Posted 21 ноября 2022,, 08:18

Published 21 ноября 2022,, 08:18

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Punishment with bronze: why does Moscow need a monument to Fidel Castro?

Punishment with bronze: why does Moscow need a monument to Fidel Castro?

21 ноября 2022, 08:18
A monument to Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary who led the country for 49 years, is being erected on Novopeschanaya Street in Moscow.

The monument to the Cuban will rise in the immediate vicinity of the burial place of officers and generals of the Russian Imperial Army, buried at the All-Russian Fraternal Cemetery.

Irina Mishina

A sculpture one and a half times taller than a human appeared today on Novopeschanaya Street. Local residents protested against its construction for a long time, created petitions, but when was the last time we took into account the opinion of the people?

And why not Milosevic or Gaddafi?

The Castro situation is comical for at least two reasons.

Firstly, Fidel bequeathed not to erect monuments to him. Nowhere and never. Fidel's brother Raul Castro, speaking at a rally in memory of the Comandante the day before his funeral, said that the deceased asked not to be named after the square and the street, and also not to erect monuments in his honor. “The leader of the revolution rejected any manifestations of the cult of personality and was consistent in this matter until the last hours of his life”, - this is how the head of the island state explained the will of the deceased. But is this a decree for the Military Historical Society and the Moscow City Duma, controlled by United Russia? When it comes to the development of budget money, not up to the will of the deceased. In general, Fidel Castro's testament has already been violated twice in Moscow: in the capital, one of the squares was named after him.

The second reason why the monument to "Moscow" Fidel turned into an occasion for comics is its green color. Local residents are now joking evilly: “Give us more dictators, green and different!”.

Sculptor Aleksey Chebanenko described his creation as follows: “This is a hulk-man standing on a cube. Not on an island, this is the shape of the pedestal. I put him not in a dubious movement, but rigidly on his legs wide apart, as if feeling the gusts of the wind of change, all the hardships and difficulties passing through him. You know that there were 638 assassination attempts on Castro”.

Reviews in social networks, as they say, burn.

Yekaterina Morozova: "The time of demons. Kadyrov's bridge is already there somewhere. They don't need Castro's memory, but to master millions. I can imagine what a handsome man they are piling, like Alyonushka".

Innokenty Sergeyev: “In St. Petersburg, by the way, they are going to erect a monument to Ho Chi Minh on the street of the same name, for some kind of exchange with Vietnam. Perhaps this is also a diplomatic curtsy to Cuba”.

Ivan Sardin: "They will soon get to the point that they will erect monuments to Milosevic and Gadaffi".

Of course, the green Fidel fits well into the current foreign policy of Russia, which has tilted towards the "third world countries": South America, Africa and Asia. Again, Castro has been in power for half a century, which is in tune with modern Russian trends.

Forgotten Fraternal Military Cemetery

But very close, on Peschanaya Street, is the burial place of Russian officers and generals who died during the First World War, this is the glory and pride of Russian weapons. My great-grandfather, Sergei Semyonovich Gratsinsky, general of the imperial army, hero of the Balkan wars, is also buried there.

We are talking about the former Fraternal Cemetery, located in the area of \u200b\u200bthe current Sokol metro station. The cemetery was founded on February 28 (according to the new style) in 1915. It was intended for the burial of Russian soldiers and officers who died in the First World War. Mostly, those who died from wounds were buried at the Fraternal Cemetery, since there were several infirmaries near the cemetery. In addition, in the immediate vicinity of the cemetery there was one of the railway stations, where trains from the front stopped, which carried the wounded and the dead. The founder of the cemetery was Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna. She financed a significant part of the construction from personal funds. In 1917, the Junkers who defended the Kremlin were buried at the Fraternal Cemetery - the same ones that Vertinsky sang about: "I don't know who needs it and why, who sent them to death with an unflagging hand ...". And in 1918, the first victims of the Red Terror were buried there in a mass grave, including the rector of St. Basil's Cathedral, Archpriest John Vostorgov. Thus, the fates of at least two New Martyrs recognized by the Russian Church, Elizabeth Feodorovna and Fr. John Vostorgov.

Of course, no monument to Russian officers was erected. Unless there is a memorial plaque with the names of some Russian generals who were buried at the Fraternal Military Cemetery near the Church of All Saints on Sokol.

A mockery of history or a cut of the budget?

Burials at the Fraternal Cemetery were stopped in the 20s of the last century, and soon after that the Bolsheviks began to mock the graves, tearing out the ashes of officers of the imperial army and the White movement, desecrating the graves of the military. And then, on the site of the cemetery, Stalin ordered to dig the Sokol metro station ...

But in our time, they began to mock at the burial place much more sophisticatedly. In the 90s, they tried to roll everything into concrete and build a huge shopping center on the bones. They say Luzhkov changed his mind at the last moment. And now, instead of a monument to Russian soldiers and officers, in the immediate vicinity of the place of their nameless burial, there is a green Cuban ruler ...

The procedure for erecting the monuments is ideal: the council of local deputies, the majority of which are people from the right party and the right political views, unanimously vote for the installation of the monument. And then the decision is made by the commission on monumental art of the Moscow City Duma, led by a convinced United Russia actor Yevgeny Gerasimov. In this way, several districts of Moscow have already benefited. A recent example is the monument to the former head of the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the former security guard of the president, Yevgeny Zinichev, who is about to rise on Vatutina Street. Although residents a year ago even collected signatures against the installation of this monument, and voting in the district public clearly showed: the people are against Zinichev. But this is of little interest to the Military Historical Society and the sculptor Salavat Shcherbakov, who received considerable funds from the budget for the stone Zinichev. While there was no place in Moscow for the monument to General of the Army Nikolay Vatutin, the strategist of the Battle of Stalingrad and Kursk, who made a huge contribution to the victory in the Great Patriotic War, on the street whose name Zinichev will ascend. And now, when the ashes of General Vatutin are going to be exhumed in Kiev, and his monument is to be demolished, our Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin are silent. Apparently, the installation of monuments to Fidel Castro and Zinichev is more important.

Monuments in Moscow have long lived their own life, often perpendicular to the life of the capital. In Oruzheiny Lane, a man with a machine gun, vaguely reminiscent of Mikhail Kalashnikov, is aiming at people; "Big Clay" by Urs Fischer on the embankment of the Moscow River has long been the subject of memes and not the most decent jokes; Winged Sergei Yesenin, lying on his back in Bolshoy Strochenovsky Lane, resembles a nightmare, “Children are victims of adult vices” on Bolotnaya in general, beyond good and evil ... And after all, behind each of these “creations” there are millions of budget rubles. Maybe it's time to stop and reflect? Moreover, as recent history shows, monuments are a short-lived substance, and getting rid of them happens quickly and not always respectfully.

P.S. According to our sources in the Moscow City Duma, the commission on monumental art voted in a "package" for monuments to the scientist and human rights activist Andrei Sakharov and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. No, this is not a joke.