The other day, the members of the USUE student search group "Honor and Memory" returned from a search expedition held in the Leningrad region. For two weeks, the students were working at the Vyborg Bay area, where from November 30, 1939, to March 12, 1940, there were fierce battles between the USSR and Finland.
The searchers managed to raise the remains of 41 Red Army soldiers but unfortunately could not restore their names. In the burial, they discovered personal belongings of soldiers: spoons with initials, coins, pencils, and personal first-aid kits, fragments of felt boots, belts, as well as helmets, gas masks, and fuses for grenades. The most valuable of the artifacts found were sent for examination to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, others were added to the exposition of the USUE History Museum.
At the end of the Memory Vigil, the exhumation of the found remains was carried out.
“Combat operations took up a vast territory, so we needed to increase the area of work with the ground. We had to shift 200-300-kilogram boulders and uproot the pine stumps to raise all the remains. The excavations were conducted under the scorching sunshine and heavy rain,” Angelica Talipova, a member of the Honor and Memory group shares her impressions.
The expedition participants adopted practical experience of excavation from veteran searchers and also learned little-known details about the Soviet-Finnish (Winter) war, which was unleashed on the eve of the Great Patriotic War and stayed in its background for a long time.
Next year the students plan to return to Vyborg to recover and re-bury with military honors the remains of other 30 soldiers of the Red Army.
The search student group was established in SINCH (now USUE) in 1975. In 2003, it was named "Honor and Memory". This February, the group celebrated its 15th anniversary. During these years, its members participated in search expeditions in Belgorod, Kursk, Smolensk and Leningrad regions, as well as in France (Courcy). The members of the group were awarded the lapel pin of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation "For Active Search".