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Porik (Bazil), Vasilij Vasiljevič

Porik, Vasiliy Vasil'yevich

Василий Васильевич Порик

Lejtenant Vasily V. Porik (Basil) - member of the French Resistance[/i], commander of a partisan detachment in northern France

(1920 - 1944)

Hero of the Soviet Union

Born on February 17, 1920 in the village of Solomirka in Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine, he came from a peasant family and graduated from the agricultural industry in 1939. He then joined the Red Army and became a student at the Kharkiv Military Infantry School. In 1941 he successfully graduated from the school and was commissioned as a lieutenant.

At the beginning of the war, Vasily was assigned to the 6th Army Southwest Front, which was surrounded and largely fell into German captivity afterwards. Among them was Lieutenant Porik, who, along with many others, was taken to the Boumont prison camp in the Artois province of northern France in the summer of 1942. Here he took an active part in the camp's resistance activities and organised the escape of a group of Russian prisoners. They then joined the French Resistance and formed a guerrilla group under Porik's leadership. The group undertook diversionary actions against the occupiers on French territory from July 1943. During one of them, the commander was wounded and captured, but again managed to escape. He then led the guerrillas in derailing two military train echelons with ammunition and eliminating a column of German vehicles with two hundred soldiers. Lieutenant "Bazil", as the French called him, also organised the successful raid on the camp at Boumont, in which three thousand Soviet prisoners of war were liberated.

In April 1944, Vasily Porik became a member of the newly formed Central Committee of Soviet Prisoners of War in France. On 22 June 1944, while performing a combat mission at Arras, Lieutenant "Bazil" fell into a Gestapo ambush and was shot by the Nazis. He was buried not far from where he died.

The fate of "Leutnant Bazil" was unknown for a long time, because like every prisoner of war he was considered a traitor and a coward in the USSR. Only in 1964, when the French government posthumously awarded him the title of National Hero of France, did the Soviet government hurry up and additionally award Leutnant V. V. Porik on 21 July 1964 Hero of the USSR in memoriam. The hero's name was engraved on the wall of the Arras Fortress alongside the names of other heroes of the French Resistance. His native village was renamed Porikovo and streets in several Ukrainian cities, including Kiev, now bear his name.

In 1970, a two-part film Узники Бомона[/i] was made based on his story.

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