Krasnodar, 8 May – Yug Times. Valentin Martynov, a 92-year-old KGB veteran living in Krasnodar, one of the participants of the Victory Parade of 1945, for several years served as Stalin and other Soviet leaders’ bodyguard. Today he is sharing some stories from his rich biography with the readers of The Yug Times.
“My coevals started being conscripted for the fronts in 1944, but I did not get call-up papers. At long last, I could not stand it and went to the military enlistment office to ask why they were not drafting me. It emerged that they had lost my documents - but then they at once gave me the papers and sent to the front. My first unit was the 192nd rifle regiment, but soon I was sent to a six-month gunner training course. However, I had no time to fight, because I was sent to a KGB school. There we were not told what we would have to do after the graduation. Only then (I graduated the school with honours) I learnt that I was going to serve in the office building of the Council of People’s Commissars (today’s State Duma building). My first job was to safeguard Politburo Member Nikolai Voznesensky, Deputy Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, Chairman of the USSR’s State Planning Committee.
“It was my affection for theatre that made me join the team of Stalin’s armed guards. The House of Unions [the venue of many popular theatrical performances of the time] stood next to the Council of People’s Commissars’ building. It was guarded from all sides, except for the one that abutted upon our building. The House of Unions’ toilet windows opend on our side - and I often climbed there to watch the performances. That was how I saw the whole repertoire, and more than once.
“Somehow my bosses learnt about my affection - but instead of warning me or inflicting a penalty on me, they included me in the team Stalin’s bodyguards during his visits to the Bolshoi. Stalin really was a big theatre-goer.
“On the day of the Victory Parade, on June 24, 1945, I was standing in a security cordon at 25 Oktiabria Street, leading to Red Square. Okhotny Riad, Manege Square and all other streets around were filled with military men, cannon, lorries, tanks and ‘Katiushas’ (lorry-mounted multiple rocket launchers).
Follow our news on Facebook