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23 Apr, 2010 08:20

“For any army, human life is the most precious thing” – WWII officer

RT presents War Witness – a special project dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the Victory in the Second World War.

World War II veterans recount their stories about the war, its effects and its human perspective.

Lars Loflund, border guard officer from Finland, remembers the bravery of Soviet soldiers.

“A Soviet soldier was a very good soldier. It’s indisputable and this fact is recognized not only in Russia,” he says, adding “The soldiers were also courageous and professional. I know this not by hearsay; we used to meet them while patrolling the territory. The officers were also well-trained,” Loflund recalls.

It doesn’t matter, what army you serve in and what country you defend. Life is precious for everyone,” the officer stated.

“It should also be remembered that, for any army, the life of a human being is the most precious thing in the world. I survived, and it’s of major importance.”

Vasily Yavorovsky, who was a cadet of the Soviet Pacific Fleet in 1944-1949, told RT how the Soviet Navy prepared for the war.

”By the time the Great Patriotic War was about to begin, fleet admiral Nikolai Kuznetsov was commander of the Soviet Navy,” Yavorovsky told RT. “He had a feeling a war was imminent and seemed about to start, but he had not yet received any instructions from the General Staff that the troops be put on alert.”

”24 hours before the war, he independently decided to issue secret instructions by radio to commanders of the Baltic, Northern, Black Sea and Pacific Fleets so that they put the fleets on full alert,” he added.

Yavorovsky said that the Pacific Fleet sent volunteers to help the Soviet army in its ground operations.

“During heavy fighting in Stalingrad, the Pacific Fleet provided a battalion of volunteer brigades and sent them to Stalingrad. In Stalingrad, the navy men had a slogan ‘There is no land for us beyond the Volga’.”