In Pskov, Vladimir Putin laid flowers at the monument to the heroic soldiers of the 6thParatroop Company of the 104th Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Guards Airborne Regiment of the 76th Guards Air Assault Division.
The President visited the Chapel of St George the Victorious and attended a memorial service; he also viewed a model of a panorama depicting a paratroopers’ battle. The model is a reconstruction of the hill where the paratroopers of the 6th Company confronted militants.
Later the President met with families of servicemen killed in action. One of the meeting participants gave the President a medal made by the 6th Company Memorial Fund and dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Company’s paratroopers’ heroic deeds. “Thank you for your young men,” replied Vladimir Putin.
In addition, the President spoke to the Young Army members who are helping implement The Road of Memory project in Pskov, and learned about the work of a special facility collecting information about the Great Patriotic War participants.
The Road of Memory project is being implemented by the Defence Ministry in order to perpetuate the memory of all Soviet soldiers. According to volunteers, 849,000 photos have been uploaded so far, with over 800 of them uploaded at the information collection facility on the territory of the 104th Guards Airborne Regiment.
On this day Pskov hosts regular commemorative events marking the 20th anniversary of the tragedy in the Argun Gorge where 90 paratroopers engaged a unit of militants who greatly outnumbered them; 84 servicemen were killed in action.
For bravery and courage during the elimination of illegal armed groups, 22 paratroopers were awarded the title of Hero of Russia (21 of them posthumously), while 68 soldiers and officers were awarded the Order of Courage (63 – posthumously).