For the first time, Russia will honor the Russian soldiers who died during World War I. State Duma Chairman Sergey Naryshkin — who also serves as both chairman of the organizing committee to mark the centennial of the beginning of World War I and president of the Russian Historical Society (RHS) — will, on behalf of the state, lay a wreath at the obelisk in Moscow that commemorates.
“Those Who Fell in the World War of 1914–1918,” ITAR-TASS news agency reports. “The date was fixed at the initiative of the Russian parliament, in fall 2012, and it is scheduled for the day the Russian Empire entered the First World War,” the State Duma press service announced.
Germany declared war on the Russian Empire on August 1, 1914. An estimated 2 million Russian soldiers died in action, while the total loss of Russian lives amounted to some 3.5 million.
For the Russian Empire, participation in World War I culminated in the Russian Revolution of 1917.
The revolution developed into civil war and led to the signing of a separate peace with Germany, putting Russia in the camp of losers in the war.
In the Soviet period — and up until recently — World War I was one of the forgotten wars and received scant public attention.
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