There is re-enactment and there is re-enactment Belarussian style. Holy mother of Jesus! I’m still suffering from shell shock of that opening artillery barrage and bombardments. Flames and mud shooting meters up in the air (and covering the crowd, including yours truly), earth shaking, blasts of wind, the smell of explosives and then the deafening noise. War, without someone actually getting hurt (eh, I hope … not sure if that dude survived when the German panzer ran over his trench).
On June 22 2013, in a rebuilt part of the Stalin Line near Minsk, the Belarussians replayed the opening hours of the German invasion in 1941. In all they used 40-50 actors, at least one dog, quite a number of vehicles (including one 100% original Sturmgeschütz III) and loads of ammunition and explosives.
The fact that this restored part of the Stalin Line is managed and operated by the Belarussian army, should have been a clue that it was not going to be a standard re-enactment thingy we are used to in Western-Europe. No, this was a very well rehearsed military operation, with huge blasts happening in the midst of the actors (literally under their feet), brutal hand to hand combat and a tank crushing a trench full of actors. They had at least three TV crews present for live registration of it all.
You can call them crazy or insane, but if you want to experience the madness of war this is as close as it gets. Impressive. Very, very impressive.