Tuesday, 16 July 2019 04:28

Alyosha Monument

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Defenders of the Soviet Arctic during the Great Patriotic War (Russian: Защитникам Советского Заполярья в годы Великой Отечественной войны), commonly called Alyosha (Russian: 'Алёша'; Alyosha is an affectionate diminutive form of the name Aleksey) is a monument in Murmansk, Russia to Soviet soldiers, sailors, and airmen of World War II (called, in Russia, the Great Patriotic War).

The statue is of a soldier in a greatcoat with a rifle slung over his shoulder. The height of the pedestal is 7 metres (23 ft); the statue is 35.5 metres (116 ft) tall.[1] It is the second-tallest statue in Russia, after The Motherland Calls in Volgograd. The weight of the statue, which is hollow, is over 5,000 tons. The soldier faces west, toward the Valley of Glory, where the fiercest fighting of the Arctic Campaign occurred when the German invaders were turned back from the approaches to Murmansk at the Zapadnaya Litsa River in July 1941.

In front of the monument is a platform of natural black stone bearing an eternal flame. A little higher and closer to the statue is a sloping triangular pyramid. According to the designers, this pyramid represents a flag at half–mast as a sign of mourning for the fallen soldiers of the red banner. Next to the statue is a stele of polished granite with this inscription:

Defenders of the Arctic – the warriors of the 14th Army, 19th Army, Red Banner Northern Fleet, 7th Air Force, 82nd and 100th Border Troops, and Partisan groups "Soviet Moormen", "Bolshevik Arctic", "Polarmen", "Stalinists", and "Bolshevist". We honor their defense of this land!

Slightly to one side of the monument are two anti–aircraft guns. (During the war, anti–aircraft guns were emplaced at the site as part of the air defense of Murmansk.)[1] Built into the foot of the monument are two capsules, one with seawater from the gravesite of the heroic patrol craft Tuman which sank while fighting off three German destroyers[A], one with earth from the Valley of Glory and from the Verman River front.

A large central staircase leads up to a podium used by speakers during ceremonies at the monument. Completing the complex is a wall built in 2004 with plaques commemorating the other hero cities.

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