It has been decided to invite the leaders of many states to the May 2005 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, President Vladimir Putin said at the Kremlin session of the State Council in the Kremlin. The session discussed preparations for the jubilee celebrations.
Moscow will be the main site of the celebrations. Wreaths will be laid at the Grave of the Unknown Soldier and a party for war veterans and high foreign guests will be held in the Kremlin on May 8, 2005, and a military parade will be held in Red Square on May 9.
"I consider it crucial that veterans from the Allied armies and anti-fascist resistance movements should take part in the celebrations. The instructions to this effect will be given to the government and the Foreign Ministry," said Putin.
One of the main task of preparations for the 60th anniversary is to solve social problems. "We are monitoring the social situation of veterans, viewing it as a priority of the state policy and doing everything in our power" to improve it, said the head of the Russian state.
The president also stressed the importance of explaining the essence of the reform of social privileges. "We must find a solution that would not worsen but improve the situation of veterans," Putin said. He called for taking additional measures to find the heroes who have not received their wartime decorations. "We must create joint databanks of military graves and missing persons," he said.
The National Book of Memory and a multi-volume history of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 will be published for the celebrations. "It is our duty to celebrate the jubilee in a befitting manner," said the head of state.
Putin criticized the media for insufficient coverage of preparations for the 60th anniversary of the Great Victory. "With the exception of individual functions, the Russian media are not providing sufficient information coverage of preparations for the jubilee," he said.
One of the tasks of the information project is to "preclude the attempts to distort and review the history of the Great Patriotic War. ...We must prepare the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Great Victory as an event of not just national but also international significance," Putin said.
He believes that the organization of the information campaign a key element of preparations for the celebrations. "The organization of the information campaign is a vital element of preparations for the celebration of Victory Day. It should use novel forms and modern opportunities of the media technologies," Putin said. He stressed that the campaign should be addressed to different groups of population, including the Russian and international public.
The president said, "The regions should play a special role in preparing the jubilee celebrations. ...Much can be done at the regional and local levels for an effective organization of the search and military-patriotic functions, take care of military graves and memorials."
Vladimir Putin spoke of the need to improve the standards of history tuition in general and higher schools. "We should seriously think about raising the standards of tuition in history in general and higher schools," he said.
The president also called for rendering assistance and encouraging the public and young organizations that provide patriotic education. "Working with young people must not be a mere formality based on obsolete stereotypes," he said.