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From A Russian: Our Planet is So Small that We Must Live in Peace

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I was honored to meet Raisa Fedorova, a 95-year-old woman veteran of the Soviet army in World War II. Raisa served three years in an air defense unit that protected the oil pipelines around Baku, Azerbaijan. She married a man from Yakutsk and moved to Siberia where they raised their children. She is a leader of an organization for World War II veterans called the Katusha (name of a rocket) club and speaks frequently to school kids about the horrors and devastation of World War II on Russia and the Russian people. She and other veterans are revered in their communities for the huge obstacles faced by their generation in defeating the Nazis.

U.S. Airplanes Flew from Alaska to Russia by Soviet Pilots


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In these days of tensions between Russia and the United States, many forget that during World War II, under the Lend Lease program, the United States enormously increased its industrial production to provide aircraft and vehicles to the Soviet military to defeat the Nazis. Yakutsk played an important role in this program as it became one of the stopover points for the 800 aircraft that were manufactured in the United States and flown to Fairbanks, Alaska by American pilots where Soviet pilots meet them and would then fly the aircraft 9,700 kilometers over isolated Siberia to the bases in Central Russia.

Monument in Fairbanks, Alaska to American and Russian pilots
Monument in Fairbanks, Alaska to American and Russian pilots
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Fairbanks and Yakutsk became sister cities through this connection and each has a monument to the pilots from both the U.S. and Russia who flew the planes.
The logistics of creating airports in nine locations in Siberia with fuel and maintenance facilities to support the aircraft was remarkable.

Ivan Efimovich Negenblys; Left to right- Rotarian and host Pete Clark, researcher and Ivan's wife Galina; host and Rotarian Katya Allekseeva; Ann Wright
Ivan Efimovich Negenblys; Left to right- Rotarian and host Pete Clark, researcher and Ivan's wife Galina; host and Rotarian Katya Allekseeva; Ann Wright
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Historian and author Ivan Efimovich Negenblya of Yakutsk is a recognized, worldwide authority on this program and has written eight books about the remarkable cooperation 75 years ago between the U.S. and Soviet systems against a common enemy.

Ethnic groups and land


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The people who inhabit the area of Yakutsk are as remarkable as the unique land in which they live. They come from many indigenous ethnic groups brought together under the Soviet system through education in the Russian language. Cultural events keep ethnic heritages alive. Singing, music, crafts and clothing of each ethnicity are valued greatly in the Yakutsk area.

Unlike in other parts of Russia where young people are moving from the villages into the cities, the population of Yakutsk is remaining a steady 300,000. The federal government of Russia is offering each person in Russia one hectare of federally owned land in unpopulated Siberia to populate the area and take the strain off the cities. Families can combine their hectares into a viable amount of land for agriculture or other enterprises. One villager said his son and his family have gotten new land on which they will raise horses, as horse meat is eaten more commonly than beef. The land must show some level of occupancy and production within five years or it is returned to the land pool.

At the People's Party for Women Of Russia.
At the People's Party for Women Of Russia.
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The People's Party for Women Of Russia headquartered in Yakutsk assists women and families in Yakutsk as well as the arctic north with programs on child care, alcoholism, domestic violence. Angelina told proudly of expeditions of women heading north into remote villages to hold "master classes" in a variety of topics. The group is working internationally with presentations at conferences in Mongolia and would like to expand its contacts in the United States.

Young Russians Concerned About the Economy

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Ann Wright is a 29-year US Army/Army Reserves veteran, a retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She received the State Department Award for Heroism in 1997, after helping to evacuate several thousand (more...)
 
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