The Vagankovo cemetery is close to the tracks leading to the Belorussian Station. Between the trunks of the cemetery maples you can glimpse trains setting out for Warsaw and Berlin. You can see the blue Moscow-Minsk expresses and the shining windows of restaurant cars. You can hear the quiet hiss of suburban trains and the earth-shaking rumble of heavy goods trains. The Vagankovo cemetery is close to the main road to Zvenigorod, with its cars and vans full of clutter being transported to dachas. The Vagankovo cemetery is also close to the Vagankovo market. From up in the sky comes the racket of helicopters. From the station comes a resonant voice – a train controller giving clipped, precise instructions about the composition of trains. While in the cemetery there is eternal peace, eternal rest.
more from this extraction from Vasily Grossman’s The Road at Literary Review here.