‘We fought for every plant. What would our army do without gunpowder plant today?’
This year, the country celebrates the 78th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. On the eve of the event, the Cabinet of Ministers of Tatarstan held a meeting of the organising committee for the preparation and holding of the celebration. During the meeting, the rais of the republic, Rustam Minnikhanov, addressed various departments with instructions on ensuring the control and safety of events, as well as attracting volunteers and young people to them. As the head of the region stressed, the task is to “convey to children and grandchildren the historical truth about what the huge price the veterans paid for this Victory.” Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
“Our task is to convey the historical truth to children and grandchildren”
Opening the meeting, Rustam Minnikhanov said that despite the current geopolitical situation, Victory Day remains the most beloved holiday. This day became “the end of a bloody war and put an end to the tyranny of the fascist regime”. As the rais noted, every May 9, the republic gratefully remembers the exploits of the sons and daughters of Tatarstan — “those who paid with their lives for the liberation of our land. All those who won the Great Victory in the rear.”
“Our task and sacred duty is to convey to children and grandchildren the historical truth about what the huge price our veterans paid for the Victory. We have no right to allow the pages of our history to be distorted. In memory of all the veterans who gave their lives for our Motherland, I declare a minute of silence," he said.
Then the participants of the meeting were shown a film prepared specially for the 78th anniversary of the Victory. It told about veterans and Tatarstan's contribution to the Victory over Nazi Germany. So, the voice of the announcer announced that during the Great Patriotic War, every second conscript of the region was killed, and every third was missing. The video reminded that for many years in the republic, war veterans and home front workers have been given food packages and personalised greeting cards. Also, within the framework of the state guarantees programme, medical care is provided to veterans — at home and in outpatient conditions: in 2023, 1,837 people received it, and 192 received inpatient treatment. Besides, as part of the medical examination of certain groups of the adult population, 14,757 veterans have been examined this year, conditions have been created for them to receive services in a single window mode.
Further, Rustam Minnikhanov recalled that the year 2023 was declared the Year of the Teacher and Mentor by the decree of President of Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. As the rais noted, teachers are one of the most important participants in the education of the younger generation. They are responsible for how children perceive the history of their country.
“Each of us has a teacher, a mentor who has played a special role in our lives, including in the education of feelings of patriotism, citizenship, spiritual and moral values. Teaching during the war is an important part of the history of our people," he said and gave the floor to the minister of education and science of Tatarstan.
“Our teachers fought the enemy with weapons in their hands”
The head of the Ministry of Education and Science of Tatarstan, Ilsur Khadiullin, in turn, said that every year the country remembers the Great Patriotic War, which affected all spheres of life, including education. According to him, the activities of Soviet schools changed dramatically, and teaching actively worked both in the rear and at the front.
“Our teachers fought the enemy with weapons in their hands, were awarded orders and the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Many died heroic death in the struggle for the liberation of their native land from fascism. For example, 5,000 teachers from the republic were drafted into the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army during the first months. At the same time, children continued to study, despite that there were not enough more than 2,5 thousand teachers in the region's schools," he said.
As Khadiullin stressed, the exploits of schoolchildren and teachers should not be forgotten, since they made no less contribution to the Victory. According to the minister, today the spirit of patriotism is also carefully fixed in the educational environment — “every week in educational organisations begins with a solemn construction, the anthem and the raising of the flag.” In the same year, in honour of Victory Day, the Victory Banner will be raised in schools of Tatarstan for the first time. He also mentioned that “as a sign of gratitude to all teachers, teachers of our country”, the year 2023 was declared the Year of the Teacher. According to him, the main mission of the year is to express gratitude to all those who teach and educate us.
“It is planned to install a monument to the teacher in the republic. We are sure that this event will be a manifestation of gratitude of Tatarstan citizens for the hard work of teachers, will remind of the important role of teachers in the life of any person," the minister said.
Besides, Tatarstan wants to publish a book about the centennial history of education in the republic. Special attention will be paid to veterans of pedagogical work, including veterans, their achievements and contribution to the educational sphere.
Also, Khadiullin could not ignore the topic of young soldiers, saying that today 38,470 schoolchildren from the republic are in the ranks of the All-Russian children's and youth military-patriotic movement. At the same time, 260 young soldier detachments from the region bear the names of heroes, nine of whom are participants in the special military operation in Ukraine.
There are 20 enterprises in Tatarstan — Heroes of Labour Valour
After the minister's speech, Rustam Minnikhanov said that that morning in the square near the Northern Railway Station of Kazan in a solemn atmosphere with the participation of veterans, collectives of enterprises and Deputy Chairman of the Russian Military Historical Society Nikolay Ovsienko, the Kazan — City of Labour Valour stele was opened. According to the rais of the republic, during the Great Patriotic War, Tatarstan was one of the most important rear centres. The contribution of its enterprises was marked by the assignment of the City of Labour Valour status to Kazan. As the head of the region stressed, large-scale work continues today to preserve the historical memory of the mass labour heroism and dedication of Tatarstan citizens.
Minnikhanov announced the signing of decrees on awarding the republican title “Enterprise of Labour Valour. 1941-1945" to two enterprises. We are talking about the Chemical Plant named after Karpov and the Kukmor felting and felt combine. The rais stressed that during the war years, the chemical plant mastered the production of 22 types of chemicals in a record short time and produced more than 56 tonnes of products. At the same time, more than 1,5 million pairs of shoes were produced at the Kukmor factory, and another 6 million were restored. He also noted that today there are 20 enterprises in Tatarstan that have made a significant contribution to ensuring the uninterrupted production of military and civilian products.
“During the war, round-the-clock and uninterrupted work was carried out at the Kazan Powder Factory. Among its special merits is the development of gunpowder for Katyusha rockets. The heroic workers of the plant, among whom there were many women and teenagers, worked tirelessly. Their contribution to the Victory is invaluable. Today, the plant continues to fulfill the state defense order as part of the special military operation," he said and gave the floor to Alexander Livshits, the director of the Kazan state-owned Gunpowder Factory.
In turn, the head of the enterprise said that last year the plant was also awarded a high title and this award is not the first in its history. According to him, “the award is just a small opportunity to pay tribute to the home front workers for their dedication and labour feat.” As Livshits stressed, on June 24 of this year, the Kazan Gunpowder Factory turns 235 years old: “The hardest tests fell during the years of the Great Patriotic War, when a month after its start, the plant increased production by 150%. Two months later — by 225%, and three months later — the double figures were exceeded three times.”
As for today, after February 24, 2022 (the day of the start of the special military operation), the production facilities were reactivated at the plant. The company switched to a round-the-clock mode of operation in three shifts. Besides, the technological process of gunpowder production was transferred to accelerated fabrication.
“This land would have been sold off, and many people would have become rich. But the country would never be able to restore it. There were many willing, but the task was to save each plant. We fought for every plant. What would our army do without gunpowder plant today?" Rustam Minnikhanov added. He also stressed that the fulfillment of the state defense order in full and on time is a priority: “I appeal to all heads of enterprises of Tatarstan. Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated that the key task of the defense industry is to provide all units with weapons, equipment, and ammunition of good quality and in a short time.”
“We are currently experiencing a turning point again”
Deputy of the State Council of Tatarstan, participant of the special military operation Eduard Sharafiev also addressed the participants of the meeting.
“In a few days our country will celebrate the greatest and most significant holiday — Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War. It has been 78 years since the great epic ended, during which our people broke the back of German fascism. We all know how much pain and misery Hitler's darkness brought to our land. We remember how many people died, and this memory is still alive in every Russian family," he said.
However, as Sharafiev stressed, over these almost eight decades, “our Western partners” have been implementing a single global system of “brotherhood” all over the world, calling for abandoning their values and history. According to him, it was “an attempt to defeat (Russia — ed.) by non-military means.”
“The enemy has not changed at all during this time. It remains as cruel and treacherous as it was eight decades ago. It is regrettable that some part of our people came under hostile influence and fell into the heresy of Russophobia and Nazism. It's hard to talk about it, but now we are once again experiencing a turning point, when once again the fate of our Fatherland is at stake," the deputy said.
According to him, today an ordinary soldier once again has stood up for the protection of ordinary people. As Sharafiev noted, the exploits of the participants of the special military operation in Ukraine should also be perpetuated for the education of the younger generation. So, the deputy appealed to Rustam Minnikhanov with a request to instruct the Ministry of Culture to start work on the creation of a republican museum of the special military operation in Kazan. Besides, he asked to organise a photo exhibition in the districts about the participants of the military conflict and those who support them while in the region.
“Let's make some kind of our creative proposal?"
At the end of the meeting, Rustam Minnikhanov reminded that at the moment a little more than 14 thousand veterans of the Great Patriotic War live on the territory of Tatarstan — “unfortunately, time is inexorable, there are fewer participants and witnesses of those historical events. In 2020, there were more than 33 thousand such people.”
According to him, events related to the celebration of the 78th anniversary of the Victory are held throughout the year, but the period from May 1 to May 9 is associated with a large number of events that involve a mass gathering of people. In this regard, the rais of the republic instructed the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tatarstan, Ministry of Emergency Situations, and Ministry of Healthcare to ensure the safety and support of all planned events. Minnikhanov also instructed the Ministry of Social Protection to pay special attention to permanent individual work with veterans, and ministries and universities to involve the volunteer corps of the republic to the most active participation in events.
“Municipalities, with the involvement of the volunteer corps, should complete measures to clean up and put in order military graves and places of military glory, maintain them in proper condition on a permanent basis. Basically, we have order everywhere, but they write that there are collapses sometimes. If you can't find money for your memorial, then I don't know, do you really need to continue to be at this job?" he said.
He recalled that the Immortal Regiment campaign as a march this year is cancelled for security reasons. However, according to him, other proposed formats will be implemented in the cities:
“I'm very sorry. My opinion is that it is the most successful of all our events. The most patriotic. But the decision has been made by the country's leadership, and this is not up for debate. It is necessary to implement the proposed format: these are portraits on cars, clothes, and social networks. Let's make some kind of our creative proposal? It's already nice to put a portrait on a car, but it should be from the heart!” stressed the rais of Tatarstan.