|June 25, 2012
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in the city of Netanya on Monday morning on an official state visit.
During a speech given at a memorial to the Red Army, Putin called the Holocaust "the darkest, most shameful chapter in human history," and praised the Soviet Army was the one to "smash the head of the Nazi monster and allowed all nations to survive.”
Putin added that he was “very excited” and thanked Netanyahu, Peres and “all of his Israeli friends” for the establishment of the monument.
President Shimon Peres was the main Israeli representative at the dedication ceremony. He praised the Soviet Union's actions against Nazi Germany, as well as the current Russian government's efforts to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
"Israel owes a deep debt of gratitude to Russia and the Russian army for its decisive role in the liberation of camps and the triumph over Nazi Germany," Peres said. "Today as well, Israel views Russia as a lighthouse, as a state that plays an important role in the advance of peace in the Middle East, and a state that takes steps to improve the world while battling terror."