It consists of a series of interviews presented as short narratives, without interpolations from the … -- Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy "A masterpiece of reportage, probably her best book." Within Russia itself, it isn’t only Chechen Ingushetia that seeks independent status: other republics, too, are daring a so far ineffective central government to strip them of the powers they claim for themselves. You know which side your bread’s buttered on,’ was his usual comment. Did the crumbling of belief and will which With very few and very partial exceptions, the evidence is of veterans of the war who are deeply scarred, irredeemably cynical, full of tension and of hatreds that can’t be assuaged. In form, Zinky Boys – the name given to those shipped home dead from the war in Afghanistan because they were always shipped in zinc coffins – is familiar enough in the West, but less so in the former Soviet Union. The Soviet dead were shipped back in sealed zinc coffins (hence the term "Zinky Boys"), while the state denied the very existence of the conflict. ‘You’re going to live with me, sweetheart,’ he informed me. Already, Armenia and Azerbaijan are essentially at war, and neighbouring Turkey has protested about the creation of two national armies out of local units of the former Soviet Army. The American vet can console himself with the knowledge that the system which he opposed has collapsed: the Soviet vet is having to live through the collapse of the system he pledged himself to defend. Winner of the Nobel Prize: “For her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.” —Swedish Academy, Nobel Prize citation, Zinky Boys, Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War, Svetlana Alexievich, 9780393336863
I couldn’t stand in front of my lads now and tell them we’re the finest and fairest in the world. Now, the disillusion and frustration felt by the Vets has persuaded mainstream opinion that anyone who wishes to criticise America’s involvement in the war but who did not take part in it had better at least be sensitive about the way in which he expresses his opposition. It`s a history of emotions-what she`s offering us is really an emotional world, ... a history of the soul." From DC & Neil Gaiman, The Sandman arises only on Audible.
I didn’t manage it though. A major in the propaganda section of an artillery regiment testifies to the extraordinary moral authority which Andrei Sakharov exercised: ‘When I hear people accusing us of killing people over there I could smash their faces in. In Moldova, the Russians and the Moldovans are already in conflict with each other.
Creating controversy and outrage when it was first published in the USSR-it was called by reviewers there a "slanderous piece of fantasy" and part of a "hysterical chorus of malign attacks"-Zinky Boys presents the candid and affecting testimony of the officers and grunts, nurses and prostitutes, mothers, sons, and daughters who describe the war and its lasting effects. John Lloyd is a former labour editor of the If you weren’t there and didn’t live through it you have no right to judge us. One widow tells of searching for days for her husband’s coffin, which was finally discovered in the corner of a provincial airport, among others similarly abandoned.