Phnom Penh (FN), Nov. 26 – Wat Daun Thy hosted a commemoration ceremony, marking the 40th anniversary since the death of eight Soviet cotton planting specialists in the Kampong Cham province on 25 November 2023. The event took place not far from the site of the tragedy.

On 23 August 1983, when the Soviet Union was assisting Cambodia to restore its economy, a group of agricultural experts from the USSR was attacked by a group of Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot's henchmen were dressed in the uniform of the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Army soldiers, attempting to sow discord between the two countries. Among the Soviet compatriots killed in that attack were process engineer Tikmenov, agronomist-engineer Lysenko, mechanical engineer Gribov, agrochemist Akhundov, mechanic specialists Chernov and Fayziev, agronomist-specialist in plant protection Nazarov, interpreter-engineer Saatov.

Representatives of the Cambodian Buddhist Sangha conducted a ceremony to honor the murdered victims.

Addressing the participants of the ceremony, Ambassador of Russia to Cambodia Anatoly Borovik extended gratitude to the Royal Government and the people of the Kingdom of Cambodia for the arrangement of this event. He noted the importance of preserving the memory of Soviet specialists’ contribution and the country’s large-scale assistance in restoring the Cambodian state after its liberation from the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime.

“In spite of danger, the Soviet people were involved in the restoration and development of the Cambodian national economy, assisting the people of this country in building a new and better life,” stressed the head of the diplomatic mission. “And today, when paying tribute to the memory of our specialists, we look to the future firmly confident in the new achievements of Russia-Cambodia synergy.”

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina, Governor of Kampong Cham Province Un Chanda delivered their solemn remarks.

The ceremony was also attended by the leadership of central ministries and institutions, including Lieutenant General Hun Manith, Director General of the General Department of Research and Intelligence of the Ministry of National Defence, Deputy Commander of the Royal Cambodian Army, representatives of parliamentary institutions and civil society organizations, members of the Association of former Cambodian students from Russia and Soviet Union, local public and the media.

Participants visited the site of the tragedy, where the witnesses shared their memories of the incident.