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October 11, 2021, 17:44

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Photo by M. Mishin. Press Service of the Mayor and the Moscow Government

A memorial sign of the 21st division of the people’s militia of the Kiev region was installed in the park opposite house 39 on Kutuzovsky Prospekt.

On the Day of the Moscow People’s Militia, a memorial sign was erected in the capital to the soldiers who stood up to defend their native city during the Great Patriotic War. He appeared in the park opposite house 39 on Kutuzovsky Prospekt. The monument was erected in honor of the feat of the 21st division of the people’s militia of the Kievsky district of Moscow, wrote in his account in social network “VKontakte” Sergei Sobyanin.


The 21st division of the people’s volunteer corps of the Kievsky district of the city of Moscow was formed in July 1941 and became part of the 33rd army. It was later renamed the 173rd Infantry Division.

7,660 people arrived at the assembly point of the division in the building of school number 59 in Starokonyushenny lane. Most of them had no military training.

The division was staffed from workers in factories and plants, such as the Dorogomilovsky chemical plant named after M.V. Frunze, Badaevsky brewery, pencil factory named after Sacco and Vanzetti, Moscow refrigeration plant. It also included employees, representatives of the scientific and creative intelligentsia – employees of the institutes of economics, world economy and world politics, philosophy and history of the USSR Academy of Sciences, artists and employees of the Vakhtangov Theater, the Mosfilm studio, teachers and university students, senior students schools.

The main command staff of the division, units and subunits was staffed from among the military personnel who had experience in conducting hostilities. There were also many young commanders, graduates of military schools in 1941.

The division participated in the construction of the Mozhaisk defense line, held back the onslaught of enemy troops on the approaches to Tula, defended Kashira, participated in the counteroffensive in the battle for Moscow, the defense of Stalingrad, the Oryol offensive on the Kursk Bulge, the liberation of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and ended the war in Germany with an exit to the Elbe river on May 5, 1945.

For military merits, the division was awarded the Orders of Lenin, Red Banner, Suvorov II degree and received the honorary name “Chernigov” – for successful military operations during the crossing of the Desna River and the liberation of the city of Chernigov. Of the fighters of the 21st division of the people’s militia, 68 people became heroes of the Soviet Union. As part of the division, the only battalion of Glory in the Soviet army was manned. All of its soldiers and officers were awarded the Order of Glory.

Perpetuation of the memory of heroes

In the summer of 1941, 12 divisions of the people’s militia were created in Moscow with a total number of about 120 thousand people. The soldiers took part in the battle for Moscow and other battles of the Great Patriotic War.

In October 1941, four more divisions with a total strength of about 40 thousand people went to the front. Their participants made a heroic contribution to the preparation of the counteroffensive on December 5, 1941 and the victory in the battle for Moscow.

The divisions of the Moscow people’s militia were formed from volunteer townspeople of different ages and professions: workers, students and teachers of schools and universities, scientists, art workers, engineers and civil servants.

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Moscow honors the memory of the people’s militias who stood up to defend their hometown. A monument is dedicated to each division, and more often several. These are sculptural compositions, memorial plaques, and steles.

In 1964, in memory of the heroes, the street of the People’s Militia was named in the Khoroshevo-Mnevniki area. In 1974, a monument “Militia” was erected here.

In 2015, a monument to the heroes of the 7th Bauman division of the people’s militia was erected at the intersection of Novaya and Staraya Basmanny streets. This year in the park “Aqueduct” on Prospekt Mira a monument appeared the heroes of the Rostokinsky division of the people’s militia “Shoulder to shoulder”, and on the Big Circle Metro Line opened a metro station “Civil uprising”.

On the buildings of schools, institutes, public organizations, where in 1941 headquarters were smashed and divisions were formed, memorial plaques and memorial signs have been preserved. So, in 2020, in the Catherine Park, the memory of the 6th division of the people’s militia of the Dzerzhinsky district was immortalized. And in 2021, memorial signs were installed on house 27 on Leningradsky Prospekt (in honor of the 18th division of the Moscow people’s militia of the Leningradsky district).

What monuments appeared in Moscow in a year

Another commemorative sign is at the design stage. It is dedicated to the heroes of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th divisions of the people’s militia. It is planned to install it at the intersection of Teply Stan and Academician Vinogradov Streets (Teply Stan Street, 14/2).

In addition, in September 2021, a law was adopted by the city of Moscow on the establishment of a memorable date – the Day of the Moscow People’s Militia. The date of the celebration – October 11 – was chosen in memory of the breakthrough of the Red Army troops from the Vyazemsky encirclement near the village of Bogoroditskoye, at the head of which were the divisions of the Moscow people’s militia.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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