The meeting was held to discuss preparations to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945.
The Organising Committee includes representatives of the Government, the Federation Council, the State Duma, the leadership of federal executive bodies, as well as representatives of public veterans and youth organisations.
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Speech at the meeting of the Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
We have gathered here for a regular meeting of the Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee. I would like to say that the Great Patriotic War holds a special place in our shared history and in the history of each Russian family.
The mission of the Organising Committee is to help us hold sacred the memory of our glorious forefathers who have saved the country and the freedom and future of Europe and the rest of the world.
Our key priority has always been to take care of our veterans. All the state’s obligations in this regard must be implemented clearly and unconditionally, and the local authorities must know what each veteran needs and deal with them as a matter of priority.
At the federal level, we propose discussing the possibility of making annual one-time payments to the Great Patriotic War veterans ahead of every Victory Day celebration. In the past, such assistance was only issued in anniversary years.
Museums have a great role to play in keeping the memory of the Great Patriotic War alive. A positive trend has developed in the past few years. People go to museums not only to learn more about their history but also to offer assistance in organising exhibitions, restoring exhibits and repairing facilities.
Special thanks go to the volunteers of the legendary aviation museum in Monino who are restoring unique equipment, and also to the search groups who have taken under their patronage military museums in the regions.
The museum authorities must actively support such initiatives. They have to do with our common history and memory. The more people help preserve it, the stronger it will be.
There is no doubt about this. And the fewer chances we will give to those who want to falsify or distort it.
At the same time, we must upgrade the system of state support for military history museums. Our support must be more effective, enabling museums to create modern interactive spaces that will promote visitors’ emotional involvement in past events. This especially concerns young people.
I am speaking, among other things, about the development of such colourful and informative formats as 3D panoramas. Some of the best examples of their relevance are the projects of Nevsky Batalist, a creative team whose work can already be seen in seven regions of Russia. I know that this team is preparing a new large-scale panorama in St Petersburg for the 75th anniversary of Great Victory, and I ask the local government agencies to help them in implementing this project.
Where support for the flagships of museums is concerned, let me draw your attention to the Victory Museum on Poklonnaya Gora, Russia’s main military history museum. In May 2020, it will become the main venue for the anniversary celebrations and should conform to this high status.
At the same time, we need to address the museum’s oldest and most serious problem – the lack of its own depositories. It is necessary to clearly sort out where we stand with sources of funding and other organisational matters. Today, I would like to hear a separate report on this issue.
Generally, the range of objectives that we must deal with ahead of the Victory anniversary is very wide. Let me emphasise that the preparations for all events which are in some way related to the 75th anniversary must be approached in a responsible, creative and, of course, sincere manner.
It is inadmissible that Victory Day and the history of the Great Patriotic War itself should be accompanied by bureaucratic “accountability” events linked to some formal issues. What people see as sacred symbols must be shielded against formalism and vulgarity. The torch is passing to the great-grandsons of the victors, and this memory must remain clean and unite the public.
We should focus on anniversary year events meant for children and the youth. The aim of these events is both to inform and engage young people in the effort to study and preserve the history of their family and their Motherland as a whole.
For this, it is necessary to look for and show the examples of as yet unknown Great Patriotic War heroes, whose feats of valour are still confined to the pages of archive documents, to launch thematic contests and polls using popular social media, and, of course, create decent documentaries and feature films.
They should link the past, the present and the future, and we will hope that these will be striking, good and creative pieces, which will make all of us rejoice.
Many tasks that we will have to perform as we prepare for the Victory anniversary, in a bid to preserve the military historical heritage and promote patriotic education, require that various agencies, public movements and organisations pool their efforts.
In this connection, it think it expedient to establish a special commission based on the Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee platform, which will eternalise the memory of all those who lost their lives defending their Fatherland, routinely coordinate the work of all those involved in these activities, and make it possible to align positions, define promising areas of action, as well as discuss and draft legislative initiatives.
And now let us get down to work.