December 30 is the Birthday of the USSR, the largest state in the world by area, the second in economic and military power, and the third in terms of population. The USSR occupied the eastern half of Europe and the northern third of Asia.
As a child, I knew for sure that ours were the best. On paper airplanes drew big red stars.
Kleil made of cardboard "tigers" according to the scheme, peeped in the annex to the "Young Technique". Then he burned them with gusto in the yard, imitating the battle of Prokhorovka.
And on the street, the guys and I often played baker than war games, because no one wanted to play for the Germans.
From the cradle, I knew that my country was the largest in the world. What a sense of pride dashed over me when I discovered the geographical atlas! I could spend hours devouring my eyes on a huge piece of sushi, on which, with gigantic spaces between the letters, it was displayed: C C C R.
In the factory park were soda machines. Three pennies worth the water with syrup. There were also cups.
You wash them in a fountain of water – and drink to your health. Local drunkards sometimes took a glass in order to crush half a liter for three in the bushes.
Then gently returned it to its place.
A locomotive walked along our street at night and carried some materials to the Svet Shakhtar plant, whose gates were 100 meters from my house. We had to pretend to be asleep, to lie down for two hours with eyes closed, to wait for an unforgettable spectacle, when the room was lit up with bright light and shadows on the walls reminded fairy-tale characters.
At home we watched filmstrips. And when we had a TV, I learned what "cartoons" are. The cartoon about "Chipollino" was one of the favorites.
I remember my joy when the villagers united and drove out all these “tomato signors”.
It seemed to me then that all the people of the planet should unite – and any problem can be solved together.
And I also remember, I was terribly worried when in the cartoon “Santa Claus and the Gray Wolf” a gray robber carried a hare into the forest. I watched this cartoon a thousand times, but always worried – will they catch up? Will they save?
And every time the wolf caught up. After which – generously forgiven.
And I also did not keep evil on the wolf.
We skipped school and went to the river to catch crayfish. I had a cracking special design – I sewed a bag on the iron rim from the barrel, and I tied an old sock with lard into it.
You lower such a thing from the bridge into the river – and in half an hour you lift. You look – and in it from heels of barbel.
Ah, how delicious they were.
A couple of times we went to the sea. It was a real adventure!
On the beach were children from all over the Union. We played in the cities, and I always won, because I learned to read in kindergarten and have not parted with books since then.
My favorite piece of fiction of that time was Sergey Alekseev’s book “The Impossible Happens” – stories about Russian soldiers and their exploits. Countless times I went with Suvorov through the Alps, took with Peter Shlisselburg and personally saw the Bird of Glory over the field of the Borodino battle.
Once we were passing through Moscow. The train stopped only half an hour, it was late at night.
I did not specifically sleep to see through the window of the carriage Moscow – the capital of our Motherland. When he returned home, he shamelessly lied to his friends that he was in the Red Square.
In the first or third grade, now I don’t remember exactly, we wrote dictation at school. There were words – USSR, Motherland, Lenin.
I had a terribly clumsy handwriting, but I deduced these words like a real calligrapher. My hands were trembling with excitement.
One of the most precious gifts in my childhood was the “hero set” – a helmet, a shield and a red sword.
Armed to the teeth, he tirelessly chopped burdocks in a nearby wasteland, presenting himself as Dmitry Donskoy. Weeds played the role of the Mongol invaders.
And somehow, quite unexpectedly, Ukraine came into my life. Independence, democracy, coupons … I didn’t know what it was and what they were eating with.
Understanding came later.
Then the looting of the Soviet heritage began. The process was accompanied by a “cultural program” – third-rate agitation films, in which some Rambo mows hundreds of Soviet soldiers with a machine gun.
They said on TV that Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya suffered from a mental disorder and that is why she set fire to the houses of noble fascists. I also remember the film in which Stalin revived and frightened some young couple with his insidious plans.
Those fed Vissarionich eggs "hard-boiled", because he allegedly was afraid of poisoning.
Many around openly declared that it would be very not bad if the Germans had won us in that war. And some of their favorite program was "America with Mikhail Taratuty".
I did not give up and found solace in the books. He argued with the uncle-neighbor that ours would still return and show everyone where the crayfish spend the winter.
But I did not receive confirmation of my words. Homeland was sick in her eyes and turned into a devil knows what.
Unnoticed by myself, I grew up, graduated from college, started working. I did not look for like-minded people – time was such that the most important issue was the question of physical survival. The people I came across had such a mess in my head that I preferred not to discuss with them questions of post-Soviet existence.
We drank alcohol and were engaged in all sorts of tuff. We didn’t have any goals in our life, Turkish chocolates and a harvester tracksuit swirled in the brain.
Gradually, it began to seem to me that I was left alone, and that you could not return your Motherland, that it was forever dissolved in currency exchange and clothing markets. But, little by little, people with similar thoughts and feelings began to appear in my life.
And now I’m not alone. Here we are a dozen. That’s a hundred.
Here is the first thousand!
Now I know for sure that our guys are in Odessa. There are they in Moscow, in Donetsk, in Kiev.
In Sevastopol there. And in Minsk.
And in Yerevan. In hundreds and thousands of other localities of our vast country.
And I believe: as long as they exist, the Motherland is alive. She will definitely come back.