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Russiantrains.com, an excellent company

Russian trains - the world's most trusted full service travel company for Russia.

Exellent company and a first class service!
As part of our visit to Russia it was necessary for us to travel from Moscow to St Petersburg to meet up with the group of British convoy veterans and their companions so we decided to travel by train as this was the most convenient,and cheapest option. From start to finish our journey was an exellent experience made possible by booking through this company.The e tickets were an excellent option and saved us time by not having to pick them up at the station,other companies that we contacted did not offer this option.The customer service and after sales experience are great,they even sent helpfull phrases in Russian and offers for various excursions in the final destination.
We would like to thank RussianTrains.com very much and would definitely recommend them to anyone!


Col Navolotsky was the very first veteran we met in Russia and was in the Arctic convoys and sailed to Murmansk.

As you are aware, our charity, the Highland-Russia Connection, based in Nairn, had planned a unique project for the 70th
Anniversary of Victory Day and, on 4th May 2015, we travelled to Moscow to join these celebrations and later to St Petersburg.

During the visit we performed at numerous venues for the Russian and British veterans and the general public and also
assisted at the V Day parade and at the Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery.

Our Russian language skills really helped the British veterans some of whom had very restricted mobility and required some
assistance with the language when approached by local people. The British veterans were overwhelmed by the kindness of the Russian people.  They said they had never been kissed so much, received so many flowers or been thanked as much as they were on V Day in St.Petersburg!  However, the celebrations also revived sad memories of the losses of their comrades during the war.

The veterans and their families and carers thanked us, especially Elizabeth and Anna, for the performances of piping,
dancing and singing.  These performances made a great impression on the veterans and some of them became very emotional, especially at the renderings of "Auld Lang Syne" and "Amazing Grace".  The girls also performed at a V Day concert in the main square by the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

We all had the most memorable and rewarding time and it was a most educational and beneficial experience for the girls.

The Russian government presented all the veterans with a 70th V Day anniversary medal and a watch before the celebrations and the Scottish veterans attended a ceremony in Edinburgh and Glasgow to receive these.  Unfortunately, one of the veterans, Harold O'Neill, lost his medal in St Petersburg and our charity has been asked to contact the consulate in Edinburgh to ask for a replacement.  Harold O'Neill had the distinction of being the only person who had a pass permitting him to go ashore in Murmansk.

As this was the 70th anniversary of Victory Day, the veterans are now all very advanced in years and this was a once in a lifetime
opportunity and we are proud that our charity was able to be part of such an historical celebration.

You can see some of the photographs from the trip on our charity's
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Highland-Russia-Connection/147183745293116

If you can find some spare time please watch these short videos I made
during the visit.







We have received financial support from The Inverness Branch of The Royal Naval Association and from The Beauly and District Branch of The British Legion,RussianTrains.com and from a few individual donors. We express our sincere thanks to all those who contributed to our project.

Pupils at an art school №50 in Kemerovo,Siberia, Russia have provided A3 size paintings which you can see here.  The children are aged between 8 and 14 years.  We have 24 paintings, 23 by the children and one by their teacher.

The children have produced very high quality work and we have contacted Nairn Book and Arts Festival to ask if they would be interested in displaying the paintings.  We are also looking for other venues and if anyone knows of anywhere suitable, please let us know.

Some of these paintings will be given to the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum Project after being exhibited.
Our charity provided certificates and small gifts for everyone in Russia who painted a picture for the Victory Day Project.

70th Anniversary of Victory Day project

Our Nairn-based charity, the Highland-Russia Connection, is planning a unique project for the 70th Anniversary of Victory Day.  This was prompted by a visit of Russian Arctic Convoy Veterans from Moscow and St Petersburg  to the Highlands in December 2014 for which members of our charity and local musicians provided entertainment at Inverness Town House.

The new project involves a visit to Moscow and St Petersburg in May, to join the celebrations for this special anniversary.  Two local girls, Elizabeth (15) and Anna (12) practised very hard during the Easter school holidays with piping and dancing.  Elizabeth is now able to accompany Highland dancing on the pipes and the girls will perform as a music and dance duo.  This was not an easy task to perfect in such a short time.

The girls will travel with mum (the chairperson of the charity) and dad and we shall all take part in the entertainment.  The girls will perform piping and dancing together and will sing Russian songs with mum and songs in English with dad for the veterans.

We have all met the British Veterans of the Convoys several times and have entertained them on some occasions.  In 2011, we were also able to meet and greet Prince Michael of Kent when he came to Loch Ewe.

We will be meeting Russian veterans in Moscow and will be laying a wreath at a cemetery where Elizabeth will be playing “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes and there will be other events at which we will be providing Scottish and Russian entertainment for the veterans.

We will then travel to St Petersburg to meet a group of people, including 11 veterans of the Russian Arctic Convoys and their carers, from Scotland and England. The next day we will accompany them to the very historical Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery where Elizabeth will again be playing the bagpipes.  On the day of the Victory Day celebrations in Russia, which is 9th May, there will be many important events.

The headteachers of the schools the children attend agree that this is a very educational trip and the girls will be able to tell the other children in the schools of their experiences and impressions of the celebrations and this information will soon be spread throughout our local community.  As this is the 70th anniversary of Victory Day and the veterans are now all very advanced in years and their number is being constantly reduced as a natural consequence of this, it is important that information of this kind is passed on to the younger generations. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I think that we should be proud that our charity is able to be part of such an historical celebration.
Robbie Burns celebration at the Russian class in Inverness, Scotland.
Below is a video of the class joining in Auld Lang Syne being performed in Russian.   Classes take place on Sundays in Inverness.   For more information, email Elena at elena.k.reid@gmail.com

8 veterans along with guests from Moscow and St Petersburg visited Britain, and travelled to Inverness on Christmas Eve.   The provost of Inverness, Alex Graham, welcomed the party, and the Highland Council held a reception for them in the Town House, providing food, with the Highland-Russia Connection Charity providing entertainment and gifts.

Russian Christmas Party will take place on the 4th of January 2015  at 12 noon at 1 Ardconnel Terrace, Inverness IV2 3AE
Video below from last years party.
Новогодний праздник на русском языке с песнями,конкурсами и играми в Инвернессе,Шотландия

Russian Arctic Convoy veterans visit

A delegation of the Russian Arctic Convoy veterans and guests from Russia visited Inverness Town House on Christmas Eve for an event organised by Eugene Kasevin of the Russia House Ltd,London.
              Guests were welcomed by Provost of Inverness Alex Graham and young piper Elizabeth Reid from Nairn who played tunes at the event. Only one local Arctic Convoy veteran, Bill Shand from Nairn, managed to come along to meet the Russian veterans.The Highland-Russia Connection Charity Chairperson Elena Reid had the privilege to speak to several veterans from the North of Scotland prior to the event inviting them to attend,but unfortunately due to ill health or transport arrangements on Christmas Eve they were unable to travel to Inverness.
               There were a lot of tears of happiness and sadness in eyes of the veterans,especially when they shared their war experiences.It was a unique experience for all,especially for two youngsters from Nairn, Elizabeth and Anna Reid, who were able to understand all the guests and even did some interpreting from Russian to English and vice versa. Anna also entertained the guests with some Highland dancing and Elizabeth finished the event by playing Auld Lang Syne on the pipes with all guests joining in. Other performers included violinist Litsa Tunnah from London, Tonya Clement from Dingwall on piano and 7 other musicians from traditional music classes in Inverness. The RACMP ( Russian Arctic Convoy Museum Project ) from Wester Ross were also present and contributed a lovely display that added to the occasion. The Town House was very busy with local councillors, Navy association representatives along with Bishop Mark Strange and Highland Council Convener Jimmy Gray also attended. As it was Christmas eve The Highland-Russia Connection also organised  Santa to attend and  present gifts from Scotland to the guests.
            Russian Veteran Alexander Lochagin asked the Highland-Russia Connection Charity to assist one Moscow school with setting up pen pal friends from Scotland.If any school in the Highlands would like to make a link with the school please contact the charity chairperson Elena Reid on 01667456245  

Russian medal ceremony in Inverness for World War II Russian Arctic Convoy veterans.The Foreign Office allowed an "exception to the rules" last year and President Vladimir Putin presented the first medals during his visit to London on 16 June 2013.The Ushakov medal is awarded to sailors who have displayed courage in the course of defending Russia or its interests.

Russian medal ceremony in Inverness for World War II Russian Arctic Convoy veterans.The Foreign Office allowed an "exception to the rules" last year and President Vladimir Putin presented the first medals during his visit to London on 16 June 2013.The Ushakov medal is awarded to sailors who have displayed courage in the course of defending Russia or its interests.





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