18 February 2018
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PHOTO REPORTS

Remembrance Day at Soviet War Memorial

On 13 November Remembrance Day was marked at the Soviet War Memorial on the grounds of the Imperial War Museum in the London borough of Southwark. Wreaths were laid by Minister-Counsellor Alexander Kramarenko, diplomats from other CIS countries, Second World War veterans, representatives of the Parliament and the local authorities, NGOs, members of public, journalists.

 

Minister-Counsellor Alexander Kramarenko’s speech at the Remembrance Day Ceremony
at the Soviet War Memorial

(13 November 2016)

 

Your Worship the Mayor of Southwark,

Your Excellences,

Dear veterans,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we remember those who fought and died in two world wars for their country. We say “Lest we forget!”. What does it mean today, 100 years after WWI was unleashed? In the first place it means drawing lessons from history in order not to repeat it.

We, in Russia, are proud that were on the same side with Britain in those two wars. Indeed, we were on the side of history.

But it is equally clear today that in 1914 European society was on the threshold of radical change, among other things in response to the contradictions of that stage of globalization, although the word wasn’t coined then. For fear of losing control the elites blundered into war as a policy by default.

Alexander Kerensky, head of Russia’s Provisional Government, seeing off the troops leaving for the front in the summer of 1917, talked about the need to continue the war effort as imperative of the then interdependence. Four months later our liberal elite was swept away by the tide of history.

Now European societies are at another critical juncture. There is an acute need to resolve contradictions, including negative consequences of globalization, accumulated over the past 40 years.

The fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Union were misdiagnosed as an end of history, providing basis for inaction and leaving the people at the mercy of market element. References to globalization and technological revolution were made to support the thesis that there are no longer policy alternatives. This was accompanied by interventionism abroad.

Russia, for its part, embarked on the road of change 30 years ago. We know how painful it is. But history works in mysterious ways.

Now the rest of the Euro-Atlantic community start dealing in earnest with their own rot and decay.

The change can only be brought about through democratic process, not abridged by supranational bureaucracy or references to forces beyond Government control. This means restoration of full independence and sovereignty as a basis for democratic accountability and legitimacy.

I am glad to say, that Britain and America, who made a huge contribution to shaping the world, now are leading this transformation charge in the West. Your referendum in June brought a Government which promises to make economy work for all, not just privileged few. The other day, Donald Trump, having won the election, promised a transformative Presidency.

Real change is always controversial. What is important is that this time it comes not through blunders of war, revolutions and civil wars, but by ballot box. And this is history learnt for the XXth Century democracy isn’t compatible with the ХIX Century inequality. No dogma can keep a society in the straight jacket of status quo.

Some are missing the “galvanizing effect” of the Soviet threat. That is why the myth of a “Russian threat” and the scare of a “new Cold War”. But people know better to be duped by that. Your referendum was about Britain and the Presidential election was about America, not Russia.

This is meant to distract from common threats and challenges, coming from the outside world, first of all those of terrorism and uncontrolled migration. They’ve got to be dealt with collectively, including at their source, by all nations in the spirit of human solidarity. That is why Sting sings in the Bataclan theatre in Paris. That is why there are two coalitions, one led by Russia and the other by the US, fighting terrorists in Syria and Iraq. We are working on more coordination between the two.

As it seems to be the case now, we are happy to be again on the side of history with Britain and America, which is in my view, a fitting tribute by our generation to our war dead.

Thank you.

 

 

 





LATEST EVENTS

10.02.2018

Heritage activists honoured on Diplomats' Day

On 9 February 2018, at the reception on the occasion of Diplomats' Day, Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko presented letters of recognition to those who contributed to the commemoration of the 320 anniversary of Peter I's visit to London. Ambassador Yakovenko said:


09.02.2018

Embassy celebrates Diplomats’ Day

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09.02.2018

Meeting with "Glasgow Rangers" FC

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06.02.2018

Presentation of the “Innopolis” special economic zone

On February 1, 2018, the Russian Embassy to UK with support of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce hosted a presentation of the investing capacity and innovation opportunities offered by the “Innopolis” special economic zone which was created in 2012 in the same-name suburb of Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan with the aim to promote information and communication technologies.


26.01.2018

Holocaust Remembrance Day marked in London

On 26 January 2018 a ceremony at the Soviet War Memorial near the Imperial War Museum marked the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.


16.01.2018

Restored Sayes Court memorial marks 320 anniversary of Peter the Great's visit to London

On 16 January 2018 Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko and Mayor of the London borough of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock unveiled a memorial plaque at Sayes Court Park, Deptford. The memorial, which replaces a previous lost one, marks the ancient mulberry tree which, according to the popular legend, was planted by the Tsar Peter the Great himself during his stay at Deptford Dockyard, when he visited England in January-April 1698 with his Grand Embassy to Western Europe. The mulberry still bears fruit and was shortlisted for the 2017 England Tree of the Year award, where it received a runner-up prize. The memorial was created by the Russian sculptor Alexander Kirilin, who also attended. The costs were crowdfunded by the “Russian Heritage” committee and the Russian Community Council, and a number of Russian-speaking communities in and outside London also contributed, as well as Russian cultural centre "Rossotrudnichestvo" and Russian Embassy employees.


18.12.2017

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Hermitage Foundation UK reception

Ladies and gentlemen, It’s a great tradition for us to host Hermitage Foundation UK here every year. It is an honour to meet the people who make such an outstanding contribution to this great museum which was named Best Tourist Destination of Europe last year. We know and appreciate your effort and dedication. And this year a very important and little known part of the Hermitage treasures is on tour at the British Museum – I’m sure you have seen the breath-taking Scythians exhibition there.


12.12.2017

Russian Embassy hosts FIFA-2018 World Cup presentation

On 12 December the official presentation of the FIFA-2018 World Cup Russian was held in the Ambassador’s Residence.


04.12.2017

Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veterans

On 2-3 December Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medals to the Arctic Convoys veterans Mr David DOUGLAS, Mr George LANE, Mr Michael LOCKE and Mr Raymond BILBIE, who were awarded this military honour by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation for their personal courage and bravery displayed in WWII.


27.11.2017

Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veterans

On 24-26 November Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medals to the Arctic Convoys veterans Mr James JACQUES, Mr Cristobal CAMPOS, Mr Raymond WILSON and Mr Albert DICKSON, who were awarded this military honour by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation for their personal courage and bravery displayed in WWII.



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