Monumental history in Moscow: New memorials erected in 2020

January 15

In 2020, several monuments and dozens of memorial plaques were put up in Moscow. Find out more about this via

Great Patriotic War Heroes

During the summer, a monument to railway workers was put on Komsomolskaya Square, participants of the Great Patriotic War and home front workers.  These were the people who contributed to the victory over Nazism. The team of artists and sculptors under the guidance of People's Artist of Russia sculptor Salavat Shcherbakov, depicted the heroes: at the base on a low granite plinth there are figures of a railway track fitter, a road worker, a driver, a points woman and a station master, those without whom it would have been impossible to imagine the running of a railway. Pictured are  an armored train and a steam locomotive  going full speed ahead. The monument was created with donations from industry workers.

A memorial plaque to TASS workers who covered the events of the Great Patriotic War at the forefront and on the home front was erected  in May on the facade of the news agency's headquarters on the corner of Bolshaya Nikitskaya Street and Leontievsky Pereulok. The artistic composition is based on well-known pictures of TASS military photojournalists  (Kombat by Max Alpert, Victory Banner over the Reichstag  and Victory Parade on Red Square by Yevgeny Khaldey), its other important features are a pencil, a map case and a Leica camera, the main weapons of journalists of that time. The memorial plaque was created in the Grekov Studio of Military Art. The creators were architect Denis Bobylev and sculptor Kirill Bobylev.

During these difficult years, TASS worked nonstop: dozens of correspondents and photo journalists went through the Great Patriotic War. Thanks to their work, the world learned about the latest events, their material became documentary evidence of the crimes of Nazism and were used as evidence at the Nuremberg Trials.

In December, a memorial in honour of the 6th Moscow People's Militia Division was unveiled in Catherine Park. The wall with a five-pointed star represents the feat of workers who, without military training, in 1941 stood up to defend the capital. About eight thousand people from 170 institutions and enterprises aged between 18 and 55 joined the division, and almost none of them had ever held a rifle in their hands before.

The unveiling of a memorial plaque in honour of Hero of the Soviet Union Viktor Yudin (1923-1985) at 39 Ostrovityanova Street, where he lived from 1970 to 1985, was timed to coincide with the Heroes of the Fatherland Day.  In August 194, he left the factory lathe and went to join the Red Army, and two years later he graduated from the courses of junior lieutenants. Whilst crossing the Ost-Oder River near Greifenhagen (Poland) and the West-Oder River north of the village of Mesherin, a troop of the 194th Rifle Regiment (162nd  Rifle Division, 70th  Army, 2nd Byelorussian Front) under the command of Senior Lieutenant Yudin was the first to enter the water, cross to the other side and capture the bridgehead, fighting off a number of enemy counterattacks.

The creators of the memorial plaque are sculptor and Honoured Artist of Russia Igor Burganov and architect Yuri Menchits. This is the first of five plaques produced as part of a joint project of the Moscow Government and the Moscow Club of Heroes to perpetuate the memory of the heroes of the Soviet Union who lived in the capital. Four more are planned to be unveiled in February on Defender of the Fatherland Day.

Culture and art

In September, in the year of the 100th anniversary of the Vakhtangov Theatre, a monument to its creator, Yevgeny Vakhtangov, was unveiled in Arbat. The bronze work of art was made  by People's Artist of Russia Alexander Rukavishnikov, Honoured Artist of Russia Maxim Obrezkov and Honoured Architect of Russia Igor Voskresensky.

A sculptural composition dedicated to the actor and director Oleg Tabakov was unveiled on 14 December at the new stage of "Tabakerka" for the 85th anniversary of the artist's birthday. The creator, People's Artist of Russia Alexander Rukavishnikov, has depicted Oleg Tabakov in a scarlet scarf, sitting on the stage, leaning on an atom of the Sun, a symbol of talent. When Tabakov was a young artist working at the Sovremennik theatre, the playwright Viktor Rozov, seeing him on stage, said that the actor's talent lit up the whole performance, as if Tabakov had swallowed an atom of the Sun. Inside the atom, the word "talent" is written many times.

In November, a memorial plaque to Vladimir Etush (1922-2019), People's Artist of the USSR, theatre and film actor, teacher, long-term rector of the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute, full Knight of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, was unveiled on 2 Granatny Pereulok, Bdg. 1. The artist behind the project is the young sculptor Filipp Trushin.

Vladimir Etush starred in more than 40 films, and all his roles were included in the golden collection of Russian cinema. Many famous actors and actresses were his students.

In September, a memorial plaque to Stanislav Govorukhin (1936-2018) was put up on the facade of the VGIK historical building on Wilhelm Pik Street. Here the brilliant director, actor, artist and screenwriter began his creative career. Govorukhin directed 55 films, including "Vertical," "The meeting place cannot be changed," "Voroshilov Shooter," "Ten Little Negroes," wrote the script for "Pirates of the 20th century," the highest-grossing film in the history of Soviet cinema. The bas-relief depicts a man in a jacket with a hood at the foot of a mountain, a reference to the film "Vertical," the director's first full-length film.

A memorial plaque to the People's Artist of the USSR bear trainer Valentin Filatov (1920-1979) was unveiled on 12 August  on Kutuzovsky Prospekt 5/3 on the day of his 100th  birth anniversary. In this house, the artist lived and developed a new school of training, which transformed the idea of the circus. It was Filatov who first taught bears to ride motorcycles in groups, and the Bear Circus attraction he created successfully toured around the world. The memorial plaque depicts a trio of bears harnessed to a sled with a fourth on a rope, driven by Valentin Filatov. The bronze creation is the work of sculptor Alexander Balashov and weighs 350 kilos.

On 27 August, two memorial plaques in honour of People's Artists of the USSR Geli Korzhev and Alexei Gritsai, who lived in Verkhnyaya Maslovka 3, were unveiled. The works of these outstanding painters are on display in the permanent exhibition of the Tretyakov Gallery and the Russian Museum in St Petersburg. Two bas-reliefs are life-size, the creators of the works are the architect Konstantin Arabchikov and the grandson of Geli Korzhev Ivan, who worked using the technique of bas- relief.

In August, a memorial plaque to Yevgeny Agranovich, a prose writer, poet, front line soldier, bard, screenwriter, film dramatist, and artist, was unveiled in the Airport district at 2 Chernyakhovskogo Street. He lived and worked in this house for more than 20 years. The creation was made and installed with the help of donations. Yevgeny Agranovich is depicted surrounded by front-line letters, on which quotes from his poems are written.

In March, a memorial plaque in honour of the theatre "Skatuve", which functioned in this house in the 1930s, was put up on Strastnoi Boulevard 8. In 1933, the theatre was recognised as the best national theatre of Russia, and five years later all the artists and workers, 32 people, were shot at the Butovo training ground. A laconic granite plaque in Russian and Latvian states that the "Skatuve" theatre was located at this place from 1919 to 1938.

Also in March, the grand unveiling of the memorial plaque in honour of People's Artist of the USSR, the world's first female lion trainer Irina Bugrimova (1910-2001), took place at 1/15 Kotelnicheskaya Embankment, where she lived until she died. The occasion was timed to coincide with the 110th anniversary of the birth of the queen of the Soviet circus. On the memorial plaque, the trainer is depicted together with a lion, and at the top there’s just one word "Circus."

Second Mayor of the city

A memorial plaque to the former Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov (1936-2019) was unveiled in early December at 3rd Tverskaya-Yamskaya Street 48, where he lived from 2000. The creators behind the project are sculptor Igor Burganov, Honoured Artist of Russia, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Arts, and Igor Voskresensky, Honoured Architect of Russia, Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts. The bronze plaque depicts Yuri Luzhkov wearing his famous cap, next to him is a map of the capital, and closer to the lower right corner is a bee.

For 18 years from 1992 to 2010, Yuri Luzhkov served as Mayor of Moscow. Full Knight of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, awarded the Order of Military Merit (2003), the medal Defender of Free Russia (1993) and In memory of the 850th  anniversary of Moscow.


On 31/29 Povarskaya Street, two plaques were erected to the prominent scientists who lived in the neighbourhood, Avraamiy Zavenyagin (1901-1956), twice Hero of Socialist Labour, organiser of industry, curator of the Soviet metallurgy and a nuclear project, and Andranik Petrosyants (1906-2005), Chairman of the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR.

On Romanov Pereulok Bdg. 3/1, the memory of Mikhail Pervukhin (1904-1978), the first deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, curator of the creation of the Soviet atomic bomb, was immortalised. A memorial plaque on Leninsky Prospekt 57 is dedicated to Anton Volsky (1897-1966), one of the first founders of atomic science, a metallurgist.

The plaque to Marat Tishchenko (1931-2015), general designer of the Moscow Mikhail Mil Helicopter Factory, liquidator of the Chernobyl disaster, was put up on Rizhsky Proezd 5, to Boris Runov (1925-2017), Hero of the Soviet Union, Academician, scientist in the field of agriculture, on Orlikov Pereulok1/11. In February, a memorial plaque to professor and teacher Vladimir Vinogradov, who headed the Russian State University of Oil and Gas for 31 years, was unveiled on Profsoyuznaya Street 43, Bdg.1.

In August, a monument to one of the creators of Soviet nuclear weapons, Yefim Slavsky (1898-1991), by sculptor Salavat Shcherbakov, was unveiled on the square near the central office of the Rosatom State Corporation on Bolshaya Ordynka. From 1957 to 1986, Slavsky headed the legendary nuclear ministry, the Ministry of Medium Engineering of the USSR. The unveiling of the monument was timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the nuclear industry in Russia.

The founders of Sambo

The unveiling ceremony of the memorial to the first sambo wrestlers was held on 18 December at Luzhniki’s Glory Alley. The bronze and granite composition, is dedicated to Viktor Spiridonov, Vasily Oshchepkov and Anatoly Kharlampiyev. In 1938, they came up with a new sports idea based on the techniques of Japanese jiu-jitsu and judo, as well as other martial arts.

In the centre of the sculptural composition are two bronze figures of wrestlers, one of them performing the famous "mill" throw. The athletes are fighting on a hemisphere encircled by an orbit on which the motto of single combat is written: "Sambo is the science of winning." Coaches Viktor Spiridonov, Vasily Oshchepkov and Anatoly Kharlampiyev are watching.

The monument was created by a team of sculptors under the leadership of People's Artist of Russia Salavat Shcherbakov. It is expected that over time, the memorial will become a place for taking the oath of sambo wrestlers and accepting athletes into the community.


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