Russian Digging

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Just taking a step to any village outskirts and digging a few feet deep inside the soil would reveal tons of the things laying there since World War II. Almost all the territory of Western Russia was a battlefield so if you ever go to Russia you don’t need to pay a visit to an antique store, you can start digging at any place and get your part of loot.

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via lepra

49 thoughts on “Russian Digging”

  1. eerie but very interesting. The round bullet holders make for a kind of violent but oddly beautiful image. Fascinating, thanks for sharing.

  2. I wonder what they did with the bones after they dug them out.
    Also, I wonder what the owner of the house they build thinks about having a bedroom right above the mass grave…;-)

    • They re-buried them, but now as soldiers, in a grave, with all respect and honor. Found documents help to identify names and military ranks of those people and, sometimes, to find and inform their living relatives.

      Every Russian (the house-owner is not an exception) knows it from the childhood that all the European part of Russia was a battlefield 65 years ago and almost every square yard of that land, theoretically, is a mass grave.

  3. But those bones are from soviet soldiers of german? Because i guess that not only soviet soldiers were buried in the western part of Russia

    • I’m sorry to interrupt you, but what’s the point of those many exclamation marks divided by spaces? Is this a kind of mental suggestion or just an attempt to confuse the reader? Thx.

    • I think it is safe to suppose they were Soviet soldiers.
      a)The helmets, machine gun and its round magazines, propaganda book, document (travel order?) and the coin are definitely Soviet.
      b)The torchlight and the aluminum bottle are German, but it was common practice in Red Army to take anything usable from the bodies of dead enemies. See the photos from the end of WWII somewhere on this blog showing Soviet soldiers with German messtins.

      Now comes a bit of speculation:
      I think the bodies were buried by Germans or locals. I do not think Soviets would be burying them with weapons, which were always in short supply (it is said the average was one rifle for three soldiers). On the other hand, Germans had no use for Soviet firearms – theirs were better.

      BTW, does somebody know the whole story behind the photos – location etc? I am unable to get to the original site

    • sorry i express bad my idea

      the point is what happen with the bones of german soldiers (nazi)that could be found in russian soil.

  4. About 10y ago, in Estonia, near Narva, local russian speaking men had the “business” of digging up german/nazi, russian and maybe even some estonian Distinguished Service Orders and sold them to tourists. Not anymore. The irony is that many of the same “businessmen” were against moving the bronze soldier in Tallinn because of the war graves.

    Wargrave robbing is considered higly immoral and illegal. I thik it might be a criminal offense.

    A lot more dangerous than bullets/mines in Estonia is the police, you will always find somebody, who does not like graverobbers.

    The people on the picture seem to be more either archeologists or just workers. They are not criminals.

    • Then all your post is pointless and provocative. Like all Estonian towards Russia, however. 🙂

      Here’s my point. Firstly, you’re talking about graverobbers (why?!) and coming to conclusion that people on the photo aren’t such kind (indeed they aren’t! 😀 ). This makes your post pointless. Secondly, stressing the moment of your story where graverobbers are, of course, «russian-speaking men» makes it provocative.

  5. Why rebury the these dead “with honor”, I’d call what these people are doing dishonor.

    The battlefields are holy sites, not crime scenes. Their blood of brave men fed the grass and all other life that now grows above them. The grass respects the dead. Not a bunch of materialist zionists gravedigging as the new entertainment, hip-fad, soon to become bored with it and move on to the next desecration of the old world.

  6. According to Czech site devoted to battlefield archeology, where one member describes his experiences from Pitomnik (last operational airport near Stalingrad, used for evacuation of encircled 6th Army), Russian grave looters just leave the bones scattered around.
    They are so well organized they even use excavators.

  7. respect the dead soldiers
    be human
    war is needed
    human is better than devil
    machines are better than god
    god is not better than machines.,
    kisses from argentina

  8. I think it is safe to suppose they were Soviet soldiers.
    Don’t you mean that Soviet soldiers there just died for pleasure, not killing even a single enemy trooper ?

  9. I think the dead soldiers might feel a little pleased that some people cared enough to dig up their bones and pay respect to the remains.

  10. Great set of photos. I’d love to know the general area. The dirt doesn’t look as dark as the dirt I’ve seen around Stalingrad/Volgograd, so I wonder if it could be further north, maybe even west of Moscow? If so, I guess if they dig deep enough they may find some equipment marked in French.

    On a lighter note . . . looking at those guys standing around the hole, in the third photo from bottom, I can’t help but wonder–how does a nation of such ugly men have so many beautiful women? I have never been able to reconcile the difference. 🙂

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  12. It is unfourtunate that anyone had to die. I have been there and war is not something to take lightly. Most of them were likely conscripts who would have rather been home farming instead of fighting for something they did not understand.

  13. If one Russian soldier or German soldier`s remains can be listed and a family can put them to rest in their minds. I see no problem with uncovering as long as it is done respectfully. War is not pretty and long after it has passed the taste is still bitter.

  14. Dear friends, I’d like to clarify this story.
    These pictures originate from a restricted community blog, This is a extract from a personal account of one of the users, who was a member of a voluntary war relics excavation group. The excavations were conducted under local government permission, and were followed by identification (where possible) and reburial of the remains, with all of the posessions of the KIAs going with them. The explosives were officially destroyed as required by Russian laws. The evidence of these actions was present in the original post, and it is very sad to see EnglishRussia making a tabloid-style posting out of a sincere and voluntary work of other people.
    An honest story intro would make it all, and it wouldn’t affect the impact of the images.

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  16. Gee, it looks horrible! But these unfortunates could even be just Russian penalized soldiers, who fell into commanding officer`s disgrace and were shot that ill-fated day. Lots of top dudes never spared the life of the soldiers.

  17. As a woman it is hard to understand the necessities of war most of the time…until my child or my family are threatened directly. Sad photos, amazing revelations about the nature of war and the duration of it’s impact on every generation…past, present and so very far into the future.

  18. I hope there are real efforts to identify and repatriate the dead, no matter their nationality, turning them back to their families, their hometown, or, when not possible, having at least a decent, proper burial.

    And I hope the more personal items (ID documents, personal letters, dog tags, family souvenirs, pictures) are returned when possible. I don’t mind the guys take war memorabilia as a reward for their work recovering the bodies (helmets, weapons, tools, that kind of stuff), but very personal things belong to the dead and their relatives.

    If not, this is a highly immoral business and I find it most disgusting and disturbing.

  19. I’d largely agree with rekapitulant’s comments, but…what was the motivation for digging? Disturbing war graves for voyeuristic pleasure is disgraceful, and although these men were not given a proper respectful burial at the time if modern people are aware that there is a grave on that spot they should have built a memorial and held a service, not dug them up and taken photographs for everyone to see on the internet. There are many ways to offer respect to these dead men, this is not one of them.

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  21. The machine gun is called a DPM invented by degtyaryov .
    It was adopted in 1943 and was latter replalced by the rpd then 5 years latter the rpk 47. The gun looks in good condition I bet it still works. Then you have a rare glass flask or canteen. Also you haven some 7.62×54 ammo for the dpm and some 12.7×108 rounds Wichita proabley came from a anti tank rifle if they had links they would be used for a heavy machine gun like a DShK m1939/46 which are usually on tanks or air craft. Awsome !

  22. When I read the above mouth-crap from a variety of ignorant people, I felt like I do when I read the bullshit written by ignorant bigots on WW2 forums like Axis History Forum, Feldgrau and Armchair Generals. Each forum is populated by undisciplined louts who have read a book or two and then combine their mental limitations with the bigotry of their own nation’s literary liars to excrete piles of lying, stupid rewritten history. They should be shot for the crime of distorting history!. I am a military archaeologist, and when I read what these diggers say, hot fury burns within me. No professional archaeological investigations have gone on in the Eastern Front area in the past nearly one hundred years. All we have is the medieval level mutterings of morons.


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