February 01, 2013 19:41
Putin: Russia will keep memory of Battle of Stalingrad alive
MOSCOW. Feb 1 (Interfax) - Attempts to distort the events of World War II, or to blot the Soviet liberator soldiers' heroic feats from our memory, must be resisted, said President Vladimir Putin.
"We must do all we can to ensure that the memory of the Battle of Stalingrad and the truth about it never dim. It is our duty to resist attempts to distort the events of World war II or to attach political strings to them, brazenly defaming the heroic feats accomplished by those who liberated the world," Putin said at a reception at the Kremlin on Friday celebrating the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Stalingrad.
"The truth is that victory in that great battle was accomplished by Soviet military leaders and soldiers. The whole world was amazed by their admirable courage and lasting power," he said.
"How cynical one must be to forget about their valor and self-sacrifice! We will never allow that to happen again," the Russian president said.
The Battle of Stalingrad marked a "turning point" in the life of the country and of millions of people, he continued. "The unconquered city was the starting point in our troops' march to Berlin," he said. The victory, won 70 years ago, went down in history as a turning point towards the complete and final defeat of Nazism, he said.
The reception is being attended by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, parliamentary faction leaders, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, lawmakers and government officials. The main guests at the reception are more than 200 World War II veterans. Three hundred guests had been invited.
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