Monday, September 14, 2009

The reconstructed Common Grave of Russians killed in the Battle of Poltava was opened on the eve of the celebration of 300th anniversary of the battle

Since 1990 the monument that was unveiled in 1895 has been neglected that caused serious damages to granite monument. Inner chapel that has been inaugurated in 1909 has a spherical concrete vault that was just about to collapse. In October 2008 then Russian Ambassador Viktor Chernomyrdin visited Poltava to discuss possibility for Russian Federation to help Ukraine in getting ready for the coming 300th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava.
Viktor Chernomyrdin was Prime Minister of Russia from 1992 to 1998. In 1989, when the Ministry of Oil and Gas was converted into the government company Gazprom, Chernomyrdin was elected its chairman. In May 1992, President Boris Yeltsin appointed Chernomyrdin deputy prime minister in charge of fuel and energy. From 2001 to 2009, he was Russia's ambassador to Ukraine. Just a few day before the celebration of 300th Anniversary of the Battle of Poltava President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev appointed Viktor Chernomyrdin presidential adviser on economic cooperation with CIS member countries and relieved him of his previous duties.
Mr. Chernomyrdin took an active part in reconstruction of the memorial over the common grave of the Russian warriors located on the Battle of Poltava field. According to Mr. Chernomyrdin, Russian party has partially financed the project of the mound memorial restoration, the costs of which amount to $ 3 million.

The reconstruction started on November 2008 and by the early spring 2009 everything was completed. For the present day this monument is only one of the old monuments located on the battle field that looks like it was just built. Mr. Chernomyrdin and Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergey Naryshkin visited the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava on June 27th 2009. They took part in the opening of reconstructed Russian memorial and visited St. Sampsoniy church near the common grave of Russian warriors.