The Five Martyrs of Lyubov

After the Archenemy invasion 608M38, the main Hives of the Transcontinental nexus fell to the enemy by several loyal houses, led by the Zheltychelokski, Riasanova, and Pskov families continued to resist the enemy and prevented Archon and the Sultan from ever gaining complete control of Lyubov.
The resistance movement remained a low-level harassment campaign designed to keep the Archenemy off-balance and unable to consolidate their hold on Lyubov. The loyalist houses managed to keep the enemy busy for nearly two millennia, but the Archenemy slowly strangled them until the Imperial invasion of Lyubov in 777M41. During Cybon’s abortive invasion, the partisans fully committed themselves to the fight.

The loyalists outlined the program of the partisan war in Chaslov after the Imperial invasion in 774M41. Directives issued in 774 and further documents by the Duke of Chaslov called for partisan detachments in the Archenemy-occupied territories. Josef Zheltychelokski reiterated his calls for armed resistance in a radio speech and appointed himself Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Armies of Lyubov.
During the First War for Lyubov, the core of the partisan movement were the remains of the PDF units destroyed during the Occupation, local Imperial clergy, and loyalist civilian activists who chose to remain in the occupied Transcontinental Nexus. The most common unit of the period was the detachment. The first detachments were commanded by PDF officers and formed in the first days of the war Cybon’s forces and the Archenemy, including the Vengeance detachment in the Shababinka district surrounding Zenic and the Zinc Hill detachment. By the end of 774, more than 2,000 partisan detachments (with more than 900,000 personnel) operated in Archenemy-occupied territories.

However, the activity of partisan forces was not centrally coordinated and supplied until Carnhide’s second invasion in 777M41. To coordinate partisan operations, Carnhide cooperated with Josef Zheltychelokski to form the Central Partisan Headquarters (CPH.) The CPH liaison networks in the Military Councils of the Liberation Forces at Carnhide’s Headquarters. Territorial staff was subsequently created in Lyubov’s provinces, dealing with the partisan movement in the respective Lyubov principalities and the occupied Transcontinental Nexus. The most prominent of these was the Home Army, founded and led by House Zheltychelokski. The Home Army consisted of over 750 detachments. The Ice River Militia, detachment 613, enjoyed great success against the Archenemy and the current Ice River Guards trace their lineage from the partisan militia.

The patron saints of the 613th regiment are the ‘five martyrs’ of Ice River.

Anna Kornukova

Anna Kornukova was a native of Zinc Hill. She diligently read books about heroes and their exploits, a kind, sympathetic girl, and an excellent student.

Anna’s father was a member of the pro-Imperial militia and an officer in the Zheltychelokski service. Ivan Kornukove died fighting against the Blood Pact supporting Cybon’s invasion in 774M41. At the tender age of 12, Anna joined the Ice River Militia to resist the depredations of the Archenemy.

At first, she confused the militia officers: the black-haired and brown-eyed girl looked no more than twelve, but she insisted on joining the resistance.

Her first combat mission required her to disguise herself as a simple shepherdess and go from house to house, begging for food. Meanwhile, she took note of the disposition and location of the enemy’s forces. The intelligence she collected contributed to several Imperial victories and helped the Imperial Guard liberate significant territory in the Nexus.

Anna became an adept scout. Possessing an excellent natural memory, she observed enemy movements, warned loyalists about planned reprisals, liaised between the Guard and pro-Imperial underground organizations, and monitored the activity of troops and convoys.

The Archenemy issued decrees sentencing those who assisted the partisans to death. Blood Pact troops staged demonstrative executions of suspected partisans. The regional Blood Pact command placed a high price on Anna’s head.

Anna left for her last assignment in early 777, at the beginning of Carhhide’s invasion. A traitorous headman revealed the girl’s whereabouts to the Blood Pact. Anna was captured and interrogated but refused to say anything except “Death to the Archenemy!”

Anna suffered monstrous torture before her death. Her mutilated body with a noose around her neck was found in a basement a few days later. They could identify the disfigured body only by their clothes. Anna was 15 years old.

Zoya Kosmokova

Zoya was born in 754M41 in the village of Aspen Hills, near the city of Zinc Hill. Zoya Kosmokova was the daughter of an Orthodox priest. Her father, Pyotr Kosmokova, was murdered in 770 by traitors for his opposition to blasphemy. Her mother, Lyubov Kosmokova, was a school teacher.

Zoya the partisans in 774 while she was still in secondary school. During her service, she idealized Tatiana Radozhevski, a PDF soldier tortured and killed during the Occupation. She joined partisan unit 613 (the Ice River Militia.)

After Cybon’s invasion, Kosmokova and other partisans operated behind enemy lines mining roads and cutting communication lines.

Late 775, Kosmokova received an assignment to burn the village of Ashdown, where a Blood Pact cavalry regiment was stationed. She set fire to three houses in the town. The partisans believed that one of the houses was used as a communications center and that occupying forces quartered in others.

After the first attempt at arson, the partisan commander did not wait for Kosmokova and her team at the agreed meeting place and left. The Blood Pact captured several partisans. Kosmokova, having missed her comrades and left alone, decided to return to continue the arson campaign. However, the Archenemy military authorities in the village had organized a gathering of residents, forming a militia to avoid further arson.

After her arrest, the Archenemy stripped and beat Kosmokova. They interrogated and tortured Kosmokova with 200 lashes and burned her with hot pokers, but she refused to divulge any information. The following morning, the Archenemy put a board around her neck bearing the inscription ‘Arsonist.’ marched her to the center of the village and hanged her.

She turned to the crowd of villagers and said, “Friends, why are you looking so sad? Be brave, fight, and defeat the Archenemy! Wipe them out! I’m not afraid to die; it is happiness to die for the Emperor and for one’s people!”

She then turned to the Blood Pact troopers and said, “You hang me now, but I’m not alone. There are two hundred billion of us. You can’t hang us all. The Emperor protects! The Emperor will avenge me!”

The Blood Pact left her body hanging on the gallows for several weeks. They cut one of her breasts off, and the Archenemy and their collaborators desecrated her body. She was reburied in honor when the Imperial Guard took the region in early 777.

Pavel Menkelovich, Jr.

Pavel Menkelovich, Jr. was drafted into the forces of the Archenemy but deserted and fought with the partisans in the Trans-continental Nexus during the Second War for Lyubov.

Pavel Menkelovich was born in Zenic in 750M41. His father, Pavel Menkelovich, Sr., was a factory worker and loyalist murdered by traitor collaborationists in 767. This caused the younger Pavel an underground Imperial resistance cell.

After working in several different jobs, Menkelovich was conscripted into the Auxilia Forces in 776. There, he was trained to become an artillerist. His dislike of military discipline, opposition to the ideology of the Archenemy, and being absent without leave led to him being imprisoned several times, culminating in a sentence of 18 months imprisonment on the eve of Carnhide’s invasion. Menkelovich volunteered to fight on Nexus, and the Archenemy released him from prison.

On his first combat assignment, Menkelovich deserted and went into hiding near Zinc Hill. He made contact with Ice River Militia. Despite their initial suspicions and repeated interrogations, Menkelovich convinced the partisans that he had a genuine desire to fight against the Archenemy. He won their trust by killing a Blood Pact soldier who, by coincidence, attempted to set fire to the house where the partisans had their base. Menkelovich was accepted as a member of the partisans, who gave him the nom de guerre “Ivan Ivanovich” (or Vanya – the short form of Ivan).

Menkelovich proved himself to be valuable to the partisans; wearing captured enemy uniforms, including one belonging to a Blood Pact general, Menkelovich led enemy military units into ambushes arranged by the partisans. This helped the partisans capture entire enemy units, as well as ammunition and food. Menkelovich quickly rose through the ranks of the partisans. He received awarded the Order of the Blue Feather directly from the Tsar and a commission as deputy commander of a special operations (sabotage and intelligence) unit, which operated in an occupied area north of the city of Zenic.

In late 777, Menkelovich was captured and sentenced to death. He was murdered by drawing and quartering.

Ivana Chernitskaya

Ivana Chernitskaya was just 22 when Carnhide launched his invasion of Lyubov in 777M41. She quickly joined the partisans to fight for the liberation of her homeworld.

Like many Lyubovites, she loved to eat and cooked very well, graduating from culinary college before the invasion. Chernitskaya was eager to get into battle, but there were few cooks who could provide healthy nutrition for the resistance fighters, so she was left behind to work in the field kitchen.

One day, enemy armor threatened to penetrate to the rear of the region the Ice River Militia controlled. Two enemy tanks appeared in the rear of militia positions, near Chernitskaya’s field kitchen.
She hid with the horses in the forest. The only weapons she had were an ax and an old auto rifle. One of the tanks advanced forward, while another one stopped beside the kitchen.

The Archenemy troopers started to exit their tank to take stock of the captured kitchen and hopefully a warm meal. Suddenly, however, Ivana charged out of her hiding place waving an ax, forcing the enemy to retreat back into their vehicle.

The heavy bolter started firing, but Ivana was already on top of the tank, bending the gun’s barrel with her ax. Then, she started commanding her fellow troops (who weren’t there, but the enemy didn’t know that) to hit the tank with grenades. All the while, she banged away on the tank’s armor with her ax.

When the terrified enemy tankers tried to escape their tank, Ivana shot them as they fled. The second tank returned, and Chernitskaya took the controls to ram the other vehicle. Both tanks were disabled by her attack Chernitskaya was killed in the collision. She received the Iron Aquilia, for her fighting prowess. Certainly, it wasn’t for her cooking skills.

Antun Yablonya

Antun Yablonya was only 14 when he joined the resistance during the Occupation, and only a couple of years older when he became one of its armed assassins. He lured, ambushed, and killed soldiers of the Archenemy and their local collaborators.

Antun grew up in the city of Zinc Hill with a single, working-class mother. His mother was a faithful servant of the Emperor and taught Anton the importance of defending mankind and the Imperium. When the Archenemy occupied Lyubov, she took loyalist refugees into her home. Through his mother’s example, Antun learned the importance of self-sacrifice.

Antun began his career with the resistance at the beginning of the occupation, distributing loyalist newspapers and pamphlets for the resistance. These acts weren’t just subversive, they were also dangerous. If the Archenemy or their collaborators caught Anton, they might have killed him. However, the fact that he was young—and Antun looked even younger when he wore shorts—meant that officials were less likely to suspect him of working for the resistance. This might be one of the reasons why a commander with the Ice River Resistance Group recruited Antun. Antun was tasked with sabotaging bridges and railway lines and carrying out assassinations of enemy officers.

In at least one instance, Antun seduced a Blood Pact officer into the woods so that someone from the resistance could shoot him. Antun learned to be an adept assassin in his own right, killing collaborators who arrested or endangered loyalist refugees and resistance members. There were a lot of children involved in the resistance but many actually shot collaborators themselves.

Antun was especially good at following a target or keeping a lookout during missions since he looked so young and unsuspecting. Antun is credited with assassinating over 100 Blood Pact officers and traitorous officials. Antun would follow a target to his house to kill him or ambush them on his bike.

Antun also worked in the Ice River Resistance emergency hospital, participated in missions to blow up the railway line Lyubovhive and Zenic, and poisoned water supplies for occupation forces.

Antun was captured in 777M41, during the First War for Lyubov. He was offered clemency if he would renounce the Emperor and swear allegiance to the Ruinous Powers. Antun refused, and he was taken to the village square and shot by a Blood Pact officer. The initial wound was minor, and Anton taunted his executioner, saying ‘I’m a better shot!’ Enraged, the heretic decapitated Antun.