Sonya and her parents first were given a tour of the Kremlin’s main sites, in particular the Tsar Bell and the Tsar Cannon. They then visited the Grand Kremlin Palace, where Mr Putin was waiting for them at the Hall of Facets. The President greeted Sonya and proposed that she and her parents have a cup of tea together with him.
Mr Putin asked Sonya what she liked most at the Kremlin. “I liked everything”, she replied. Her father said that his daughter’s wish had come true that day, for she had long dreamed of visiting the Kremlin. “She reminded me that I promised last time,” Mr Putin laughed. Sonya’s mother said with a smile, “We forget, but she remembers. Only, she remembers what she wants to remember, and forgets other things, such as the need to do her schoolwork, for example.”
Work on the Federal Clinical Centre for Child Oncology, Haematology and Immunology began 7 years ago, when Mr Putin met 10-year-old Dima Rogachyov, a boy who was being treated for leucosis. Mr Putin decided after that to open a specialised child oncology centre in Moscow and personally oversaw the project. Mr Putin opened the clinic last year, named in honour of Dima Rogachyov.
After the opening ceremony, Mr Putin talked with the centre’s patients. Little Sonya gave him a coffee cup and saucer that she had decorated herself and asked to be allowed to ‘visit the red Kremlin tower’. When Mr Putin visited the centre again this year in February, Sonya reminded him that she had not yet visited the Kremlin, and Mr Putin promised that if all went well, including with her health, she would definitely come on a tour of the Kremlin, and invited her to the Victory Day celebrations on May 9.