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Official website of the President of Russia

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Speech at ceremony unveiling the icon above the gate of the Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower

August 28, 2010, The Kremlin, Moscow

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Your Holiness, dear friends.

Today is a special day: the day of the recovery and restoration of the Saviour of Smolensk gate icon. And as the Patriarch just said, there are a number of symbols here.

Today we must remember all those who assisted in and contributed to the restoration of these icons, including those who hid them in a very difficult time of our history, during the years of godlessness and adversities. In doing so they risked not only their positions but also their lives, and thus preserved this wonder to this day for those who are here today, those who will from now on visit the Kremlin and marvel at the feat of our progenitors and be inspired by the icon that protects Moscow, protects the Kremlin, and protects all of us.

Indeed, this is the special significance of this event, and perhaps one that is still not fully grasped. It demonstrates the unity between the Russian people and the Church, the restoration of justice, and joint work for our beloved motherland.

I would like to sincerely thank His Holiness Patriarch Kirill for participating in the restoration of the icons and also the restoration of the truth. I would like to thank all our colleagues who contributed to finding these masterpieces and their recovery. I would like to thank all those in the Kremlin's Red Square today, on this special day. And I would like to say that I'm sure that the discovery and consecration of the icons and restoration of justice will ensure further protection for our country. Therefore all those present here, all those who pray for and those who love our country will be protected too.

I would like to express my sincere thanks for everything that was done.

August 28, 2010, The Kremlin, Moscow