Monument to Soviet pilots installed in Errol / В Эрроле установили памятник советским летчикам

On 11 November 2020 a monument to the Soviet pilots was installed in Errol, Scotland. Ambassador Andrei Kelin laid a wreath to commemorate the fallen men and made a speech on the occasion of the monument's installation.

See the story of how this memorial was made, brought from Russia to the UK and installed thanks to the joint efforts of Russian and British citizens.

Ambassador's speech:

Dear friends! 
Today, on 11th November, Remembrance Day, the memorial to the Soviet pilots has been installed in Errol, Scotland, also commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II. I would like to say a few words about that episode of the war.

The Soviet Union desperately needed airplanes, and in 1943, in the heat of the bloody battles, the British Government passed over a number of twin-engine Albemarle bombers.

To perform the secret task of transporting them, a group of pilots from the Moscow special air group have come to the airbase in Errol in 1943 where they joined the RAF 305 Squadron, formed to prepare Soviet aircrew.

Before arriving to the UK for this allied mission, the Soviet pilots had participated in heavy battles of the Great Patriotic War. They have successfully completed this mission as well, although not everything went so smoothly. In 1943, during a training flight, one of the Albemarles went our of control. The crew, consisting of three Soviet pilots, lost their lives. In May 2019 a small memorial in their memory was unveiled in Fearnan. Today, we remember the feat of these men and the heroism of the Soviet pilots by unveiling this Remembrance Stone, brought from Russia, with a memorial plaque in the centre of Errol.

Installing this memorial today is a way to remember the true brotherhood of arms of the Soviet and the British peoples, a rightful example of which was Operation Albemarle.

The memorial in Errol is a result of voluntary and selfless efforts of the people of Russia and UK, united by the desire to preserve this memory for the future generations. It is noteworthy that the Remembrance Stone is made from the same Shoksha raw pink quartzite from the Republic of Karelia, as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin Wall in Moscow.

I would like to thank everyone who participated in installing this memorial – Dennis Melloy, the Provost of Perth and Kinross, Brigadier Sir Melville Stewart Jameson, the owner of the former Errol Airfield Morris Leslie, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Karelia Alexey Lesonen, the designer of the memorial, Karelian sculptor Alexander Kim, the designer of the memorial plaque and the grandson of one of the pilots Ivan Yudinkov, the Director and all the employees of the company Petrozavodsk Paper Machinery Corporated, where the plaque was made, and of course Anna Belorusova, who made it possible for the story of the legendary Soviet air group and the Soviet-British allied mission Albemarle to be widely known and for today’s event to take place.

On this glorious day I would like to wish all Russians and Britons good health, longevity, well-being and, most important, a peaceful sky above our heads!

Date and time of publication: 14 Nov 2020, 10:31
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