Report on the Vladimir Putin’s Visit to Vršič

The Russian leader took part in the event held in memory of the fallen soldiers of the Russian Empire at the Russian Chapel.

The President of Slovenia Borut Pahor greeted the attendants on the rights of the host. In his speech, he said that the Slovenes were concerned with the victims of all wars, but also stressed that the wars and the peace are the products of political decisions rather than of inevitable historical circumstances.

At that moment, it slightly seemed that the president was talking about an indirect allusion to Putin, who was isolated in the West because of his adventures in the East. However, before this idea had time to reach the audience, Pahor changed the topic of his speech. “We can achieve results only by joining our forces and overcoming mutual distrust,” that was the last statement of the Borut Pahor’s speech, which could be interpreted as a kind of invitation to the West to lend a hand of reconciliation to Moscow.

Perhaps, Vladimir Putin interpreted it in the same way. In his brief speech, he first thanked for the warm reception in Slovenia—the country, which was always happy to welcome guests from the Russian Federation (applause). When I look at this humble chapel, I suppose, that those who built it, probably never thought that 100 years later, we would get together in order to honour their memory,” Vladimir Putin told.

His emphasized thesis on that the Soviet Army became that force, which defeated the German fascists in the World War II, and on that it was important to prevent the falsification of history and the exaltation of regimes guilty in the deaths of thousands of people, received tremendous applause.

Vladimir Putin was awarded cries of encouragement for this idea and for his entire speech at Vršič, while his opponents from among the small number of Ukrainians living in Slovenia gathered in 90 miles thence, in Ljubljana. As the correspondent of RTV Slovenija Vlasta Jeseničnik noted, Putin during his current official visits to the EU member states was nowhere honoured with such a warm reception as in Slovenia.

The event visitors forgave him even the fact that after the end of the ceremony, they were blocked at the eighth turn on Vršič for an hour. Therefore, it is not surprising that a part of them decided to celebrate this day with beer, vodka, pelmeni (meat dumplings) and Russian pies in the “Russian Village” cafe in the centre of Kranjska Gora.