War and fascism: from the memoirs of the WWII veteran Ilya Kusraev



When the Great Patriotic War began in 1941, 21,736 people left South Ossetia for the front, of which 11,711 were killed, more than 7,000 were missing. Among those who returned back to their native land was Ilya Nikolaevich Kusraev, a native of the village of Grom, Tskhinval district.

Ilya was born in 1926. it was fate that he was forced to leave the primary school, and began working in the collective farm. His father was detained during the repression in 1937, the family did not see him again. He had to take care of his mother and younger brothers, so the boy courageously took on this burden.

Kusraev was called up for military service in 1944, he was serving in Armenia on the border with Turkey.

“At the border, we were on duty together with comrades in arms, guarding it from the enemy invasion. Once, together with fellow soldiers Misha Gvimradze and Abesal Geldiashvili, we managed to catch two Turks who were on the side of the Nazis. We brought them to the headquarters, for which we received medals,” the veteran recalls.

Kusraev's service continued until the end of 1950, after which he returned home with his comrades Zakhar Sadkoev, Yasha Budzhiev, Zhora Tkhelidze, Artem Kudukhov, Arshott Dudaev.

The road of life of the Soviet soldier Ilya continued again in the collective farm in his native village.

“For some time, I worked on a collective farm, after which it was opened an oil exploration enterprise, where I start working. After I was sent to a six-month advanced training course in Baku. I returned from there, having acquired new skills and continued working,” the veteran recalls.

Later, Ilya graduated from a technical school in the city of Alagir in North Ossetia, after which he was working as a forester until his retirement.

But the military aggression carried out by Georgia against the Ossetians in 1989 did not bypass the veteran.

“I was told to change my surname to Georgian, of course, I refused,” the veteran noted.

As a result, Ilya's house was ravaged and burned, the livestock was stolen, leaving the veteran without a roof over his head. The soldier held out against one enemy, but could not against the other. And whether it is a German or a Georgian, as they say, fascism is fascism.

Today Ilya Kusraev is livinng in South Ossetia, and despite the existing difficulties, he has already prepared his costume and really wants to celebrate the Great Victory Day with his friends on the Theater Square.

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