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On 23 January 2020, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), currently in Israel with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, attended the opening ceremony of the Memorial Candle monument to the defenders and residents of the besieged Leningrad. The monument is erected in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park with support of the authorities of St. Petersburg and Jerusalem.

Attending the opening ceremony were Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon, members of the Russian delegation, and many representatives of the Russian and Israeli public circles.

President Putin delivered a speech and expressed gratitude to those who have brought the monument to life for preserving the memory of the victims.