Nikolai Ryzhkov
Nikolai Ryzhkov is a member of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation, the upper chamber of Parliament. He was the last Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR in 1985−1991. In 1995 he co-founded Prokhorovskoye Pole (Prokhorovka Field) Museum, the memorial of the main tank clash during the Battle of Kursk and chairs the Board of Trustees. In 2019 Nikolay Ryzhkov was awarded Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation title. In the Soviet times, from 1981 Nikolay Ryzhkov was a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU, from 1982 — Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU and head of the Economic Department. Under the leadership of the Secretary General Y. Andropov, he drafted Soviet economy reforms. In 1975−1979 First Deputy Minister of Heavy Engineering and Transportation Machine-Building of the USSR, In 1979−1982 First Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Commission of the USSR. In 1950−1975 he worked at the Uralmash heavy engineering plant, starting as the head of the workshop, ending as the General Director. Too young to be at the front during the War, he belongs to the generation that rebuilt the country following the devastation of World War II. Nikolay Ryzhkov was born in 1929 in the family of a miner in Donetsk, in the South-East of Ukraine.
Our duty today: defense of historical truth
The Great Patriotic War changed the course of world history, the fate of millions of people and had redrawn the world map. Our people confronted the powerful onslaught of a highly organized and well-armed aggressor — Nazi Germany and its satellites. We survived and won!

Every family in our country was scorched by the war. Men, women and children fought and died at the frontline, worked almost around the clock at the home front, survived the siege, and perished in the occupied territories. Victory in the Great Patriotic War for us is an essential part of our basic values, the historical path of our country. We grew up listening to the stories of the mass heroism of people at the front and at home, watching great Soviet films, singing songs and reading books about the war.
The history of the Great Patriotic War is an integral part of all of us
The inexorable flow of time washes away from us those tragic and heroic moments of our history. But the theme of the Great Patriotic War, preservation and perpetuation of the memory of the war years' heroism, courage, patriotism and the greatest self-sacrifice of the entire Soviet people, defending the honor and independence of the Motherland, must forever stay with present and future generations. This is our preeminent duty!

We hold sacred our great battles: the Battle of Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, liberation from the siege of Leningrad, and many others. The Battle of Kursk in July 1943 made irreversible the turn in the course of the war, which started with the Battle of Stalingrad; the greatest tank battle near Prokhorovka, which took place on July 12, and consolidated the success of this strategic military operation.

For almost a quarter of a century, I have been the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Prokhorovskoye Pole Museum-Reserve, created to perpetuate the feat and heroism of the Soviet soldier during the Great Patriotic War. Our goal is to convey to the present and future generations the truth about the heroic and tragic time of our Motherland in 1941−1945.

On the legendary Prokhorovka field, the Victory Monument — the "Belfry" was erected, and a church built in Prokhorovka. On the walls are inscribed the names of 10,000 soldiers who died in these bloody battles. Also the Veterans House, a cultural and historical center, and two orphanages were built.

To celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Victory, the Museum of Military Glory "The Third Military Field of Russia" was opened, and in January 2017, the Museum of Armour.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Victory, it is planned to open a new museum, "The Battle for the Arms of the Great Victory". The exposition shows the economic situation in the USSR and Germany before the war, presents the scale of the evacuation efforts in industry, settling of factories and workers in new locations, showing the heaviest working and living conditions of the people at the home front. This is a "human dimension" museum, its protagonists are people of our country, their memories, numerous historical artefacts from dozens of enterprises and factories where the weapons of Victory were forged.
Global historical significance of the victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War is not only the liberation of its territory and the preservation of the integrity of the country, but also in the liberation of the peoples of Europe from fascist enslavement
This is especially true now, in the year of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory over fascist Germany and its satellites, which our country and many nations of the world are preparing to celebrate according to its great merit.

But recently, monuments to Soviet warriors in Poland and the Baltic countries have been blasphemously demolished. Some people eagerly discredit the results of the Great Patriotic War, the role of our country and our citizens in the Victory over Nazi Germany and its satellites. There is a deliberate distortion and defamation of the period of history that is to be remembered in centuries to come — the story of the Soviet Union defeating such a monstrous enemy, despite the hard times and loss of millions of lives of our compatriots.

Why is it now that many public figures started to revise the history of the Great Patriotic War?
The War is truly the kingpin of our national memory, there still are many recollections of it in every family
If one succeeds in making the present and future generations in Russia forget or misperceive the feat of their ancestors, then they will lose not only their past, but also their future.

So, in 2019, on the eve of the 76th anniversary of the famous tank battle near Prokhorovka under the Battle of Kursk, the German press suggested demolishing the Victory Monument — the Belfry, because, in their opinion, there was no such battle at all. This aroused the anger and indignation of everyone who took part in the battle of Prokhorovka, who knows and understands the true meaning of it. This dishonored the memory of tens of thousands of soldiers buried in beds of honor around Prokhorovka. And I, as the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Prokhorovskoye Pole memorial complex, and also as a citizen who values the history of my homeland, strongly object such statements.

Unfortunately, this applies not only to the feat of arms, but also to the invaluable contribution of the home front workers to the Victory. Undoubtedly, the selfless work of our fearless, courageous people — the elderly, women and children — is an excellent example to educate the present young generation.

Some even try to record the revision of history in international documents. As you know, in September 2019, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on the importance of European memory for the future of Europe. The document claims that the Great Patriotic War (World War II) was provoked by Germany and the USSR signing the German-Soviet Treaty of Nonaggression. By their actions and unmotivated statements, the deputies of the European Parliament not only desecrate the memory of the thousands of dead warriors who liberated Europe in 1944−1945 from the "brown plague" of the 20th century, but also morally destroy the consciousness of future European generations.

We lost 27 million of our compatriots, soldiers and ordinary civilians in the Great Patriotic War. No matter how hard it is to say, but I am firmly convinced that the further the years of the Great Patriotic War are distanced in the past, the more real witnesses of those years pass away — all the more impudent will be falsifiers of all kinds, both foreign and, unfortunately, domestic.

As the President of Russia Vladimir Putin stated in his Address to the Federal Assembly on January 15, 2020, "For Russia, May 9 is the greatest holiday. We are proud of the generation of victors, honor their feat, and our memory is not only a huge tribute to the heroic past — it serves our future, inspires us, strengthens our unity. We are obliged to defend the truth about the Victory, otherwise what shall we say to our children if a lie, like an infection, spreads all over the world? We must confront with the facts insolent lies and attempts to rewrite history."

Given the current situation, a number of amendments were made to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, one of which fixed at the state level the obligation to honor the memory of the defenders of the Motherland and to protect the historical truth. I sincerely hope that this will make it possible in the future to adopt laws that can protect our Great History and our heroic people from the assaults of all kinds of enemies.
It is noteworthy that the current falsifiers of history conduct their work almost along the same lines as in the first post-war years!
At the end of January 1948, the US Department of State, together with the foreign ministries of England and France, published the brochure "Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939−1941" based on documents of the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Third Reich. Of course, the history for the "allies" started only in 1939 — because in September 1938 they themselves signed the Munich Agreement with the Third Reich. And the "Four-Power Pact" between Germany, Italy, Britain and France was signed back in June 1933, shortly after Hitler came to power.

Of course, the Soviet Union could not leave this blatant lie stay without an unbiased historical assessment. A few weeks later, in February 1948, a historical document "Falsifiers of History" was published in Moscow (OGIZ, State Political Publishing House, 2 million copies in print). This brochure contained documents on the early stages of preparation for German aggression, on the policy of Britain and France aimed at isolation of the USSR and pushing Hitler into military confrontation with our country.

Even taking into account seventy years' time gap, this historical reference gives a clear answer to the current falsifiers. Today it is used only by historians, but given the severity and importance of the problem, public both in our country and abroad should be aware of those arguments.
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Demonstration of Nazi and fascist paraphernalia or symbols on this resource is related only to the description of the historical context of the events of the 1930−1940s, is not its propaganda and does not justify the crimes of fascist Germany.