On the eve of the Great Victory Day, volunteers from the Volunteer Company of the Combat Brotherhood of the Smolensk Region put in order the grave of Lieutenant Rankov Gavriil Vasilyevich, who died in July 1941 near the village of Mikhailovka, Shumyachsky District.
A resident of Smolensk, Nadezhda Fedorovna, who was born and lived a significant part of her life in those places, asked for help in cleaning, and most importantly, in delivering the hero to the burial place of the hero.
The story of this burial, told to us by Nadezhda Fyodorovna: “Previously, this grave was looked after by the whole village, but for more than 30 years the village of Mikhailovka has ceased to exist. The roads that led to the village and to the cemetery were simply overgrown and became unsuitable for driving. Now the village cemetery on which Lieutenant Rankov is reburied, is in a hard-to-reach place. “
To get to the cemetery, the volunteers had to walk almost three kilometers from the village of Horonevo and wade twice, first the Khotemka rivulet, and then the swampy ravine. On the way, it turned out that, unfortunately, except for Nadezhda Fyodorovna, who at her own expense ennobled the grave, there was no one else to look after her. Due to her age, she can no longer take care of the burial.
Nadezhda Fyodorovna turned to the authorities of the Ivanovo region, where Lieutenant Rankov lived and from where he went to the front, with a request to find relatives and reburial the soldier in his homeland, but the search did not give any results, and the local authorities are still responding to her requests to pay attention to this burial with formal replies.
Having put the grave in order, the volunteers decided to do everything so that the hero’s grave would no longer remain abandoned.