Opening of the Memorial to the fallen soldiers in Manchester
On 3 September 2020 Ambassador Andrei Kelin participated in the unveiling ceremony of the Memorial in honoured memory of the Soviet soldiers who gave their lives liberating Europe, and in recognition of the brave people of the besieged Leningrad. Participants of the ceremony also included Lord Mayor of Manchester City Councillor Abid Latif Chohan, representatives of the Russian Embassy in London and the Russian community of Manchester.
Ambassador Kelin addressed the guests with a short speech:
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to welcome you at the unveiling ceremony of the “Memorial in honoured memory of the Soviet soldiers who gave their lives liberating Europe, and in recognition of the brave people of the besieged Leningrad”.
It is particularly important that we have gathered here today, on the day when World War II had ended. This day made it clear that the enemy will never be able to break and suppress the people who stood up to defend their Motherland. The significance of the long and bloody battle for the Victory is huge.
We shall always remember the high price the Soviet people paid for it. Today’s ceremony is also an opportunity to remember the sincere brotherhood of arms of Soviet and British people, the twin cities’ ties between Manchester and Leningrad.
This memorial is another symbol of our common memory, a symbol of our worship for the great and selfless heroic deed of the hero soldier, the liberator soldier, the winner soldier, the soldier who saved Europe and the entire world from Nazism. Time has no grip over this deed and it cannot and must not be forgotten. We shall not let this happen.
I would like to thank everyone who made it possible to unveil this memorial: the Manchester City Council, the Committee for External Relations of Saint-Petersburg, the Friendship Society of Saint-Petersburg and Manchester, the Russian construction company “LSR Group”, Russian School Znaniye in London, our compatriots, who greatly contributed to this project, Natalia Maximova, the architect of the memorial, and, of course, Nick Robertson, the stone carver and creator of the memorial.
On this glorious day allow me to wish all Russians and Britons good health, longevity and prosperity, and most importantly, a peaceful sky over your heads.
Our duty is to remember every hero.
Our deepest gratitude is to all the soldiers and commanders.
Glory to the soldiers of the Great Patriotic War and eternal memory to the fallen."
The ceremony ended with a memorial service by father Anatoly Vihrov Diocese of Sourozh of the Russian Orthodox Church.
3 September 2020, 19:30