On the eve of Victory Day, the Glory Hall of the Second World War Museum on Poklonnaya Hill became the site of the unveiling of busts to legendary Soviet fighter pilots Alexander Pokryshkin and Ivan Kozhedub in the presence of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, Air Force commander-in-chief Vladimir Mikhailov, Moscow government officials and war veterans. The bronze busts mounted on granite pedestals were cut by eminent Russian sculptors Anatoly Bichukov and Alexander Belashov. "We should always keep in memory the selflessness and heroism of our people during the second world war, we should pass over this memory to our rising generation," Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said in his opening speech. Air Force Marshals, three-time Heroes of the Soviet Union Pokryshkin and Kozhedub account for 600 combat sorties, 59 downed hostile planes and 330 sorties, 62 downed Nazi planes, correspondingly.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated