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Senior lawmaker calls memory of Leningrad siege source of spiritual strength of Russians

January 27, 2016, 11:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Valentina Matviyenko made this statement on Wednesday on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the full lifting of the siege

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Antiaircraft guns guarding the sky of Leningrad

Antiaircraft guns guarding the sky of Leningrad

© Fotokhronika TASS

MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. The memory of the Siege of Leningrad is an inexhaustible source of Russians’ spiritual strength, speaker of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Valentina Matviyenko said on Wednesday on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the full lifting of the siege.

"The memory of this unprecedented feat is the eternal inexhaustible source of spiritual strength of our people. Moreover, for many people, especially for those who lost their near and dear ones in besieged Leningrad, the memory of the blockade is the emotional wound that will never heal," she said.

The speaker also noted that on Wednesday the work marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day. "The victims of the genocide of the Jewish people are a stern warning to people of the evil brought by Nazism and other kinds of radicalism, extremism on ethnic or religious grounds," she said, adding that "this warning applied not only to the past." "Unfortunately, it is topical today in various parts of the globe," she said.

For his part, speaker of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) Sergey Naryshkin said on Monday that it was a moral duty of humanity to remember victims of the Holocaust and Nazi crimes. "It is undoubtedly a moral duty of humanity, one of the guarantees of its self-preservation, to remember about the Holocaust, about World War Two, about the cost of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War," Naryshkin said. The Duma speaker noted that flirting with neo-Nazism in Ukraine, Latvia and several other countries was representative in this respect, along with attempts to rewrite history, in particular when it comes to the fact of who freed "this terrible death camp Auschwitz" 71 years ago.

After Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, the Nazis besieged the city of Leningrad (historically and currently known as St.Petersburg) in September. Although the Soviets managed to establish a land corridor to the city, the full siege was not lifted until 1944. Altogether, the Siege of Leningrad lasted almost 900 days claiming the lives of more than 1 million civilians.

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