The Presidential Library to spotlight declassified documents of the Great Patriotic War for 1943 and the fate of the last naval minister of the Russian Empire

21 February 2023

On February 21, 2023 at 10:00 the Presidential Library will host a scientific and educational conference “1943: the USSR Navy, the People’s Commissariat of the Navy, N. G. Kuznetsov at sea warfare”.

The event is held as part of the research educational program “Let's Preserve the Truth About the War: A Chronicle of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 on the sea". The program, which will run until September 3, 2025, the date of the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II, is based on the materials of the declassified military and historical work “The Soviet Navy during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945”, created on the initiative of the People’s Commissar of the Navy of the USSR in the years war of Admiral Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov.

The scientific and educational conference at the Presidential Library will present speeches that reveal the role of the USSR Navy in the critical period of the Great Patriotic War.

For example, participants and guests of the conference will learn little-known facts about the heroic transition of Soviet submarines from the Pacific Ocean to the Northern Fleet. The proposal to strengthen the Northern Fleet at the expense of the non-belligerent Pacific Fleet was made in August 1942 by Admiral Nikolai Kuznetsov, People's Commissar of the USSR Navy. Only after going to sea the crews of Soviet submarines learned that they had an unprecedented multi-month trip stretching over 16,000 miles (25,000 kilometers) across two oceans - the Pacific and Atlantic - and nine seas: the Japanese, Okhotsk, Bering, Caribbean, Sargasso, Northern, Norwegian, Greenland and Barents. During the fighting in the north in 1943-1945, five submarines that arrived from the Pacific Fleet destroyed and damaged more than 30 enemy ships.

The fate of the last naval minister of the Russian Empire, Admiral Ivan Konstantinovich Grigorovich, whose 170th birthday is celebrated this year, was also connected in many ways with the Pacific Fleet. It was under the command of Grigorovich that the crew of the battleship Tsesarevich managed to repel all the attacks of Japanese destroyers in January 1904. The names of the battleship and its commander thundered throughout Russia. The commander of the military port of Port Arthur, the chief of staff of the Black Sea Fleet, the commander of the Libau and then the Kronstadt port, in 1911 Grigorovich became the 18th naval minister of the Russian Empire. Alas, history measured out a little time for him. In 1917, Grigorovich was dismissed "due to poor health, with a uniform and a pension". In exile, in France, in order to make ends meet, the former minister was forced to sell the seascapes he painted. Before his death, Grigorovich bequeathed that his ashes be buried in his native land and buried in the family crypt at the Nikolsky cemetery of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg. After 75 years, his last will was fulfilled.

Guests and participants of the Presidential Library’s event will also have a unique opportunity to see paintings by Ivan Grigorovich. The great-granddaughter of the famous admiral Natalia Vasilievna Moskovchenko will present the paintings which are mostly seascapes.

At the end of the event, veterans of the Navy - participants of the Great Patriotic War for active participation in military and patriotic work will be awarded medals "For Distinction in Navigation" and certificates of honor.

Representatives of the administration of St. Petersburg, the General Staff of the Russian Navy, the United Shipbuilding Corporation, heads of maritime educational and historical and cultural institutions will attend the conference. The best cadets, Nakhimov students and cadets of maritime educational institutions are also invited to participate in the conference.

The event will be broadcast on the Presidential Library’s portal in the Live broadcasts section in accordance with the program of live events, on the Rutube-channel of the institution, as well as on the pages on the social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki.

The Presidential Library pays much attention to the history and achievements of the Russian fleet. The institution’s electronic collections contain a lot of archival documents and materials related to this topic. The annual holding of such major events as the Day of the Cadet and the Naval Knowledge Day at the Presidential Library has already become a tradition.

Accreditation of media representatives is until 15:00 February 20, 2023.

Please forward applications for accreditation until 12:00 August 29, 2022 following the attached form marked “Media Accreditation” to, Tatyana Pechnikova, tel. (812) 305-16-21, ext. 534; mob. +7 921 998-06-78.

The letter should contain the full name, date and place of birth, passport data (series, number, place of registration), a list of carry-on equipment, contact phone numbers, the name of the media.

We draw the attention of the media representatives that it is necessary to forward applications for accreditation and arrive at the event in advance.

Entrance to the Presidential Library is carried out only by prior registration and upon showing a passport: for media representatives - through entrance № 2, participants and guests of the event - through entrance № 1.

In order to reduce the risks of the spread of a new coronavirus infection (COVID-19), the use of personal protective equipment during the event is mandatory for all attendees.