International appreciation of charity work
Grachya Pogosyan, president of the charity foundation, was awarded with a number of awards with a worldwide status.
On October 10, St. Petersburg philanthropist Grachya Pogosyan was awarded at the St. Petersburg Association of International Cooperation. The awards were brought by Chairman of Tallinn Military Historical Association “Front Line”, the researcher and historician Andrei Lazurin, at the request of their founders.
This day Grachya Pogosyan was awarded with the “Cross of Honor of the French Resistance” of the International Association of French Resistance “Resistance Frances”, the Medal for supporting veterans of the World Veterans Federation, as well as certificate of acknowledgement from the mayor of the city Maardu, Estonia, and diploma from Head of the Main Directorate for Deep-Water Research of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Vice Admiral, Hero of Russia Alexei Burilichev.
The “Cross of Honor of Resistance” was established by the President of France, François Mitterrand together with President of the “Resistance Frances”, Alexander Hmelevsky, on October 3, 1989. The cross is numbered, there were made only 100 pieces. Certain categories of militaries and civilians can be awarded with it. The first holder of the Cross of Honor was French President Francois Mitterrand. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Cuban President Fidel Castro, Russian Army General Viktor Yermakov and other famous personalities were also awarded with the Cross. Grachya Pogosyan became 96th on this list.
The World Veterans Federation (WVF) is an association of national organizations of the war participants and the victims of. It was founded in Paris, France, in 1950 at the initiative of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the USA and Yugoslavia. The Federation consists of 172 veteran organizations from 121 countries, representing about 45 million veterans around the world. The headquarters is in Paris.
It should be noted that the Cross of Honor of Resistance was awarded to the philanthropist for supporting veterans of French Resistance Movement.
In early April of 2019 Grachya Pogosyan was addressed by the president of the “Resistance Frances” International Association, Member of the Union of Writers of Russia Alexander Alexandrovich Khmelevsky, who, knowing about his great work not only in Russia but also abroad, asked for support to the participants of the Second World War, who fought against fascism in France. The philanthropist supported the activities of the association, and all received funds were sent to provide targeted assistance to veterans.
The World Veterans Federation, who learned about Russian philanthropist activities from the petition of the Tallinn Society of World War II Participants and the Anti-Hitler Coalition, which noted the help of the philanthropist not only to World War II, but also local wars veterans, also appreciated the contribution in supporting veterans abroad. For this work, the leadership of the World Veterans Federation decided to award Grachya Pogosyan with a medal of their organization.
The award ceremony was held by the St. Petersburg Association for international cooperation. It was attended by a member of the second world war, Deputy Chairman of the Council of veterans of the Vyborg district of St. Petersburg, honorary resident of the Vyborg district of St. Petersburg, participant of the defense of Leningrad and the liberation of Estonia Valentin Bogdanov; President of the St. Petersburg military historical society Alexei Aranovich; Deputy Director of the Leningrad defense Museum Andrei Markov; Rector of the Church of the icon of the mother of God “Joy of all who Sorrow”; Head of the “Search movement of Russia” branch in St. Petersburg Ilya Durinsky; Head of the Public Search Association “St. George” Oleg Alekseev; colleagues and friends of Grachya Pogosyan.
Opening the ceremony, the Chairman of the Board of the St. Petersburg Association of International Cooperation Margarita Mudrak noted the philanthropist's invaluable contribution to saving the historical memory.
We know you as a truly honorary citizen of our city, because you have done as much for St. Petersburg as for those who survived the blockade here, as well as for those who defended our city and our country ... We understand that it requires strength, putting a heart and knowledge of history, its assessment and perception of the historical victories that our country has won. You are a true patriot of our city and our country. And you, like no one else, deserve the highest praise and high awards ... We have heard about your activities and the activities of the charitable foundation, but it was a discovery for us how many foreign organizations and friendly nations also highly appreciate your work,” Margarita Fedorovna said. She spoke about the activities of the association and expressed hope for further joint cooperation.
The main organizer of the ceremony, Chairman of the “Front Line” Military Historical Society of the city of Tallinn, Andrei Lazurin, shared the features of their society operation, the tasks and projects that were implemented in the Baltic states thanks to support of Grachya Pogosyan and his foundation. He recalled the project that became the beginning of friendship with the St. Petersburg philanthropist: it was restoration of the monuments to the participants of the First World War Russian priest Pavel Tsitovich and naval officer Georgiy Unterberger, who died and were buried in Tartu, Estonia.
At the moment, if we talk only about military graves in the Republic of Estonia more than 120 were put in order and restored thanks to Grachya Misakovich foundation. But these are not only the burial places of the soldiers of Great Patriotic War, these are burial places of soldiers and officers who died in the line of duty in 40th 50th years. Unfortunately, the military personnel who died while fighting against banditry and in accidents do not fall under any program for protecting military graves. And these gravestones were often in bad shape, because they were installed mainly by co-workers and were in the form of iron pyramids, which eventually fell into decay. As of Estonia, which has its own cemetery culture, these graves were an opportunity to emphasize the legacy of the Soviet regime once again. But thanks to Grachya Misakovich, according to our estimates, we have closed this issue in the Republic of Estonia by 80 percent,” said Andrei Lazurin. He handed over on behalf of Mayor of the city of Maard Vladimir Arkhipov certificate of gratitude and a memorable book about the city to the philanthropist for helping to make memorable boards for installation at Soviet military graves in the city cemetery
The right to hand over the first award the Cross of Honor of Resistance together with a diploma from the International Association of French Resistance “Resistance Frances” was granted to the President of St. Petersburg's Military Historical Society, Professor, Doctor of Historical Sciences Alexei Aranovich.
“Unfortunately, human memory is short dated. The present young generation is studying history partly due to the saved shrines, monuments to Russian soldiers and Russian priests. An indicator of the attitude to the history of one’s country is an indicator of the state of its monuments and burial places. Thanks to your efforts, the graves and pedestals where our compatriots lie look worthy. And this is a good example for the younger generation. Many thanks to you,” emphasized Aleksey Vladimirovich Aranovich.
The medal of the World Veterans Federation was presented to the philanthropist by World War II veteran Valentin Ivanovich Bogdanov.
It is a very prestigious award. But the work you do is also very great. “We participants in the Great Patriotic War, defenders of Leningrad, are very grateful to you,” said Valentin Ivanovich.
Archpriest Vyacheslav Kharinov, rector of the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God of “Joy of all who Sorrow” in St. Petersburg, noted the great work of the charity fund and its president.
I will never forget our joint cooperation. The Lord awarded me to write an epitaph on the most significant monument, which, in my opinion, you installed it is the Candle of Remembrance at the place of the breaking of the siege of Leningrad. Every year I bring young people to this Candle, every time we light candles and recall you also ... We are talking about monuments, about material things, but there are also intangible ones. We have the largest library in Russia in our Theological Academy. Who repaired the library, who helped make it possible to work there in comfortable conditions? Grachya Misakovich. Who knows about it? I want to note that this son of the Armenian Apostolic Church does so much for the Russian Orthodox Church and Russia that it deserves separate words. And when the award is presented in the Russian Orthodox Church, then they sing “Axios” he is worthy. I would like to notice that you are worthy man!
Among the awarders there was also a Chairman of the St. Petersburg Club of Navy Sailors-Submariners Igor Kurdin. He handed the letter of gratitude to the philanthropist on behalf of Head of the Main Directorate for Deep-Water Research of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Vice Admiral, Hero of Russia Alexey Burilichev.
Igor Kirillovich spoke about the contribution of Grachya Pogosyan charitable foundation into the field of support of both submariners and their organization. It was Pogosyan Foundation that immediately responded to the appeal and, as soon as it became possible, supported the organization in commemoration of Russian submariners who died on July 1 this year in the Barents Sea.
For the first time we saw such responsiveness. We received help literally 2 hours after our appeal to the charity fund,” Igor Kirillovich emphasized. He expressed personal gratitude to Grachya Misakovich and invited him to join the board of trustees over the “Aurora” cruiser. The philanthropist replied that he would definitely consider the proposal.
In turn, Grachya Pogosyan thanked everyone who praised his activities and for those kind words that were said. Then he separately thanked Andrei Lazurin for the tremendous work of his organization in preserving the memory of our compatriots abroad.
All my activity is connected with the history of my family, the history of my homeland and the city that I fell in love with. It opened its doors to me and gave me the opportunity to live and work fruitfully. I will never forget the earthquake in Armenia, the tragedy that united people of different countries and nationalities in their selfless help. And when the flood occurred in the Krasnodar region, in the Far East, providing support to these regions, I realized that the help of every person is important. I can’t forget the eyes of my grandmother, who played the role both of mother and father for three children all her life. Her husband, my grandfather, gone missing on the fronts of World War II and she had to raise her children alone. And only a few years ago we found his place of death and burial in Lugansk,” said the philanthropist. With these words, he revealed the reason and the aim of his huge efforts and heavy funding the charity projects. Since each of the projects is important for the preservation of our historical memory, for our descendants, they touch the strings of his soul and remain forever in his heart.
At the end of the meeting, Grachya Pogosyan Charity Fund handed over to the Estonian researchers two metal detectors, so necessary in their search activities. The acceptance certificates for the equipment were signed by Grachya Pogosyan and Andrei Lazurin and after that the equipment was handed over to two researchers of ”Front Line”, who specially arrived from Estonia.