updated 9:43 AM UTC, Dec 29, 2017

On 14 December 2015 the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in the Republic of South Africa Mikhail Petrakov participated in a Tree Planting Ceremony commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Victory over Nazism in World War II. The ceremony took place in Pretoria National Botanic Garden.

The Ambassador gave an opening speech, underlining the importance of preserving and cherishing the memories of those who gave their lives for the Motherland during the Great Patriotic War.

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Father Daniil, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church of Sergey of Radonezh in Midrand held a prayer in the name of those who valiantly fell on the field of battle in the Great Patriotic War.

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The ceremony was concluded as Ambassador Petrakov planted and watered the tree. Other attendants also threw a handful of soil to the tree in a symbolic gesture.

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Fellow diplomats including the Ambassador of Azerbaijan and representatives of the Embassies of Belarus & Kazakhstan also attended the ceremony as well as other Russian diplomats and the press.

The tree that was planted is named Podocarpus Falcatus. It is indigenous to South Africa, can grow up to 45 meters in height and live for a 1000 years.

A plaque commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Victory was installed near the tree together with a bench for the visitors of the Pretoria National Botanic Garden.