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March 24, 2015
Thank you for the Peace!
The “Victory Lilac” will bloom in St.-Petersburg. International project dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the Great Victory started in the Northern Capital
On March 24 a special vehicle with lilac plants was solemnly welcomed in the Primorsky Victory Park in St.-Petersburg. The event attracted a good many of caring citizens of the Northern Capital including veterans, cadets, youth, and municipal and district administration representatives. The “Victory Lilac” alley will be solemnly opened here on May 9.
This large-scale project throughout Russia and Belorussia commenced in the threshold of the 70th Anniversary of the Victory in Great Patriotic War celebration. Project goal is transplanting a lilac alley of domestic breeds named after the events and heroes of Great Patriotic War in each of the 11 Heroic Cities on the territory of Russia and Belorussia. A few hundred of Petersburgers welcomed the ruck with plants and project participants with lilac balloons.
George Klumov, Chair of the “Victory Lilac” project Organizing Committee, mentioned this project would have been impossible without a devoted work of Leonid Kolesnikov, soviet plant breeder and veteran, who dedicated his life to developing and producing new lilac breeds.
“It is thanks to him that the Russian lilac idea has at all appeared” – said G.Klumov. These lilac breeds were named after heroes of Great Patriotic War and soviet commanders. And today this splendid truck contains those gorgeous breeds to be transplanted on the “Victory Lilac” alley.
Valery Sapozhnikov, First Deputy to Head of Petrogradsky Region Administration expressed gratitude to the team of Botanic Garden of Heroic City of Volgograd.
“On May 9, 2015 a lilac alley of bushes named after heroic and glorious Great Patriotic War heroes and commanders will appear in our Primorsky Victory Park established on May 9, 1945. This really is a Big Event for us and we will do our best to preserve and take care of this alley” – said Mr. Sapozhnikov.
Sergey Lyakhovenko, Deputy Chair of the Committee on Redevelopment mentioned that this lilac was a symbol of our whole Victory.
“There are plenty of lilacs in our city and it is one of the St.-Petersburg symbols, but those bushes to appear here are really special. They are a reminder to each one of us about the heroic act by our grandfathers having conquered and given us this Victory achieving Peace. Thus the lilac bushes we are transplanting this year are not only a symbol of the 70th Victory Anniversary but also a connection through generations.” – said Mr. Lyakhovenko.
Citizens and guests of the Northern Capital will have an opportunity to watch the process of bushes transplanting on April 25. There are such breeds as: Capitan Gastello, Aleksey Maresiev, Zoya Kosmodemiyanskaya, Marshal Vasilevsky, Marshal Zhukov, Valentina Grizodubova, Defenders of Brest, Konstantin Zaslonov, Vera Khoruzhaya… 16 breeds in total. Petersburgers will get to learn the exact species transplanted in St.-Petersburg right on May 9.
Rimma Gordon, representative of the Soviet of Veterans and a blockade survivor shared her own feelings about the event with the audience. “I think what’s most important is overcoming all difficulties, and is Victory, this is a good reason to live” - said Petersburger.
At the end of the event the audience had a chance to enjoy a small concert dedicated to the forthcoming Anniversary celebration. And as commented by the event master – life changes, years go by while Great Patriotic War songs still resound. The mike was then passed to the youngsters. Natalia Vladimirova performed famous “Katyusha” song; member of “Alfa” teenage and youth club performed an abstract from Robert Rozhdestvensky “Requiem”. The famous “Victory Day” song was also performed. This Day is coming soon also with lilac alleys in other heroic cities of Russia and Belorussia.
Council of Botanical Gardens of Russia and Belorussia started production of plants to be transplanted in April-May, 2015 back in 2011. RAS Main Botanical Garden named after N.V.Tsinin, State Scientific Institution “NASB Central Botanical Garden of Belorussia”, State Basin Authority “Volgograd Regional Botanical Garden”, Nikitsky Botanical Garden, Volgograd Region administration were at the project’s origins.
Best domestic breeds mostly of military theme were selected to compose “Victory Lilac” alleys. Many of them are considered to be national asset and are highly evaluated by plant breeders from all over the world. Those are: Great Victory, Valentina Grizodubova, Capitan Gastello, Marshal Zhukov, Marshal Vasilevsky, Defenders of Brest, Partisan, Aleksey Maresiev, and many others.
One of the biotechnical methods of propagation of plants was used to boost those plants production. The method is named microclonal propagation allowing to get planting material identical to the initial genotype. Unlike other ways of propagation, biotechnological ones guarantee getting a considerable amount of plants of required breeds.
There will be 100-500 plants transplanted in each of the cities participating in the “Victory Lilac” project. Places are: Moscow – Poklonnaya Gora, St.-Petersburg – Primorsky Victory Park, Volgograd – Mamayev Kurgan and Komsomolsky Garden, Sevastopol – Mount Sapun, Kerch – Aviators Park, Smolensk – Readovsky Park, Novorossiysk – the Memorial to Unbroken in Tsemdolina. In Tula ten special places throughout city parks are allotted for lilac transplanting including the one next to the “Memorial to natives of Tula gone into the immortality”. In Minsk it is “Victory” Museum & Park Complex and Loshitsky Park, in Brest – a place in close proximity to the Brest Fortress. The administration of heroic cities has given its approval and full support to the project.
The solemn ceremony of establishing lilac alleys will either be accompanied by special fests for citizens or integrated into festive activities dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the Great Victory.
First lilac plants will be transplanted in Sevastopol on April 4, and on April 11 lilacs will be transplanted as part of “The Day of Liberation of Kerch from fascist aggressors”. Solemn lilac transplantation will be held on April 18 in the Komsomolsky Garden in Volgograd. Alleys will also be established on April 25 as part of spring cleanup days in Moscow, Smolensk and St.-Petersburg. Lilac transplantation in Brest is scheduled for the last week of April. On May 1 lilacs will be transplanted in Tula and Minsk. No need to mention that the solemn opening of “Victory Lilac” alleys in heroic cities on My 9 will welcome Great Patriotic War veterans, science, culture and art figures, representatives of regional and municipal administration, students, military schools’ cadets, and historic reenactment enthusiasts.
The “Victory Lilac” large-scale event will unite a great number of people of different ages, professions, interests; living far distances from one another and will contribute to preserving our common historic memory.
All project-related events will be covered extensively in federal and regional media.
Lilac is a real symbol of the Victory! This is the memory of those who protected our country during the Great Patriotic War. Those were the lilac branches in the arms of people meeting soviet liberator-warriors coming home in 1945.
Leonid Kolesnikov, a veteran and a highly talented plant breeder known all over the world, dedicated his whole life to developing a collection of breeds naming them after heroes and events of Great Patriotic War. It is thanks to Leonid Kolesnikov that the idea of “Russian lilac” appeared 60 years ago. Domestic lilac breeds became a national asset, pride of selection science and are now famous all over the world. The work of Kolesnikov inspired his apprentices and followers to continue this noble activity. Year in year out Russian and Belorussian plant breeders have continued creating new breeds dedicating them to heroes of Great Patriotic War and memory of the Great Victory.
Transplanting lilac on the Victory Day has become a good tradition. Today’s young people – pupils, students, volunteers – transplant lilac in different parts of Russia, demonstrating respect to the history of our country, to its people sacrificing their lives in a heroic struggle for peaceful sky, to veterans living beside us.
This project is to be continued in 2020. Botanical Gardens are planning to prepare thousands of plants to be transplanted in places of military and municipal glory by the 75th Anniversary of the Great Victory celebration.
Event official hashtags: #CпасибоЗаМир & #СиреньПобеды (#ThanksforPeace & #VictoryLilac).