To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, the Bank of Russia issued a special silver coin commemorating fallen soldiers near the city of Rzhev, in the Tver Region of Russia. A relief image of an actual monument dedicated to the fallen is emblazoned on the coin, along with flying cranes and the inscription “Rzhevsky Memorial to the Soviet Soldier” around the circumference. 3000 coins with an estimated value of 3 roubles made from 925 sterling silver have been minted.
The project to create the Rzhev Memorial to the Soviet Soldier is being implemented by the Russian Military Historical Society together with the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the Russian Federation with the support of the Union State, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the government of the Tver region. President Vladimir Putin himself approved the project.
Declassified War Files Come to Light
The director of the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Alexander Shkolnik, who also took an active part in organizing the construction of the Memorial, explained the significance of the new project:
“The memorial to the Soviet soldier near Rzhev will become, I would say, a landmark for preserving the memory of the Great Patriotic War. In the years 1942-1943 there were fierce, bloody battles, as a result of which hundreds of thousands of soldiers were killed on the Rzhev fields. The number of dead, wounded and missing totaled more than a million people. At great cost, the mission was successful: our troops distracted and bloodied the forces of the German Army Group Center, pulling them away from Stalingrad. But the price came at huge losses. That is why the battles around Rzhev were not included in the official list of military victories or successful operations for many years. Many materials were kept hidden away and classified.”
Kazakhstan’s War Contribution
The soldiers who fought here were deprived of their earned valor for many years. Many of them still lie in the ground in the field where the battle was fought. Among the fallen are Kazakhstani warriors who heroically fought as part of the 100th and 101st Kazakh national brigades, who, under the estimates of historians, made up about 80% of the unit composition defending Rzhev.
Now there will be an impressive monumental complex created by sculptor Andrei Korobtsov and architect Konstantin Fomin. At its center will be a 25-meter bronze figure of a soldier on a 10-meter barrow. The scale of the sculpture will surpass the famous monuments to the Soviet soldier in Berlin at Treptower Park and the Bulgarian Plovdiv.