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Opening remarks by the Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN and Other International Organizations in Geneva H.E. Mr. Gennady GATILOV at the presentation of the film "Geographers to the Great Victory" (8 September 2021)

Opening remarks by the Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN and Other International Organizations in Geneva H.E. Mr. Gennady GATILOV
at the presentation of the film "Geographers to the Great Victory" (8 September 2021)

 

Today we mark a truly sad anniversary. On this day 80 years ago the Siege of Leningrad began. The 900 days that have become one of the most tragic episodes of the War that brought suffering and grief to every family and home in our country.

The siege of Leningrad – it is the frontline just 12 km away, accessible by a city tram, it is death, nightly air raids and bombings and total destruction. It is exhausting hunger and starvation, freezing winters. Loved ones and friends lost.

But it also is a remarkable testimony of human spirit, endurance, will to life, unbending fight for the victory. The great city lived and fought despite the most desperate conditions, breaking through with supplies under the bombings along the Road of Life on the ice of Lake Lagoda. The city worked on factories, baked bread while starving, treated the wounded in hospitals, taught in schools, played music, continued scientific research. It was this paramount mobilization of physical forces and spirit that ultimately led to the Victory. In Leningrad and in the War.

Many aspects of lives of the besieged Leningrad are well known and are profoundly reflected in books, movies, works of art. Today we have an opportunity to see yet another facet of the hero city’s resistance to the invaders.

It is a great pleasure for me to invite you to the presentation of a documentary dedicated to the contribution of geographers to the destruction of the Nazi military machine. It has been produced by our good partners - “Russian Geographical Society” and is entitled “Geographers – to the Great Victory”.

We remember all those fighting and working, we mourn all those perished, all those who gave up their lives to free the world from the Nazism. It is our duty to preserve the truth about the events of those years, to pass it on to future generations, thereby preventing attempts to revise the history of the World War II.

I am proud to share with you this film as a part of our collective memory of the outstanding feat of the Soviet people during the Great Patriotic War.