The message reads, in part:
“The Siege of Leningrad is a hard and tragic page in the chronicle of the Great Patriotic War and the entire world history. The heroism of the city’s defenders and residents is part of our national and universal legacy. It is our duty to preserve the memory of Leningrad residents’ feat in the hearts of our successors.
This is why your representative gathering has a unique scientific, practical and moral dimension. Renowned scientists, respected researchers and experts, Great Patriotic War veterans and young people, including representatives of the CIS countries, are taking part in the forum. We see this as further evidence that the peoples of the former Soviet Union are united by shared historical memory.
Of course, it is very important that the discussion of those events is based on facts, archive materials, memories of contemporaries, results of investigations of crimes committed by the Nazi regime which are still being carried out by Russian experts, and court rulings on recognising the genocide committed against Soviet civilians. Such an honest position is extremely important for the preservation of the historical truth.
I am confident that the forum will make a substantial contribution to the study of the Great Patriotic War and help to gain a deep insight into the historic legacy of the battle of Leningrad.”