Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Leningrad- Hero City" Sign Placed So Travelers from Moscow Must See It

Leningrad- Hero City
Citizens of Moscow, Russia, I have found, are largely unaware of the feelings some residents of St. Petersburg feel toward them.
            During the Great Patriotic War, WWII, the city of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) was surrounded by the Nazis and cut off from its supply lines for 900 days. 1 million people starved to death inside the city. Peter is built on a swamp so there was nowhere to bury the bodies.

That means that these people were surrounded for 900 days by 1 million rotting corpses, while they themselves were starving, freezing, and being bombed and shot at. Nothing like that has happened in human history since the Old Testament of the Bible. It was literally Biblical. Nothing like that happened in Moscow.
            When I was going to school at St. Petersburg State University I lived in downtown Peter, right across the street from the Moscow Train Station on Ligovsky Prospekt.

            There is a sign that was down the street from my apartment that reads, “Leningrad-Hero City” and I believe city planners had a purpose for putting that sign where they did.
            Everyone who travels by train from Moscow to Peter must disembark at the Moscow Train Station. The closest subway station to that train station is called Mayakovskaya. In order to reach that subway station, people coming from Moscow must walk in the direction of the Leningrad-Hero City sign for about 10 min.
            So that means that every person who has ever traveled from Moscow to Peter via train, and has continued on to the nearest subway station, has walked in the direction of that sign for 10 min.
            I think it’s fair to say that both President Medvedev as well as Prime Minister Putin have seen that sign a few times. (Both Medvedev and Putin are Peter natives.)

Mayakovskaya Station is where the Red Line meets the Green Line. See Pic of Train below intersection.


  1. So what exactly is the point u r making by this?
    I am from Moscow and we had a siege and heroic fights here, not a blocade tho.

    BTW, what's your opinion on this:

  2. My point is that there is regionalism within Russia that eludes some people. The Battle of Moscow cannot be compared to the Siege of Leningrad. The suffering is not comparable. I try to understand the present by looking at the past. Peter is part of Putin's as well as Medvedev's past. It affects their decision making. My point is that this regionalism should be kept in mind when understanding the two men and their policies and appointments.

  3. Case in point: Matvienko's Duma election debacle of several weeks ago. Medvedev offered her the seat of the Speaker of Parliament, meaning she had to first give up her Governor role and get elected into the Duma. The election was a predicted fraud (as she was not popular among the St. Petersburg residents). She easily beat phony opponents, while the opposition leaders were arrested and harassed by the police. The two municipalities which ensured her bid were promised 'attractive improvements'. Such is the true nature of the Russian political system, where everything is bought and sold.

  4. I read recently that Peter is the 4th biggest city in Europe. It's a federal district and a port city and it's so funny to me that often people in consider it simply a tourist destination.