Data is the heart of any ML application. In this case, we should collect photos of WWII participants. To automate this process Pamyat Naroda
site was parsed. It contains data about ~2.3 million entries (in Russian language) about the participants in the war, including photos, birth date, date of death, military ranks, etc.
I downloaded ~300k unique records. After that data was filtered so only deaths during the war are counted (death date from 1939 to 1946). So we have 40k records from the initial 300k. About half of them have photos. Downloaded faces photos cropped to fit our animation model format.