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Monument to victims of political repression to be unveiled in Moscow

Human rights activists point to the Russian president’s special role in building the monument

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. Memorial dedicated to the memory of victims of political repression dubbed "The Wall of Sorrow" will be unveiled in central Moscow on Monday. Taking part in the ceremony will be Russian President Vladimir Putin who backed the initiative of human rights activists issuing a decree on building the monument.

According to the Kremlin press service, the head of state and members of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights will take part in the opening ceremony after the council’s meeting scheduled for Monday. "Taking part in the event will be Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia," the Kremlin press service added.

The state’s role in creating monument

Human rights activists point to the Russian president’s special role in building the monument.

"The idea [of the moment] was proposed on numerous occasions over at least the past several decades. All sorts of promises were made, even fundraising campaigns were announced. However, the idea began to be implemented only in 2015. At first, after a meeting with our council Putin ordered the Moscow government to find a place for the future monument and later on issued a decree, which summed up the results of the open project competition to create the memorial," Mikhail Fedotov, Head of Russia’s Human Rights Council, told TASS.

Vladimir Putin has repeatedly expressed his attitude towards the page of national history marked by repression calling for learning lessons from it. "That was one of the most bitter and darkest pages in our history. Nevertheless, it is no less instructive for us than the pages of victories and triumphs. It requires impartiality and responsibility, because it teachers us an important lesson, a very important lesson for the present and all future generations," the president said at the council’s meeting in October 2015.

"A huge role [in creating the monument] was played by the state both by means of the presidential decree and the government decree along with huge material and organizational efforts," said Vladimir Lukin, member of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) and former human rights ombudsman.