2017-10-31 10:52:00

President and patriarch opens a monument to victims of repressions in Moscow

Moscow, October 31, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia urged to never forget about terrific repressions as "absolutely concrete" people, predecessors of contemporary Russians, fell their victims.

"Monuments are needed for healing people. Coming here, recalling tragic events of our history, people should not feel desperate, they should think about their descendants, what country and what history we will leave them in heritage," the patriarch said at the opening ceremony of The Wall of Grief monument in Moscow.

He stressed the necessity of making correct conclusions from the last 100 years and never repeat the mistakes of our predecessors.

"Contemporary generation does not have right to repeat historical mistakes: hatred should not guide us in our desire to set up peaceful, just and prosperous life, tragic pages of our past should not give reasons for kindling hatred and intensifying tensions, and condemnation of terror should not turn from a moral act into political ritual," the primate of the Russian Church said.

The patriarch also reminded that "repressive machine did not do any differences": it hit representatives of all traditional Russian religions, and urged their descendants to realize that "no bright future is possible, if striving to reach this future under influence of new ideologies we will destroy moral and spiritual foundation of human existence."

Political repressions are a crime and no ultimate social good can justify them, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"When it comes to repressions, the killing and suffering of millions of people, it is enough to visit the Butovo [execution] site, other mass graves of the victims of repressions, which abound in Russia, to understand [that] there can be no justification to these crimes," Putin said at the unveiling of monument.

The repressions affected whole social and ethnic groups, workers, peasants, engineers, military leaders, priests, public servants, scientists and cultural figures, he said

"The repressions spared neither talent nor merits before the Motherland, nor sincere faithfulness to her. Everyone faced the possibility of being convicted on trumped-up, absolutely absurd charges," Putin said.

Millions were declared enemies of the people, executed or maimed, he said.

"This terrible past cannot be deleted from our national memory, let alone justified in any way, none of these so-called ultimate social goods," Putin said.

He asked permission from Natalia Solzhenitsyna, who attended the opening ceremony, to quote her words: "To know, to remember ... to denounce - and only then to forgive," he said.

The president stressed the need to remember the tragedy of the repressions, "the causes that gave rise to them."

"But that does not mean calling for score-settling. One cannot again push society towards the dangerous edge of confrontation. Right now it is important for all of us to rely on the values of trust and stability. Only on this basis shall we be able to solve the problems facing our society and country," Putin said.