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The fighters are almost children, but still heroes of World War II


From the first days of the Nazi occupation in the Smolensk region there were active partisan actions.

The partisan warfare has its own rules: in any case, it is particularly cruel. So it was in 1812, so it was in 1941. The difference is that in our land Nazis bossed during the longer period of time than the soldiers of the Napoleon’s army (among them there were about 120 thousand, Germans — Saxons, Vurtingbergians, Westphalians and Bavarians — who, according to eyewitnesses, along with the Pole Corps by Poniatowski, were different in special violence against civilians). And at the disposal of the Nazis there were much more effective facilities for killing civilians …

But if in 1812 the main force in the partisan war are the irregular military formations (in essence — volatile commandos), during the Great Patriotic War, as a number of reasons the Soviet command was unable to prepare fully a sufficient basis for the action and battle groups troops behind enemy lines, the main role in fightings with the occupiers played the ordinary citizens.

Among them were old people and very young ones. One of these young heroes is Volodya Kurilenko. He was born in December 25, 1924 in the village of Babinichi Vitebsk district, Vitebsk region of the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic in the family of rural teachers, before the war he lived in the village of Porecheno Smolensk district of Smolensk region. When the Nazis came to Smolensk, a sixteen-year old Volodya went to the partisans and became a saboteur bomber.

He fought bravely and skillfully. Only for April-May 1942 his group, whose task was to conduct sabotage on roads and railways, derailed four enemy trains, destroying about thousands of Nazis. But on May 13 Kurilenko and several partisans were got into an enemy ambush. They managed to escape from the trap, but in an unequal battle Volodya was mortally wounded. The next day he died.
In September 1, 1942 Vladimir Timofeevich Kurilenko was awarded posthumously the title Hero of the Soviet Union. After the war, his remains were moved to the foot of the Smolensk fortress wall — where today there is the Memory Square Heroes.
And in May 9, 1966 in Smolensk on the crossing of the Communist Street and Glinka Street there was a monument dedicated to the brave partisan (since 1974 the monument is a subject under the state protection as an object of cultural heritage (the monument of history and culture) of regional importance «monument to the Hero of the Soviet Union Vladimir Kurilenko partisan») . Its authors are the sculptor K.B. Pasternak and architect S.V. Shestopal. On the grey granite pedestal there is a cast bronze figure of a young people’s avenger. In the hand of brave men there is grenade, on his shoulders there is an Army cape. On the boy’s face there is a thirst for battle with an implacable enemy, and at the same time — the desire to live. But he, this young boy, had to give his life for the lives of others, and the descendants shouldn’t forget about that.