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Putin to take part in Battle of Kursk festivities in Belgorod region

July 12, 2013, 13:26 UTC+3

The President will join the veterans at the ceremony of laying flowers at the Victory Monument

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MOSCOW, July 12 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting the Prokhorovka district of Russia’s southwest Belgorod region where he will take part in the gala functions and festivities devoted to the 70th anniversary of the world’s most grandiose combat operation with the use of tanks and armored vehicles, which has gone down in history as the Battle of the Kursk Salient.

During a traditional face-the-nation question-time televised show with the President that took place April 25, the war veterans living in the Belgorod region invited Putin to spend July 12 in the land “that was soaked with the blood of our soldiers.”

“The jubilee of the great Battle of the Kursk Salient is getting close, and speaking on behalf of war veterans of our region I’d like to invite you to join us at the festivities,” veteran Abram Yekhilevsky said to Putin.

“We’ve marked the jubilee anniversary since the end of the Battle of Stalingrad and soon we’ll be marking the anniversary of events near Prokhorovka,” Putin said. “I promise you I’ll go there and thank you for the invitation.”

The Kremlin press service said the President will join the veterans at the ceremony of laying flowers at the Victory Monument - the memorial belfry in the Prokhorovka Field - and will then have a meeting with wartime servicemen who fought in the unprecedented battle.

Putin will also chair a conference of the Victory Organizing Committee at the Prokhorovka Field center of culture and history. The session will be attended by Deputy Prime Ministers, federal ministers, directors of federal departments, regional governors, and chairmen of veteran associations.

The session will concentrate on a discussion of preparations for the 70th anniversary since victory on the Eastern Front of World War II.

The township of Prokhorovka is a railway station on a major railway linking Moscow and the Ukrainian city of Kharkov. It is located in the Belgorod region, roughly halfway between the cities of Kursk and Belgorod.

The event that earned a permanent place for it on the historical map of the world was the Battle of the Kursk Salient that took place there July 12, 1943, when an advancing tank group of the Wehrmacht bumped into an amassed counterstrike delivered by Soviet amored units.

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