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Official website of the President of Russia

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Visit to an exhibition on Russia’s history in the first half of the 20th century

November 4, 2015, Moscow

Vladimir Putin visited the 14th Church and Public Forum and Exhibition Orthodox Russia. My History. From Great Upheavals to the Great Victory. The exhibition runs at the Manezh exhibition hall on November 4–22.

The exhibition is based on historical evidence and documents from various government archives and includes ‘live’ maps, books, animation and short films on Russia’s history from 1914 to 1945. The exhibition was organised by the Moscow Patriarchate, the Ministry of Culture and the Moscow City Government.

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 President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Holiness, friends, I congratulate you on the opening of this latest exhibition in the Orthodox Russia cycle, timed to commemorate National Unity Day.

 This educational project is the result of a big joint effort by the Russian Orthodox Church and leading research organisations, archives and libraries, and is evidence of the growing deep and real interest in Russia’s history and in our spiritual roots and origins. I want to thank sincerely the organisers and participants for their work.

This extensive exhibition’s central theme is the period from 1914 to 1945, a time of world wars, revolutions and upheavals. It was a time when old foundations shattered, destinies crumbled and millions of people became the victims of cruel social experiments.

But even in those harsh and difficult conditions, people lived, created, made discoveries and achieved breakthroughs, and always remembered what was most important when our homeland was in danger. They understood the importance of unity and standing together, and drew strength from timeless, eternal values and lofty moral ideals. Ideological stereotypes faded before the real historical Russia.

Love for the Motherland was the strongest and all-vanquishing emotion. It inspired, helped and saved. This was how our people came through the 1941–1945 Great Patriotic War and not just survived, but preserved and strengthened our statehood and brought peace and liberation to the enslaved peoples of Europe.

This year, we celebrated our big national holiday – the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory. This victory was an event of tremendous historical and moral importance, a source of unquestionable pride and respect, and the symbol of our people’s heroism. This is our history. It is our duty to know this history, respect it in full and without passing anything over in silence, to learn and remember its lessons, and respect and value this past experience.

I am sure that this exhibition, which is based on authentic evidence and documents and makes use of the latest technology, will be of broad interest to people of all ages, young people too. This is all the more true as the exhibition will take place not just here in the capital, but in other Russian cities too.

It is important that visitors and guests will have a chance to take a new look at well-known events and facts and form their own views and impressions. Once again, I congratulate you on the opening of this exhibition. I wish you success and all the very best.

Happy holiday!

November 4, 2015, Moscow