Soldiers & People

Mikhail Petrovich Zorin RIP – Defender of Leningrad and Nevsky Petechok


Mikhail Petrovich Zorin (September 16, 1923, Moscow, USSR  – February 20, 2022) – Soviet soldier, participant in the Great Patriotic War, corporal, participant in the battles on the Nevsky Petechok. The protagonist of the film “Mikhail Zorin. Life goes on!”, released in 2020.

Mikhail Zorin was born on September 16, 1923 in the village of Berezhki, Kirov Region (according to other sources, in Moscow). In the 1930s, the family moved to Leningrad, where Mikhail graduated from school and began his career at the M. V. Frunze Machine-Building Plant No. 7.  Among other things, while working at the plant, he took part in the sighting of weapons. At the beginning of 1941, the Zorin family lived in Leningrad on Tchaikovsky Street.

The Great Patriotic War

With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, Mikhail Zorin, despite the presence of armor, signed up as a volunteer for the front, adding 1 year to his age (at the time of the call he had a few months before his 18th birthday)  and on July 1, 1941 he was called up and enlisted as a militia in the 95th separate communications company of the 86th Infantry Division.

The communications company was assigned to the 330th Rifle Regiment and since 24 September, together with the entire division, operated in the Ust-Tosno area. At the end of October, as part of an attempt to release the besieged Leningrad, the division was transferred to the Nevsky Petechok.

On February 9, 1942, during the fighting on the Nevsky Petechok, Zorin was seriously wounded in the neck. According to the story of Mikhail Petrovich himself, it happened early in the morning: German snipers began to shoot at the cans hanging on a wire fence to simulate an offensive. When Soviet soldiers began to jump out of the dugouts, snipers opened fire on them. After being wounded, Zorin was evacuated to a hospital located in Yanino, and after a month and a half he returned to his unit. Another wound, this time light, overtook him on September 9 of the same year. Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, the  father of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, fought in the same regiment.. According to some sources, fellow soldiers knew each other and even met after the war. In January 1943, as part of the unit, he took part in the breakthrough, and a year later – in lifting the blockade of Leningrad.

Mikhail Zorin participated in the liberation of Pskov, the Baltic States, Poland, the storming of Koenigsberg; met the victory in East Prussia, on the territory that later ceded to Poland.

Postwar years


Six months after the victory, Mikhail Zorin remained in Germany, and after that he was sent to a training camp in Dnepropetrovsk, from where he ended up in Kharkov in a unit sent to help the local police and involved in the elimination of gangs. He remained in the armed forces until 1948. After demobilization, he returned to Leningrad, worked in a printing house and various commercial enterprises of the city, Mikhail Petrovich’s total work experience was more than 40 years. He devoted his free time to patriotic work, including with youth.

In 2020, a documentary film about Mikhail Zorin “Mikhail Zorin. Life goes on!”. The film was directed by Pyotr Koryagin. The premiere screening took place at the Moscow International Film Festival on October 4, and for a wide audience on September 17, 2021.

MP Zorin died on February 20, 2022

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