This change in fortune came with the Battle of Moscow which started in December 1941. Hitler had been determined to take the city as quickly as possible. But the Red Army, 500,000 of them, stopped the Nazis in their tracks outside the capital, helped by the Russians being better trained and equipped for winter combat. Hitler’s failure to take Moscow, it can be argued, was the turning point in the war.
As the Russians pushed the Nazis back, Kaziev’s service with the Red Army in World War II saw him fighting to liberate Ukraine from Nazi occupation. He was a specialist sub-machine gunner, whose weapon of choice may well have been the famous PPSh-41. Often nicknamed the “papasha,” or “daddy” in Russian, this deadly gun was capable of firing 1,000 rounds a minute.