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From Nevskiy Pyatachok to Berlin. The story of veteran Alexander Lazoev

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From Nevskiy Pyatachok to Berlin. The Great Patriotic War veteran Alexander Lazoev tells his story of the Victory. He had to fight death several times. But now, many decades later, he is celebrating May 9th with a large family and even has great-grandchildren. Alexander Andreevich treated Dmitriy Kopytov to his trademark pies.

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- First they wanted to chop my legs off. And then the doctor said - the boy is just 19 years old, let's keep it! No, we will not chop his legs off.

Four years later, on these very legs, Alexander Lazoev entered Berlin. The youngster found himself at the brink of death in the very beginning of the war. Back then, in 1941, the 19-year-old student of communication school was thrown into the hell of war at Nevskiy Pyatachok. And blew up on the mine during one attack

Alexander Lazoev, Great Patriotic War veteran: “A girl rescued me, a nurse. She carried me across the Neva. I remember her face”

After six months of treatment in the hospital, as soon as he regained the ability to walk, he returned to the frontline –into the Death Valley. This is how Myasnoy Bor village close to Novgorod was described as. In spring 1942, along with fellow soldiers, Alexander Lazoev was providing cover for the second army of Volkhovskiy frontline, trying to leave the cauldron. Thousands of soldiers died in that fight. In order to boost the morale of Soviet soldiers, Zhukov and Voroshilov came over to the frontline

Alexander Lazoev, Great Patriotic War veteran: “Voroshilov always talked. And then he took a rifle from a soldier and started shooting. We opened our mouths and were observing it. Do you remember the saying “Voroshilov’s shooter”? And there was a badge like this as well? So now we’re thinking - well Voroshilov is going to bring a plane down. Literally, had our jaws on the floor, we were young and a bit naïve”

- Here is me sitting, wearing spurs on my feet

Today Alexander Andreevich is 94 years old. His wife, who he had lived with for more than half a century, died eight years ago. Great-grandchildren have already been born. And the family never forgets their famous grandfather. Tea with trademark pies is on the table. “17 moments of spring” is shown on TV

Olga Bushtarenko, Alexander Lazoev’s grand-daughter: “I cannot say enough how proud I am. Not too many granddads like this have survived to our days. Both my grandfather and grandmother reached Berlin, were there, and survived!”

The veteran doesn't like solemn ceremonies. Even today he decided not to go to the Victory Parade in St. Petersburg, but rather attend a rally in his small village in the Leningrad region. There, only two veterans of the Great Patriotic War have survived to our days.

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