Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Russia is commemorating the 80th anniversary of the fall of the Nazi siege of Leningrad

The Russian city of St. Petersburg on Saturday marked the 80th anniversary of the end of a devastating siege by Nazi forces during World War II, with a series of commemorative events attended by the Russian President Vladimir Putin and close allies.

The Kremlin leader laid flowers at a monument to the fallen Soviet defenders of the city, called Leningrad, on the banks of the Neva River, and later at the Piskarevskoye cemetery, where hundreds of thousands of victims of the attack.

Putin met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday afternoon in Gatchina, a city outside St.

The Red Army broke the blockade of almost two and a half years on January 19, 1943, after fierce fighting. Estimates of the death toll vary, but historians agree that over a million Leningraders died of starvation or from aerial and artillery bombardment during the siege.

Putin was born and raised in Leningrad, and his father, a World War II veteran, suffered injuries fighting for the city.

Blockade survivor Irina Zimneva, 85, told The Associated Press she is still haunted by memories of the meager food rations distributed to residents during the deadly winter of 1941-1942. Each member of her family gets 125 grams of bread a day, and Zimneva’s mother asks her to be patient when she asks for more.

Zimneva said her mother’s love helped her get through those dark days.

“I don’t know how else (I could have survived),” he told the AP.

World Nation News Desk
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