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Ivan Belozertsev attends the unveiling of the Monument Commemorating Soldiers of the 37th Reserve Rifle Brigade
Ivan Belozertsev attends the unveiling of the Monument Commemorating Soldiers of the 37th Reserve Rifle Brigade
Society 10.05.2018

The event was held on Tuesday, 8 May 2018.

The monument was erected in 1975. On the eve of the 73rd anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, the site was restored and the surrounding area was regenerated.

During the war, there was a camp near the railway station of Seliksa, where the Red Army troops were trained.

The head of the region noted the particular role of such military facilities in the struggle for freedom and independence of the country.

“Here the warriors were trained and from here they were sent to the theatre of the Great Patriotic War. It was terrible. People were required from the very beginning. Soldiers had to be prepared for battling. Then the Supreme Commander-in-Chief ordered to create such camps. This made it possible to save lives andto conduct military operations in more professional way,” Ivan Belozertsevstated.

“It was difficult for fighters who defended Motherland, but it was no less difficult for those in the rear, who lacked bread, starved to death and died of diseases, but produced ammunition, supplied food and trained specialists solely for defeating and destroying the enemy,” he added.

The governor recalled that over 300 thousand Penza citizens had gone to the front, about 200 thousand of them had not returned.

“They shall stay in our memories forever. We bow down to the veterans. It is important to uphold the history of those years in our souls. Young people should remember the cost at which this victory was gained,” he concluded.

Vladimir Kerkhanadzhev, Chairman of the City Council of Veterans and participant of the Great Patriotic War, expressed gratitude for preserving the glory of the Soviet warriors.

“I address you as the heirs of the winners. We are proud of you! Today, 350 veterans are still alive. We put faith in you. Please take care of our Russia, so that present and future generations would never face what we experienced,” he stressed.

The event participants observed a minute of silence in honour of the fallen warriors. In addition, they laid floral tributes to the monument.

The governor instructed to study options for further development of the memorial site, so the monument will attract the public and youth not only on holidays.

The 37th Reserve Rifle Brigade was formednear the railway station of Seliksa in August 1941, in which the Red Army was trained.

During four years of the war, more than 400,000 soldiers and officers, including people of the region, underwent training. Theyformed the 61stand 354thPenza Infantry Divisions.

It was planned to use the 37th Brigade for securing the Penza defence line and conducting combat operations in case of an enemy breakthrough near Moscow.

The 37th Reserve Rifle Brigade occupied territory of tens of square kilometres, including the territory of the present city of Zarechny.

The combat training in the 37th Brigade was conducted in various military specialties. Artillerymen and mortarmen, combat engineers and signalmen, snipers and machine-gunners, reconnaissance officers and chemical protection specialists practised daily at the training ranges. The programme of march squadrons included battlefield, weapons, engineering, physical and chemical training.