Intefax: Differences in views, positions should be no impediment to protecting Russia in name of its people’s future – Putin

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

MOSCOW. May 4 (Interfax) – Russian president Vladimir Putin has urged to safeguard and protect Russia for its future regardless of differences in views and positions.

“Today I want to say once again: we have just one Russia, and all of us, whatever our views and positions, must safeguard and protect it, make it our cornerstone the future of our people, the happiness of our people, of our children and grandchildren,” Putin said at the unveiling of a cross in memory for Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich.

The cross took its historical place on the Kremlin grounds, Putin said. “It serves as a reminder of the price that had to be paid for mutual hatred, disunity, animosity, of what all of us must do to preserve our national unity and accord,” Putin said.

The president thanked everyone who participated in restoration of the monument.

The cross commemorating Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was erected on public donations near St. Nicholas Tower in 1908. On May 1, 1918, the monument, designed by Viktor Vasnetsov, was torn down during a spring cleaning event (“subbotnik”), with personal participation by Vladimir Lenin and Yakov Sverdlov.

The new cross was laid down and consecrated at the Kremlin on November 1 last year.

The instruction to consider recreating the cross at its historical site in memory of the tragic death of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was given by Vladimir Putin in August 2016 after visiting a park that has replaced the dismantled Building N14 on the Kremlin grounds.

Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich Romanov (1857-1905) was the fifth son of Emperor Alexander II and Moscow Governor-General from 1891. He was among the founders of the Historical Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, urban economy, and provided patronage for the creation of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society. It was during his governorship that Moscow had its first streetcar fleet and experienced industrial development and construction boom.

The grand duke was assassinated in a terrorist attack by Socialist Revolutionary Party member Ivan Kalyayev on February 17, 1905, when passing through the gates of St. Nicholas Tower at the Kremlin.

Initially the grand duke was buried at the Kremlin’s Chudov Monastery, which was demolished after the 1917 revolution. The crypt with the duke’s remains was only discovered in 1986, during restoration work at the Kremlin. In 1995 the remains were moved to Novospassky Monastery where the first copy of the cross was erected.