Town Mayor Aleksei Penshin speaks at the opening ceremony for the new war memorial in Zaozersk. Photo: Zaozersk on VK

Nuclear submarine town honors warriors killed in Ukraine with large Z-memorial

In the center of Zaozersk now stands a monument shaped in steel by the letters Z, V and O, the symbols of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.
October 24, 2023


The Northern Fleet town located on the coast of the Barents Sea this weekend honoured local men killed on the battlefields in Ukraine with the erection of a new war memorial. In a ceremony attended by representatives of local and regional authorities, as well as servicemen from the Northern Fleet’s 11th Submarine Division, artist Maksim Prozhevarov metaphorically explained his idea with the three Nazi-inspired letters and the flying birds.

“The foundation of this monument are the three signs Z, V and O - the symbols of the Special Operation […] They contain the fire that is inside, contain the fire of war and do not let it spread,” Prozhevarov said during the ceremony. “On top are cranes, which is a symbol of the men, whose souls have gone to heaven, the ones that died for the containment of the fire,” he added.

Artist and smith Pavel Liznev is also an active airsoft soldier in Murmansk. Photo: private from VK

Co-contributor to the monument is Pavel Liznev from Olenegorsk, Liznev informs in a comment on the Zaozersk VK social media page.

Since the start of Russia’s onslaught on Ukraine, at least four men from Zaozersk have been killed.

In January this year, is became known that Aleksandr Kauko was killed. In March, the name of Dmitry Gavrilenko was put on the death lists. The subsequent month, also Ivan Chicherin was included. In May, also Yegor Boldyrev was confirmed killed.


Ivan Chicherin, Dmitry Gavrilenko, Yegor Boldyrev and Aleksandr Kauko from Zaozersk were all killed in Ukraine. Photo collage by the Barents Observer



Aleksandr Kauko was serving for the Wagner Group, while Gavrilenko, Chicherin and Boldyrev were all decorated soldiers in the Russian Armed Forces. The latter served as senior lieutenant and is included in the Armed Forces list of Z-heroes.

Reportedly, Boldyrev and his group killed up to ten ‘nationalists,’ and he was instrumental in detecting up to 50 enemy military objects that ultimately were eliminated by Russian artillery, the Russian Military informs.

In this weekend’s ceremony, many of the killed soldiers’ family members were present. One of them carried a cap with the logo of the Wagner Group.

According to town Mayor of Zaozersk, Aleksei Penshin, there will be set up memorial plates around the new monument devoted to each and every of the killed soldiers.

Deputy Governor of Murmansk Vladimir Yevmenkov (in red jacket) attended the ceremony in Zaozersk. Photo: Zaozersk on VK

Zaozersk is one of many regional towns where new war memorials now are being erected. The funding is provided by a new program established by regional Governor Andrei Chibis.

Zaozersk is known for its powerful nuclear submarine bases that today includes attack subs of the Yasen-class. Near the town center is the naval base of Nerpicha that houses the brand new K-560 Severodvinsk and K-561 Kazan. Previously, it was homeport also to six giant Typhoon submarines, as well as several more vessels, among them the the Komsomolets (K-278) and the first Soviet sub K-3 (Leninsky Komsomol.

The municipality has status as closed military town. It is located about 50 km from the border to Norway and has a population of about 7,000.




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