A "Hitlerjugend" kind of story, set in the Soviet Union during the Second World War, based on a fictitious story from the eponymous book by Vladimir Kunin. The Red Army has a gang of ... See full summary »
It is August 1941. With the battle line far away in the east, three soldiers who have managed to escape from captivity find it difficult to hide: the territory is occupied by the enemy. The... See full summary »
Set during World War 2. After the Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Russia attacked Finland in November 1939. Finnish reservists leave their homes and go to war. The film ... See full summary »
The action takes place shortly after the end of the Second World War in the Siberian hinterland, among Russians and Germans with damaged personal stories and a strange transformation: the ... See full summary »
At the Belgrade army hospital, casualties of Bosnian civil war are treated. In the hospital they remember their youth and the war. Two young boys, Halil, a Muslim, and Milan, a Serb, have ... See full summary »
Corrupted cops, street gangs, "bratki" on "bummers" and "merins", angry truck drivers, beautiful women and death are what four friends on a black bummer who set up on mission from one ... See full summary »
My iz budushchego, or We Are from the Future, is a movie about time travel. Four 21st century treasure seekers are transported back into the middle of a WWII battle in Russia. The movie's ... See full summary »
"Penal-battalions" - some background on this little-known WW2 Soviet practice.
"Shtrafbat" (2004), an 11-part TV series, is about Soviet Army battalions made up of many kinds of prisoners, hoping to be "rehabilitated" of their "crimes".
"Shtrafbat" (Punishment or Penal Battalions) were made up of deserters, political prisoners, and former POWs who had returned from German captivity (according to Stalin: allowing ones-self to be captured alive & imprisoned was akin to surrendering, & surrendering was considered to be treason, a crime punishable by death), and even "regular" criminals sent from prison-camps, so the suspicion that these people wouldn't fight well, or might even surrender, was high. These "criminals" were "graciously" allowed "a second chance" by the government, a chance to "wash away their past sins with their own blood."
These "Shtrafbat" were sent on the most dangerous and difficult missions (i.e. those with low survivability) and were followed into battle by troops who were called "Zagrad-Otryad" (Blocking Troops), and were under NKVD (precursor to the KGB) control. Sometimes these troops were almost as large as the actually fighting units they blocked. They were under orders to shoot any Soviet soldiers who were thought to be retreating, be they wounded or not.
The few "Shtrafbat" soldiers who lived through it for some months, were considered rehabilitated and returned to regular army units. The KIAs were rehabilitated posthumously, sparing their families from being branded as families of traitors, "enemies of the Soviet people."
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