Veliky Novgorod-based Acron held a ceremony to honour the Sokol volunteer search club, the oldest military and patriotic organisation in Russia, which had its first mission on 18 April 1968.
Today, Sokol is one of Russia’s most famous volunteer search clubs, having uncovered thousands of remains of soldiers and their families. Nikolay Orlov, a methanol shop worker at Acron, was a legendary member of the Club and its first leader, who pioneered organised volunteer search movement in Russia. The Dolina regional search expedition was later named after him. The remains found by Sokol were buried in a communal cemetery near the village of Mostki for the first time in 1985.
Irina Chadina, Chair of the Veliky Novgorod regional Youth Policy Committee, welcomed the Club’s members on behalf of the local authorities and said that Sokol has been an inspiration to thousands of Russian patriots.
Igor Neofitov, head of the Dolina regional search expedition, thanked Sokol’s long-time members and Acron’s management for their support of the Club over the years. The Company gave Sokol the keys to the Karakat snow and swamp vehicle, and the trade union committee presented it with quadcopters. Over 30 Acron employees received letters of thanks and addresses from the Governor of Veliky Novgorod region and the Chairman of the Veliky Novgorod Duma.
Acron’s Executive Director Oleg Tikhonov praised the Club’s work. ‘Everything Sokol does seems simple, but it is a very complex, important and, I would even say, great work. I believe that the members of the Club help the souls of fallen soldiers find eternal peace. Another important aspect of Sokol’s work is its influence on Acron’s young employees and trainees. School students who visit the Company’s museum are still interested in the war-themed installation created by Sokol. You are people of integrity, and your work will be rewarded with kindness and honesty’, he said.
The history of Sokol began in the spring of 1968 with a trip to Death Valley near Myasnoy Bor, where soldiers and commanders of the 2nd Shock Army died in 1941–1942. It was during this trip that the Club was given its name, which means ‘falcon’ in Russian, after the bird in Maxim Gorky’s story. Julius Fučík’s words, ‘There were no nameless heroes here’, became the Club’s motto.