Опубликовано: 19 August 2019 19:38

World War II soldier returned to homeland after 77 years

On August 19, the ceremony of handing over the remains of a Red Army soldier Yakov Yefremov – a native of the Udmurt Republic to the relatives took place at the School Museum of Military History of Molvotitsy village, Marevsky District, Novgorod Region.

The ceremony was attended by the soldier’s niece Ulyana Lavriyenya, Head of the Marevsky District Sergey Gorkin, Deputy Chief of Staff of Izhevsk City Administration Vera Reshetnikova, military commissar for the Demyansk and Marevsky districts Leonid Polsky, commander of the Nakhodka search squad, adviser to the governor of the Novgorod Region Alexander Morzunov, members of the search squad Nakhodka, veterans, leaders and residents of the Molvotitsy village.

Leonid Polsky noted that this event is a tribute to the soldier from the Udmurt Republic, he also thanked the Izhevsk City Administration for the desire to remember the history of our country and the fate of their inhabitants.

Vera Reshetnikova said that in the capital of the Udmurt Republic it has become a good tradition to honour the fallen fellow countrymen-heroes of the Great Patriotic War, who, thanks to search work, return to their homeland. So, last year the remains of the air gunner Alexander Osintsev were buried in Izhevsk, in 2017 2 soldiers were returned to Izhevsk – a pilot Nikolai Loginov and a Red Army soldier Ivan Lomaev. ‘More than 400,000 residents of the Udmurt Republic went to the front, 145,000 of them died, 40,000 are missing. And today, on the initiative of the Head of the Udmurt Republic Alexander Brechalov, on behalf of the Head of the City of Izhevsk Oleg Bekmemetev, we are here in Novgorod Region to help return the remains of Yakov Yefremov to his homeland,’ Vera Reshetnikova said.

On August 21, the soldier’s remains will be delivered to Izhevsk. The remains of a native of the Kez district of the Udmurt Republic, Yakov Yefremov, were found by participants in the Novgorod search squad Nakhodka in spring 2019 on a hill near the village of Kulotino. At this point, a mortar fire ‘covered’ a group of military personnel during the offensive of the Soviet troops on May 1942. These fighters remained unburied at the top of the hill for 77 years. The staff of the forensic center managed to read the notes of the soldier’s medallion.

Ulyana Lavriyenya, the niece of the deceased soldier, in Novgorod land, together with the search engines, visited the battle site – the so-called ‘Demyansky cauldron’, as well as the place of the soldier’s death and mass grave near the village of Kulotino.

‘We have always known the fact that my mother’s elder brother was missing in the war. Every time she remembered her brother with sadness and kindness. Mom thought how a man could have disappeared, there should be his grave, someone should remember him. At the end of her life, I began searching the archives. On the basis of a certificate from the military registration and enlistment office, I tracked the military route of the 801st Infantry Regiment of the 235th Infantry Division. And I found that there, in the Demyansky district, there were bloody battles, the so-called ‘Demyansky cauldron’. I also discovered that there was another fighter, full of my uncle’s namesake… And in July 2019 they called us and said that our relative was found – Yakov Yefremov,’ Ulyana said.


Yakov Egorovich Yefremov was born in 1907 in the village of Syga, Kezsky District of the Udmurt Republic. He worked as a carpenter. He was taken to the front in August 1941 and served in the 801st Infantry Regiment of the 235th Infantry Division, formed in Novosibirsk. Until recently, he was considered missing. 

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