Source: Russian Federation Government
Dmitry Medvedev’s address:
Dmitry Medvedev addresses a meeting marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade from Nazi invaders
Before the meeting marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade from Nazi invaders. With Patriarch of Serbia Irinej and President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic
Viewing the exhibition of archival photos “Celebrating Belgrade’s liberation from 1944 through 2019”
Mr President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic,
Ms Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Ana Brnabic,
Mr Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik,
Ladies and gentlemen, veterans, friends,
I feel very emotional here on this stage, especially after the speeches of those who liberated Belgrade, after viewing the film, which was a testament to the unparalleled deeds of all those who fought for the liberation of Belgrade and who defended the peace.
Seventy-five years have passed since. We understand that the victory was gained thanks to the valour and heroism of individuals in the audience and those who are long gone. This is what makes the victory so dear and the memory so important – we remember those who were the first to fight and those who brought this victory ever closer, and those who fortified it. I would like to express my sincerest words of gratitude to all those who made this victory possible, and to heartily congratulate you on the holiday we are celebrating together. Moscow will have fireworks tomorrow to mark the liberation of Belgrade.
And the best way we can pay tribute to the memory of our war heroes, to all those who gave their lives for peace, is to persevere in preserving the truth about the war, securing the honest account of what was actually going on. There must be no attempts to hide or forget anything. We must remember the unimaginable cruelty of the Nazis, their death camps and mass shootings. Every Serb will always remember Kragujevac, especially those who witnessed those very hard times.
This must be narrated honestly, openly and outside any political or other models. In doing this we create the necessary antidote to this falsification, which, unfortunately, is currently going on.
We must treat our monuments with care. I visited the Monument to the Liberators of Belgrade and the Monument to Soviet Soldiers today and laid flowers. We are very grateful to you, dear friends, for the way you take care of these memorials. Thank you very much for that.
Of course, war fades back into the past with every new year, but its pain still lingers in the history of almost every family, both in Russia and in Serbia. In our country people keep old photos of their family members, who all came from different walks of life, of course. But there are practically no families in our countries that were not affected by the war. Our people take these photos and march along the streets on Victory Day. I think this is very important.
This holiday indeed has a special significance for our nations as we were forced to defend our countries and fight throughout the centuries, even though we did not want this. We protected our lands and always helped each other over the centuries. Russia supported Serbia in the 19th century in its fight for independence. During World War I our nations fought together, and during World War II they both became members of the anti-Hitler coalition. We were close back then. We were together.
I am confident that it will always be this way.
Eternal glory to our heroes!