Steve Travels to Kherson and Yalta in Ukraine
to Meet Marina Chedakina for the First Time
April and May, 2002
Chapter 1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 5 -- 6 -- 7 -- 8 -- 9 -- 10 -- 11

Hi again, everyone. Yes, I am still in Kherson - tomorrow we leave for Yalta - keep your pants on, we will get there ;-)

It's worth the wait. Yalta is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We leave the apartment this morning, and as always, walk by the KGB office. Then we go into Lenin Park again, to parts we have not been in before. Kherson has about 450 thousand people. Lenin Park is very large, as I have said, and it is in the center of the city. Yesterday we walked for about four hours in Lenin Park, and we only saw a small part of it. I tell Marina, "This park is so large - it has lakes, forests, and it is huge." Marina tells me there are much larger parks in other cities, cities with more people than Kherson. She is surprised that I find the park so large, but she has always lived here and grew up here, so it is normal to her.

Here is a monument to all the mothers who lost sons in the Great Patriotic War (World War Two). I think it is about 80 feet high, a statue of a woman weeping, holding a funeral wreath above her head.


Lenin Park goes on and on and on. Monument after monument. Truthfully, I don't know what part Ukraine played in World War Two, but everywhere you look, there it is - monuments, memorials, statues, everywhere.

Here's a tank monument - Lenin Park is in the background. If you are anywhere in the city, and you don't see a monument, then no problem - turn and look in a different direction, and you will see one :-)

This looks to me like a T-34 tank, but I am not sure about the cylindrical canister mounted at the rear - I would expect it to be mounted in a more forward position. Don't you agree?

Here's a little bit of info on the T-34 tank, from this web site

"The Best Tank in the World" -- the T-34 was Designed and Built in Ukraine

Since Ukraine was the center of heavy industry in the USSR in the 1930s it produced much of the armaments before the German invasion. One surprise Hitler's army encountered was the T-34 tank which was designed and built in Ukraine in the Kharkiv Tractor Factory. The German general von Runstedt called the T-34 the "best tank in the world" and von Kleist said it was the "finest in the world." The first Ukrainian T-34 tank, no. 1, was tested by successfully driving it 1,000 miles from Kharkiv, Ukraine, to Moscow, Russia and back. The T-34 medium tank was superior to the German Panzer tanks because it had a more powerful cannon, a higher top speed (32 MPH to 25 for the Panzers), the armour was so superior that German shells bounced off it, superior welded construction invented by Academician Paton, and it had a wider track so it did not get bogged down in mud like the German Panzer. The Germans decided that the Ukrainian T-34 tank was so superior to the Panzer that they would have copied it but unfortunately for Germany this was not possible. German engineering technology was not up to it, many of the special alloys used in its construction were not available.

(Incidentally, in 1995 the Ukrainian T-84 Tank being built in Kharkiv is again considered the best in the world - so says the web site listed above, where I got this information.)

We walked for about two more hours through the park. Here's another monument. Nearby, but not in this photo, are huge concrete bunkers -- remnants from the Great Patriotic War (World War Two). People would run to the bunkers during bombing raids. The walls of the bunkers are perhaps 8 feet thick, maybe 10 feet. Why didn't they remove the bunkers by now? Hmm... Paranoid? Smart? You can decide for yourself why they still keep bunkers in the city.

Here's Marina at another monument.


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