Manmohan Singh lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow

November 14th, 2007 - 10:36 am ICT by admin  

Moscow, Nov 12 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday laid a wreath against the Kremlin Wall at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in downtown Moscow.

In an essentially one-day visit, the Prime Minister had just two engagements besides his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Despite the strong chill wind factor and snowing that has been on all day, Singh stood for a few minutes before the flame and then took the salute of the guard of honour.

Clad in a grey overcoat and a black suit, Singh was watched by tourists who had no idea from which country the head of the Government was.

There were no flags on lampposts as is common in many nations when there a state level visit is on.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a war memorial dedicated to Soviet soldiers killed during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

It is located at the Kremlin Wall in the Alexander Garden in Moscow.

The remains of the unknown soldiers, killed in the Battle of Moscow in 1941 and initially buried in a mass grave at the 41st km of the Leningrad Highway, were relocated to the Kremlin Wall in December of 1966, the 25th anniversary of the battle.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was unveiled on May 8, 1967. The torch for the memorial’s flame was transported from Leningrad, where it had been lit from the Eternal Flame at the Field of Mars.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was designed by architects D.I.Burdin, V.A.Klimov, Yu.R.Rabayev and sculptor N.V.Tomsky.

The centrepiece of the memorial is a platform, which consists of big plates made of polished red granite. The tombstone itself is decorated with a sculptural composition made of bronze (a laurel twig and a soldier’s helmet lying on a banner; installed in 1975.

In front of the tombstone, there is a five-pointed star in a square pit, which emanates the Eternal Flame of Glory from its center. The flame illuminates a bronze inscription saying, “Your name is unknown, your deed is immortal”.

To the left of the tomb, there is a granite wall with an inlay saying “1941 - To Those Who Have Fallen For The Motherland - 1945″.

To the right of the tomb, there is a granite alley made of porphyry plates with incapsulated soils from hero cities, Leningrad, Kiev, Volgograd, Odessa, Sevastopol, Minsk, Kerch, Novorossiysk, Tula and Brest.

The plate for Volgograd has since been changed to Stalingrad, the city’s name during the Second World War.

A Guard of Honour was restored at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by federal law on December 8, 1997. (ANI)

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