Accompanying the President at the ceremony were Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and public figures. The monument was designed by People’s Artist of Russia sculptor Salavat Shcherbakov.
Earlier the same day Vladimir Putin congratulated Patriarch Kirill on his 68th birthday.
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Address at unveiling of a monument to Emperor Alexander I.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,
Today we have unveiled a monument to Russian Emperor Alexander I. This event was timed to the 200th anniversary of the end of the war with Napoleon. Victory in that war was Russia’s major international triumph. At that time, people of all ranks and nationalities rose up against the enemy.
Alexander I paid an enormous role in bringing them together and in firmly upholding the country’s independence. His words, “I will not find peace as long as there is even one enemy soldier on our land” sounded like a call for complete loyalty to our homeland and for fighting for victory.
The Emperor had faith in the people; he knew the enormous power of their patriotism. The French army met with unheard of resistance in Russia; it came up against powerful determination to conquer the enemy. Meanwhile, the heroic Battle of Borodino, as we all know, not only changed the course of the war, but also sealed the fate of Europe for many years to come.
Alexander I has gone down in history as the man who defeated Napoleon, as a forward-looking policymaker and diplomat, as a political leader who was fully aware of his responsibility for the safe development of Europe and the world.
The Russian Emperor stood at the foundation of the European international security system of the time, and it met the requirements of that period. It was then that conditions for the so-called balance were created, based not only on mutual respect for the interests of different countries, but also on moral values. It is also worth recalling the respect and benevolence with which Russia, the winning nation, treated the sovereignty and national identity of France and its people.
The era of Alexander I was a time of Russia’s revival and consolidation. Many state and legal reforms were carried through, the first Russian round-the-world expedition was launched, and five new universities were founded. Moscow, Russia’s ancient capital, was restored after the invasion and the fire, the Manezh and the Armoury were built and the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour began.
This wonderful garden was created here by the Kremlin wall over 150 years ago, bearing the name of Emperor Alexander I. It is one of the most loved and beautiful parks of Moscow.
Practically everything here is permeated with the memory of Russia’s military glory, of those who defended and protected our Fatherland. The monument to Alexander I will occupy a place of honour here. We had to choose from several equally good designs, but I believe that this one corresponds to its mission.
Thank you for your attention.