Select language:

Vasily Lanovoi: Garden of Remembrance will grow from Sevastopol to Vladivostok

 /  / Russkiy Mir Foundation / Publications / Vasily Lanovoi: Garden of Remembrance will grow from Sevastopol to Vladivostok

Vasily Lanovoi: Garden of Remembrance will grow from Sevastopol to Vladivostok


Vladimir Emelyanenko

On the eve of the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, the Garden of Remembrance international campaign sums up the first results. From March 18 to May 1, 2020, more than 7,000 people in 15 countries planted 5.5 million trees. The action is supposed to represent a living monument of nature. 27 million trees will be planted in honor of 27 million who died during the Great Patriotic War. People’s artist of the USSR, co-chair of the Immortal Regiment movement and volunteer of the Garden of Remembrance Vasily Semenovich Lanovoyspoke to Russkiy Mir about the way this goal would be achieved and why the action turned into a national flash mob.

- When I was called to the opening of the first Garden of Remembrance in Sevastopol in early March, I was worried as a child before entering first grade. I had not been in Crimea for a long time, and the idea was bright – to plant 27 million trees all over the country in memory of 27 million dead in honor of the 75th anniversary of the victory. I answered immediately: "Ill be there." I packed my suitcase and thought about the forward-thinking approach of young people today: nature lives longer, and mans age is short, and such connection with eternity - the memory of people in living nature - I liked it. In Crimea, I learned that the Garden of Remembrance will grow from Sevastopol to Vladivostok, and then continue to Berlin and Normandy. I immediately asked: "And where will you get the trees?"

Vasily Lanovoy plants almond trees in the Victory Park of Sevastopol on March 18, 2020. Photo credit: Yuri Yuganson /

- And what did they answer? The Garden of Remembrance project issued a statement noting that they have applications for 75 million seedlings, while Rosleskhoz is only able to provide 40 - 45 million.

- They answered that there were not enough trees. But I am happy with a human side of the action. We are receiving calls from Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Lithuania - from different countries. “Give us seedlings!” they ask. Three million people want to take part in the planting of gardens in Russia and another 500 - 700 thousand - abroad. I dont remember where this idea came from, but I hear it more and more often: since there are not enough seedlings and certainly not enough for everyone, let's plant our trees in our dachas, in yards, in vegetable gardens - in memory of relatives. After the laying of a boxwood grove in Sochi and a plane tree grove in Stavropol were canceled due to measures to combat coronavirus infection, the idea of ​​planting trees at home became, as for me, a way out.


Volunteer trips were canceled, and the action turned into a flash mob. People plant trees in their villages, suburbs, in dachas, even in urban courtyards and add points of spontaneous "Gardens of Remembrance" to the general map of the action. I believe that is how the "Garden" becomes the peoples garden. Like the Immortal Regiment action - no one forces anyone to go out with photos of their relatives. So it is with the garden: people plant it themselves.

The students of Georgy Zhukov school (Valdivatskoye village, Ulyanovsk Region) plant trees as part of the Garden of Remembrance campaign. Photo credit: Vkontakte school group

- And did you, in addition to the tree in Sevastopol at the Mikhailovsky Battery, plant your own personal tree?

- Yes, I planted the first tree in Sevastopol, we opened the Crimean Garden of Remembrance there. It was in Crimea that an idea to plant a tree in my country house came to me - in honor of my mother and father. They are disabled workers, who spent the whole war at a chemical plant in Moscow. This is their contribution to the victory, and mine is in keeping the memory of them.

- In Sevastopol, you said that that the war started when you were in Odessa, and your parents were in Moscow. How did it happen?

- They, sent me, a nine-year-old kid, to a village near Odessa - to my grandfather and grandmother - in early June 1941. I went there every summer. For vitamins and the sea, my mother liked to say. They did not know anything about me for three years. My grandfather and grandmother lived in the occupation.

Participants ofthe Garden of Remembrance campaign in Simferopol, Crimea. Photo credit:

- Very different people join you in the flash mob...

Yuri Semin, head coach of FC Lokomotiv Moscow. He is from the Oryol region, brought a tree from there, planted in his country house in the suburbs, dedicated the tree to his uncle. Natasha Koneva, daughter of Marshal Konev, we are well acquainted through the Immortal Regiment, also took part in the action. Natalia Ivanovna and her grandson Stepan planted Marshal Konev lilacs in their country house.

A lot of respected people responded to the idea of ​​planting the Victory tree at home - director Timur Bekmambetov, actors Nikolai Rastorguev and Igor Petrenko, gymnast Alexei Nemov, composer Oleg Gazmanov ...

- But they are no longer able to plant Gardens of Remembrance throughout the country.

- it's an ill wind that blows good to nobody. No epidemic will defeat us. You see, people were so carried away by the idea that it became clear: not everyone would manage to plant the tree by May 9. Besides that, the planting season in some regions starts later. Therefore, it was decided that the action would last until a symbolic date - June 22, the day when the Nazis attacked the USSR. But, if it were my will, I would extend the planting until autumn. It is already clear that we do not have enough time. It really warms me that volunteers plant everything they have - pines, maples, lindens, acacia, oaks, lilac, fruit trees. Russian birches are planted in Nepal, Cyprus and Serbia.

Victory Volunteers planted 120,000 pines, perpetuating the feat of their fellow countrymen, including Zinaida Mareseva, Hero of the Soviet Union. Photo credit: 2020.


New publications

U.S. Republican senators have uncovered a secret Soviet agent sent to the United States back in 1991 to undermine the banking system there. This is the conclusion that can be drawn from the media buzz. It followed the Senate Banking Committees questioning of Professor Saule Omarova, Joe Biden's nominee for the top position in the U.S. Government Accountability Office, last week.
The Linguistics Forum 2021: Language Policy and Language Preservation was held at the Institute of Linguistic Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. How to preserve Russia's linguistic diversity amid the global decline in the number of languages? Director of the Institute of Linguistic Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences and linguist Andrej Kibrik has the answer.
Sergei Agadzhanyan, a man of muscle from outer Moscow, has been nicknamed the Russian Hulk for a series of world records in towing multi-ton machinery. In order to amaze the audience, the Russian man does not need trick effects, huge budgets, and special devices - he simply moves trains, planes, trucks, and motor ships, blowing rubber hot-water bags to rupture along the way.
The head of The Soviet War Cemetery Foundation from the Netherlands Remco Reiding has been taken care of the war memorial near Leusden and Amersfoort for more than twenty-five years. There are 865 Soviet prisoners of war and victims of Nazi concentration camps buried in the Rusthof Memorial Cemetery. More than 700 of them are still considered to be missing.
The biker movement emerged in the mid-20th century in Western countries. Its members sometimes interpreted the laws and rules quite freely. To this day, columns of motorcyclists in leather jackets cause puzzlement among police, drivers, and pedestrians. Russian-speaking bikers who open clubs and join associations in different countries around the world make efforts to change this attitude toward people on motorcycles. They take care of the Soviet soldiers graves, hold motorcycle rallies to commemorate war memorials, and help the authorities in keeping order.
The Tastes of Russia National Competition for Regional Food Brands was held for the second time in a row in Russia. Everyone could participate in online popular vote and choose their favorite products in three different regions until November, 7. There are 8 nominations in the competition. The winners are to be chosen from 720 brands from all regions of Russia.
An important event has happened in the Russian restaurant business: nine Moscow restaurants received Michelin stars for the first time in history. Until recently none of the restaurants on the territory of Russia and CIS had been listed in these most prestigious Guides to the world of high and delicious cuisine.
300 years ago, on October 22 (November 2), 1721, at the end of the victorious Great Northern War with Sweden, the Russian kingdom was proclaimed an Empire. This happened when Tsar Peter the Great accepted the title of Emperor and Autocrat of All Russia, Peter the Great, and Father of the Fatherland at the request of the senators. The empire existed for nearly two centuries. It ceased to exist after the abdication of Nicholas II on September 1 (14), 1917, when the Provisional Government declared Russia a republic.