The Yug Times talks to Sergei Gladunov, head of the Krasnodar Club of military and historical reconstruction “The Platoon”.
“In 1995, we went to Moscow region to do diggings, and on May 9 I came to the city and first time met people involved in historical re-enactments. It was then when I understood that the veterans liked this movement and the youth got attracted with it. So why not to take it up, I thought.
“By then, a search party was formed, and together we understood that we liked that format.
“Re-enactment is an exercise for people aged 16 and over. During WWII, men until 60 years of age were subject to conscription, thus even mature participants look quite naturally.
“People can find us on the website and in social networks. We are people not indifferent to our history, because before taking up re-enactment, one should study the military history of his or her region, at least.
“What we propagandise is not only remembrance work but also historical trustworthiness: say, the uniform must correspond to the re-enacted period to all minutest particulars, like chevrons and elements of waist- or shoulder-belts.
“When somebody comes to our team, he usually brings something with him – say, a German gas-mask. So he begins to collect a kit of his own with this gasmask. We do not force them to perform on anybody’s side – it happens that a person collects a uniform of one army and then begins to collect a uniform of another army. We put on uniforms according to the scenario.
“During the performance, the participants must be very careful and observe all safety rules to avoid injuries – however, anything may happen.
“We all are friends in real life. Everyone may tell the commander – that is, me – what he thinks.
“Our detachment consists mainly of men aged over thirty. There are few young men, but if they come they remain and will never do something wrong lurking in the alleys. It is a sort of education for teenagers.
“In the Kuban region, there are several clubs like ours. We all know one another, and together take part in re-enactments. Sometimes, municipal authorities invite us to perform in their activities.
“We always write a scenario for every ground, based on historical facts. We are doing our best to make as close to the documents as possible. However, we should also take account of the venue, the customers’ desires, or the scenario that has already been written by the municipality. One more rule is t hat we are trying to avoid explicit cruelty, because there are many kids and teenagers among the spectators. Every activity is done to show them what fascism was, who Nazis were, and what was the price paid to gain the victory. It was a powerful and mighty army, and our Victory was gained at cost of huge losses.”