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PROKHOROVKA, Belgorod region, July 12 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has joined the official commemorative functions devoted to the 70th anniversary since the grandiose tank battle near Prokhorovka, a town in the southwest Belgorod region.
The clash between the armored divisions of the Soviet Army and the Wehrmacht marked a pivotal moment in the history of combat operations on the Eastern Front of World War II.
The combat actions near Prokhorovka dealt a really telling blow to the tank divisions of the Third Reich, which failed to restore their previous might.
Friday, Putin joined a group of war veterans at the Prokhorovka Field memorial museum to lay flowers to the Victory Monument - the Belfry - that is located on the compound of the Prokhorovka Field military museum-preserve.
In 1995, Russia sculptor Vyacheslav Klykov and a team of co-authors build a 59-meters-tall belfry that is placed on four pylons symbolizing four seasons of the year. Crowning the pylons is a golden sphere symbolizing the Sun as the historical symbol of the Russian state.
Standing above the sphere is a 7-meters-tall sculpture of the Virgin Mary the Intercessor, who is traditionally viewed here as the protector of the Russian land. Inside the belfry one can see a bell weighing 3.5 tons.
The bell strikes thrice every hour. The first strike commemorates the medieval Russian warriors who delivered the Russian lands around Moscow from the yoke of the Tartar-Mongols in the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380.
The second strike is for the heroes of the 1812 Battle of Borodino and the third strike brings back the memory of everyone who died in the Battle of the Kursk Salient and in all other battles against Nazism.