Russian WWII Grave Robbers Go Inna Woods To Be Assholes

These shitheads illegally dig up bodies and artifacts from WWII:

If this was done in an archeological manner I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with it.  These guys are doing this half under the guise of “We have to find these soldiers and re-bury them”, and yet selling the artifacts on the black market.  If your only tools are a shovel and one metal detector, you’re ruining shit and getting lucky finds occasionally… not preserving history.

I’d like to know what family members of soldiers who died there think of this.  My guess is they don’t like these guys, and either wish the bodies could just be left alone… or else an actual proper excavation take place.

11:53 – Looks like a RGD-33 fragmentation grenade.  Sitting in water since the war ended so I’m sure it’s not risky to handle it (correct me if I’m wrong).

14:12 – Mosin-Nagant.  Just a little rust, that’ll buff right out after you throw some solvent on it. :P

VICE-Logo14:42 – More RGD-33’s… They look a lot more volatile when they are dry.  I don’t think I’d want to touch or bang those around.  People get hurt all the time from explosives that old.

Thoughts?

15 COMMENTS

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xPressureDropx March 22, 2015 at 01:05 am

https://youtu.be/a15IqLYPXac

might enjoy this….probably not

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ENDO-Mike March 22, 2015 at 01:07 am

Vice emailed me about that, where’s the whole episode though? That’s just the debrief. I can’t find it on their site on YouTube so I’m guessing it’s just not up yet.

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JohnnyIShootStuff March 22, 2015 at 04:25 am

It’s part of the HBO series. You have to have HBO to watch it.

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ENDO-Mike March 23, 2015 at 12:53 am

Boooo. Hopefully they put it up on YouTube in a bit like they did with the prior seasons.

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Kyle March 22, 2015 at 06:31 pm

Those evil semi-autos

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xPressureDropx March 23, 2015 at 02:25 am

ahhhh that sucks. Really not in the mood to dvr that shit

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JohnnyIShootStuff March 22, 2015 at 04:34 am

These guys are shitheads, plain and simple shitheads. They should get a shovel to the back of the head, Step Brothers style, and then dropped in the grave they just dug, or, they should be fed to Putin’s tigers.

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Tantal74 March 22, 2015 at 04:49 am

It’s not very good archaeology, but the scale of it makes some difference. To go through each find and process it as you would a unique historical site would be impossible with this many locations and remains. The amateur method of simply digging until you can find some identifying indicators seems to work well, assuming these guys are actually keeping track and working to repatriate remains.

And yes, those unexploded grenades, mortars and shells are incredibly dangerous.

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seans March 22, 2015 at 10:55 am

Even if the explosives have been sitting in water, they can still be extremely dangerous. Especially world war 2 era explosives.

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ENDO-Mike March 23, 2015 at 12:54 am

Damn that’s scary then.

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Big pete March 22, 2015 at 05:18 pm

I think the RGD-33 used TNT as the main charge. TNT is pretty stable over time. I would be more concerned about the condition of the safeties holding the detonator and firing pin apart. Worst case scenario: The grenade is armed and committed, but didn’t fire, thus being a UXO. (unexploded ordnance) There are hundreds of thousand of UXO’s strewn across histories battlefields, waiting for someone to dig up.

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lolinski March 24, 2015 at 04:09 am

My mom found one when working in the garden. We called the police to come and get it. Not too unusual in Bosnia considering how much the country was shelled.

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Anonymous Coward March 23, 2015 at 07:29 am

William Gibson, the dude who wrote Neuromancer, wrote another book called Pattern Recognition set in the present day (or it was when it was written in 2003-ish). In the course of the book, they go to Russia and observe dudes digging up a Stuka in a swamp. Totally thought he was making that sort of thing up…

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Special Case March 24, 2015 at 02:08 pm

I won’t play with the old explosives. Cluster munitions from Vietnam War still maim kids who play with the round UXO thinking they are balls. Colloquially they are even called “bombies” (pronounced: bomb BEEZ).

I shared a tent with a UXO guy in SE Asia a decade back while working humanitarian stuff. I helped treat a kid in a jungle who had part of her arm burned/blown off by one. She turned her head as it conflagrated (not explode – more of a fast burn) which saved her face. Her arm below her elbow was gone when we saw her and she was in shock (they cut it off on their own and tied it off). The back of her head, though…

Medivac’d to Bangkok and lived, but effed up forever I am sure.

Pro Tip (from an amateur): don’t play with old explosives, unless you are a pro.

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ENDO-Mike March 24, 2015 at 02:13 pm

Holy that’s sad :( especially when it happens to kids.

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