This spomenik on Mount Avala, south of Belgrade, celebrates the heartbreaking 1964 accident of a plane loaded with Soviet WWII legends into the side of the mountain.
On the morning of the nineteenth of October, 1964, a gathering of 22 Soviet dignitaries and veterans were flying in an Ilyushin-18 from Moscow to Belgrade to participate in the twentieth commemoration celebration service for the Liberation of Belgrade, which was wanted to happen the following day. This was a huge function for these Soviet veterans to go to as it was denoting the twentieth commemoration of the Red Army’s help with the WWII freedom of Belgrade. The most striking figures in the gathering were Marshal Sergey Biryuzov and General Vladimir Zhdanov, two regarded older folks of the Red Army who supported the ejection of Germans from the Yugoslav area during WWII. The plane was normal in at 11:30 am at the Belgrade Batajnica Military Air Base, with a happy welcome party anticipating the Soviet dignitaries at the air terminal in Belgrade, complete with music and an energized swarm.
Notwithstanding, at 11:34, the plane vanished from radar as it was getting ready for its arrival in Belgrade. It was then seen to bafflingly stray off base, so, all in all, it ran into the side of adjacent Mount Avala . There were no survivors, with 33 biting the dust in the accident altogether. At that point, there were a few speculations about what caused the accident, with one hypothesis proposing issues with USSR/Yugoslav unit transformations, while others say defective instruments were at fault. Still, others actually say it was because of the haze… yet, right up to the present day, it isn’t absolutely known why the plane collided with the mountain, in any case, unfairness isn’t thought. Because of the accident, Yugoslavia perceived two days of cross-country grieving. Curiously, the well-known Avala Tower was under development on top of the mountain during the hour of the plane accident.
Plans to make a commemoration of these Soviet veteran plane accident casualties were started by the city of Belgrade very quickly after the fiasco. In the accompanying spring of 1965, Belgrade City Assembly coordinated a shut plan rivalry where 13 stone carvers and engineers were welcome to present the proposal. Among those welcomed to submit ideas were artists Olga Jevrić, Olga Jančić, Aleksandar Zarin, Nandor Glid, Miodrag Živković , Jovan, Kratohvil, as well as modelers Uglješa Bogunović, Bogdan Bogdanović , Nebojša Delja, among others. These were probably the main names in Serbian craftsmanship and design of the time, so the choice for the determination jury would presumably be a troublesome one. After the opposition reached a conclusion, the determination jury picked the proposition set forward by local Belgrade scholarly artist Jovan Kratohvil . In addition to the fact that Kratohvil got the joy of having his idea developed, yet he likewise was conceded an award of 1.5 million Yugoslav dinars as a prize. Curiously, as well as being a stone worker, Kratohvil was likewise a refined Olympic competitor, having addressed Yugoslavia in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki contending in sports shooting. After the opposition closed in July, the timetable for the task was to have it finished by the one-year commemoration of the accident on October nineteenth, 1965… passing on just a tight four months to finish the whole undertaking. Assisting Kratohvil on the consummation of this work at his Belgrade studio are Vojin Stojić , Milan Stojić, and Tomislav Kauzlarić.
The area picked for this task was only a couple of meters from the specific spot on Mt. Avala where the Soviet plane crashed in October of 1964. Kratohvil worked with designer Aleksej Brkić in figuring out the format of the complex inside the scene. The landmark complex was opened to the general population during a service on the ensuing October nineteenth, 1965, to honor the 1-year commemoration of the plane accident. The landmark he made comprised of a 5m tall stone monument made out of 70 square meters of metal and iron, all laying on a marble platform ignoring the Serbian open country. It is arranged on a side-slant right underneath the primary street up Avala and is gotten to by means of a couple of fantastic stone flights of stairs. This landmark, alongside the culmination of Avala Tower that very year, incredibly included the highlight fascination of Mount Avala, which was the Monument to the Unknown Hero. This landmark was a site that got critical appearance and support during the Yugoslav time. It even facilitated an appearance by President Josip Tito in March of 1970. In acknowledgment of his work on this landmark, Kratohvil gave with the “October Award” of Belgrade.
From the 1960s until the mid-1990s, the Soviet War Veterans Monument was a very well-known and dynamic traveler region, alongside the other attractions on Mt. Avala. Nonetheless, in mid-1999 the proceeded with clashes of the Kosovo War carried viciousness to the mountain. At that point, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) (which around then just comprised current Serbia and Montenegro) had a huge troop presence in Kosovo, which NATO blamed for mistreating and ethnically purifying neighborhood ethnic-Albanian populaces. To move troops out of Kosovo, NATO embraced a bombarding effort beginning in March of 1999.
During this besieging effort, more than 36,000 bombs and rockets were dropped on focuses the whole way across the FRY. One of these objectives which were totally obliterated was the 204m tall Avala Tower, only two or three hundred meters from the Soviet War Veterans Monument, being brought to the ground on April 23rd, 1999 . The obliteration of the pinnacle was a critical and emotional misfortune for individuals across Belgrade and the entire of FRY, as it was generally viewed as one of the persevering images of the country. Also, the Monument to the Unknown Hero endured shell effects despite everything bearing harm from the bombings right up to the present day, be that as it may, the spomenik to the Soviet accident casualties remained for the most part safe.
After the Kosovo War, the remembrance edifices and offices around Mt. Avala were restored and fixed. An accurate copy of the first Avala Tower was modified and opened to people in general in April of 2010, which checked precisely a long time since the pinnacle’s obliteration. Today, the landmarks and attractions around Mt. Avala get a large number of guests every year to see them, as being perhaps the most sacrosanct and devoted areas in current Serbia is all viewed as by. The Soviet accident casualties spomenik is kept with everything looking good and is all around kept up with, with numerous dedicatory and formal occasions being held here to respect the memory of the Red Army veterans who passed on here.
Plaques, Engravings, and Graffiti
At the Soviet accident commemoration at Avala, there is one focal recorded component. While dropping the means down to the landmark site, there is an engraved chunk of white marble at the foundation of the steps. The engraving peruses as, when made an interpretation of from Serbian to English: “This is the put of a plane accident on the morning of Oct. nineteenth, 1964, where Soviet legends, our conflict companions and friends, passed on.