"Bear Over the Volga"

By Michael Boss

Casein on Rag Board
14" X 20"

While researching the Engels and Saratov cities and the Volga German connection, I found one of Russia's largest Air Force bases is near Engels (Pokrovsk), the once capital of the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

The base houses the older Tupolev TU-95 Bear and the newer Tupolev TU-190 Blackjack bombers. Below the big bend in the Volga is the area of the colonies of Schoenchen, Herzog, and others. In the lower right of the image is Katharinenstadt. Around the curving Volga and off the margin to the left are Saratov and Engels. Diagonally, across the Volga bend, the distance is almost 15 miles!

After seeing a training film on TU-95s based in Novosibirsk, I noticed they had the city name on their aircraft noses. I couldn't help but add the Cyrillic Engels-2 on this Bear.