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VOLGOGRAD, September 1 (Itar-Tass) — Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov on Thursday will take part in events that will be held in the Volgograd region on the occasion of Knowledge Day.
The staff of the first deputy prime minister told Itar-Tass that Viktor Zubkov in the morning will attend a celebratory assembly in one of Volgograd schools devoted to the opening of a new academic year.
“Then, the first deputy prime minister will visit the Fallen Soldiers Square in the centre of the city where he will meet with students from Volgograd schools that are on watch at the eternal light of memory in honour of the fallen defenders of Stalingrad. Viktor Zubkov also plans to attend a ceremony of transfer of buses to schools from companies and organisations working in the Volgograd region,” the first deputy prime minister’s staff said.
It said that the issue of lack of school buses has been raised repeatedly at Zubkov’s meetings with the heads of districts and educators that were held two weeks ago.
The working day will be ended in a Volgograd university where the first deputy prime minister will discuss issues of training, employment and social welfare of young professionals involved in projects of socio-economic development of rural areas. Taking part in the will be teachers and students of several leading universities of the Volgograd region.
During the working visit Viktor Zubkov will be accompanied by the leadership of the Volgograd region, members of the Federation Council upper house of parliament and State Duma lower house deputies.
In late July, Zubkov during his stay in Volgograd accepted a proposal of the region’s residents to head the regional list of candidates from the United Russia party at the upcoming Duma elections in December. “I will be regularly and frequently visiting the Volgograd region,” Viktor Zubkov told reporters then and has kept his promise.
Knowledge Day, often simply called 1st of September, is the day when the school year traditionally starts in Russia and many other former Soviet republics. This day also marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. It has special significance for the incoming class of first graders who come to school for the first time and often participate in a celebratory assembly on this date. The day also involves the First Bell where a first grade girl is lifted on the shoulders of a 12th grade male pupil, and paraded around, ringing the first bell of the school year. Students in other grades may begin studies on September 1 or a few days later, usually without any special festivities.
September 1 has an iconic cultural status in the Russian-speaking world and is immediately recognised there primarily in connection with beginning of the school year. For instance, a well-known rhymed slogan is 1st of September is the red day in the calendar. There is also Last School-Bell Day (End of the year).
Viktor Alekseyevich Zubkov (born 15 September 1941) is a Russian politician and businessman who was the Prime Minister of Russia from September 2007 to May 2008. Zubkov was a financial crime investigator until 12 September 2007, when he was nominated by President Vladimir Putin to replace Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, who resigned earlier that day. The nomination was approved in the Duma on 14 September 2007. On 7 May 2008 Zubkov’s cabinet was automatically dismissed. This procedure, following an inauguration of the President of Russia is required by the Russian Constitution. After Putin became Prime Minister, Zubkov was appointed First Deputy Prime Minister.