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Monday, 17 November 2014
Patriarch Kirill Consecrates Russian Necropolis in Belgrade
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 20 seconds
Topic: World War I


This past weekend in Belgrade, Patriarch Kirill consecrated the Russian Necropolis and the memorial ossuary to Russian soldiers 
 
On Saturday, 15 November 2014, His Holiness Kirill of Moscow and All Russia consecrated the restored Iveron Chapel, the renovated Russian necropolis at the Belgrade New Cemetery, where, together with Serbian Patriarch Irinej, he held a service dedicated to soldiers killed in the First World War. 

On that occasion, the two patriarchs laid wreaths to the monument to the Russian soldiers in the Great War, within the necropolis, which also consists of a chapel and four lots where Russian refugees were buried. 

In addition to a large number of citizens, the ceremony was attended by Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Chepurin, famous Russian film director Nikita Mikhalkov and members of the Russian Army. 

The Russian patriarch thanked all the people who took part in the restoration of that sanctity, describing it as a monument to the Russian heroes that gave their lives for their faith, their Emperor and their homeland. At the same time, it is a beautiful monument symbolizing the brotherhood of the Serbian and Russian nation, said Patriarch Krill, adding that, by restoring that monument, we are also restoring our historical memory and the emotions we have for one another.
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 November, 2014 
 

*

The Russian Necropolis at the New Cemetery in Belgrade reopened in the Serbian capital on August 1st, 2014 after an extensive restoration.

Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Federal Agency for the CIS, Compatriots living abroad and International Cultural Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo), attended the opening ceremony which opened with a memorial service at the Necropolis’s Iberian Chapel. Patriarch Irinej, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church who led the church service, said that Russians and Serbs were linked by centuries-old friendship and that the Serbs remembered how Russian soldiers came to their rescue during World War One.

“Today, Serbia is coming under great pressure to throw a shadow on the Russian people. But we will never be able to do that under no consideration,” the Serbian patriarch stressed.

Aleksandar Vulin, the Serbian Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social policy, said that Russia was the only “light in darkness” for the Serbs during World War One.

“History did not know examples when such a great nation made so many sacrifices for the sake of a small people,” Vulin stressed.

For his part, Konstantin Kosachev said that the current relations between the two counties were the best compensation for what happened a hundred years ago when Russian soldiers fought on the Serbian soil.

The orchestras played the anthems of Russia and Serbia. After that, the participants in the ceremony laid wreaths to a Russian and Serbian monuments to the WWI heroes. Live flowers were also lowered on the water at the confluence of the Rivers Danube and Sava on the traverse of the Kalemegdan fortress where the Russian flotilla stood to defend Belgrade during World War I.

A WWI exhibition has opened at the Progress gallery in central Belgrade. Apart from pictures, it features authentic artifacts of that time from Serbia, Russia and France.

A concert at the Russian Center of Science and Culture culminated the festivities in Belgrade. The programme included the most famous music pieces of the early 20th century played by Russian and Serbian musicians.

Russians who fought on the WWI fronts or immigrated to Serbia after the 1917 October Revolution are buried at the Russian Necropolis in Belgrade. More than 3,000 people, including 1, 360 generals, soldiers and officers who fought in WWI, are interred at the Necropolis.

The restoration of the biggest burial place of Russian compatriots abroad had been under way since 2010. Konstantin Kosachev said the project, valued at almost 2 million dollars, was financed both from the state budget and on donations of private companies and individuals.

The end of restoration works was timed to coincide with the centenary anniversary of the start of WWI. Austria declared a war on Serbia on July 28, 1914 while Russia entered the war a few days later on August 1.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin who unveiled a WWI memorial on Moscow’s Poklonnaya Hill on Friday said that Russia had fulfilled its allied obligations during World War One.

For centuries, Russia sought to establish strong ties and build trust among nations and its role in the pre-war years was particularly important.

“On the eve of World War One Russia did everything to persuade Europe to resolve the conflict between Serbia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire peacefully without spilling blood but it had to answer the challenge and defend the fraternal Slavic nation and its own citizens from an external threat,” Putin said.
 
Note: this section of the article was originally published on August 1st, 2014 by ITAR-TASS. 
 


World War I monument located at the Novo Groblje Cemetery in Belgrade, Serbia
 
A few steps from the Iveron Chapel of the Novo Groblje cemetery stands the World War I memorial to Russian glory (above).  It is in the form of a shell, topped by a sculpture of Archangel Michael. Carved into the monument are the Russian Emblem and several inscriptions. One of them says in Russian: “Memory eternal to Emperor Nicholas II and the 2,000,000 Russian soldiers in the Great War.” Another says in Serbian: “To the Russian brethren who courageously fell on the Thessalonika front, 1914-1918.” Under the steps leading up to the monument there is a crypt chapel in which rest remains of soldiers who fell on the Thessalonika front, and of officers and soldiers of two Russian artillery units who gave their lives in the defense of Belgrade.    
 
© ITAR-TASS.17 November, 2014
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:52 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 17 November 2014 12:42 PM EST
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'Petrograd Diary' Exhibition Dedicated to WWI Centenary Opens in St. Petersburg
Topic: World War I


The Rumyantsev Palace in St. Petersburg is hosting the exhibition “Petrograd Diary”. The exhibition features more than 200 exhibits from the collections of the State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg and photographs from the Central State Archive of Cinema and Photo Documents.  

It tells of the events of the First World War through the prism of life of Petersburg-Petrograd, chronologically covering the period from July 1914 (Russia’s entry into the war) until March 1918 (the signing of Brest-Litovsk peace, which marked Russia’s withdrawal from the war). The complex of documentary photographs, depicted Russian capital during the war time, and demonstrating by a number of photographs from the front positions of the Russia army, portraits of generals, maps with marked zones of combat operations and the movement of troops that allow to create historical parallels and to trace the close relationship of events, taking place at the front and the rear. The exhibition also features original overcoat and fur cap of ordinary Pavlovsky Regiment, items of military life of soldiers and officers of the Russian army; medical instruments and medical staff’s form of the First World War. 

Of particular interest are materials devoted to charitable activities during the First World War. In particular, the exposition contains reconstruction of the "home hospital", reminiscent of that in the Rumyantsev Palace (at that time the mansion of Kotchubey) on the English Embankment, as in many other mansions of the Petersburg nobility, at the expense of the owners was organized a hospital for wounded warriors. 

A special section of the exhibition is devoted to the military hospital trains. During the First World War, wealthy citizens, members of the royal family and members of the aristocracy on their funds organized military hospital trains and often went to the front, where par with simple medical personnel saved lives of wounded soldiers. 

The exhibition is complemented with authentic and reconstructed military uniforms and equipment of the First World War from the private collections of members of historical clubs of St. Petersburg. 
 
© Russkiy Mir. 17 November, 2014
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:48 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 17 November 2014 8:50 AM EST
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Sunday, 16 November 2014
Serbs Should Remember What Russia Did for Them in WWI - Serbian President
Topic: World War I
 

 'Slavic Day' in Moscow on January 11, 1915. Note the Chudov Monastery in the background

 
It is important to preserve historical memory, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said at a meeting with Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill on Friday.

Patriarch Kirill is paying a three-day visit to Belgrade at the invitation of Patriarch Irinej of Serbia and the Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church. This is the second visit by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to Serbia since his enthronement in 2009.

“Serbia always lived as Russia did. When Russia was suffering, Serbia was also suffering. When Russia was progressing, Serbia was also making progress,” Nikolic said.

He added the Serbian people should always remember what Russia did for them, including in the First World War which broke out a hundred years ago and whose centenary anniversary is being marked this year.

Serbia regards Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church as a pillar of support, Nikolic also said.

“We are bound both with faith and blood. We are living through hard time. Christianity is facing great challenges. The Russian Orthodox Church provides a pillar of support for the Serbian Orthodox Church while Russia is a pillar of support for Serbia,” Nikolic said.

On Sunday, Patriarch Kirill will attend a ceremony of unveiling a monument to Russian Tsar Nicholas II in front the presidential palace in Belgrade. Under his rule, Russia joined WWI to defend Serbia.

“The Russian tsar risked the entire state and his people when he entered that war,” Nikolic emphasized.

During WWI, 30,000 Russian soldiers fought shoulder to shoulder with the Serbs in the territory of Serbia.

Soviet soldiers fought in Serbia during WWII. In October this year, Belgrade celebrated the 70th anniversary of Belgrade’s liberation from fascist occupiers. 
 
© TASS News Agency and Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 November, 2014
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:28 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 16 November 2014 6:34 AM EST
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Thursday, 13 November 2014
Paris Pays Tribute to Russian Soldiers of WW I Era
Topic: World War I


Monument to the soldiers of the Russian Expedition Corps in Paris
 
Parisians on Wednesday paid tribute to the Russian soldiers and officers who defended France during World War I.

A French brass band played the Russian and French national anthems at a ceremony that was held by the monument to the soldiers of the Russian Expedition Corps, located in downtown Paris.

Military honours to the Russian defenders of France were paid by the guard of honour of the French Armed Forces.

Russian Ambassador to France, Alexander Orlov, said in his speech the two countries were linked by an allied relationship during World War I, the centenary anniversary since the outbreak of which is widely marked this year.

“The Russian corps was dispatched to France to help an allied nation and many Russian men and officers died while defending the French soil,” he said.

The monument to Russian servicemen was opened on the right-hand bank of the Seine in 2011. It is located in the vicinity of a bridge named after the Russian Emperor Alexander III, whose reign was marked, among other things, by the signing of a Russo-French union accord.

In 2011, the opening of the monument was timed to coincide with President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Paris. 
 
© TASS and Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 13 November, 2014
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:48 PM EST
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Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Kremlin Museum Hosts World War One Exhibition
Topic: World War I


The exhibition, titled World War I: Forgotten Feats, Heroes and Awards of The Russian Army, marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the WWI. Over five hundred historical relics and documents are presented at the exhibition to reveal the significance and importance of the exploit performed by Russian soldiers and officers, the gallantry displayed by many distinguished representatives of the Russian people during the World War I, the website of the Kremlin Museums reports.

In 1917, when St. Petersburg (then called Petrograd) was under threat of attack of German troops, treasuries of the Imperial family as well as precious decorations and various order insignia from the Chapter of the Russian orders were carefully transferred to the Armoury Chamber. The collection of the Royal family was successfully rescued and preserved in 1918 during the fighting for the Kremlin and later on in 1920s-1930s, in the period of expropriation of the Kremlin treasury, when the newly formed Soviet authorities, requiring a serious financial support in foreign currency, were on the edge of selling the Tsars' treasuries for nothing.

The project introduces military insignia — orders and medals — received by Russian soldiers and officers, including those of the Order of Saint George — the highest military decoration of the Russian Empire. The exposition presents foreign decorations, some of which were awarded to Russian warriors. Most part of these artifacts was transferred to the museum in 1918 as a part of the Chapter of the Russian orders collection. Statute of the Order of Saint Olga, Equal-of-the-Apostles, is of special interest — this decoration was intended for women as an award "for the merits in the various arenas of public and community service, as well as for the deeds and works for the benefit of their neighbour."
 

The exposition incorporates photographs from the State Archive of the Russian Federation, which still preserve the images of Russian war heroes. Among them are the general A. Brusilov, major-general I. Kostin as well as photos of ordinary soldiers and officers, decorated with various military insignia.

A special group of the exposed relics is closely related to the history of the Royal family. Emperor Nicholas II assumed the role of commander-in-chief of the Russian armed forces in August 1915, therefore took the responsibility for the military actions of Russia in war, its victories and losses. Here you can see the famous Easter egg by Carl Faberge firm, which was presented by the Emperor to his wife — Empress Alexander Fyodorovna — for Easter 1916, and a noteworthy memorial item —  the officer cavalry broadsword, which had belonged to Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich of Russia, who was appointed Inspector general of Artillery.

The Grand Duchesses of the Romanov family made a valuable contribution to the development of military medicine in Russia during the war:  the mother of Nicholas II, Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna, the president of Russia's Red Cross, and his daughters were involved in the organization of hospitals, sanitary trains and sanatoriums; they worked as medical nurses, provided financial support for various social activities, participated in public events intended for the Russian servicemen, injured during the hostilities. At the exhibition you can see decorations granted to medics and other health-care workers —the insignia of the Order of Red Cross — as well as remarkable photographs with Grand Duchesses in hospital.

As in the Soviet period the World War I has been referred to as a tragic "Imperialist war", launched by European countries along with Russia, the project provides a unique opportunity to learn something new about this historical period, to unveil an interesting page of the Russian history. 
 
© Russkiy Mir and Kremlin Museums. 24 September, 2014
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:42 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:54 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 10 September 2014
More Than $3 Million Allocated from Repairs of Revolutionary Aurora Cruiser
Topic: World War I


The crusier Aurora - once the pride of the Imperial Russian Navy
 
More than $3.3 million have been allocated for the repairs of the Aurora cruiser -a symbol of the 1917 socialist revolution in Russia. Now, the ship that has been harbouring in St. Petersburg, is a branch of the Central Naval Museum, ITAR-TASS reports.

The Aurora is not planned to sail to the docks unaided; an operation to bring the ship to a shipyard for repairs will be launched on September 21, when the Aurora with the support of four tow ships will move off its customary mooring berth and head for the docks.

The repairs are planned to continue for around 1.5 years. The Aurora is going to have its hull cleaned and painted anew; the interior of the ship will be restored to resemble its historical image as much as possible. Parts of the ship's hull and mechanisms of historical value that survived to the present day will be left intact, press service Chief of Russia's Western Military District Oleg Kochetkov told ITAR-TASS. But, new systems ensuring safe mooring, fire prevention and monitoring will be established on board, Kochetkov said. 

The Aurora was first used as a war ship in the Battle of Tsushima during the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese war. During WWI it took part in military operations in the Baltic area. But the ship went down in world history after it fired a historic cannon shot in St. Petersburg in 1917 which heralded the beginning of the 1917 October armed uprising followed by a storm of the emperor's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.

After the socialist revolution the Aurora was used as a training ship. During WWII the Aurora crews fought against Nazis who besieged Leningrad. In 1948 the ship was moored at the Petrograd embankment on the Neva. It had been used since as a training base of the Nakhimov naval school until 1956 when the ship was turned into a museum. 
 
© The Russkiy Mir Foundation. 10 September, 2014
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:28 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 11 September 2014 6:33 AM EDT
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Thursday, 7 August 2014
How and Why Russia Forgot the Great War
Topic: World War I


The Great War barely features in mass culture, having contributed neither myths nor heroes to Russian folk culture,
and barely having made a dent in nation's wealth of arts and literature
 
Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the August 1st, 2014 edition of The St. Petersburg Times. The author Alexey Eremenko, owns the copyright of the work presented below.
 
Russia lost 3 million people in World War I. But it also provided examples of explosive military strength and economic resilience that would make any nation proud.

And yet, though the 100th anniversary of the war — which Russia joined on Aug. 1, 1914 — has revived some interest in the event, Russians generally do not often speak of World War I.

This is a nation that loves and cherishes memories of other past military triumphs. World War II has developed a cult-like status over the decades, and even the Great Patriotic War against Napoleon is widely discussed and revered.

But beyond the history books, the Great War hardly features in mass culture, having contributed neither myths nor heroes to Russian folk culture, and hardly having made a dent in nation's wealth of arts and literature.

World War I's marginal position in Russian lore owes to the fact that it fell between the cracks of history, or — more specifically — between the Tsarist and Bolshevik regimes, Russian scholars said.

In destroying the tsars, the Bolshevik revolutionaries denounced the Great War as imperialist, thus robbing it of its potential for a popular legacy. . . . . 
 
To read the full article published on Royal Russia News, please click on the link below:

How and Why Russia Forgot the Great War 

© Alexey Eremenko / The St. Petersburg Times. 07 August, 2014


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:29 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 8 August 2014 6:43 AM EDT
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Monday, 4 August 2014
H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia Issues Statement on the 100th Anniversary of the Beginning of the First World War
Topic: World War I

Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna
 
Statement from the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, on the 100th Anniversary of the Beginning of the First World War, 1914-1918. Issued on August 1st, 2014.
 
To read the full statement published on Royal Russia News, please click on the link below:

H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia Issues Statement on the 100th Anniversary of the Beginning of the First World War 

© Russian Imperial House. 04 August, 2014


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:40 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 4 August 2014 8:53 AM EDT
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World War I Monument Erected in St. Petersburg
Topic: World War I


A new monument to Russian WWI soldiers near the Vitebsk Railway Station in St. Petersburg
 
A monument to Russian soldiers who fought in World War I has been unveiled in St. Petersburg, the city administration said. 

The Russian Guard of the Great War monument marks the centenary of the start of World War I. 

The bronze memorial consists of a cross with a bas relief showing soldiers on a train leaving for the front. It stands near *Vitebsk Station, the rail terminal from where troop trains were setting off for the battlefields, the administration said in a statement. *Formerly known as the Tsarskoye Selo Station, it was the first railway station built in Russia. It was inaugurated in 1837 in the presence of Emperor Nicholas I when the first train departed for the Imperial residence at Tsarskoye Selo. In later years, members of the Russian Imperial family departed from a detached pavilion for Tsarskoye Selo. In recent years, a painstaking restoration of the station's original and elaborate Art Nouveau interiors was carried out. A bust of Emperor Nicholas I has been placed in the central hall of the station - PG

The authors of the monument are sculptors Mikhail Pereyaslavets, who are members of the Grekov Military Artists Studio, and architect Anton Korolyov. 

"World War I not only redrew geographical maps but also affected the future of many nations. It brought sorrow to millions of people all over the world. In unveiling this monument, we restore historical justice and pay homage to the Russian soldiers and officers who did not spare their life in defending their country. It is a very important monument for the rising generation. We must ensure that the past is maintained in public memory, and we must honor the traditions and great accomplishments of our ancestors," St. Petersburg Acting Governor Georgy Poltavchenko said at the unveiling ceremony. 

After the ceremony, the bishop of Peterhof, Markel, led a memorial service for those killed in World War I. 
 
© Interfax and Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 04 August, 2014
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:56 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 4 August 2014 6:11 AM EDT
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Saturday, 2 August 2014
Putin Attends Opening of Russian WWI Monument
Topic: World War I
 
On Friday, August 1st, Russia's President Vladimir Putin attended a ceremony to unveil a Monument to the Heroes of the First World War, the Kremlin press service reported. The monument unveiling ceremony is one of key events dedicated to the centenary of the outbreak of WWI, ITAR-TASS reports. 

The idea of erecting such a monument was suggested by the Russian Ministry of Culture. The Monument was made by scupltors Andrey Kovalchuk, P. Lyubimov, V. Yusupov, and architects Mikhail Korsi and S. Shlyonkina.

A decision to erect the Monument in a place between the Arch of Triumph and the Museum of the Great Patriotic War was made in April 2013. An open contest for the best design of the monument was held with the backing of the Culture Ministry and the Russian Miliary History Society. A drive was also organized to collect money for the creation of the Monument, which consists of two elements: the figure of a Russian soldier, who went through the war and became a holder of St George Cross medals, and a multifigure composition embodying the flag of Russia. The soldier is shown wearing an overcoat roll and his chest adorned with St. George Crosses

The overall weigh of the Monument together with the pedestal is about 100 metric tons. The Moscow city authorities allocated 74 million rubles for the erection of the Monument.
 


President Vladimir Putin speaks at a ceremony to unveil a monument to WWI heroes on Poklonnaya Hill
 
The tragedy of WWI reminds us what excessive ambitions, an unwillingness to listen to each other and violations of liberties lead to, Russia's president said. He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the memorial to the Heroes of WWI in Moscow.

According to Putin, the memorial is not only “a tribute to the great deeds,” but also a warning that “this peace is fragile.”

“And we have to guard peace. And remember that the most valuable thing on Earth is a peaceful and quiet life,” he added.

Numerous examples in world history show “what a terrible price” is paid if human rights and liberties are violated for the sake of serving vested interests.

“Humankind should grasp one truth: violence generates violence. And the way to peace and prosperity is made up of good will and dialogue, and the memory of the lessons of the last wars.”

He added that Russia stepped for strong and trusting relationships between the countries throughout the centuries.

“It was on the eve of WWI when Russia did everything possible to solve the conflict peacefully, without bloodshed, between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. But Russia wasn’t heard. And it had to respond to the challenge in order to protect the [fellow] Slavic nation.”

“And instead of saving the most successful continent in the world – Europe – [ambitions and aggression] are endangering it.”

Putin said that a century ago "Russia had to take part in WWI and now we are opening the memorial to its heroes – Russian soldiers.”

Russia is now immortalizing the historical truth of World War I, he added.

“We have numerous examples of courage … and true patriotism of Russian soldiers, the whole Russian society."

The memorial to the heroes of WWI stands in Moscow’s on Poklonnaya Hill, in the city’s Victory Park, one of the highest spots in the Russian capital.

It consists of two elements: a Russian soldier who fought in WWI and a composition representing the Russian flag. The soldier is shown wearing the Cross of St. George, one of Russia’s highest military decorations. 
 
© Royal Russia, Russia Today and Russkiy Mir. 02 August, 2014
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:25 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 1 September 2014 6:29 AM EDT
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