Wednesday, May 9, 2012

War, Shashlik and Taxes

Sixty-seven years ago on May 9th 1945, the Red Army officially took the surrender of the German army in Berlin.  This was one day after the Germans had surrendered to the Allies on the Western Front.  The Soviet Union felt they deserved their own ceremony and they were right.  Regardless of what you were taught in school or learned from the movies, the Second World War, the Great Patriotic War, was fought and won on the Eastern Front.

This is not in any way to take away from the Western Front but simply to emphasize the magnitude of the Eastern Front which stretched from the Baltic to the Caucasus and to which 80% of German army divisions were assigned and in which some 20 to 30 million citizens of the Soviet Union perished, including Tanya's grandfather and his two brothers.

Today is a national holiday in most countries of the FSU.  (The Baltic states may not see it as much of a celebration as for them they simply exchanged the Nazis for the communists and one can debate under which they were better off).  It is a holiday here in Ukraine.

Tanya and I decided to have the family over for shashlik.  Roman is our BBQ chef but he and Lina couldn't come as Lina had worked all night.  She works for a friend of Andrei's who owns a chain of funeral homes and two loads of stone monuments had come in which she had to receive and check over before signing off.  So I did the honours.  Andrei, Tania and Masha arrived at 2:00 and we had a fine feast.

I also did my taxes today, using Intuit's TurboTax on-line.  I know it is late and it will cost me but I don't care.  How to ruin an otherwise good day.


  1. The shashlik looks delicious-you were a great stand-in chef, I'm sure. Were there perogys (sp?) or cabbage rolls too?

    1. Thanks, Barb, I am learning the tricks of the trade.

      Vereniki (perogies to you) are sometimes home made but often store bought and like pelmeni, reserved for times one is too lazy to cook. Cabbage rolls (holubtsi) are a rare treat as they take time to make.

      Basically we ate meat and fresh veggies.

  2. History is rarely objective or accurate - it is always written by the winners of wars.
    Great looking eats.
    the Ol'Buzzard