Ritešić, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 2, 2017
A new monument to Tsar Nicholas II was opened on Saturday in the village of Ritešić, near the city of Doboj in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Republika Srpska, reports pravoslavie.ru.
The monument was erected in recognition of the Russian tsar, who rose in defense of the Serbs in the First World War. About 1,500 people, including representatives of the government of Republika Srpska, the Serbian Orthodox Church, Russian and Serbian professionals, and Bosnian and Serbian parliamentarians, businessmen, and diplomats participated in the ceremonies dedicated to the opening of the monument.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Russian ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Peter Ivantsov stated, “They well remember here the personal contribution of Nicholas II, who delivered an ultimatum to the allies… who refused to save the wounded Serbian army, and in the end accomplished its evacuation to the island of Corfu in the winter of 1916. This, and the Second World War, when Russia saved the world from Fascism.”
According to the Russian diplomat, “such events bear witness to the existence of a bridge of friendship between our peoples.”
In an address delivered to the participants of the ceremony, Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky stressed that the Russian autocrat was the initiator of the convening of the 1899 first peace conference in the Hague, and in 1914 Russian was the sole country which stood up for Serbia as it was subjected to Austro-Hungarian aggression.
Representatives of the government of Republika Srpska spoke of the great honor of standing beside the people who protected the world from Fascism and today maintain Orthodox faith and values, and noted that the monument, in a place so far from Russia “says enough about how much love the Serbian people have for Russian and for all that Russia is doing today and has done in its history to make the world better, and more righteous and developed.”
The solemn opening ceremony and consecration of the monument was sponsored by the Society for Russian-Serbian Friendship and the Unity of the Orthodox peoples, with the support of the Russian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The monument to Tsar Nicholas II is the first on the Avenue of Great Rulers, which is part of the St. Matrona of Moscow Monastery complex in the village of Ritešić.