More than 400 leading historical re-enactment enthusiasts from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic countries will join forces in Kirovsk to recreate the dramatic events of the winter of 1943.
The feast of sight and sound will plunge audiences into the atmosphere of the wartime era. Authentic military hardware, including Second World War-era tanks and military planes will be used in the re-enactment, while modern special-effect techniques will be involved to enhance the visual effects of the historical spectacle.
The landscape where the historic events originally took place has been carefully preserved since the end of the war and trench lines and shell craters remain intact. For the re-enactment, barbed wire barriers, earth-and-timber emplacements, front line positions, and the imitation remains of villages in which German units entrenched themselves will be constructed.
A military field kitchen will be set up on the site, along with an exhibition of military equipment. Documentary footage of the war years will be shown on a large screen.
The organizers of the project have pledged to endeavor to stage the event with as much historical accuracy and realism as possible.
“The events of those terrible days did not just change the course of Russian history, they have remained in the national consciousness as one of the most tragic and devastatingly fatal periods in the whole of the country,” said the festival’s spokeswoman, Anna Lobashova.
The military campaign that resulted in the breaking of the siege took three months. More than 200,000 soldiers paid with their lives to ensure the successful outcome of the operation.
Over the course of the year, the project will feature a series of staged historical re-enactments that will attempt to roll back the decades in order to celebrate some of the most significant dates in Russian history. With the noble goal of preserving the country’s cultural and historical legacy in mind, the project’s participants will stage re-enactments in the Russian regions, meticulously reconstructing the events that influenced or even changed the course of Russian history.
For more information about the project, visit: www.militaryfest.ru