It is said of the reserve lieutenant Nikolai Kuleshov that he was a good father, friend and comrade.

Kuleshov drove trucks across the country for more than ten years.

When Russia mobilized in the Ukraine war, the 46-year-old from Volgograd caught up with his military past.

He was drafted and died in Ukraine at the end of January.

Frederick Smith

Political correspondent for Russia and the CIS in Moscow.

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He has just been buried in the New Voroshilov Cemetery in western Volgograd.

Respectively Stalingrad.

Because on February 2, when the "Day of the Destruction of the German-Fascist Troops in the Battle of Stalingrad" is celebrated, as well as on eight other commemorative days of the year, the megacity on the Volga is called again as it was from 1925 to 1961.

The photo on the makeshift wooden cross on Kuleshov's grave shows a pale, thin-lipped man with dark, short hair.

Car noise rumbles from the nearby street.

Son, parents and brother bought funeral wreaths.

The border troops of the FSB secret service, in which Kuleshov once served, sent their red and green flag with a double-headed eagle and crossed swords.

Volgograd is now called Stalingrad

Kuleshov is one of dozens who died in the Ukraine War for whom graves were dug in this cemetery alone.

Right at the entrance there is such a burial ground for them.

Most are younger than Kuleshov and were born in the 1980s and 1990s.

The wooden cross still stands on almost all graves months after death in the war.

Two already have stones with a portrait of the dead man and his medals.

Smiling young men, fresh carnations on smooth stone.

On this day, Volgograd commemorates the Battle of Stalingrad, which was won exactly eighty years ago.

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers each fell on the side of the German attackers with their allies and the Soviet defenders.

When the fighting ended after five and a half months, the city was completely destroyed.

Stalingrad was literally rebuilt on the bones of the dead.

On many buildings plaques remind of the house wars.

The bones of 180 Red Army soldiers who died at the time have just been reburied in the Soviet Cemetery of Honor, which is a good two dozen kilometers west of the city in the steppes.

A street separates it from the German military cemetery.

For the newcomers there were coffins covered with dark red fabric and a guard of honor.

The ceremony was part of the commemorations.

Mourning for the dead of that time is a matter of state.

The situation is different for the dead of the current war, who are buried every day in the cemeteries of this city alone.

On Thursday, 24-year-old Sergei Safonov, who was laid to rest in another cemetery, was one of them.

As the widow told the local press, he joined the "Wagner" mercenaries in the fall to support his wife and daughter with the pay.

Everywhere in the city, posters remind of Stalingrad as the "home of victory". The Z, symbol of the current war, can be seen on the trams, but hardly anywhere else.

If so, it looks like a private initiative.

You can see it mirrored in a window, on a child's jacket.

In the evenings, films reminiscent of the fighting from mid-July 1942 to February 1943 are projected on the facades of the railway station and the Museum of the Battle of Stalingrad.

In addition, flying cranes, which are supposed to stand for the immortality of the fallen.