ASTANA – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev unveiled a monument to legendary Hero of the Soviet Union Major General Ivan Panfilov in Astana’s Zheruyik Park on May 7. Nazarbayev laid flowers and congratulated the veterans of the Second World War on the Fatherland Defenders’ Day and the Victory Day.
“This monument was erected not only for the Hero of the Soviet Union Ivan Panfilov, but to pay tribute to all of our fellow countrymen who fought in the great battle against fascism, who died on the battlefield, who returned and further made their contribution to Kazakhstan’s growth. All the focus today is on the veterans. The government helps and supports them. Every veteran is honoured and taken care of by the government. Here and everywhere we will honour you not only during the parades and holidays, but always. You deserve that!” said the President.
“You know the history. The 316th Rifle Division under the command of Major General Ivan Panfilov was created in the Almaty region in terrible moments of the war and fought near Moscow. Twenty-eight soldiers of the division, including Hero of the Soviet Union Bauyrzhan Momyshuly, held defensively, fighting against tank units, aiming at Moscow. The name of Panfilov went down in the history of the war. We, Kazakhstan people, remember them. Five hundred Kazakhstan citizens became Heroes of the Soviet Union; 200 of them became Full Cavaliers of Order of Glory,” continued Nazarbayev.
In remarks carried by Khabar TV, Aigul Baikadamova, granddaughter of Ivan Panfilov, added that “General Ivan Panfilov is Kazakhstan’s national heritage. The monument is erected in a very good place. It differs from the monument in Almaty. The two monuments represent different ideas. It seems to me, the monument is worthy of our hero.”
Kazakh sculptor Renat Abenov is the creator of the monument. It is 2.5 metres high, made of bronze and is located in the centre of the Zheruyik Park. The monument features “Gold Star of Hero of the Soviet Union” medals and granite slabs specifying date of birth and death the soldiers.