In his remarks, Vladimir Medinsky noted that the new monument was the first such memorial in the former Soviet Union and called on people today to learn from the tragic events of Russian history.
During the ceremony, the Guard of Honour lit the Eternal Flame, an element of which was taken from the St Vladimir Cathedral in Chersonesos. Black Sea Navy ships were lined up in the roadstead on Karantinnaya Bay. The rite of consecration was conducted by Bishop Kallinikos of Bakhchisarai, vicar of the Simferopol and Crimean dioceses.
The sculptural composition is dominated by a female figure, the image of Russia, a mother calling for the reconciliation of her sons. These are brothers divided by the Civil War; the elder is a lieutenant in the White Army and the younger is a Red Army officer. The composition includes two stelas dedicated to the last days of the Civil War and the broken lives of millions of people. On three sides at the foot of the column, poems by Maximilian Voloshin, Marina Tsvetaeva, Nikolai Turoverov, and also Mikhail Sholokhov dedicated to the Civil War are engraved: “Sweet, bright Motherland, All our boundless love is for you, all our thoughts are with you.”
The project was sponsored by the Russian Military Historical Society and the Sevastopol government under the President’s instructions and at the initiative of the International Council of Russian Compatriots. The monument was designed by sculptor Andrei Kovalchuk, chair of the Russian Union of Artists.
Taking part in the ceremony were Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Crimea Mikhail Nazarov, Deputy Presidential Envoy to the Southern Federal District Kirill Stepanov, Commander of the Black Sea Navy Vice Admiral Igor Osipov, Deputy State Duma Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Grigory Karasin, Chair of the State Duma Committee on Financial Market Anatoly Aksakov, and member of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots Pavel Shperov.