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Speech at opening of an exhibition dedicated to the Victory Banner

May 8, 2011, Moscow

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Friends,

I want to congratulate you all on the upcoming great holiday – Victory Day. May 8 is also a special day because it was on this date, May 8, at 10.43 pm central European time, that the Act of Unconditional Surrender was signed.

Today we are meeting at this museum, which has special significance for us all as the place dedicated to our armed forces and the tremendous services they have done to our homeland, saving our lands from invasion more than once in the past.

I want to say a few words about the new exhibition that is opening here today. As you know, a special law on the Victory Banner was signed on May 7, 2007, in accordance with which this banner is considered one of our people’s great relics. For quite a long time it was not the original banner but a copy that was on display. I think it is only fair, however, that everyone with an interest in our history – and this includes the vast majority of our people – can see the original Victory Banner that was raised above the Reichstag on May 1, 1945.

This opening is an important event in the museum’s life and thus an important historical event too. This exhibition is opening in order to give our own people and any visitor to our country the chance to see this great treasure of our history – the original Victory Banner.

I congratulate you all on this event.

May 8, 2011, Moscow