J28. Ukrainian Soldier Drafted to Defend Moscow
A densely filled and illustrated album of Vladimir K.’s military service in the semi-closed military town of Kubinka near Moscow. Kubinka hosted numerous branches of the Soviet military and the city is famous for being the point where the Red Army halted the Wehrmacht’s drive towards Moscow. Vladimir K. served with the Soviet Air Defense Forces. Unlike Western air defense forces, the Soviets had a branch of the military unto itself for air defense separate from the air force. Interestingly, Vladimir K. was from Druzhba (i.e. Friendship), Ukraine – a small town near the Russian border where today the native language is almost evenly split between Russian and Ukrainian.
The album starts with boot camp training, numerous portraits of him and his friends, and various military exercises – from ski training in the snow to vehicle repairs. Almost all of the tissue guards are lovingly illustrated in color with soviet planes and rockets. The album also contains impressive photo portrait cards of Dmitriy Ustinov (1908-1984), the Soviet Minister of Defense and Pavel Batitsky (1910-1984), the Commander in Chief of the Soviet Air Defense Forces. Near the end of the album is a grid of 12 names & cities – a list of individuals with whom Vladimir K. served. His original draft card commanding him to appear for service November 13, 1976 is included. Provides an insight into the Soviet Union’s draft of Ukrainians into its armed services.