A Window Into Russia’s Medieval Past! Putin Inspects Excavation Project on Territory of Kremlin!

In the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin was shown excavations in the territory of the big square. They've been carried out since May, not only because of renovation and restoration works but for exclusively scientific purposes. Archeologists already reached centuries-old layers at a depth of three feet. The first tourists will be admitted there on June 14th.

But our Polina Ermolaeva saw the discoveries today.


A few steps from the Cathedral of the Archangel to the large Kremlin square promise a real immersion into the depths of centuries. Vladimir Putin and Nikolai Makarov, the director of the Institute of Archeology, stepped onto the porch of the 17th century. It had a marvelous view of Cathedral Square.

Nikolai Makarov, director of the Institute of Archeology: There were dyaks here. They adopted important decisions.

Vladimir Putin: Nothing's changed. There are also dyaks here adopting important decisions.

- Moreover, that administrative structure wasn't that bad as they often try to present it.

- The Russian statehood developed stage after stage. And at each stage, it functioned effectively enough.

In this impressive building, there were seven prikazes — from the Ambassadorial one — it would be called a foreign ministry now — to the Conscription one, which was responsible for military affairs. Three feet down and here it is — a powerful foundation of a wild stone. It's about six feet wide. In the 17th century, they built well and how else? After all, it's the Moscow Kremlin and chambers of prikazes.

Nikolai Makarov: "The most important management decisions were made here. In the lower part of that building, there were storage rooms. And in the upper one that we don't see, there were dyaks and podyachies, documents were kept".

Witnesses of the era help imagine the life of Moscow bureaucracy in the times before Peter the Great. They're stunningly beautiful baroque tiles or, for example, a carved, richly decorated crest.

Vladimir Putin: A spoon.

Nikolai Makarov: A spoon…

- One could... eat well using such a spoon.

And here are absolutely unexpected finds — uniform button from a colonel of the General Staff of Napoleon's army and French weapons from 1812.

Nikolai Makarov: They dropped everything when they left.

Vladimir Putin: Of course, they fled.

There's a handful of lead bullets. And here's the archaeologists' — an excellently preserved saber.

Asya Engovatova, deputy director of the Institute of Archeology: “It looks like someone specially hid it, hoping to return and use it. It was still an expensive weapon at that time.”

The president gave a gift to the scientists. It's a commemorative medal of the First Congress of Russian Archaeologists of 1869.

Vladimir Putin: Where else would you like to work?

Nikolai Makarov: I think that the Kremlin is very interesting. Probably, we should move a bit there to look at that untouched parts of the layer because we won't be able to take the walls apart. We'd like to reach the lower layers and see what Moscow was like before.

- It's important for the country's history, to restore everything connected with the development of Russia by particles.

Such large-scale scientific excavations are carried out for the first time in the Kremlin. And it's an important step in studying the history of the entire Russian state and the Kremlin cultural layer. Archaeologists have already gone down two centuries. They expect to reach the 12th century.

Polina Ermolaeva, Nikolay Zakharov, Kirill Puzyrny, Maria Radimova, and Elena Manukhova for Vesti.


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