4 votes
Accepted

Who wrote this particular poem in Zinky Boys?

This is mostly based on the comments. Original text and auto-translation: Я сам себя спрашивал: «Почему поехал?» Ответов сто, но главный — вот в этих стихах, не запомнил только, чьи они: Две вещи на ...
b4rtr's user avatar
  • 1,746
4 votes
Accepted

Why did so many people in Zinky Boys give the temperature as 70 degrees Celsius?

YouTube has a short video of a man going through the park with his thermometer, moving from the shadows into the light. What he wants us to understand is that real temperature (“in the shade”) is not ...
b4rtr's user avatar
  • 1,746
4 votes

Was Vietnam referring to the Vietnam War in Zinky Boys?

Not necessarily the war. The USSR was involved in many conflicts (see Rand's answer), and in most cases retained presence afterwards, whenever it was possible. Having permanent military bases, like in ...
Zeus's user avatar
  • 602
3 votes
Accepted

What were Bulgarian biscuits?

I found a a copy of the Penguin translation online so I was able to read a bit more context around the reference. (I won't link the online copy since it seems like it must be a copyright infringement.)...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 18.9k
3 votes

What were Bulgarian biscuits?

My guess is this kind of thing: I don't speak Pashto at all, but I found some Persian references to "Bulgarian wafers" (ویفر بلغاری) that appear to describe this kind of wafer cookie. My ...
Juhasz's user avatar
  • 675
3 votes
Accepted

Why did Svetlana Alexievich write "Zinky Boys"?

The section in which Alexievich states she does not want to write another book about war are presented as diary extracts begining with: 14 June 1986 I never want to write another word about the war, ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 18.9k
2 votes
Accepted

What was the long list of names in the beginning of "Zinky Boys"?

At least one name on the list isn’t real. Later editions of the book are supplied with the materials of Alexievich’s court trial on the charges of slander and offending Soviet veterans. One of the ...
b4rtr's user avatar
  • 1,746
1 vote
Accepted

Was Vietnam referring to the Vietnam War in Zinky Boys?

Presumably yes. In the context of Soviet military interventions around the world, all three of Ethiopia, Angola, and Vietnam would make sense to be referenced. Ethiopia The Ogaden War was fought ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.3k
1 vote
Accepted

Why were Afghanistan veterans treated so poorly relative to World War II veterans?

In one case it was a victory which has always been glorified up to the extent of unimaginable. In the Soviet Union it was like - you live in a country where you cannot go to the shop and buy toilet ...
Andra's user avatar
  • 810

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