WASHINGTON, December 5. /TASS/. A 2016 historical drama by Andrey Shalopa and Kim Druzhinin, Panfilov’s 28 Men, was screened at the Russian embassy in the United States on Tuesday evening.

The event was held jointly with the Embassy of Kazakhstan and the Russian Military Historical Society and coincided with the 77th anniversary of the Red Army’s counteroffensive during the Battle of Moscow. The film tells the story of 28 soldiers of the Red Army’s 316th Rifle Division stationed near Moscow, who managed to stop the advancement of 54 German tanks for several days.

“77 years ago the Nazi troops suffered their first defeat in World War Two near our capital city,” Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said. “Not only did the Soviet victory help defend the heart of our Motherland. It also ended the Hitler’s blitzkrieg, one that allowed him to establish dominance across almost entire Europe. The world realized that the Nazis could be stopped and defeated.”

The ambassador added that the Battle of Moscow “epitomized of unprecedented heroism of the Soviet people.”

“No wonder that the ashes of the Unknown Soldier were taken from these battlefields and laid to rest at the Aleksandrovsky Garden in 1966. Since then it became a symbol of heroism and selflessness of our ancestors, who gave their lives for freedom and independence of their Motherland,” Antonov said.

“During those weeks the Soviet Union and the United States found themselves bound by a common goal – to fight the Nazi aggression. On December 11, 1941, six days after the Soviet counteroffensive had begun, Hitler declared war on the United States. The Second World War clearly showed that only through cooperation and common efforts can we effectively respond to existential threats,” the diplomat went on.

“Unfortunately, nowadays we see persistent attempts to rewrite history of the Great Patriotic War. Those, who stand behind this campaign, resort to defiling sacred memory of millions of heroes in pursuit of their own political gain,” he said, adding that “such attempts will be resolutely rebuffed” on the part of Russia.


Unity of people

“The Battle of Moscow is one of the greatest examples of unity of the Soviet nations. Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Kazakhs, Armenians, Georgians, Azerbaijanis, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Turkmens, Moldavians, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians – representatives of all Soviet republics stood up to defect their capital in a unified heroic call. At the end of 1941 their unprecedented bravery allowed to stop Hitler’s hordes, and change the tides of the War,” Antonov said.

Military units redeployed from Central Asia played a significant role in halting the Nazi troops advancing toward Moscow. Among them was the 316th rifle division formed in Kazakh and Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republics and commanded by Maj. Gen. Ivan Panfilov.

“Its fierce resistance in late fall – winter of 1941 shattered the aggressor’s master-plan. The legendary words said by one of the Panfilov’s guardsmen – Vasily Klochkov ‘Russia is a vast land, but there’s nowhere to retreat – Moscow is behind us’ – became a motto of all who defended the capital of our Motherland,” the Russian ambassador said.

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