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ST PETERSBURG, February 19. /TASS/. President Vladimir Putin on Thursday took part in commemorative events on the 15th anniversary since the death of the first post-Soviet mayor of St. Petersburg, Anatoly Sobchak.
After Sobchak’s election to the post of mayor in 1991, Putin was appointed chairman of the committee for the city’s external relations.
Putin laid flowers at the monument to Sobchak in a public garden located at the crossing of Bolshoi Prospekt avenue and the 26th Line of Vassilyevsky Island.
"It was only during mayor Sobchak’s term of office that the city managed to get back its historic name," Putin said. "It was only he who could do it. Also he had a great burden of responsibility for the city on his shoulders during the most knottiest period of this country’s — and this city’s — history."
"Sobchak was a politician of nationwide significance but he administered the city," the president said. "We’re thankful to him for this."
According to Putin, the memories of Anatoly Sochak should live on and the ideal he pressed forward for should always stay in front of society’s eyes.
"We should be guided by them — not for a formal entry in one or another book but specifically for moving forward towards the objectives he sought to attain," Putin said.
Later in the day, a ceremony of awarding Sobchak grants to the best law students was held at St. Petersburg State University.