The meeting focused on supporting and developing memorials eternalising the memory of Soviet victims of the genocide by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Great Patriotic War.
The agenda also includes applications from cities for the City of Military Glory and the City of Labour Glory honorary titles, and an event programme to mark the 80th anniversary of lifting the siege of Leningrad.
Following the meeting, the President signed an Executive Order conferring the honorary title of City of Military Glory on Mariupol and Melitopol. The honorary title of City of Labour Glory was conferred on nine cities, including Astrakhan, Vologda, Gorlovka, Zlatoust, Kaspiysk, Lugansk, Norilsk, Orsk and Yakutsk.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
Welcome to the meeting of the Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee. Today we will discuss matters related to preserving the historical memory. The Organising Committee consistently devotes priority attention to this issue, which is particularly relevant today.
Attempts made by certain countries to rewrite and reshape world history are becoming increasingly aggressive, ultimately and obviously seeking to divide our society, take away our guiding lines and eventually weaken Russia and influence its sovereignty – essentially shake its sovereignty.
Distortion of history, imposition of myths and the undermining of values – it is often with these myths that destabilising states and nations begins. As we can see, a similar scenario has been tested in some other countries, including Ukraine. There have been attempts to target Russia as well but, as I have said before, we took resolute and timely measures to protect our interests and stave off similar sabotage.
Continuity of generations, loyalty to traditions and high moral and spiritual guidelines remain the foundation of our national identity. They are reflected in and supported by culture, creative arts and all areas of daily life. As you know, we have recently approved the Fundamentals of State Policy for the Preservation and Strengthening of Traditional Russian Spiritual and Moral Values. They most certainly include historical memory.
I would like to note that many initiatives related to this topic have been launched by our organising committee. One of them is the No Statute of Limitations project involving a systematic and scholarly collection of data on the crimes committed by the Nazis and their accomplices against the civilian population during the Great Patriotic War, the very crimes against humanity condemned by the Nuremberg Tribunal.
The scale of those atrocities was so enormous that at the time, in the 1940s, only a part of the evidence reached the court, as it was impossible to consider everything. Today we are filling those gaps and restoring justice.
In recent years, trials have been held in those regions of Russia where the Nazis committed atrocities during the Great Patriotic War. This undeniably proves that the war against the Soviet Union was waged not only with the aim of seizing territories and resources, but it was deliberate genocide of the Soviet people, every national, ethnic or racial group there was. Actually, this is clear from the Nazi documents, which are available in the archives.
More recently, the siege of Leningrad was also recognised as a case of genocide. It was high time to do this. With that siege, the Nazis deliberately sought to exterminate every resident, from children to the elderly. This, among other things, is confirmed, as I have said, by their own documents.
We have two historical dates coming up that are important for Leningrad, for St Petersburg, and for all of Russia. In 2023, it will be 80 years since the siege was broken around the unconquered city, and 2024 marks the 80th anniversary of Leningrad’s final liberation. I ask the Government, the regional authorities, and the public to take the organisation of the commemorative events very seriously and, as they say, with love and from the heart.
I know that the collection of evidence regarding the crimes committed by the German army and their henchmen against the civilian population continues. Employees of the investigative and prosecutor's offices, and scouts are exposing more and more cases involving the murder of innocent people, discovering previously unknown mass graves containing executed and tortured women, children, and elderly people. And in addition to the legal, judicial assessment of those deaths, we are obliged to preserve those people’s memory, including as a reminder, as evidence of the very essence of Nazism. This is an extremely important responsibility.
Today, some 100 locations have been identified in Russia where the remains of Nazi henchmen’s victims are buried. These locations must be marked and looked after just like military burial sites. First of all, I would like to draw the attention of local authorities to the fact that it is necessary to carefully look after and tend to military burial sites. We do not always achieve the desired result in this important sphere of our work everywhere. We are talking about the past, the present and the future. The people must know what happened in these areas during the war.
It is highly important to shape the world view of young people regarding key milestones of our history. First of all, this concerns the Victory in the Great Patriotic War that was forged at the front-lines and on the home front. Virtually every Russian family, every Russian region, every big Russian city and small town, every village and every community in this country are directly linked with this Victory.
Today, we will review new proposals by the Russian Academy of Sciences on conferring the titles of City of Labour Glory and City of Military Glory. These honorary titles have become a valuable foundation for consolidating the public and the residents of these cities. In turn, projects aiming to popularise military and labour feats serve as inspiration for young people’s lives.
As you know, the process of conferring the title of City of Military Glory was completed in 2015. In all, 45 Russian cities received this title. Four regions where intense fighting occurred during the Great Patriotic War have now reunited with Russia. Red Army soldiers displayed bravery and fortitude here, and this played a tremendous role in the victory over Nazism.
I would like to draw attention to the fact that the list of cities submitted for consideration by a commission of the Russian Academy of Sciences includes cities in the new regions of the Russian Federation. Their applications for this high status once again emphasise our common historical memory and our shared historical space.
Let us get down to work. I give the floor to Mr Krasnikov.
President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Gennady Krasnikov: Mr President,
Taking into account numerous acts of heroism performed during the liberation of our territory and to follow historical traditions, we ask you to consider awarding the City of Military Glory honorary title to two Russian cities: Melitopol and Mariupol. These cities’ request has undergone the appraisal of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Melitopol is the second most important city in the Zaporizhzhia Region, the land gateway to Crimea. During the Great Patriotic War, it was the main site of resistance during the Donbass offensive. Taking it in the autumn of 1943 allowed for blocking the Crimean group of the Nazi troops on land, thus creating conditions for the liberation of Crimea and the south of Ukraine’s right bank area.
During the special military operation, the city’s passing under the control of the Armed Forces on March 1, 2022, achieved the most important geopolitical objective: ensuring the safety of Crimea.
Mariupol is the largest city of the Donetsk Republic. In the eyes of our society, it has rightfully become a symbol of military glory, courage and resilience. Its liberation in September 1943 by the units of the 44th Army with the assistance of amphibious landing forces determined the course of the entire military operation in Ukraine.
In contemporary Russian history, the city’s residents became active supporters of the “Russian Spring” in Donbass. The liberation of Mariupol during the special military operation had strategic importance. During the liberation of the city, you, Mr President, made a wise decision to halt the storming of Azovstal in order to save civilians and minimise losses among Russian military personnel.
The historical expertise of Melitopol’s and Mariupol’s requests, conducted by the Russian Academy of Sciences, gives reason to support the initiative of these two cities’ residents to award them the City of Military Glory honorary title.
This year, the Russian Academy of Sciences will continue its expert work on preserving the historical memory of the Soviet people’s remarkable feats of labour during the war. This year, we have received 11 more submissions for the honorary title of City of Labour Glory. Following a thorough review, 26 submissions from 20 regions were approved.
Mr President, I would like to specifically stress that submissions were received from Gorlovka and Luhansk, cities representing the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. So, we can say that the historical truth has prevailed, because without Donbass and its contribution, it is difficult to imagine a shared victory. These two cities were the centres of the coal industry during the war.
I would like to praise the heroic labour of the women who replaced in coal mines the men serving on the frontline. As many as 245,000 women worked in Donbass coal mines, making up 86 percent of miners. The heroism of coal miners went beyond achievements in labour. Many of them died like martyrs defending their Motherland. That movement prompted the creation of the widely known youth resistance organisation, the Young Guard.
Conferring the honorary title of City of Labour Glory on Luhansk and Gorlovka symbolises the revival of historical memory. We also propose considering seven more candidates: Orsk, Yakutsk, Zlatoust, Astrakhan, Vologda, Norilsk and Kaspiysk. They represent seven federal districts, from west to east and from south to north.
This extensive geography clearly confirms that during the Great Patriotic War, the entire country worked as a united labour front. Each candidate city wrote its own chapter in the book of the Great Victory, using its entire regional potential and industry strengths.
The documented evidence indicates that the mobilisation of human and industrial resources organised against the clock and in the harsh conditions of wartime, the evacuation of production facilities and their operation in eastern Russia made it possible to launch production quickly. In each of these cities, public support for the front was enormous. Only through the complete cooperation of our industrial facilities during the war were we able to produce and modernise weapons, which are extremely difficult tasks.
The first one is Orsk. The city went down in history as one of Russia’s metallurgy centres and main suppliers of much-needed nickel and cobalt. Orsk had 28 evacuated industrial facilities converted to military produce such as shells, mines, and grenades. During the Great Patriotic War, local industry accounted for 45 percent of the Chkalov Region, now the Orenburg Region.
Yakutsk has a unique place with local enterprises awarded the Red Banner of the State Defence Committee. In fact, Yakutsk became a gold resource base for the entire Soviet defence industry. During the war years, the region mined 40 tonnes of gold, and accounted for more than half the mica – phlogopite – mined in the country. This reddish type of mica is non-conductive and is used as an indispensable component for insulation in the manufacture of electrical appliances.
Of the 19 types of shells and mines produced by the plants in Zlatoust, 13 were newly-designed and went into production during the war years. This suggests the scale of the city’s scientific potential and military modernisation pace.
Astrakhan became a major food supplier, a strategic transport hub and the largest repair base for the Navy in the Volga region. The Kirov shipyard, the largest in the region, gave a new lease on life to ships in the Caspian and Volga fleets; the two other shipyards made minesweepers and submarine chasers.
Vologda was the largest rail transport repair base; more than 1,200 steam locomotives were repaired there. During the war, enterprises of the Vologda railway hub were awarded the Red Banner of the State Defence Committee several times.
Norilsk plants were the main suppliers of the country's nickel. Open pit mining in the Far North was an unprecedented achievement for Norilsk miners. In 1944, during the most difficult period of the war, the Norilsk works rolled out more nickel than the allies supplied under Lend-Lease.
Kaspiysk also has a worthy place among the contenders for the honorary title. Its shipbuilding facilities deployed a major industrial cluster to build military produce such as mortars, depth bombs, pistols, Shpagin machine guns and other weapons.
Mr President, taking into account the designated cities’ contribution to the Victory, we propose considering the possibility of awarding these nine cities in the Russian Federation the honorary title of City of Labour Glory.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you, Mr Krasnikov. Thank you for the effort you and your colleagues have made and for your proposals.
Let us now listen to our other colleagues and then make a final decision.
Please, Mr Konstantinov, Crimea.
Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov: Mr President,
The preservation of historical memory, countering attempts to distort our history and to question the great Victory of our people is an issue of national security. One of the main objectives is to perpetuate the memory of the millions of civilians who fell victim to the Nazis and their accomplices.
There are currently some 70 monuments and memorials devoted to the victims of the Nazism. There are ten times fewer of these than military monuments, memorials and burial sites. There are only 70 such landmarks for 13.7 million victims. The first monument appeared in 1947 in Nalchik, in Kabardino-Balkaria and in Salsk in the Rostov Region.
The existing monuments are, as a rule, under regional and municipal jurisdiction. Many of them are not even included in the regions’ books and are located on private property. All of them are in various states of repair, many are partly-ruined.
Laying the corner stone at the site of the future memorial complex in the Gatchina District, Leningrad Region, last year had a big impact. It is important that such sites – new and restored ones – are in every region and become an integral part of educational work and themed school tours.
I would like to tell you about the experience of creating one memorial site in Crimea. The idea to build the Krasny Concentration Camp memorial, devoted to the victims of Nazi Germany’s occupation of the Crimean Peninsula, appeared during the Ukrainian period of Crimea’s history. The fight against falsifying history and maintaining historical memory began in Crimea long before 2014. To a large extent, it helped us pave the ideological road to the “Crimean Spring.”
The money to build the Krasny Concentration Camp memorial was collected literally through crowd funding. The donations were kept in Privatbank accounts. In 2014, after Crimea’s return to Russia, Privatbank, like other Ukrainian banks, simply stole the money of Crimean residents, including the money collected to build the memorial. Even the fact that there were many Jews among the prisoners killed by the Nazis in the camp did not stop the bank’s owner, Igor Kolomoisky. In fact, he tried to kill them once more by preventing the perpetuation of their memory.
The memorial was built only after Crimea reunited with Russia. It was one of the first projects by Russian Crimea; it has an ideological meaning. This decision was made together with the Head of the Republic of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov.
We decided to start rebuilding Crimea by restoring historical memory. The memorial is located on the site of one of the largest Nazi concentration camps; there were over 100 in Crimea. This is our tribute to commemorate the over 200,000 lives lost during the Nazi occupation of Crimea.
In July, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Crimea recognised the actions of the Nazis against the civilians and prisoners of war during the Great Patriotic War in the former Crimean ASSR as genocide. Crimea would not be Crimea if it forgot about this.
The memorial was unveiled in the year that marked the 70th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. Thousands of people attend the patriotic rally Light a Candle of Memory in Crimea every year. The second phase of the memorial complex, Memory Park on the site where concentration camp inmates had been burned, opened in 2016. In 2018, our colleagues from the Ryazan Region installed on the grounds a memorial sign to their fellow countrymen who died in the battles for Crimea, and in 2021 this tradition was supported by the residents of the Rostov Region and the Krasnodar and Stavropol territories. The Republic of Tatarstan plans to install a memorial sign as well.
Today the memorial site is the main patriotic education centre that conducts wide-ranging search and research efforts with the participation of university students and high school pupils. The annual international scientific forum, The Nuremberg Trials: History and Modernity, is held here in conjunction with the University of the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Open classes are held at schools. The Mirny charitable foundation has been created at the memorial, and a board of trustees is in place.
In November, the council is holding public hearings on a new project to build a memory park on the grounds of the former Potato Town concentration camp in Simferopol. The project-related expenses will be covered by extra-budgetary funds and the work will be completed on or before May 9, 2023. This concentration camp was also known as Dulag 241 and remained in operation with over 120,000 prisoners of war and civilians held as its inmates throughout the entire period of Nazi occupation.
The feat of our people in the Great Patriotic War has roots in its heroic history in previous centuries and decades, which is why we began working on the concept of the third phase of the memorial in Krasny. This is about building a museum and exhibit site, which will provide complete information about the heroic history of our peninsula from its becoming part of the Russian Empire to the Crimean Spring.
Here, we will talk about the period of Catherine the Great in the history of the Crimean Peninsula, the 1853–1856 Crimean War, the Civil War and, of course, the Great Patriotic War. We will definitely show Crimea’s most recent history and the efforts to rebuild it.
Anyone who visits this place will understand the ‘Crimean Spring’ and its sources.
We would like to ask you to help us with financing the project and building this museum and exhibition complex. After its implementation, the Krasny Concentration Camp Memorial will become a national centre of patriotic and antifascist education, which as many school and university students as possible from all Russian regions should visit.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Konstantinov, thank you very much.
Of course, this issue is of great importance not only for people in Crimea but also for the whole of Russia. I fully agree with you on that. This is why we will certainly talk with you about this initiative and will do our best to help you implement this project.
Ms Karatayeva, the Bryansk Region State Archives, please.
Anastasia Karatayeva, Director of the Bryansk Region Centre of Modern History Documents, a branch of the Bryansk Region State Archives: Mr President,
I represent Bryansk, and we also have a memorial site, which remained obscure for a long time but has acquired symbolic meaning for all residents of our region. It is the former Nazi concentration camp Dulag-142, which we referred to as the Buchenwald of Bryansk.
Why do we call it this? As many as 56,000 people were killed at Buchenwald over nine years, while according to archival documents, about 40,000 people were killed or died of hunger and diseases at the Dulag-142 camp over two years. They were women, old people, children and Red Army prisoners. Their bodies were dumped into huge pits, which became mass graves.
The camp was a secret facility on a former military repair factory site for a long time. Only through excavations at the factory within the framework of the No Statute of Limitations project did we find the remains of many bodies and historical buildings and structures.
In 2019, the public initiated the procedure to grant the former Dulag-142 grounds the status of a federal memorial. The Bryansk Region administration supported that initiative. These efforts and the activities to have the camp declared a protected site to conduct search and surveys have brought together young people in the Bryansk Region, employees of archives and museums and local history experts. Archivists have collected a large amount of documented evidence and recollections by camp inmates.
These data were critical in the body of evidence as part of the criminal case on recognising Nazi crimes in the Bryansk Region as genocide. In October 2021, Dulag-142 was declared a federal cultural and historical heritage site. It is a unique facility, and the first and only site of a former concentration camp in the Russian Federation that was given federal status.
There are about 20 buildings that were used as holding facilities and forced labour sites including camp barracks, punitive confinement cells, infirmaries, workshops, and smith shops, on the grounds of the former factory in Bryansk.
We would like to have a memorial site commemorating the prisoners of Nazi concentration camp Dulag-142 built on these grounds to include the area with mass graves of civilians and prisoners of war, as well as an area of preserved historical sites that should be restored and turned into museums. After all, there are similar complexes, like Buchenwald and Dachau in Germany, or Auschwitz in Poland, and they leave no one unmoved.
No doubt, in addition to preserving the buildings and commemorating the lives of the prisoners who were tortured to death, we would like to create a multi-purpose museum and educational centre that would bring together schoolchildren and university students, local historians, researchers, fallen war hero search organisations and volunteer associations.
We believe that this site can become a major centre for preserving historical memory and will keep alive the memories of the crimes committed by the Nazis, and of the acts and the tragedies of the civilians during the Great Patriotic War. This is particularly important now that fighting neo-Nazi ideas is high on the agenda.
As you can see, we have accomplished a lot on our own with the involvement of the Bryansk youth, public and local authorities. Mr President, we would like you to support the initiative to create a museum and educational complex – a memorial site dedicated to inmates of the Dulag-142 Nazi concentration camp. We need help in drafting project documentation and assistance in financing the construction of the memorial site, which will be built with consideration for existing national experience in building such sites.
The Dulag-142 Museum and Educational Complex will be tangible evidence of the genocide committed against civilians during the war and will show that large Nazi concentration camps existed not only in Europe, but also on our land, here in central Russia.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.
I will come to that. Your proposal sounds good.
I am sure that your work in the archives with the documents should, no doubt, eventually come to fruition in the form of the projects that you discussed so people can use reliable information to assess what happened in the past. This will certainly help them see the ongoing developments for what they are. No doubt, such projects must be supported.
Please, Mr Gutsan.
Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative in the North-western Federal District Alexander Gutsan: Mr President,
As I have said, in September and October of 2022 trials were held in St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region to identify crimes committed by the Nazis and their accomplices against civilians in our regions during the Great Patriotic War as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide of the Soviet people.
The Siege of Leningrad claimed over a million lives. For a long time after it was lifted, the siege continued to take its toll on the demographic situation in the city. The physical damage to Leningrad has been estimated at 35.3 trillion rubles in contemporary evaluations.
In addition to the Wehrmacht and SS forces of Nazi Germany, the Siege of Leningrad included units from Spain, France, volunteer units from Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway, as well as individual volunteers from Austria, Latvia, Poland, France and Czechoslovakia. We cannot interpret this as anything other than a “crusade” against our city, our country and the whole of our people.
As a result of the Siege of Leningrad and the atrocities committed by the occupation forces within their military zones in the Leningrad Region, 2.5 million civilians lost their lives.
Identifying these crimes and the facts of genocide against the Soviet people highlight the importance of preserving the historical memory and truth of those events, their victims and the crimes that have been committed there. Regrettably, not all facts of Nazi criminal acts against civilians have been investigated, and not all victims have been memorialised.
Last summer, Leningrad search groups and the Investigative Committee staff found mass graves of civilians and war prisoners who died in the Dulag-154 concentration camp, in Silvia Park in the town of Gatchina in the Leningrad Region.
One of the most doleful sites among the numerous areas of Nazi crimes and atrocities in the Leningrad Region is the town of Vyritsa in the Gatchina District, where Germans established a children’s blood donation camp. Blood taken from Soviet children was provided to wounded Wehrmacht soldiers and officers. Many of those children died. This is our anguish, and it is our duty to perpetuate their memory.
You have supported the project to create a memorial for the victims of the genocide against Soviet peaceful civilians in the Gatchina District, Leningrad Region. Last year, the cornerstone was laid in a solemn ceremony. You issued an instruction to the Russian Government on co-financing this project. The necessary preparations have been completed. The Leningrad regional administration is taking over the creation of the infrastructure around this future memorial site. The Russian Military Historical Society and the Russian Historical Society are prepared to take part in the project.
The spring of 2024 will mark the 80th anniversary of the full liberation of the Leningrad Region from Nazi occupation. I believe that establishing such a memorial will be very important to everyone living in the region and to the entire country in the context of this significant date.
Also, the necessary preparations have already begun in St Petersburg to mark the 80th anniversary of the complete liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi siege. A number of events are planned that have become traditional: solemn and mourning ceremonies, wreath and flower-laying ceremonies, youth meetings with veterans, concerts, theatrical performances, exhibitions, as well as new projects with new technology. A package of social support measures for veterans and siege survivors is expected. A badge of honour will be issued to mark the 80th anniversary of the complete liberation of Leningrad from Nazi occupation.
Our city was defended by the entire Soviet Union. People from almost every republic, every territory and region in our vast multi-ethnic and multi-confessional country gave their lives at Nevsky Pyatachok, at Pulkovo Heights, and in the Sinyavino Swamps, near Volkhov and Mga.
The anniversary of the Leningrad victory is a celebration not only for Russia, but also for all veterans and survivors of the siege who are living today in the former republics and countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, all people of good will who opposed Nazism.
That is why I want to ask you, Mr President, to head the organising committee for celebrating the 80th anniversary of the complete liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi siege. We understand how significant this date is for our memory, for the formation of the historical worldview of young people, their civic and patriotic position. Your consent will allow us to make the anniversary an event not only for Russia but for the international community, to show the world the strength of the Russian spirit, the character, and the failure of any attempts to destroy our memory of those events. With your permission, I would like to ask you to give the corresponding instructions to the Government of the Russian Federation.
Thank you. This concludes my report.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr Gutsan.
We will decide on my chairmanship soon. I do not see any problem here considering my special relationship with St Petersburg; you know, this is my home city, where I had relatives who lived in besieged Leningrad, and my family suffered great losses. So, we will definitely return to this and discuss both the entire project and my participation in this joint work.
Colleagues, who else would like to say something on this subject?
I want to thank you all for this work.
Yes, Mr Yermakov, please, take the floor.
Chairman of the Council of the All-Russian Public Organisation of the Russian Federation Armed Forces Veterans Viktor Yermakov: The Club of Military Leaders and the Group of General Inspectors asks you to find the time to meet with them. There are many questions and proposals they would like to agree on with you.
Vladimir Putin: All right, Mr Yermakov, done; we will certainly do so. Let's not put it off and try to hold this meeting as soon as possible.
Viktor Yermakov: All right.
Vladimir Putin: Good. Anything else?
I want to thank you all for the joint work. I would like to say a few words in conclusion.
First, we are now talking about the heroes whose memory we want to and must perpetuate. We are doing a lot in this regard, but more needs to be done.
I said this in my opening remarks, but there are many attempts to falsify history. Of course, this is done to create a certain atmosphere in today’s politics and to build these false messages in order to distribute interests for the future in the needed way, to cover up not only what was done jointly with the Nazis in order to hide their participation in these crimes, but also to create conditions for new aggressive actions, including those against our country.
Those who collaborated with the Nazis out of fear, out of cowardice also have an ambitious task: to cover up this betrayal of the interests of their peoples with pseudo-nationalist interests – this is typical of today's people from that same Ukraine. All these events fit very well within the Bandera process.
Nobody wants to consider themselves a coward, nobody wants to be thought of as a coward. But to cover up their betrayal – cooperation with the Nazis for pseudo-national interests – this is a very good cover for such behaviour, for covering up their betrayal. I think the origins of the Bandera process are mainly based on this.
As a matter of fact, we, in Russia, had similar people who used all kinds of pseudo-national interests like fighting communism, etc, to cover up their treachery. I will not give their names at this point as it is unnecessary.
But for you and me, it is certainly important to bring these attempts to light, to expose the truth, which may be good or bad, but most importantly objective. And, once again, see it for ourselves and make sure we have it sorted out completely, and leave this truth for future generations. This is a critically important thing.
Of course, historical documents must be revivified. So, the proposals to revivify history based on objective historical data and documents must, of course, be supported.
There is a well-known saying that people who have passed away remain alive as long as we remember them. That is truly the way things are. I think much of the movement, the Immortal Regiment march, with its millions of people, is rooted in this approach. We want the people who laid down their lives for us, for our children, for our Motherland to live in our memory and therefore stay alive to us. This is exactly the way it is: people are alive as long as we remember them. I am sure that, as I said, to a large extent, this is what sparked the Immortal Regiment drive.
We will spare no effort to make sure that the historical facts become known to millions of people, and that we base what we are doing today and that we are building our policy for the future on these facts. This has serious, not abstract, but serious implications for our country today and will have them in the future.
Of course, we must never forget that Victory was won by all the peoples of the Soviet Union. We have never forgotten this and never will. Meanwhile, and it is a fact of history, the RSFSR accounts for almost 70 percent of the losses in the Great Patriotic War. This is also a historical fact, like the facts that our colleagues mentioned today during our meeting.
We will continue to work as a team on these matters. I am confident that we will successfully carry out the projects that you described today.
In closing, I would like to thank you all for this work and express the hope that we will continue to work productively on these important issues as we go forward.
Thank you very much everyone. All the best.