AP NEWS

Russia marks 75 years since breaking Nazi siege of Leningrad

January 18, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin puts flowers on a monument at Nevsky Pyatachok near Kirovsk, to mark the 75th anniversary of the battle that broke the Siege of Leningrad, in St, Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. As many as 200,000 Soviet soldiers were killed between September 1941 and May 1943 in fighting to break the Nazi siege of Nevsky Pyatachok, an area about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of St. Petersburg which was then called Leningrad. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, pool)

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is attending events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Russia’s breaking the Nazi siege of Leningrad.

The Red Army broke the nearly 900-day blockade of the city on January 19, 1943, after fierce fighting. Putin was born in Leningrad, which regained its historic name of St. Petersburg after the 1991 Soviet collapse. His father was a World War II veteran who was wounded while defending the city.

A million Leningrad residents are believed to have died of hunger and bombings while defending the city and the tragedy epitomizes Russia’s enormous suffering during WW II.

The Russian president attended a memorial cemetery and visited a 3D panorama recreating the 1943 battle. Speaking to World War II veterans, he hailed Soviet soldiers’ “self-sacrifice and love for the Motherland.”

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