MOSCOW, 15 June (BelTA) – The official unveiling ceremony of the Rzhev Memorial to the Soviet Soldier, that has been created with support of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Russia President Vladimir Putin, is scheduled for 30 June, Vladimir Medinsky, an aide to the Russian president and the chairman of the Russian Military History Society was quoted as saying by the press press service of the society, BelTA has learned.
“The dedication ceremony for the Rzhev Memorial is slated for 30 June,” Vladimir Medinsky said. “The memorial was ready in April, but in view of the epidemiological situation we decided to avoid attracting crowds to the monument and have not unveiled the monument so far,” he added.
According to Vladimir Medinsky, although the memorial was put in a special casing and its territory was fenced off, hundreds of cars stopped by the monument on 9 May. “People brought flowers and laid them along the fence so that security guards would take them to the monument later,” he noted. “This was very touching. The memorial will be unveiled on 30 June, so feel free to come and pay respect from 1 July. This is a place of extraordinary energy,” he added.
The memorial complex commemorating all soldiers of the Great Patriotic War was installed at the site of fierce battles near the city of Rzhev in Russia's Tver Oblast, by the M9 highway, 210 kilometers away from Moscow. The bronze sculpture is 25 meters high and stands on a 10-meter-high hill. The monument was designed by sculptor Andrei Korobtsov and architect Konstantin Fomin who won the open international contest that featured almost 30 participants.
The idea to create this memorial was put forward by veterans of the Great Patriotic War and backed by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Russia President Vladimir Putin. The project was carried out by the Russian Military History Society with support of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. It cost RUB650million, with RUB200million coming from the Union State budget and the rest from people's donations.