The initiative was adopted at the 15th session of the City Assembly’s Commission for Monuments and Names of Streets and Squares
The 15th session of the City Assembly’s Commission for Monuments and Names of Streets and Squares today adopted an initiative submitted by Aleksandar Vucic a citizen of Belgrade. Vucic proposed naming a new Belgrade Waterfront area street – that will connect Savska Street and Boulevard of Vudro Vilson (Woodrow Wilson) – after Nikolai Kravtsov, a famed Soviet soldier who participated in the liberation of the Serbian capital in 1944.
“This year we are celebrating a significant jubilee – 75 years since the victory over the occupier and the final liberation of our capital in World War II. Thousands of fighters of the Yugoslav National Liberation Army and members of the Red Army were killed in the battle for the liberation of Belgrade in October 1944. In those days, one soldier of the Soviet Union stood out in particular with his courage and dedication. He was a medical lieutenant of the Red Army and the only fighter who took part in the liberation of Belgrade who was later declared a hero of the Soviet Union,” Aleksandar Vucic said, explaining his initiative.
As the president of Serbia points out, Nikolai Kravtsov, guided by his courage and with the help of his fellow soldiers, tried to defeat the enemy who did not want to retreat, which cost him his life.
“In a clash between the two sides, not wanting to give up, he was badly wounded. He died in the hospital on October 18, 1944 as a result of his injuries. He was buried two days after the liberation of Belgrade, on October 22, in a common grave of Red Army soldiers located at Theater Square (present-day Republic Square). Ten years later, his remains were transferred to the Cemetery of the Liberators of Belgrade. Having laid down his life at the age of 24 for the freedom of our people and the liberation of Belgrade – a WW2 hero city – we are forever and immeasurablly in debt to Nikolai Kravtsov for his feat,” Vucic said, adding:
“Allow me to, in my capacity as a citizen of Belgrade, submit the initiative to name a new street, connecting Savska Street and Boulevard of Vudro Vilson in the area of Belgrade Waterfront after this Russian hero. In this way, we would like to express our gratitude for the greatest sacrifice that this young man has made, correct a historical injustice that has been done to him, and give our children a signpost in which direction to go, whose deeds should be appreciated and whom to look up to.”
Commission Chairwoman Andrea Radulovic expressed her satisfaction that the adoption of some very important initiatives preserves the memory of those figures who have left an indelible mark on Belgrade.
“As before, the Commission is pleased to adopt an initiative to have a new street in Belgrade Waterfront named after Soviet hero Nikolai Kravtsov, who gave his life for the freedom of the Serbian people. The progress in the work on the construction of Belgrade Waterfront is evident in the fact that we have named another street in this area. This is another indication that the tradition of a culture of remembrance of all those people who have in some way made a mark on the Serbian capital is preserved. We nurture and care about people who have made an immeasurable contribution to Belgrade’s development,” said Radulovic.
The Commission also adopted an initiative of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of the City of Belgrade to install the sculpture “The Blind Gusle Player” in Veliki Kalemegdan Park.
The bronze sculpture, the work of sculptor Paskija Pasko Vucetic, was a part of the Monument to Karadjordje composition erected on August 13, 1913 in Kalemegdan, and demolished in 1916 by the Austro-Hungarian occupation forces. After the end of the First World War, in 1930, a monument of gratitude to France was erected on the site of the dismantled Karadjordje Monument. This sculpture is the only remaining part of the intricate monument composition of the Karadjordje Monument.