On December 3, 1966, on the 25th anniversary of Nazi arms defeat near Moscow, the remains of one of the unknown defenders of the capital who was killed during the battles in 1941 were buried near the Kremlin wall in Alexandrovsky garden. Later on the place of his grave there was raised a monument in memory of the warriors killed on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War.
The Unknown Warrior remains were transported from the common grave made on the place of bloody battle in the town of Zelenograd, 40 km away from Moscow. On December 2, 1966 the grave was opened and the remains of one of the buried were put into coffin twined around with an orange and black ribbon – the symbol of the soldiers’ Glory order and on the cover of the coffin was put a helmet of 1941 pattern. Until the next day morning the young soldiers and war veterans stood, taking turns, on guard of honor near the coffin. On December 3 at 11:45 the coffin was placed onto the open van body and funeral procession moved along Leningrad highway toward Moscow. In the capital the coffin was placed on the gun carriage. Accompanied by the honor guard soldiers and war veterans with the flying banners, to the strains of the brass band funeral march, it arrived to the funeral place near the Kremlin wall.
A few months later, on May 8, 1967, on the Victory Day eve, the monument “the Grave of the Unknown Warrior” was inaugurated and the Perpetual fire was lit up. In order to do this a torch was brought from Leningrad, lit up from the Perpetual fire on Mars field. The monument was designed by the architects D.I. Burdin, V.A. Klimov, Yu. R. Rabaev, the sculptor N.V. Tomskiy. In the center of the memorial there is a gravestone of red polished granite plates. On the central stone of the grave in 1975 there was raised a bronze sculpture composition: a laurel branch and a soldier helmet lying on the banner. In front of the gravestone, in the center of the five-point star the Perpetual fire of Glory lighting up the bronze epitaph: “Your name unknown, your feat immortal”. Near the Unknown Warrior grave there is a granite lane where there are porphyritic blocks holding the capsules with some earth from heroes-cities: Leningrad, Kiev, Volgograd, Odessa, Sevastopol, Minsk, Kerch, Novorossiysk, Tula, and Brest hero fortress.
On holidays people bring flowers to the memorial. It is visited by numerous delegations including the heads of foreign states coming to Moscow on official visits.
In 1997 under the decree of the President of Russian Federation near the Unknown Warrior Grave there is established a post of the honor guard called the Post N 1 (before 1993 the status of the Post belonged to the one near V. I. Lenin mausoleum).
Lit.: Галкина А. Здесь погиб неизвестный солдат // Зеленоград сегодня. 2006. 1 дек. (№ 146 (1120)); Муравьев В.Б. Могила неизвестного солдата. М., 1987.
From the Presidential library materials: