The Russian people, most of whom do not want to be at war with Ukraine, suffered another blow on Sunday when a famed theater director and soccer player both died on the same day.
Nikolai Dupak, the former director of Taganka Theater and Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic honored artist, died Sunday morning at age 101. Dupak was also a film actor and director.
Rudolf Atamalyan, a professional soccer player, coach, and mentor of the FC Tyumen "Geologist" team in Sochi, also died Sunday at age 76.
As a young theater student, Dupak's first starring role was interrupted by his enlistment into World War II in the cavalry. He fought bravely and was injured and shell-shocked three times.
After the war, he became the leading actor of the Moscow Stanislavsky Theater where he acted in many films until he moved on to the Taganka Theater.
His career spanned 80 years and he brought many actors and directors into the theater who became famous, including Yuri Lyubimov, Vladimir Vysotsky, and David Borovsky.
Some of the dozens of films he starred in are “Forty-one”, “Boys”, “Two Comrades Served”, “Criminal Investigation”, and “Captain Nemo.”
Atamalyan started out playing soccer on the Labor Reserves team in Baku, his native town.
After a few moves from team to team, he played for the Moscow Lokomotiv in the late 1960s and early 70s in the position of central forward. He was known for playing with his head.
In 1971, just as he became team captain, he was seriously injured and needed a long recuperation period.
When he was able to return, he played for Sverdlovsk Uralmash, then proceeded to Nistra. He ended his career with three years at FC Tyumen, where he scored 17 goals in 64 matches.
After retiring, he began coaching and even attended coaching school. He eventually made his way back to Tyumen and became a mentor there, after spending several years coaching different teams. As late as 2009, he was still coaching young players.
While the U.S. is professing its allegiance and help to Ukraine as Russia looks at the possibility of using tactical nukes if it can't win conventionally, we still extend sympathy to the Russian people, who are living under a dictatorship led by President Vladimir Putin.
They don't really have much choice about what their government does, and many young men are being conscripted into military service without adequate training.
Many of their lives are being wasted on this war, and that has to be a difficult thing to live through.