Participant in an expedition that established the first Soviet Antarctic station Mirny

I fought in the war, and I am proud of this

Scaling Mount Elbrus is a veritable standard in mountain-climbing that makes it possible to test one’s will-power, perseverance, endurance and an ability to cope with mountain sickness. After that, it is possible to dream of mountains in the Tien Shan and Pamir ranges that are between 6,000-7,000 metres high. Elbrus has taught us a lot; and, most importantly, it has taught us to persevere in achieving our goal. *

"One day before being sent to the front, I called on my brother Viktor to say goodbye. He was a poet and a playwright, and the films “Pig-Tender and Shepherd” and “6 PM after the War” were based on his screenplays. On that evening in October 1941, we were walking through the streets of Moscow, and I asked Viktor what would happen if Moscow fell. ‘Moscow is not the last line of defence, but this will not happen,’ he replied.”

"I remembered my first battle in the mountains for a long time. It took place on a bright sunny day, amidst dazzlingly beautiful mountains and exploding shells that ripped that fabulous terrain apart.”

"To this day, one can find damaged dugouts, bunkers and stone pillboxes, as well as cartridge cases, and fragments of shells and mortar rounds, in the mountains. Austere and solemn obelisks mark the graves of fallen heroes. All this will forever remind us of the protracted war that involved members of my generation. I happened to be one of them, and I am proud of this.”

"An unknown territory covered with snow and ice lies below the Antarctic Circle, emitting a blinding light in the rays of the polar day’s sun or wrapped in clouds and blizzard vortexes during the pitch-dark polar night. This territory is beautiful in itself. And those who have been there once will forever remember the great silence of the ice-covered desert and cozy lights of winter dwellings covered with snowdrifts.”

* The information is based on the accounts of the person featuring in this section as well as accounts of their family members, acquaintances and colleagues