Media 4: Boy Soldier

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Fyodor Levskoy was a member of the Komsomol, just like Sacha, and so you can see in Fyodor some of the blind patriotism that might have motivated Sacha to act the way he did. The two battles mentioned in the video -- Tikhvin and the Nevsky Bridgehead -- are both relevant to the early chapters of The Undesirables. Petr's "heroic" destruction of the tanks in Chapter 2 directly allows the Red Army to re-take the town of Tikhvin and open up "the Road of Life" to Leningrad. The Nevsky Bridgehead was a tiny strip of land outside Leningrad that was constantly bombarded by the Germans. The soldiers that die and give Karen her train tickets and false identity were wounded there.

Another part of this video that I find extremely interesting is how it illustrates the psychology of war and battle. Fyodor was obviously deeply traumatized by what he experienced during the battle for Tikhvin, and yet he encouraged his son and grandson to both become professional soldiers. This is a psychology not uncommon among veteran soldiers, and one that fascinates me.

This video is relevant for one other reason: Fyodor joined the war in right at its beginning, fought through the entire conflict, and lived to be 90 years old. That gives some some hope for Petr and Karen...perhaps they can survive the war, after all.

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