Putin and Netanyahu unveil Leningrad siege defenders monument in Jerusalem
Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in the ceremony to unveil a monument to Leningrad siege defenders in Jerusalem.
He and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have unveiled a Memorial Candle monument, honoring the heroic feat of defenders and residents of besieged Leningrad in the Second World War, TASS reports.
The ceremony was also attended by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Lyon, Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov.
The monument was erected in Sacher Park located close to Israel’s Foreign Ministry buildings, Supreme Court and Knesset.
The eight-meter tall stela has two symbols inscribed on it — St. Petersburg’s symbol, the Bronze Horseman and the Peter and Paul Fortress’ silhouette with enemy weapons aim locked down on it and Israel’s symbol, Star of David with a menorah depicted in the center of it enmeshed in barbwire symbolizing concentration camps. There’s another element to the monument that serves as a symbol — the blockade barn swallow, a symbol of tenacity, endurance and hope of the Leningrad defenders. The upper part of the stela is bronzed to symbolize candlelight.
A capsule is laid in the monument’s foundation containing ground from St. Petersburg’s Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery where 490,000 residents and defenders of Leningrad with tens of thousands of Jews among them are buried. The stela is created by St. Petersburg’s and Israeli architects. It was the initiative of World War II veterans, siege survivors and compatriots living in Israel to erect the monument as well as of St. Petersburg’s authorities.