Western Russia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by milkman67204, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. milkman67204

    milkman67204 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    I have met a few inmates some of them asking that I do a ride report here. Well after about 3 years of badgering I figured I would give this a shot. I doubt it will be as enjoyable as those folks who head east but I wll do what I can. I have a bike that doesn't really enjoy off road stuff, so I tend to stay on tarmac but sometimes I get lost or feel a little brave.

    Little info about me. I am 28, originally from Kansas, an electrician and enjoy traveling. In 2008/2009 I worked for a little over a year in Antarctica. In September 2010 I got my current job working in Moscow, Russia.


    Below here are some videos I have put together for family and friends to stay up to date with me. You can see the evolution of my bike slowly from big red machine to green monster.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR2qF18f_yQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0qciuydsIs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STZ4wR2o5RE


    I was supposed to leave the current gig I am on in May of this year. It was a contract with a maximum of 4 years so I had decided to leave in May that way I could tour around Europe or where ever I pleased for the summer. Then at the last minute I was asked if I would stay for a 5th year to help coordinate some things here.

    This is the summer for me that wasn't supposed to happen. So I thought I would do my best this summer to get around and see some of the sites from WWII along with some of the graves of the guys who didn't get another summer.
    #1
  2. milkman67204

    milkman67204 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    I go back and forth to between Moscow and Tver quiet often. Its around 100 miles the short way. This day I decided not to take the big road back, M10. I headed towards Volokolomnsk.

    The First Monument I came across was this one just outside of Tver.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    It says: Here lie the remains of more than 300 unknown heroes who sacrificed their lives for so we lived among them well-known names
    To the right it says : Glory to the Hero's the the Great Patriotic War.

    Leading up the the main display there in center is names of people buried there.

    Further down the road I came across this T-34 tank.
    [​IMG]

    A little further down near the town of Yaroplets I came across some old Soviet Bunkers that saw some heavy fighting during the war.
    [​IMG]
    They were burning fields the day I was there it made it kind of eerie
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. milkman67204

    milkman67204 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Next, just past Yaropolets, I planned to stop at a bunker and memorial. The bunker was the site of some serious fighting, there are around 800 soldiers buried here.

    I arrived during a memorial service.
    [​IMG]

    The little short lady in the front there was the guest of honor. She served here during some of the heaviest fighting. I couldnt hear her well and my Russian isnt the greatest so I couldnt tell everything she was saying.
    [​IMG]

    This is right beside the memorial.
    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. milkman67204

    milkman67204 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    This Monument is just outside of Volokolomnsk.
    [​IMG]

    This monument was for a group of 11 Soviet sappers who were able to hold up the enemy and destroyed 20 enemy tanks in the process
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next I came across a big outdoor museum/monument. It was at this spot the Nazis managed to get in the fall of 1941 then there was a huge battle where the Soviets were able to stop the advance. December 6 1941 the Soviets launched a counter attack and were able to push the invaders back.
    [​IMG]

    I think there was something like 10 tanks here. Mostly Soviet but there were a couple American tanks and German.

    [​IMG]

    Rocket Launchers
    [​IMG]

    One of the German tanks that looked like it had been used for target practice.
    [​IMG]

    This cute little baby tank
    [​IMG]

    Finally a monument to the Siberian Soldiers who fought here.
    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. Stonedude

    Stonedude Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    869
    Location:
    NW Atlanta
    I'm glad that enough people told you to do this.... :clap


    This is going to be interesting and educational.... great start!!!
    #5
  6. milkman67204

    milkman67204 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    I will do my best if it works out and people enjoy my traveling this summer I can go back and post pictures and what not for previous trips. Here is a map I made showing most of the riding I have done in Russia since I have been here.
    [​IMG]

    https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=217674824995269364489.0004fbdb73d167bacaf52&msa=0
    #6
  7. milkman67204

    milkman67204 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Again heading up to Tver, to see the lady, This time I took M10 from Moscow up to Tver. Its a big 4 lane highway the whole way nice pavement and rather boring. There are a few things along the way though.

    This is a burial sight near the town of Klin. It is located in front of a big church

    [​IMG]

    The church opened in 1837

    [​IMG]

    A little further down the road is another Church with a burial site in front of it also

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Otis the Sasquatch

    Otis the Sasquatch Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,601
    Location:
    Kirkwood, MO
    "I don't know Art, but I know what I like."
    Much better than the stereotype Soviet stuff. And no need to wonder what happened there.

    In for the Duration. :deal
    Thanks!
    #8
  9. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    903
    Location:
    MT/Bulgaria
    You don't by any chance work on Devyatinksy Pereulok, do you?
    #9
  10. TouringDave

    TouringDave Tri Moto Veritas

    Joined:
    May 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,199
    Location:
    Frankston, Vic, Aust.
    :lurk
    #10
  11. BubbasDucati

    BubbasDucati Very new nOOb

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Near the Beltway.
    Awesome stuff!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #11
  12. milkman67204

    milkman67204 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    I have been known to hang out around there 40 hours a week, or more......
    #12
  13. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,536
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    :clap:clap:clap Love it. Don't see a lot of stuff from Western Russia. Keep it coming. :clap:clap:clap
    #13
  14. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    903
    Location:
    MT/Bulgaria
    I was there from Aug-Oct 2011. Would have been cool to meet :freaky
    #14
  15. milkman67204

    milkman67204 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    After arriving in Tver my Okcana, her daughter Ksusha and I decided to head to the center of Tver and check out some of the stuff there.
    In the 1700's Tver burned to the ground and was ordered rebuilt by Catherine the Great. She loved St. Petersburg so had it rebuilt to look similar to Petersburg, at least along the river that flows through it.

    [​IMG]

    The photo below was of an old brick building it was the location in 1919 of the first official meeting of workers and laborers, in Tver, when they were forming the Soviet Union. In Soviet times the city was known as Kallinin.
    [​IMG]

    This is the main monument in Tver to WWII. The little girl there is Ksusha shes 10 and was extremely bored during our excursion. The Nazis occupied Tver for a few months in 1941 it was one of the first major cities to be liberated during the war. As the Germans fled they left most of the city in ashes.
    [​IMG]

    Here is an overall view of the monument during anniversaries there is a flame on top
    [​IMG]

    This is one of the only monuments dedicated to recent wars I have seen period in Russia. it has a list of names of people that have died in wars since Russia's war in Afghanistan
    [​IMG]


    This is the old NKVD building in Tver. NKVD was the predecessor to the KGB. They killed many many people in the basement of the building. Especially during the war years. Now it is a medical academy.
    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. milkman67204

    milkman67204 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    The next morning we decided to jump on the motorcycle and enjoy the good weather! First stop Staritsa.

    Its an old town mainly known for its monastary that is 900 years old!
    [​IMG]

    Another couple of churches
    [​IMG]

    That is Okcana off to the left talking to someone that was interested in the bike.
    [​IMG]

    Staritsa was occupied for about 3 months in 1941/1942. Again alot of what was there was destoryed as the Nazis left. There was some serious fighting that took place between this city and the next one Rzhev.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. milkman67204

    milkman67204 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Our destination and point of turn around for the day was the town of Rzhev. There were major battles here. It is a little known place but the amount of destruction rivals the likes of Stalingrad. There is a heated debate on the amount of lives lost in the battles around this town but an estimate of 350,000 Germans and around 1,000,000 Soviet soldiers seems to be thrown around a lot. Before the war the town had more than 56,000 citizens, upon liberation 150 were left.......
    These were on the entrance to the town

    Thats Okcana again messing around in the truck
    [​IMG]

    Thats my ugly mug standing on the rocket launcher
    [​IMG]

    Me again looking sexy as ever!
    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. milkman67204

    milkman67204 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Okcanas Neighbor, named Babafaya, was 12 years old in 1941 when the Germans showed up. She lived exactly in the the middle between the towns of Rzhev and Staritsa. She said the Germans treated the children like her well. In the winter time they let the children come inside and warm up near the stove and gave them a bit of food. She was actually more mad at the Soviet Soldiers. I guess as they retreated they burned most of the villages to the ground and told the villagers to go live in the many caves around.

    She told us the worst part was when the spring of 1942 came and the snow melted she could walk the 20 km from her home to Rzhev and never step foot on the ground just stepping on old the dead soldiers laying everywhere. Many of them weren't identifiable, German or Soviet, some they could tell only by what scrap of clothes was left on the mangled body.

    This is the monument proclaiming Rzhev a town of Military Glory.
    [​IMG]

    One of the smaller monuments to the war
    [​IMG]

    This gun was used during the war to fire onto the Nazis occupying the town
    [​IMG]

    Grave of the unknown soldiers.
    [​IMG]

    The amount of lives and carnage that happened here are just unimaginable for me. after the war what happened here wasnt really talked about the battles that happened here were almost treated as if they never occurred, at least the scale was never really released. The Battles of Rzhev, the Rzhev Meat Grinder as it was called, were on the scale of Stalingrad but because it was not a decisive victory for the Soviet Union it was mostly forgotten about, even though its less than 150 miles from Moscow. Many of my friends here when asked about Stalingrad can go on and on but when asked about this place know nothing. Most of the information I have given you so far wasnt released until after the fall of the Soviet Union. I hope someday this place gets a little more recognition after all that went on here.
    #18
  19. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,203
    Location:
    Kingdom of Belgium
    Very entertaining report and pictures.
    Thanks for pointing out those forgotten or neglected, stories. They deserve to be acknowledged and remembered.

    Good show. :clap
    #19
  20. milkman67204

    milkman67204 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    The last place we visited in Rzhev was the cemeteries. There was one for the Soviets and one for the Germans. The Soviet Cemetery was disapointing. I have no idea how many people are buried there or really any onfo at all other than it is still being added to as soldiers are uncovered through out the country side.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    There was also a monument to the Kazakhstan soldiers who fought and died here.
    [​IMG]

    The German cemetery was much better done. I am not sure as to the current number of people there but it will hold 40,000 when its full. They are relocating many smaller graves to this location and again as soldiers are dug up they are brought here for burial.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These stones had the names of the known soldiers buried here. the names are covering the entire front and back of each stone.

    [​IMG]

    After this we tried, unsuccessfully, to find a musuem that was just on the outskirts of town. Then we decided to start back to Tver about 130km or so on paved road.
    #20