Andrei Belyaninov: "We must develop a Strategy for Preserving Historical Memory"

26/09/2022 11:26

The 22nd session of the International Public Forum for Preserving the Memory of World War II and the Great Patriotic War held by the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly was dedicated to the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Eastern Europe.

Scientists, historians, diplomats, public figures from Russia, Bulgaria and India gathered at the new headquarters of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly in Russia, in Uspensky pereulok in Moscow. Representatives of Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, Germany, France and Lebanon joined the event online. The Forum's partner was the Foundation of Diplomatic Service Veterans.

Welcoming the audience, Andrey Belyaninov, Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, set the vector of the forum - the search for forms of interaction with the youth of Eastern Europe, the CIS and Russia. Citing statistical data, he indicated that the average age of the majority of residents of Kyrgyzstan is 28 years. Approximately the same - in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. They do not know the historical truth simply because of their age. And purposeful informational distortion forms a completely different picture of the world and history, different from the real one:

“In Russia, they believed that everyone already knew everything. While the Nazis were building a very competent struggle against historical truth and historical justice. It was a big mistake. Now Russia, the country that liberated the world from fascism at the cost of incredible sacrifices, is embarrassingly making excuses.”

The Secretary General outlined the purpose of this and subsequent meetings - to develop a strategy for the struggle for the truth.

Forum Moderator Valery Ruzin, Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, President of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio, spoke about the importance of continuing and expanding the project of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly to create a Book of Memory for the Panfilov Division fighters, which united soldiers from many CIS countries, primarily Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The formation of the Panfilov division began on July 12, 1941 in the capitals of the two union republics - in Alma-Ata and Frunze, and within a month it was replenished with conscripts from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The representatives of Bulgaria became main speakers of the forum, which celebrated the next 78th anniversary of liberation from the fascist invaders on September 8–9.

Speaking about the liberation of Bulgaria, professor at the Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar", historian Rumyana Mikhneva said that many people in Bulgaria still celebrate September 8–9. And she noted a very important thing: the Bulgarians, who are friendly to Russia and are grateful for its liberation, do not understand why it is not mentioned or emphasized now that not a single shot was fired at a Soviet soldier on the territory of Bulgaria.

Politician Svetlana Sharenkova, Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Chairman of the Bulgaria-Russia Forum (Bulgaria), also confirmed that in Bulgaria, despite everything, 8 and 9 September are still celebrated. For many Bulgarians, this day is associated with a personal family history of the liberation by Soviet soldiers of their parents or grandparents or the saving of their lives by Soviet doctors who came to Bulgaria.

During the speeches, a discussion began on interaction with young people. Nazir Evloev, President of the International Association of Bloggers (Germany), and Alla Shelyapina, Deputy Chairman of the Women's League of Journalists and Bloggers (Russia), believe that today this interaction is possible only through network communications. Alla Shelyapina cited the results of studies that show that communication methods are now being sought not only in Russia, but throughout the world.

The Eurasian Peoples' Assembly has repeatedly arranged discussions with representatives of various areas of work with youth, who shared their own experience and best practices, and will continue to do so in the future.

Two projects of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, which involved schools from the regions of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Serbia, Transnistria, as well as public figures, historians and search engines are - the creation of the Associations of the descendants of fighters against fascism during the Second World War and the creation of the Media Platform "MemoryNetwork" .

Associations of descendants unite caring people and direct descendants of soldiers who fought on the side of the anti-Hitler coalition. The first of them, the Association of Panfilov's Descendants (MAPP), was established in 2021 by a member of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Kazakh scientist, historian Laila Akhmetova (Kazakhstan). She, with a group of researchers, established more than 11 thousand names of the first composition of the heroic division. At the moment, the systematization and filling of the Media Platform "MemoryNetwork" with information is underway.

The media platform of historical memory "MemoryNetwork" is a project of the national business partnership "Alliance Media" and the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly. Its difference from many Internet projects in this direction, including super-reliable sources such as “Memory of the People”, “Feat of the People”, “Memorial” Generalized Data Bank, is that it aims to unite everything that is scattered in the network and archives, personal and public, information, as well as accept documented data from any user. All submitted materials will be pre-moderated. The creators of the portal will start from the biography of the fighter. They will also work with memories. As a result, the goal is to get a complete, living image of each warrior - to embody our duty “Remember everyone by name!” in life!

One of the large-scale projects of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly for young people is the International Film Festival "Won Together", held annually by the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly in Sevastopol. Within the festival, an international contest of film schools, workshops and many other events for young filmmakers, debutants and students of cinematographic educational institutions are held. In 2020, the festival brought together representatives of the film industry from 35 countries in Sevastopol. In 2021, the pandemic prevented the festival from being held. In 2022, the year of the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Stalingrad, it was decided to hold it in Volgograd. This was announced during the forum by the Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, the general producer of the festival Valery Ruzin.

At the end of the discussion that had arisen, Erika Švencionienė, Coordinator of the Neighborhood Forum (Lithuania), took the floor:

“New heroes should be mentioned today. This is lost youth. We thank Russia that, at the cost of the lives of its young soldiers, it is fighting against world evil. The fight against fascism, as it turned out, is really not over.”

Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Historical and Social Sciences, Professor of the Academy of Military Sciences of the Russian Federation, Honorary Master of the Academy of Natural Sciences, State Advisor 2nd class, reserve colonel Vladimir Semidetko was invited to the 22nd International Public Forum for Preserving the Memory of World War II and the Great Patriotic War as a representative of the Foundation of the Diplomatic Service Veterans. Vladimir Semidetko read out to the forum the greetings on behalf of the Director of the Foundation of the Diplomatic Service Veterans, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation Vladimir Viktorovich Chkhikvadze.

During the discussion, Vladimir Semidetko announced information about the ongoing work on the project of the Foundation of Diplomatic Service Veterans “The Book of Memory. Europe".