Fighting Domestic Violence in Russia

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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Marina Pisklakova, Russia

“I imagine pushing a large boulder up a steep hill, and then one day that boulder begins to roll on its own. To me this is success.”

Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World by Alyse Nelson

Laika

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“She had been rescued from the broken spaceship and taken far away from the lonely life she had known by a loving family that she had always dreamed of finding.”

Laika Astronaut Dog by Owen Davey

Author’s Note:

On November 3, 1957, Laika became the first animal to orbit Earth when she was launched into space in the Sputnik 2 rocket.

A few hours later, Laika‘s spacecraft malfunctioned. Though many think she perished, this story, with its happy ending for the brave little dog, is the one I choose to believe.

Language of a Self Reliant People

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The elder of the family, who had been so interested in my saddle, tried to ask a series of questions, but our poor Mongolian left us hanging. I was fluent in Russian, but like communism itself, it was a language that had never really held currency among a people who had remained more or less self-reliant through the centuries.

-On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads by Tim Cope

A description of the journey from the beginning of the book: “The world expanded with every new challenge, from frostbitten toes to the dark clouds of mosquitoes that came with summer in Siberia. But most of all it was the people who left an impression on me….I found it astonishing that in the midst of an adventure I experienced more comradeship and connection with many of these people than with those where I had grown up in Australia.

Catwoman was a Russian Night Witch

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“The Nazis called them “Night Witches” because the whooshing noise their plywood and canvas airplanes made reminded the Germans of the sound of a witch’s broomstick. The Russian women who piloted those planes, one-time crop dusters, took it as a compliment.”

“Any German pilot who downed a “witch” was awarded an Iron Cross.”

The pilots’ skill prompted the Germans to spread rumors that the Russian women were given special injections and pills to “give us a feline’s perfect vision at night,” Ms. Popova told Mr. Axell. “This, of course, was nonsense.”” [Emphasis mine]

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“I sometimes stare into the blackness and close my eyes,” Ms. Popova said in 2010. “I can still imagine myself as a young girl, up there in my little bomber. And I ask myself, ‘Nadia, how did you do it?’ ”

Interviews with Ms. Popova appear in Operation Typhoon: Hitler’s March on Moscow, October 1941 and Flying for Her Country: The American and Soviet Women Military Pilots of World War II.

Nadezhda Popova, WWII ‘Night Witch,’ Dies at 91, The New York Times, By DOUGLAS MARTIN