“We went to Kineshma, that’s in Ivanovo region, to visit his parents. I went as a heroine and I never expected someone to welcome me, a front-line girl, like that. We’ve gone through so much, we’ve saved lives, lifes of mothers, wives. And then… I heard accusations, I was bad-mouthed. Before that I’ve only ever been “dear sister”… We had tea and my husband’s mother took him aside and started crying: “Who did you marry? A front-line girl… You have two younger sisters. Who’s going to marry them now?” When I think back to that moment I feel tears welling up. Imagine: I had a record, I loved it a lot. There was a song, it said: you have the right to wear the best shoes. That was about a front-line girl. I had it playing, and [his?] elder sister came up and broke it apart, saying: you have no rights. They destroyed all my photos from the war… We, front-line girls, went through so much during the war… and then we had another war. Another terrible war. The men left us, they didn’t cover our backs. Not like at the front.” from С.Алексеевич “У войны не женское лицо”
In the Soviet Union, women participating in WWII were erased from history, remaining as the occasional anecdote of a female sniper or simply as medical staff or, at best, radio specialists. The word “front-line girl” (frontovichka) became a terrible insult, synonymous to “whore”. Hundreds of thousands of girls who went to war to protect their homeland with their very lives, who came back injured or disabled, with medals for valor, had to hide it to protect themselves from public scorn.
Tired swimmer rescued in Finland
During the first weekend of November, a Finnish man was kayaking on a lake in a thick fog. He saw something floating in the water, and when he got closer he saw that it was a Northern Hawk-Owl. It was clearly exhausted and the man lifted it out of the freezing water onto the tip of his kayak. The owl then crawled to his lap for warmth and burrowed under his lifejacket.
Since his original destination was too far away, the man decided to head for a nearby art museum on the lake shore. Once there he was eagerly assisted by both visitors and a museum guide, who took the bird in to rest and dry up next to a warm stove. At the end of the day the owl had recovered and was released back into the wild.
How the owl ended up in the lake in the first place remains a mystery. It may have got lost in the fog, or have been driven out to the lake by Hooded Crows (if a flock spots a predatory bird they tend to chase it away quite aggressively).
(This is my summarized translation of the article which is only available in Finnish. No copyright infringement is intended, only sharing this to celebrate the brave little owl and all the people who helped him.)