RUSSIAN EMBASSY WEEKLY #121
Here [in Israel], like in Russia, people understand the importance of the lessons of WWII and are not allowing the world to forget what national egoism, disunity and connivance at any forms of chauvinism, antisemitism and Russo-phobia can lead to.
Our common duty is to pass this knowledge on to the coming generations, the great grandsons of the victors, while inculcating in them a thankful memory of those who have given us the gift of freedom and proved, at the cost of their lives, the enduring value of peace and justice. <…>
In Jerusalem, Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled the Memorial Candle monument dedicated to the residents and defenders of besieged Leningrad.
A joint creation of St Petersburg and Israeli architects, the monument has been erected in Sacher Park in the centre of Jerusalem. A capsule with soil from the Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery in St Petersburg, the largest burial ground for victims of WWII, was placed in the memorial’s foundation.
The idea of the memorial was proposed by war veterans, siege survivors and compatriots living in Israel, and was supported by Jewish associations of Russia and Israel.
Vladimir Putin: … It is a great honour for me to attend this ceremony held to dedicate a monument to the heroic defenders and residents of Leningrad. We are unveiling this monument ahead of the events that have special significance for our countries and nations.
One of the most dramatic and heroic moments in the history of WWII ended on January 27, 1944: the siege of Leningrad was finally lifted…
The sacred memory of the martyrdom and courage of millions of people, incomprehensible losses, privations and heroism and our common fair anger at what the Nazis did is passed on from one generation to another…
For me these are no mere words, I know this not from hearsay but from what my parents told me because my farther defended his native city at the front lines, and my mother was in the besieged city with a child that died in the winter of 1942 and was buried at thePiskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery in St Petersburg among hundreds of thousands of other residents.
The enemy’s plan was absolutely cynical: to doom the city’s residents to death by starvation and, to quote a Nazi order, “to raze to the ground by permanent bombing.”
… I have just mentioned hardware and ammunition. I did not know this but while looking through documents several days ago I discovered a fact that shocked me. During the siege, Leningrad residents donated 144 tonnes of blood for the front despite the situation they were in.
Deprived of food, light and heating, they continued working in hospitals and being involved in art, science and education, and by sacrificing themselves, they saved the great city for generations to come. Invincible Leningrad has become a true legend, while the grandeur of the strength of mind of its residents and their faith in victory has become the acme of human dignity.
The monument we have unveiled today is a symbol of our profound common memory. The idea to create it belongs to the devoted members of the Israeli public, war veterans, and our compatriots, and it was created with the support of the authorities of St Petersburg and Jerusalem, with funding provided by benefactors from both countries…
Vladimir Putin took part in the commemorative event held as part of the Remembering the Holocaust: Fighting Antisemitism international forum at the Yad Vashem memorial complex.
The international forum held in Jerusalem on January 22–23 is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp and International Holocaust Remembrance Day marked on January 27. On this day in 1945, Soviet troops, which made a crucial contribution to the Victory over Nazi Germany, liberated Auschwitz.
The Yad Vashem memorial complex underwent major renovations in 2005. A new display features documents and exhibits dedicated to the life of European Jews on the eve of World War II and the inhuman suffering inflicted upon them by the Nazis.
Vladimir Putin: Mr President, Mr Prime Minister, colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen,
Today we are brought together at the international forum to honour the victims of the Holocaust by a shared responsibility, our duty to the past and the future.
We mourn all the victims of the Nazis, including the six million Jews tortured in ghettos and death camps and killed cruelly during raids. Forty percent of them were citizens of the Soviet Union, so the Holocaust has always been a deep wound for us, a tragedy we will always remember.
Before visiting Jerusalem, I looked through original documents, reports by Red Army officers after the liberation of Auschwitz. I must tell you, colleagues, it is very difficult, unbearable to read these military reports, documents describing in detail how the camp was set up, how the cold-blooded killing machine worked.
Many of them were hand-written by soldiers and officers of the Red Army on the second or third day after the liberation of the prisoners and convey the shock that the Red Army soldiers and officers experienced from what they saw there, from testimonies that caused pain, indignation and compassion.
Red Army Field Marshal Konev, who then led the military operation to capture the densely populated Silesian industrial region of Germany, used tactics to spare as many civilians as possible and, having received a report about the atrocities committed at Auschwitz, forbade himself from even seeing this camp. Later he wrote in his memoirs that he had no right to lose his moral strength, so that a fair sense of revenge would not have blinded him during military operations and would not have caused additional suffering and casualties among the civilian population of Germany.
January 27 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In this hell, where people from different countries were brought for torture, monstrous experiments and mass killing, hundreds of thousands of people of different ethnicities died. More than half of them were Jews.
The crimes committed by the Nazis, their deliberate, planned, and as they said, ”final solution to the Jewish issue,“ is one of the darkest and most shameful pages of modern world history.
But we should not forget that this crime also had accomplices. They were often crueler than their masters. Death factories and concentration camps were served not only by the Nazis, but also by their accomplices in many European countries.
In the occupied territories of the Soviet Union, where these criminals were operating, the largest number of Jews were killed. Thus, about 1.4 million Jews were killed in Ukraine, and 220,000 people were killed in Lithuania. I draw your attention, friends, to the fact that this is 95 percent of the pre-war Jewish population of this country. In Latvia, 77,000 Jewish people were killed. Only a few hundred Latvian Jews survived the Holocaust.
Destruction of the past and lack of unity in the face of threats can lead to terrible consequences. We must have the courage to be straight about this and do everything to defend peace.
I think an example could and should be set by the founding countries of the United Nations, the five powers that bear special responsibility for the preservation of civilisation.
We have discussed this with several of our colleagues and, as far as I know, have received a generally positive response to holding a meeting of the heads of state of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain. We can hold it in any country, in any place that our colleagues would find convenient. Russia is ready for such a serious discussion. We intend to send this proposal to the leaders of the Five without delay.
We are faced with many challenges. We discussed one of them recently at the initiative of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This is about Libya. But we will have to return to this issue at the Security Council and adopt a relevant resolution.
There are many other problems as well. I consider it important and symbolic to hold the proposed meeting this year. After all, we are celebrating 75 years since the end of World War II and the foundation of the United Nations.
A summit of the states that made the main contribution to the routing of the aggressor and the formation of the postwar world order can play a big role in searching for collective ways of responding to current challenges and threats and would demonstrate our common commitment to the spirit of allied relations, historical memory and the lofty ideals and values for which our predecessors, our grandfathers and fathers fought shoulder to shoulder.
Vladimir Putin: It is very important for me and for my colleagues to be here in Israel. We can see your efforts and the efforts of all Israeli leaders to preserve the memory of the tragic events of World War II.
You have just said that it is unclear where anti-Semitism ends. Unfortunately, we know this: it ends in Auschwitz. Therefore, we need to be very attentive so as not to miss any similar developments in the future and to counter any manifestations of xenophobia and anti-Semitism, no matter where this may happen, and no matter from where this may come.
Not only did the Red Army liberate Auschwitz, but it made a decisive contribution to the fight against Nazism. And the Soviet people, Russian people suffered greatly during this war.
The Blue Lakes in the Altai mountains are amazing scenic places in Russia. Indeed, their water is of bright blue colour that can only be observed in winter or autumn. After the spring thaw, the lakes merge with the river Katun to disappear until late August.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a general meeting of the Russian International Affairs Council: I would like to say a few words about the system of global strategic security, which is being destroyed. The Americans have destroyed two of the three fundamental documents – the ABM and the INF treaties. The New START Treaty, the last instrument of strategic stability, is hanging in the air. Russia’s proposals for extending it were long ago sent in advance to our American partners and have been publicly reaffirmed, including by President Putin. We have not received any reply yet, but we do see movement in the opposite direction, towards building up tension in the sphere of strategic stability and nuclear arms. In addition, NATO has launched a very dangerous game of expanding its operations to two new media – outer space and cyberspace.
We have said more than once that the justification offered for this policy is the “rules-based order”, which aims to replace the system of international law that developed after WWII, with the United Nations Organisation at its centre.
Unwillingness to create and respect new universal rules of the game, which would be codified in the system of international law, is only building mistrust. This leads to the appearance of new seats of instability and conflicts. The risk of any local confrontation growing into a global threat is increasing many times over…
Regrettably, our Western partners, while pursuing a policy of containing Russia, have deliberately suspended or curtailed many dialogue platforms and bilateral channels of communication between Russia and the European Union, including within the framework of the Russia-NATO Council. The role of “second tracks” and informal channels of communication, such as RIAC, as we see it, is increasing in these conditions. <…>
The referendum of January 20, 1991 on restoring the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was the first plebiscite in the history of the Soviet Union. The question of restoring the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic as a constituent entity of the Soviet Union and a party to the Union Treaty was put up for a popular vote, and 93 percent of the peninsula’s residents supported its autonomy. That year, a law was passed restoring the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created as part of the RSFSR in 1921. In 1945, its autonomous status was revoked, and the area became the Crimean Region. In 1954, Crimea was added to the Ukrainian SSR.
Republic Day was established in 2009. In 2014, after the reunification of Crimea with Russia, it was included in the regional law on holidays and memorial dates in the Republic of Crimea.
On January 20, Crimea marks Republic Day. On this day in 1991, the overwhelming majority of Crimeans supported restoring the republic’s autonomy in an all-Crimean referendum.
The 1991 Crimean referendum holds historical significance as the first attempt to determine Crimea’s future on the basis of the will of its residents. In many respects, the 1991 vote paved the way for the reunification of the peninsula with Russia in 2014.
On March 18, 2014, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, the leaders of Crimea and the mayor of Sevastopol signed an agreement on the accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation. That event was decided by the referendum on the status of Crimea held on March 16, 2014. According to that vote, 96 percent of voters supported the peninsula’s accession to Russia.
At the event UN Member States were provided with information of the Russian experts that clearly demonstrated the staged nature of that incident. Participants of the meeting listened to a video message by Ian Henderson, a former member of the OPCW Inspectorate who was part of the OPCW Fact Finding Mission (FFM) on-site inspection team in Douma. His testimony showed that the FFM Final Report on Douma was prepared by members of the OPCW Technical Secretariat who have not even visited the location of the incident. The Final Report contradicted the initial draft report as well as the consensus opinion of the original Douma inspection team that there were no signs of a chemical attack. The initial report was «shelved» while all of the OPCW inspectors that have visited Douma were dismissed from any further work on the Final Report. Having conducted an engineering and ballistic analysis of the incident Ian Henderson became even more convinced in his opinion that there was no chemical attack. He called to not politicize this issue, but continue the relevant discussion in a strictly scientific and engineering dimension.
READ ALSO: Statement by the Permanent Representative of Russia to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin at an Arria-formula meeting of UNSC member states "Implementation of UNSCR 2118: OPCW FFM Report on Douma"
Visit «The Holocaust: Annihilation, Liberation, Rescue» exhibition at Russian Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.
Ambassador Antonov's Remarks at the Exhibit Opening
I am glad to welcome you at the opening of the exhibition "Holocaust: annihilation, liberation, rescue". I would like to thank the Holocaust Research and Education Center in Moscow for its provision.
As you know, this exhibition is now launched in the very city center of Moscow- on Nikolskaya Street – as a part of the Holocaust Remembrance Week. We can say that our event is in line with Russian memorial events dedicated to this tragedy. It could not be otherwise. This is our story, despite the attempts of several so-called “experts” and even a number of museums here in Washington, in the U.S. to distort and misinterpret it.
Recently in Russian Cultural center the documentary film «Trawniki. School of executioners» was presented by its creators. We will continue to tell the truth about the Great Patriotic War to the American audience. About our innumerable losses. About purposeful destruction of the peoples of the Soviet Union - Jewish, Russian, Belarusian. About the stamina and heroism of the Red Army fighters, who destroyed the enemy of all mankind - Nazism, liberated Europe, ended the Holocaust.
This is our duty to the passing generation of winners and to those who did not live up to the victory.
January 25 marks the end of the first term of the traditional academic year in Russia. It is the feast day of St. Tatiana, patron saint of students. It commemorates the founding of the first Russian university. Russian Embassy in Washington, DC hosted on Friday the sixth Tatiana Ball - a charity event, initiated by many Russians, especially of the younger generation, who want to preserve Russian traditions in the US.
During the event KINOFILM CORP invited guests to the movie screening of the new Russian comedy The Peasant (shows schedule, Engl. subtitles).
Antarctica — home to penguins and several thousands of people throughout the year. But no one lives on the continent permanently.
So, who actually owns this frozen southern continent?
Join us for a unique lecture and discussion by Ekaterina Uryupova, marine biologist, who has been working in Antarctica since 2007 and calls this place a 'second home'.
WHEN: January 31, 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Russian Cultural Centre
1825 Phelps Pl. NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Free admission. Registration required.
Resistance against attempts to rewrite the history of World War II must be based upon well-argued truth, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting in the Lipetsk Region.
Answering a question on how such attempts can be countered, the head of state replied: "With the truth. Only the truth must be presented, but it must be well-argued."
Putin reiterated that Russia intends to create a public information resource based on archived documents. According to the head of state, this project must employ "good specialists, who can get things across to millions of people in an impressive, comprehensible manner."
"As for archived materials, we probably have more of those than anyone else," President Putin concluded.
Russia did not initiate steps aimed at curtailing cooperation with Poland, including on disputable issues related to history, so measures to remedy the situation should be taken by Warsaw, the Russian Foreign said in a statement on Wednesday, commenting on Poland’s reaction to new documents on the history of WWII made public in Russia.
"For our part, we would like to recall that we have always favored honest and substantiated discussions of issues related to our history," the ministry noted. "At the same time, it was not Russia that initiated the termination of the bilateral dialogue and the freezing of numerous mechanisms in Russian-Polish cooperation, including on historical topics."
"In view of that, steps to rectify the situation should be initiated by Warsaw, while realizing the need for a depoliticized approach to history based on the truth, hard facts and future-oriented dialogue," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.
It pointed to contradictory statements made by Warsaw after these documents had been published. "From the hysterical denial of indisputable facts to assertions that, by doing so, Russia is allegedly showing willingness to revive the work of the bilateral group on complex issues stemming from the history of Russian-Polish relations and the activities of the historians’ commission," the Foreign Ministry noted..
Worth Reading: What foreign units fought side by side with the Soviet Army against the Nazis?
Day in history: 75 years ago in January 24 in 1945, a young US paratrooper escaped from a Nazi POW camp in the occupied Poland joined the Red Army on the road to Berlin
Read the amazing story of Joseph Beyrle who is thought to be the only American soldier to have served with both the United States Army and the Soviet Red Army in World War II.
The Plaszow concentration camp was established by the Nazis in 1942 in the southern suburb of Krakow. The camp had more than 20,000 prisoners: Jews from the Krakow Ghetto and Hungary, Romani people and members of the Polish anti-Nazi movement.
During the camp’s history, no fewer than 8,000 prisoners died from starvation, execution or torture by the Nazis. German industrialist Oskar Schindler saved the lives of at least 1,000 Jews from Plaszow by employing them in his factories.
In the summer of 1944, when the approach of the Soviet troops was inevitable, the Nazis began eliminating the camp. On January 14, the last prisoners left the camp on a death march to Auschwitz. By the time the Red Army arrived, the camp was almost completely destroyed.
Russia has a few things to offer to the global markets besides oil, gas and arms. The export of SnowDogs started in 2015, and that year, the company earned about $100,000 in overseas revenue. In 2016, the figure jumped 10-fold, to $1 million. The total of 500 machines were sold to the United States, Canada, Finland, Switzerland and Bulgaria. Baltmotor is currently the world’s largest producer of track snow vehicles.
The final gold, which placed Russia in the top of the medals standings of the 2020 Youth Olympics, was brought on Wednesday in the final match of boys’ ice hockey competition, then Russians defeated Americans 4:0.
The team of Russian athletes finished the games in the top spot of the overall medals standings, winning record 29 medals: 10 gold, 11 silver and eight bronze. Hosts Switzerland finished second, with 10 gold, six silver and eight bronze medals, while the national team of athletes from Japan were 3rd with nine gold, seven silver and one bronze medals.
"Pipeline to Russia: The Alaska-Siberia Air Route in World War II" – now available online!
This publication by the U.S. National Park Service and Alaska-Siberia Research Center is free for the public. You are welcome to download and share this book with your friends, colleagues and affiliated institutions, and keep this title in your e-library.
The heroism and dedication of the Soviet and American participants of the Alaska–Siberia Airway will not be forgotten. It is our civic duty to express our deep respect to those whose efforts led to the program’s success and, in the process, brought the war to a close. This is our history. Future generations should be brought up with a respectful spirit of patriotism to understand this history of cooperation between our countries. This edition will preserve awareness of that massive effort for all time.
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