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"We must find and honor every soldier."

A military-patriotic camp named after the Yakut Fyodor Okhlopkov opened in the Rzhevsky district of the Tver region

The opening of the military-patriotic camp named after Fyodor Matveyevich Okhlopkov - Hero of the Soviet Union, the legendary "sniper without a miss", built at the initiative of Yakutia, took place in the Rzhevsky district of the Tver region.

"We must find and honor every soldier."
Photo: Permanent Mission of Yakutia to the President of Russia

Andrey Fedotov

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) to the President - First Deputy Chairman of the Government of Yakutia

The camp named after Fyodor Okhlopkov, one of the most famous snipers of the Great Patriotic War, will become a place of permanent deployment of search units and training of youth in search work. It is located nearby the memorial to the Soviet soldier, unveiled with the participation of Vladimir Putin on June 30, 2020.

“Everyone who fought near Rzhev went through inhuman trials, fought to the death for over a year, did everything they could for Victory. Our sacred duty is to honor and remember every hero. It was a matter of our conscience and honor to perpetuate their feat, ”the president noted then.

These words will become the motto for the search teams from the Fyodor Okhlopkov camp.

In the first years after the victory in the Great Patriotic War, it was not customary to talk about the battle that took place on this heroic land, unlike other great battles. Here, near Rzhev, no big strategic and bright victories were won, but for 15 months the hard, trench, military work of our people was going on, and a large number of dead and wounded reminds us of the courage and resilience of the defenders of the Motherland. In their ranks, about two thousand of our compatriots, the Yakutians, fought with the German fascist invaders. Many were not destined to return home.

The opening of the Fyodor Okhlopkov camp is a continuation of the great history of friendship, interaction, mutual assistance, which has existed for more than 30 years between the residents of the Tver region and Yakutia. In 1985, the first delegation of the Namsky region of the republic visited the city of Rzhev and the Rzhevsky region. Thus began the joint work to perpetuate the memory of the soldiers who gave their lives for the freedom and independence of our great multinational country.

In memory of the Yakut soldiers who fought on this land, in 1994, on the initiative of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), a memorial of all-Russian significance was built in the village of Filkino, Rzhevsky district, and in 2005, the Temple of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker was erected next to the memorial. Today the names of 1 fallen Yakut fighters are carved on the granite slabs of the memorial, 183 of them became known thanks to the work of search engines. I have just received documents about two more of our soldiers who died here, near Rzhev. And I will definitely send these documents to the head of the republic, Aisen Sergeevich Nikolaev, so that the names of the heroes are immortalized in our republic.

We gave the name to this camp on the initiative of the residents of the Rzhevsky region and Yakutia. The name of Fyodor Matveyevich Okhlopkov is a bright name in the history of the Russian people, in the history of the Great Patriotic War. He was among those heroes who were proud not only of regiments, divisions, but also entire fronts, and newspapers called him one of the most effective snipers of the Red Army. He, who came here to fight in December 1941 - at the most difficult time of these battles - had not only to go through this whole battle, but also to liberate Kalinin, today's city of Tver, the city of Rzhev, then Smolensk region, to reach Belarus, receive 12 wounds, and after wars tell a lot to subsequent generations about the battles and victories in which he was a participant.

He received two Orders of the Red Banner on this very land - in August and November 1942. This says a lot about the intensity of hostilities: in three months to receive the two most, as they said in those days, "bloody" orders, which were awarded to those who were on the battlefield.

Such people ensured that great Victory, the symbol of which was the memorial to the Soviet soldier on the Rzhev land. At the foot of the monument are carved the words of the great front-line poet Alexander Tvardovsky: “We fell for our homeland, but it was saved”. This place makes us ask ourselves the question: have we done everything in order to be worthy of the memory of our ancestors? I think that both my generation and the youth who are working in the camp today have both the strength and the desire to do everything so that the results of that great Victory would never be questioned by anyone. And this is the basis for future achievements.

There is such a widespread opinion that the further the event goes, the less it is remembered and interested. But the year of preparation for the anniversary of the great Victory convinced me of something else. The further we move away from May 9, 1945, the more people want to know about the history of that war and victory. We agreed with the Russian Military-Historical Society that the camp will train young people so that the guys, having reached the age of 18, join the ranks of the search engines. Today, four search squads are already working in the camp: the newly created search squad named after Fyodor Matveyevich Okhlopkov, the Volunteer Company of the Combat Brotherhood public movement, the Dolina Search Expedition from the Novgorod Region, and the Zvezda military-patriotic center from the Tver Region. The importance of the search engines' work cannot be overestimated: we all know that until the last soldier is buried, the war is not over.

And we all need to try to do everything so that in the 25 years remaining before the 100th anniversary of the great Victory, all the soldiers are buried with all the honors they deserve. We must do everything in our power so that not a single unknown name of the Victory soldiers who fell on the fronts of this great and terrible war remains.

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