From the pilot handbook, this gem:
"If the engine quits in instrument conditions (blind flying when you can't see the ground) or at night, the pilot should pull the control column full aft (it won't stall) and keep the wings level. The leading-edge slats will snap out at about 40mph (64km/h), and when the airplane slows to a forward speed of about 25mph [40km/h], the airplane will sink at about a parachute descent rate until the aircraft hits the ground."
I've read accounts of people jumping out of the AN-2 at low speeds, without a parachute, and without injury.
It's a pretty big plane too.
Here is a raw footage from a helmet mounted camera of a smokejumper. You can see his entire team jump, then see himself jump, experience the quietness under canopy and realize the technicality of maneuvering such a canopy with many pounds of equipment on you. Really incredible stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz_6cq7dfVc
And as a french thanks they have this kind of abnegation :
And this didn't happen by chance. If you take a look at the history of the Slavs, that live and lived on the territory of current Russia, you'll find that it is mostly about having to defend against invasion after invasion for most of the last 1000 years.
If it wasn't the europeans who were invading (France, Germany, Poland-Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark - which all were very powerful at some point in history), then it were the Turks or Persians from the south, or the Mongols from the east that invaded.
This certainly had an effect on the society and their psychology and that's why you will see there more people willing to risk or sacrifice their lives for the survival of their state and their people.
That's the explanation why most liquidators in Chernobyl were volunteers, why the Soviet Union could even fight a total war against Nazi Germany where they lost 30-40 million people (could you imagine France fighting any war in which they lose 10 million citizens? Even under the harshest dictatorship that uses force?) and why a collectivistic ideology like Communism could rise in Russia.
It even explains why opposition has a very hard time in modern Russia (it is often viewed as betrayal against their state and their people), and why Russia is so large in the first place. (they feel the need to have giant buffer zones in case of future invasions and to have a backup plan behind the Ural mountains if the Moscow region should ever fall)
I was going to comment how this wasn't an accurate statement, but in reflection it actually is. It's not that the powers that be are negligent with dispensing their citizens' lives, it's that people themselves are more willing to risk their lives, both heroically altruistically and sometimes without due need at all. Buckling up is indeed for wussies, but then you do in fact have the acts of extreme heroism like in Chernobyl. It's an interesting cultural trait.
But would it really surprise you if the Soviet leaders did as "pilsetnieks" wrote and forced people to get high radiation doses without telling them?
Russia have outstanding traditions in e.g. math, literature, art and engineering. That is not diminished by Russian leaders' traditions of enslaving Russians (and others).
As any dramaticals events you had stupidy , petty arrangements, manipulations and heroism.
Still glad for the heroism of the first people on this event.
All in all, there was a handful of people who really knew the risks and who truly, heroically sacrificed themselves. Then there were some volunteers, and then there were masses of involuntary laborers who were told that they should take a few charcoal tablets a day and they'll be fine.
About 600 000 people were involved in the liquidation effort. Surely you cannot believe that they were all Soviet heroes, or volunteers for a cause no one actually was told about at the time. You don't need to hope for volunteers in a totalitarian regime if you can just gather any able-bodied man you can find.
Please do us all a favor, don't smoke that ever again.
Speaking of the Ch. episode, while there were definitely criminal decisions involved (local people not being told what exactly happened, and thus exposed to huge risks), what "pilsetnieks" does is spreading "клюква", I believe.
Ah, that is why USA had to build a wall to stop people fleeing to the freedom of East Europe? :-)
Edit: On the other subject -- I can't find much on Wikipedia at all about the construction of the sarcophagus.
Speaking of the sarcophagus, I'd start looking into the memoirs of both those in charge back then, and those in actual action down there (both kinds of sources will likely be not available in translation though).
I assume you're Russian? Only Germans seem to learn about their own country's atrocities in school/media. (I'll add Russia to the list of Turkey, Pakistan, Japan, ...)
A brutal dictatorship, as Putin seem to work towards, means that the controlling junta can treat the people as their own property.
As I wrote: If you have to lock people up to stop them from fleeing -- and the guards even shoot on sight! -- it shows the relationship; leaving is theft of valuable property, i.e. a slavery situation.
I have worked in Romania and have read/heard about how the spine of the people were broken and how they were controlled.
For example: There were some German speaking people since the Middle Ages in Transylvania. The adults were sent to Siberia. The broken survivors did get home, years later... Another example: Political prisoners (but at least not "criminals" which had just refused to sign over their land to the Party), were just not going to survive prison.
And so on.
(Pre-60s Africa, during colonialism? Well, that is at least different compared to the usual Soviet argument of blacks in USA. :-) )
My best commie cheers from the land of Brutal Dictatorship!
P.S. If your second line is indeed about Hitler regime being on-par (or "better") than the pre- / or post-war Soviet one (despite declared political goals, documented doings, and victim counts), just say so :)
And Putin isn't brutal inside the borders, yet. The tendency seems clear. I really wish the best for the Russian people, they if anyone on the planet deserves better after the history. (It is not easy to go democratic for a country with big income from natural resources, see "the oil curse".)
(I didn't compare with the German nazis, I noted that citizens are generally not enlightened about atrocities done by their own country, but I'd guess Soviet did have them beaten in absolute numbers. Number of millions, that is.)
Holodomor, the great purge, the red terror, forced resettlements, Gulag... Values between 8 and 61 millions, depending on if the starving are part of that.
But merely the count of those executed during the "repressions" era / total count of Soviet civilian losses during WWII is less than 0.1 (and USSR was not the only side that has suffered from Hitler).
The researchers seem to differ in, amongst other points, how much of the hunger was planned.
Quotes from the wikipedia page I referenced, with different researchers:
"Some historians attempt to make separate estimates for different periods of the Soviet history, with casualties for the Stalinist period varying from 8 to 61 million."
"Several scholars [...] put the death toll at about 20 million."
"no fewer than 15 million deaths"
"Wheatcroft excludes all famine deaths as "purposive deaths," and claims those that do qualify fit more closely the category of "execution" rather than "murder." However, some of the actions of Stalin's regime, not only those during the Holodomor but also Dekulakization and targeted campaigns against particular ethnic groups, can be considered as genocide"
(About the last quote -- I don't get the difference of execution and murder, when it comes to farmers whose only crime were to have been born.)
Again -- argue what your schools taught you (or whatever source you have for your claims) with the researchers on the subject, not with me. (Or go the popular way and claim that Wikipedia and/or all the academic research are in a conspiracy... :-) )
Edit: Anyway, as I wrote, the original point is that you can define living in the Eastern Bloc as slavery. The slave owners did whatever they felt like to anyone -- e.g. if individuals or groups complained about the situation or tried to leave. Torture, murder, genocide and throwing complainers into prison or a mental hospital. See Pussy Riot.
On the last phrase: have you seen Pussy Riot yourself? :)
(not even asking if you've ever listened to them -- as no one did)
Regarding school knowledge -- I'll claim that the sources listed on that page are BS w/o even looking (although going one-by-one could by a truly fruitful exercise in myth-debunking, probably) -- you may compare the then population count to the figures you mentioned to get some initial suspicions.
Oh, please... Extraordinary claims need extraordinary support. Post a careful comparison.
We are back to the original point -- people had to be put in prison (with guards that shot people fleeing!) to keep them in. The borders and information were open in the West.
>>have you seen Pussy Riot yourself?
I've seen that in civilized countries, we don't throw people in jail for being blasphemous. (And what in H-ll has artistic quality have to do with that?!)
>> I'll claim that the sources listed on that page are BS w/o even looking
As I guessed: "Or go the popular way and claim that Wikipedia and/or all the academic research are in a conspiracy..."
Well, I have better things to do than argue with people claiming Wikipedia is a conspiracy which misrepresent the present state of research -- without knowing the subject enough to recognize the sources!!
That is a basic test for non serious debaters, sorry.
Speaking of seeing PR, and the civilized practice: the folks in question are not "a rock band who dared to say no to the dictator from a Cathedral stage (in music!) and were imprisoned", but rather a group of political hooligans, known initially for a group sex orgy in a museum (and an another alike event, which I'll not describe here), who then performed several rush-into-cathedral-and-start-cursing-and-jumping-around-with-a-guitar (sound to be overlayed later) acts, until finally getting whoever saw this pissed off enough for the freaks to be handled to the police (and then, the infamous trial happened).
(coming from your original "See PR" -- you may indeed go and see the pictures).
Regarding renowned Wikipedia researchers in question -- you don't have to be one to highly doubt their claims: with nearly every family in ex-USSR losing members during what is called The Great Patriotic War here (the total losses are officially > 20 M), both the collective consciousness of the nation, the witnesses still alive, and their families share the memories of the losses' severity. Same applies to the 1936-39 repression era (< 2 M executed being the official figure), the ratio of "official figure" / "perceived impact", most importantly, seeming to be close to that in the case of the War. Now, the events costing 60 M in human lives would have roughly x3 the impact of the War, and still there's nothing like that -- which brings to a conclusion of roughly a 60/20 * 20/2 == 30x hoax!
And don't you dare to say that living here, we "don't know the subject enough" :)
Leaving a border will generally not make soldiers shoot at you from the country you leave.
Being that locked in only happens to slaves and other prisoners.
And I think you know that.
>>Regarding renowned Wikipedia researchers
(I already noted that you learn differently in your schools, like most all other countries with recent atrocities in their history.)
Sorry, if you argue against wikipedia without even looking at research references I can't take you seriously.
I didn't read the rest.
>> I didn't read the rest.
Arguing through not listening may indeed be an effective (albeit a solipsistic) strategy, but not in a public discussion :)
"Your schools covering up recent atrocities!", and Russian leaders historically outperforming the West in enslaving nations -- is that really what you've been taught?
Again, what cover up are we talking of? You very much cannot sell a 60 M dead from famine story to anyone here, due to presence of alive witnesses -- but it obviously flies much better over the curtain and far away. What is taught builds on information declassified during the 90-ies, when "dozens of millions dead" claim was fashionable, but found no supporting ground, to quite a surprise of those insisting on access to relevant documents and their publication.
There's a fine balance between freedom and recklessness but I'm glad Russia has smokejumpers and the like so we can see another way than that of most of the western nations.
I'd like to have that same feeling in the US but I'm apprehensive about the implications.