In memory of Viktor Chernomyrdin’s 75th anniversary
Moscow hosts today the celebrations dedicated to the anniversary of Viktor Chernomyrdin, the first Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, the USSR Gas Industry Minister, first Head of Gazprom.
The celebrations started with the inauguration of a memorial plaque on the building of the former Gas Industry Ministry at 8 (bld. 1) Stroiteley Street. Mr. Chernomyrdin headed this institution from 1985 to 1989. It was him who initiated the unprecedented restructuring of the USSR Gas Industry Ministry into Gazprom State Gas Concern.
The memorial plaque was inaugurated by Alexander Novak, Russian Energy Minister and Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee. Taking part in the ceremony were Mikhail Trinoga, Deputy Chief of the Government Staff of the Russian Federation, Yury Berg, Governor of the Orenburg Region, Naina Yeltsina, widow of the first Russian President as well as the gas industry's and Gazprom's veterans: Vyacheslav Sheremet, Bogdan Budzulyak, Rishat Gafarov and Vasily Podyuk.
“Viktor Chernomyrdin was one of the originators of Gazprom. In the early 1990s the creation of Gazprom was a kind of the Russian gas industry rescue plan. It was the plan by Chernomyrdin.
Maybe, it was the plan to rescue the entire Russia, as during those difficult years Gazprom was actually paying wages, pensions, social allowances. Thanks to Gazprom, thanks to Viktor Chernomyrdin both the industry and the country stayed afloat.
Today, 20 years later, Gazprom is the major Russian gas and energy Company. It was Viktor Chernomyrdin who created the backbone of Gazprom's current achievements. He was a remarkable politician, a public figure, an outstanding person,” said Alexey Miller in his address to the audience.
The inauguration of the memorial plaque was followed by the ceremonial cancellation of a postage stamp issued pursuant to the Decree by the Russian President. The stamp features the portrait of Viktor Chernomyrdin as well as the badge and star of the Order for Services to Fatherland: Viktor Chernomyrdin is one of the 12 Full Cavaliers of this Order.
Stamp issued in memory of Viktor Chernomyrdin’s 75th anniversary
The Gazprom headquarters will host today the Viktor Chernomyrdin commemoration gathering including the presentation of a three-volume edition of his memoirs. Viktor Gerashchenko, Viktor Sadovnichy, Mikhail Shvydkoy, Vyacheslav Sheremet and Leonid Kuchma who were close to Mr. Chernomyrdin will read aloud some fragments of his books and share their memories of him.
Commemorative coin issued for Viktor Chernomyrdin's 75th anniversary
Memorial plaque installed on wall of former Gas Industry Ministry building at Stroiteley Street (sculptors Frederic Sogoyan and Mikael Sogoyan, architect Igor Voskresensky)
Viktor Chernomyrdin was born in 1938 in Cherny Otrog settlement, Orenburg Region. He started his career in 1960, and already in 1973 he became Director of the Orenburg Gas Processing Plant. From 1989 to 1992 – Chairman of the Management Committee of Gazprom State Gas Concern, from 1999 to 2000 – Chairman of the Gazprom Board of Directors.
The inauguration of the memorial plaque at 8 (bld. 1) Stroiteley Street as well as the issue of the commemorative stamp were performed pursuant to the Decree by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev On Eternalizing the Memory of Viktor Chernomyrdin, signed in 2011. In addition, pursuant to the abovementioned Decree, 10 personal scholarships were founded for the students of Viktor Chernomyrdin Moscow State Open University, a commemorative coin was issued, his memoirs were published, the Surgut Condensate Stabilization Plant of Gazprom Pererabotka was named after Viktor Chernomyrdin, and the Viktor Chernomyrdin Historic Memorial Museum is currently under construction.
The Museum is being created under the auspices of Gazprom at Viktor Chernomyrdin's home – in Cherny Otrog settlement. Museum design was developed by the Laboratory of Museum Design and Planning. Viktor Chernomyrdin purchased the land plot and the building of the former CPSU District Committee where the Museum will be located. As a schoolboy, he took part in the construction of this building and many years later he decided to set up there a settlement historical museum and donate his car collection. After his death, the Chernomyrdin Fund resolved to create there a museum dedicated to Viktor Chernomyrdin. The Fund is headed by Vitaly Chernomyrdin, Viktor Chernomyrdin's son.
Just before the anniversary, a three-volume edition of Viktor Chernomyrdin's memoirs was published. He was dictating them during his last years, and he was the editor of the first two volumes, but he wasn't able to see them published. The first volume is called “Red Director”, the second one – “People's Prime Minister” and the third one – “Political Giant”. As Viktor Chernomyrdin was in the midst of big-time Russian politics and economy, his views on the era and himself, inextricably connected with the life of Russia, are the unique documents of the epoch that bring a clearer understanding of many events of the watershed period.