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Remembrance Day at Soviet War Memorial

On 13 November Remembrance Day was marked at the Soviet War Memorial on the grounds of the Imperial War Museum in the London borough of Southwark. Wreaths were laid by Minister-Counsellor Alexander Kramarenko, diplomats from other CIS countries, Second World War veterans, representatives of the Parliament and the local authorities, NGOs, members of public, journalists.


Minister-Counsellor Alexander Kramarenko’s speech at the Remembrance Day Ceremony
at the Soviet War Memorial

(13 November 2016)


Your Worship the Mayor of Southwark,

Your Excellences,

Dear veterans,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we remember those who fought and died in two world wars for their country. We say “Lest we forget!”. What does it mean today, 100 years after WWI was unleashed? In the first place it means drawing lessons from history in order not to repeat it.

We, in Russia, are proud that were on the same side with Britain in those two wars. Indeed, we were on the side of history.

But it is equally clear today that in 1914 European society was on the threshold of radical change, among other things in response to the contradictions of that stage of globalization, although the word wasn’t coined then. For fear of losing control the elites blundered into war as a policy by default.

Alexander Kerensky, head of Russia’s Provisional Government, seeing off the troops leaving for the front in the summer of 1917, talked about the need to continue the war effort as imperative of the then interdependence. Four months later our liberal elite was swept away by the tide of history.

Now European societies are at another critical juncture. There is an acute need to resolve contradictions, including negative consequences of globalization, accumulated over the past 40 years.

The fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Union were misdiagnosed as an end of history, providing basis for inaction and leaving the people at the mercy of market element. References to globalization and technological revolution were made to support the thesis that there are no longer policy alternatives. This was accompanied by interventionism abroad.

Russia, for its part, embarked on the road of change 30 years ago. We know how painful it is. But history works in mysterious ways.

Now the rest of the Euro-Atlantic community start dealing in earnest with their own rot and decay.

The change can only be brought about through democratic process, not abridged by supranational bureaucracy or references to forces beyond Government control. This means restoration of full independence and sovereignty as a basis for democratic accountability and legitimacy.

I am glad to say, that Britain and America, who made a huge contribution to shaping the world, now are leading this transformation charge in the West. Your referendum in June brought a Government which promises to make economy work for all, not just privileged few. The other day, Donald Trump, having won the election, promised a transformative Presidency.

Real change is always controversial. What is important is that this time it comes not through blunders of war, revolutions and civil wars, but by ballot box. And this is history learnt for the XXth Century democracy isn’t compatible with the ХIX Century inequality. No dogma can keep a society in the straight jacket of status quo.

Some are missing the “galvanizing effect” of the Soviet threat. That is why the myth of a “Russian threat” and the scare of a “new Cold War”. But people know better to be duped by that. Your referendum was about Britain and the Presidential election was about America, not Russia.

This is meant to distract from common threats and challenges, coming from the outside world, first of all those of terrorism and uncontrolled migration. They’ve got to be dealt with collectively, including at their source, by all nations in the spirit of human solidarity. That is why Sting sings in the Bataclan theatre in Paris. That is why there are two coalitions, one led by Russia and the other by the US, fighting terrorists in Syria and Iraq. We are working on more coordination between the two.

As it seems to be the case now, we are happy to be again on the side of history with Britain and America, which is in my view, a fitting tribute by our generation to our war dead.

Thank you.






Reception in honour of departing Embassy staff at the Ambassador’s Residence

On 16 March 2018 Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko hosted a reception in honour of the diplomats forced to leave the UK by the hostile decision of the British Government, attended by Embassy’s staff, family members and their friends.


Russian delegation visits UK

On 11-13 March 2018 Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation Grigory Trubnikov visited UK. The visit was dedicated to the successful end of the bilateral Year of Science and Education.


Russian Embassy hosts the concert by Mr Dmitry Masleev

On 12 March the Embassy hosted the private performance by Mr Dmitry Masleev.


Russian Embassy hosts briefing for diplomatic corps

On 5 March Ambassador Dr. Alexander Yakovenko welcomed Ambassadors accredited to London, senior Foreign Office staff, MPs and Lords and representatives of think tanks at a briefing dedicated to the Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly delivered on 1 March.


Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko’s remarks at the Defender of the Fatherland Day reception, 27 February 2018

Your Excellencies, Military Attachés, Ladies and Gentlemen, Today it gives me a great pleasure to welcome you all at this reception. We celebrate the Day of the Russian Armed Forces – probably the most cost-effective military organization on this planet. At least that's what I see from the figures published by the very respectful IISS institution – Russia spends 46 bln. US dollars on defence, whereas UK – 52 bln. dollars, USA – an amazing 600+ bln. and all NATO countries combined – more than 1 trillion dollars. And still even with this absolutely disproportional defence spending Russia manages to maintain an Army which effectively fights terrorism in Syria, protects our borders and sovereignty at home.


Heritage activists honoured on Diplomats' Day

On 9 February 2018, at the reception on the occasion of Diplomats' Day, Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko presented letters of recognition to those who contributed to the commemoration of the 320 anniversary of Peter I's visit to London. Ambassador Yakovenko said:


Embassy celebrates Diplomats’ Day

On 10 February Russia marks the professional holiday of the diplomatic service, established by a Presidential decree in 2002 to commemorate its foundation in 1549. On 9 February the Russian embassy hosted a reception attended by diplomatic corps, local authorities, journalists and distinguished community members. Highlight of the evening was screening of the documentary “Kremlin – sacred heart of Moscow”, presented by its filming team. Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko presented letters of recognition for commemoration of Peter the Great’s 1698 Grand Embassy in Deptford. World famous pianist Yuri Rozum played at the event. Following the tradition, Ambassador Yakovenko laid a wreath to the grave of Ambassador Alexander Benckendorff at the Westminster Cathedral, and members of Embassy staff laid flowers to the graves of Russian Chargés d’Affaires Fr. Iakov (James) Smirnove at Kensal Green Cemetery and Evgeny Sablin at Brompton Cemetery. In the run-up to Diplomats’ Day, Ambassador Yakovenko met with students of University College London and University of East Anglia, and one more Embassy Q&A was hosted by the Durham University.


Meeting with "Glasgow Rangers" FC

On 8 February 2018 Consul General of Russia in Edinburgh Andrey A.Pritsepov received the head of one of the oldest Scottish football clubs "Glasgow Rangers" Scott Steadman and the legendary player of the club William Henderson. They discussed prospects for renewal of cooperation with the Russian clubs, in particular the "Dynamo Moscow" team, with participation of youth and junior teams, coaches and fan associations. They presented an album "Rangers in Russia: The Story of the 1962 Tour" to the Consulate General, which tells about the memorable matches played by Rangers with the teams “Locomotive Moscow”, “Dynamo Tbilisi” and “Dynamo Kiev”.


Presentation of the “Innopolis” special economic zone

On February 1, 2018, the Russian Embassy to UK with support of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce hosted a presentation of the investing capacity and innovation opportunities offered by the “Innopolis” special economic zone which was created in 2012 in the same-name suburb of Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan with the aim to promote information and communication technologies.


Holocaust Remembrance Day marked in London

On 26 January 2018 a ceremony at the Soviet War Memorial near the Imperial War Museum marked the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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