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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

27.01.2012

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko’s speech on Holocaust Memorial Day, Soviet War Memorial, London, 27 January 2012

Lord Mayor!
Rabbi!
Your Excellences! 
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Dear friends!

Every year we come here, to the Soviet War Memorial, to honor the memory of the victims of Holocaust – one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the 20th century.

And today we have only one feeling in our hearts – this should never happen again!

There is no doubt what so ever, that during World War II there developed a terrible and catastrophic policy and action of genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany against the Jewish People, confirmed by innumerable eye witness survivors and fully documented again and again.

January 27 has been officially recognized by specially signed UN General Assembly’s resolution as Holocaust Memorial Day.

On this very day – January 27, 1945 Soviet Army has set free prisoners of the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp.

Between the years of 1941 and 1945, 6 millions Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

Three million Jews in Poland, more than half a million in Hungary, hundreds of thousands in Russia, Slovakia, France, Belgium, Holland and more.

These people were singled out not because of any wrongdoing, but rather because of their families’ religion or where they were born. 

As philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

I regret to say that 70 years after the end of this attempt to exterminate an entire nation, anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and extremism continue
to plague humanity.

People are discriminated against and even targeted for violence simply because of where they were born or who their ancestors are.
We can watch it every day occurring in many countries of the world.

Now more than ever, we must all work to understand other people of different cultures, races, and religions.  Mutual respect for differences may lead to the end of hostilities, and only then will the opportunity for world peace exist.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan wrote in his letter: “Tragedy of Holocaust can not be reversed. It must be remembered while the human memory is alive”

And this is very true - memory of the Holocaust is need by those alive, not by the dead.

And we must do everything possible so that the lesson of Holocaust is well learnt so that it would never occur again.




LATEST EVENTS

15.06.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's speech at the British Library exhibition "Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths"

The exhibition "Hope, Tragedy, Myths" gives an excellent insight into the tragic events of 1917: why the revolution started, how it unfolded and evolved into the civil war. It explores the ideas behind the conflict and gives a comprehensive and accurate image. The exhibition gives a unique opportunity to see original documents related to the key personalities of the Russian history, and not only politicians - the section telling the story of the Russian emigration has valuable documents on Russian literature history.


13.06.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko’s speech at Russia’s National Day Reception (13 June 2017, London)

Your Royal Highness, Excellencies, Dear friends, It is a privilege to welcome you all at my Residence on the occasion of Russia’s National Day. Thanks God for fine weather. Hope you will enjoy the time at our place. Ever since my country embarked upon the path of radical change 30 years ago, we have had a difficult, even painful journey. It was the price of profound transformation of a society, aspiring for freedom and justice. We abandoned any ideology as alien to common sense and real needs of real people. We have been seeing those tough decisions bearing fruit.


26.05.2017 - Ambassador Yakovenko’s address at the RBCC Business Forum (25 May, “BMA House”, London)

It is my pleasure to welcome the participants of the annual Business Forum held under the auspices of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce. Whatever the political situation, the Chamber has always been successful in its mission to strengthen bilateral trade and economic ties (“Russo-British Chamber of Commerce” was registered on the 23rd of October, 1916, in London as a joint-stock company with the aim “to promote trade between the British and Russian Empires”).


19.05.2017 - Ambassador Yakovenko’s remarks at opening of the "Travels in Holy Russia with the Temple Gallery” exhibition

Dear Ladies and gentlemen, Friends, It’s a real honor for me to be here today at the opening of exhibition of photographs: "Travels in Holy Russia with the Temple Gallery”.


11.05.2017 - The Worshipful Mayor of Southwark speech on Victory Day (May 9 2017, Imperial War Museum)

I welcome you all here today at the Soviet War Memorial as we remember those who gave their lives during the Second World War on the 72nd anniversary of the victory of the allied forces in Europe.


09.05.2017 - Ambassador Yakovenko’s remarks at the wreath-laying ceremony at the Soviet War Memorial (London, 9 May 2017)

Today we honour and remember men and women who fought heroically, sacrificing their lives in the fight against fascism. We also honour all those who selflessly toiled at factories to bring the Victory Day nearer. All those who suffered one way or another, went through all the hardships and tragedies of that war


17.04.2017 - Ambassador Yakovenko answers the Daily Mail questions (17 April 2017)

1. Theresa May said today (Thursday) that Russia was on the “wrong side of the argument” when it comes to Syria, what is your response to that? Answer: With all my respect for Prime Minister Theresa May I’ve got to say that the opposite is true. Even former British Ambassador in Damascus Peter Ford (on the BBC the other day) said that there is no moderate opposition alternative to the present government is Syria. That’s why there is urgent need for lasting ceasefire and political process among the Syrians, so that they can decide for themselves. It seems that our Western partners don’t like this approach and want to decide for the Syrians who will take part in the political process and who shall not. I think the reason is they know well what the choice of the Syrians is going to be after the 6 years of civil war.


10.04.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's opening remarks at Quantum Workshop (7 April 2017)

I am honoured to be at the opening the Trilateral Quantum Workshop organised by the Russian Quantum Centre. This is an unprecedented and very timely event. Even as somebody rather uninitiated in quantum science, I hear more and more about the advances in this area and find myself reading up on the basics of quantum technology. Luckily, wider public now has the benefit of learning more from Internet.


17.03.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko about learning Russian: talking points for BBC interview

Foreign languages are an essential skill in the modern world. For example, in Russia, English is taught in all schools, mostly as primary and sometimes as secondary foreign language (2 foreign languages are now mandatory). Russian, the language that has most native speakers in Europe, is equally important for economic, cultural and political reasons. Learning Russian is in high demand in Asia, including China. Today you don’t even need to physically attend classes – online education is available, in some cases even for free, by Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, Moscow State University and RT TV channel. In UK, the demand for Russian is high: 21% of British employers are looking for Russian-speaking staff – this is no wonder since 600 British companies are working in our country, and the prospects are good: GDP is expected to grow between 1 and 2 percent this year.


15.03.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's speech at Valentina Tereshkova concert (March 14, Ambassador’s Residence)

It’s an honour and real pleasure for me to welcome a legendary woman – Dr Valentina Tereshkova, Russian cosmonaut, engineer, politician, mother and friend. You are a real Russian star, our pride and a true example of patriotism.



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