The Pogosyan Grachya Charitable Foundation


An exhibition “Memories Through Times” was opened in the State Duma

   On November 14, an exhibition “Memories Through Times” highlighting a vast activity of the St. Petersburg’s charitable foundation headed by Grachya Pogosyan opened in the State Duma on the occasion of People’s Unity Day.   
    The exhibition is the result of multi-year charitable work of the foundation and its president Grachya Pogosyan – the work which is aimed at preserving the memory of the heroes and events of World War II, supporting socially important projects and strengthening the relationships between our countries and peoples. The exhibition was organized by the State Duma Committee on Labour, Social Policy and Veterans’ Affairs with the support of the information agency “Veteran news”.
     A lot of photos, books and documentaries are displayed. In general, for all these years more than 100 objects of cultural, spiritual and historical heritage have been erected and restored in 11 countries of the world on the initiative and at the expense of the philanthropist. 29 monuments out of them commemorate the events and heroes of the Great Patriotic War. More than dozens of books and documentaries have been created and published.
     It has already been the third exhibition highlighting the work of Grachya Pogosyan. The first one, “Nine years, nine countries and hundreds of good stories”, was held in Tauride Palace in St. Petersburg in January 2017. It was supported by the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS countries. The exhibition was devoted to a regular anniversary of complete lifting of the blockade of Leningrad.
    The second exhibition was opened in the House of Moscow in Yerevan in May 2017 and was called “To Armenia and Russia with Love”. It was supported by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Armenia and the RA Ministry of Diaspora.
On November 14, there were a lot of representatives of various government and military bodies of the RF and CIS countries, veterans and citizens of besieged Leningrad, members of the clergy and journalists. Deputies of all factions took part in the opening ceremony as well.
Right before the ceremony all the guests observed minutes of silence in tribute to those members of the USSR State Planning Committee who were killed in the Great Patriotic War and laid the flowers to the plaque in the State Duma.
     Then Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Labour, Social Policy and Veterans’ Affairs Yaroslav Nilov officially started the opening ceremony of the exhibition “Memories Through Times”.
     Deputy Chairwoman of the State Duma (a member of the Faction UR) Olga Timofeeva greeted the guests on behalf of the top executives of the Russian State Duma.
     - We are opening a unique exhibition within the walls of the State Duma. It is the exhibition to commemorate those people who took part in World War II and local military conflicts. Why do we need it for? It is necessary to keep the memory of those who defended the country, who rose up as one to fight. – Olga Timofeeva stressed.
     As she noted, today a lot of people are trying to rewrite history and, to combat this, it is necessary to work with the youth systematically.
- We have to know our history, especially the young generation who will be brought up by such photo coverage in particular, - Deputy Chairwoman underlined and mentioned that a lot is being done to keep the memory both by the government and public organizations. She thanked all the public organizations that help to keep and perpetuate memory of heroes of the Great Patriotic War, paying special attention to the role of search parties.
     The member of the faction of the political party ”Communist Party of the Russian Federation“, the first Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Culture Vladimir Bortko said that if we kept the memory of the victims of the war, they would be alive for good. He called the exhibition “a serious way to remember as people live and can be considered people only when they remember”.
     In his speech Leader of the faction LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky offered contemporaries to be less biased estimating the past and erect monuments not to commemorate people but events.
    - We have to remember everyone who has ever fought, remember all the revolutions, all the events and military conflicts. It is sacrificial as people died defending their Motherland, their ideals, cities and their nation, - Vladimir Zhirinovsky said.
     The deputy head of the faction “Just Russia” Oleg Nilov underlined that deputies approved of the exhibition at once understanding foremost its historical value.
     - When our history is being rewritten today, new values and ideas are being imposed and the foundation of our statehood is being destroyed, we understand that such events are of great necessity and strengthen everything we have got. We are the country with great and long history but, unfortunately, we are living in difficult times when they are trying to rewrite it and form a different opinion in the heads of the younger generation. But events similar to this one can help to stand against it. - Oleg Nilov said.
     Then the floor was given to Nina Lebedeva, the head of the Vasiliostrovsky division of the society “Citizens of besieged Leningrad” in St. Petersburg. In brief she spoke about the monuments erected in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region thanks to Grachya Pogosyan. Many of these projects were realized after the citizens addressed the philanthropist.
     - I would like to thank the Committee on Labour, Social Policy and Veterans’ Affairs together with the information agency “Veteran news” for the organization of this exhibition. I am sure that not only we but the youth as well will come, and see, and remember all these important projects. I would specially thank Grachya Pogosyan, the philanthropist, the honorable member of the society “Citizens of besieged Leningrad”.       He treats us wholeheartedly and accepts our requests; he does great work to preserve memory to live for good. – Nina Lebedeva noticed.
     During the opening ceremony the deputy head of the Representative Office of the Government of St. Petersburg in Moscow Tatyana Stroeva read the testimonial from the interim Governor of the City Alexander Beglov: “It is a significant event for our city. This exhibition devoted to the activity of the Grachya Pogosyan Charitable Foundation reveals the contribution to preserving our common spiritual and historical heritage and memory of the Great Patriotic War. It contributes to friendship and mutual understanding between our nations. Under the sponsorship of the Foundation a lot of projects important for the Northern Capital have been realized: the monument to Peter the Great was reconstructed, the monuments ‘To the Fortitude of Leningraders’ and the children of Leningrad who were killed at the station ‘Tikhvin’ in  October 1941 were erected, a Bow Christian cross was put up next to the museum ‘Breakthrough the siege of Leningrad’, the memory of public figures, scientists and writers who lived and worked in St. Petersburg is perpetuated. Thanks to everyone who has taken part in the organization of the exhibition. Let as many people as possible know about the work of the Foundation! We have to be worthy of the memory of our grandfathers and fathers and keep it for next generations,” - reads the message.
     The retired army general, the head of the Assembly of the All-Russia Non-Governmental Organization of veterans of the armed forces, RF Viktor Yermakov spoke about the projects that were realized by the philanthropist and the Head of the Charitable Foundation Grachya Pogosyan and in which he personally participated. He also noted the importance of his activity aimed at keeping the history of the country which is extremely necessary at present. He stressed that work of such charitable foundations has to be recognized at the level of the Government.
     It should be noted that more 200 people took part in the opening ceremony of the exhibition on that day. Among the guests of honor there was Ivan Volynkin, Head of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RF, Vice-President of the Union of Armenians in Russia Lusik Gukasyan, Chairman of Mediacongress ‘The Commonwealth of Journalists’ Ashot Dzhazoyan, archimandrite Seraphim – beneficiary of Church of St. Nicholas in Kotelniki, the former head of the Investigative Committee of Armenia Agvan Ovsepyan, children and grandchildren of Marshalls of the USSR Larisa Babadzhanyan, Nadezhda Rokossovskaya, Sergei Bagramyan, Karina Nadzharova, Hero of Russia Valery Chukhvantsev, former Deputy Commander of the Troops of the Leningrad Military District and others who actively support the projects of the Grachya Pogosyan Charitable Foundation. The mother of Grachya Pogosyan – Lena Vardanovna – together with some relatives visited the ceremony.
     Among those who noted the noble charity work of Grachya Pogosyan was a president emeritus of the Council of Veterans of Russian Land Forces Norat Ter Grigoryan. Heroes of Russia, cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Oleg Artemyev in their turn spoke about a mutual project “We are the children of the Galaxy” that was realized with the support of Grachya Pogosyan.
- Thanks to this project, almost two thousand kids of different ages have got bitten by the bug of space exploration. If there are more projects like that, we can be on the safe side when it comes to this field. All the projects represented here are a combination of kindness and charity, memory and international, - the cosmonauts underlined.
In his speech Grachya Pogosyan said:
     - Creating all these monuments, our Foundation aims at perpetuating and keeping the memory of neglected events or heroes and transmitting them to future generations. We are trying to express love of our Motherland and Soviet people in each of the projects. This holiday – People’s Unity Day – is the one which is extremely necessary for all the nations of the once united multinational country. Realizing charity projects, supporting public organizations, hosting various events, we allow history pass through ourselves no matter how sad or good it is. You can create something really important and necessary only if you take these events to your heart… All these projects are aimed at remembering our common history and keeping friendly relations between our nations. I would like to stress that we have never been treated negatively wherever we realized our projects. We have been welcomed wholeheartedly both by the citizens and the government officials, - the philanthropist said. He thanked Chairman of the State Duma Viacheslav Volodin, Yaroslav Nilov and the Committee on Labour, Social Policy and Veterans’ Affairs, the information agency “Veteran news” and its head Viacheslav Kalinin personally for help and trust to organize the exhibition.
     In his turn, one of the organizers of the exhibition, an expert of the Committee on Labour, Social Policy and Veterans’ Affairs, the founder and the editor-in-chief of IA “Veteran news” Viacheslav Kalinin stressed the importance and timeliness of the project “Memories Through Times”. In the end he awarded the mother of Grachya Pogosyan – Lena Vardanovna – with a medal “For Courage and Humanism”. 
      The official opening ceremony was over. But the guests were talking, discussing projects and taking photos to remember the event by.
The day finished with a gala dinner where everyone could thank and admire Grachya Pogosyan for his charity work. Here he was awarded with Silver Cross for great contribution to public activity by Vice-President of the Union of Armenians in Russia Lusik Gukasyan who acted on behalf of the President of the Union Ara Abramyan as he could not have taken part in the event himself. Grachya Pogosyan was also thanked by Alexander Ilyin, Counselor of the General Manager of the First Channel, Andrey Lazurin, Head of Tallin Military Historical Society “Front Line”, Yuri Klenov, Chairman of the Council of Representatives “Megapira” in еhe Northwestern Federal and Western Military Districts and the others.


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