The message reads, in part:
“It is gratifying to see that with every passing year, the Russian Search Movement develops, grows stronger, gains well-deserved respect in our society and attracts new members. People of all ages join in this noble work at the bidding of their hearts, understanding their personal responsibility for preserving the memory of the heroism of a generation of fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers. This is extremely important because the Great Patriotic War, the Victory, the defeat of Nazism and its murderous ideology have immense significance for our history, morals and values. It is the topic of thousands of research works, works of fiction, films and television programmes. However, we continue to uncover previously unknown facts, restoring forgotten names and truly heroic fates, thanks to search teams, among others.
The movement’s activity is broad and multi-dimensional. Its representatives were largely involved in organising events of the Year of Memory and Glory and the 75th anniversary of the Victory. They conducted their regular field expeditions and made an essential contribution to creating a museum and memorial in Zhestyanaya Gorka (Novgorod Region), whose civilians died at the hands of firing squads, and to preparations for a trial over Nazi war criminals in the village of Batetsky.
The search teams’ mission is a remarkable example of dedicated civic engagement and sincere love for one’s motherland and its history. Friends, your work inspires great respect and deserves overarching support.”
The Russian Search Movement is the largest organisation involved in field and archive search. The movement has more than 42,000 members of all ages grouped in 1,428 search teams. Over a period of the past seven years alone, the teams and groups of the Russian Search Movement have buried over 150,000 Soviet soldiers and identified over 8,000 killed people.
The annual Memory Watch is held between April and November and comprises search expeditions to the battlegrounds of the Great Patriotic War, rallies, burials of the soldiers whose remains were discovered by the search teams, and patriotic campaigns to eternalise the memory of fallen Soviet soldiers and officers.