Special Dates. 3 December

3 December – Day of the Unknown Soldier in Russia

Day of the Unknown Soldier is an official memorial day in Russia dedicated to the memory of all Russian and Soviet soldiers who died in the line of duty in Russia or abroad and whose names are unknown. It is observed annually on 3 December.

After the 1941 Battle of Moscow, the remains of the unknown soldiers killed in the battle were buried in a mass grave near the city of Zelenograd. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the battle, they were relocated to the Alexander Garden in Moscow and buried at the Kremlin Wall. The ceremonial reburial was held on 3 December 1966. In 1967, a war memorial named the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was unveiled to the public.

On 24 October 2014, the State Duma of the Russian Federation declared the anniversary of the reburial of the remains of unknown soldiers an official memorial day named Day of the Unknown Soldier. On 5 November of the same year, the Russian President signed a decree to make it official.

Although Day of the Unknown Soldier is primarily dedicated to soldiers killed during the Second World War, it honors the memory of all Russian soldiers who died or went missing during wars and military conflicts. The day is marked with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Alexander Garden and commemorative ceremonies at monuments to the unknown soldier in various cities and towns throughout Russia.

The words «No one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten» became a symbol of this memorial day. It is believed that the author of those words is Sergey Mikhalkov. He is the author of the Soviet Union’s  and the modern Russian Federation’s anthems — President of the Union of Criminalists and Criminologists Igor Matskevich. 


3 December — Lawyer’s Day in Russia

Lawyer’s Day is an official professional holiday in Russia celebrated on 3 December. It was established in February 2008 by President Vladimir Putin and has been observed every year ever since.

It is unclear why 3 December was selected as the date of the new professional holiday. According to the most popular theory, the holiday commemorates the beginning of the judicial reforms of Alexander II. The reforms started on 20 November 1864 (Old Style), which corresponds to 3 December (New Style).

The judicial reform of Alexander II introduced a completely new court system and order of legal proceedings. It resulted in the creation of a unified judicial system, fundamental changes in criminal trials and institution of the bar association. Alexander II’s judicial reform is generally considered to be one of the most successful reforms in Russian history.

Lawyer’s Day was established in 2008. A year later, President Dmitry Medvedev established the Lawyer of the Year Award. The awarding ceremony traditionally takes place on Lawyer’s Day. The Lawyer of the Year Award is awarded by the Association of Lawyers of Russia to lawyers that have significantly contributed to justice and jurisprudence in Russia.

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