Moscow, November 5, 2015
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia consecrated a stone laid for the foundation of a monument to St. Vladimir the Baptist at Borovitskaya Square in downtown Moscow.
"Prince Vladimir was the founder of a new civilization which included the Russian people, the Old Rus, - a civilization decorated with the greatest achievements of the human spirit, thought and heroism," the patriarch said at the ceremony.
As he stated, the baptism of Russia in the 10th century refers to everyone who live in Russia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia preserving "the spiritual unity rooted in Prince Vladimir's historic step."
In his turn Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky noted that the foundation stone was brought from Chersonese where Prince Vladimir was baptized.
The monument will be built on donations. The place for the monument - the Borovitskaya Square (the buffer zone of the Moscow Kremlin) - was chosen by residents of the capital through an internet poll. This year marks the 1000th anniversary of the repose of Prince Vladimir.
In 2010, the President decreed the day of Russia's baptism a state holiday. In 2008, Patriarch Kirill's predecessor Alexy II introduced a tradition to celebrate the feast of Russia's baptism in Kiev. However, in 2014 the main celebrations took place for the first tiome in Moscow rather than in Kiev.