PROKHOROVKA, Belgorod region, July 12 (Itar-Tass) - Celebration of the 70th anniversary since victory in World War II, which is due in 2015, should be held at the highest possible level and a profound content should be attached to it, President Vladimir Putin said Friday at a session of the Victory Steering Committee that was convened in the township of Prokhorovka in Russia’s southwest Belgorod region.
The vast steppe-like fields around Prokhorovka, a small station on a major railway line linking Moscow and Eastern Ukraine, have gotten a special place in the history of World War II as the scene of the most grandiose battle ever fought by tank and armored divisions.
Friday, July 12 marked the 70th anniversary since the Battle of Prokhorovka, which brought together more than 1,200 tanks and self-propelled artillery mounts at one place at one time at the height of the Eastern Front warfare in 1943.
Putin congratulated the local war veterans on the occasion of this remarkable date in a most whole-hearted way, promising them that the veterans will be the focal figures at the jubilee festivities in 2015.
“The task now is to step up the efforts for improving the veterans’ social and economic conditions,” he said adding that the same measures should apply to all the Russians equaled in status to the veterans.
“The events like the Battles of Kursk, Moscow or Stalingrad or the Siege of Leningrad are not mere stages of World War II - they are the building blocks of our country’s history, a common recollection about the valor of our ancestors,” Putin said.
He proposed to set up a steering committee that will supervise preparations for all the events related to the 70th anniversary of VE-Day. There is a good experience to rely on, meaning the past celebrations of 60 years and 65 years since victory in 2005 and 2010, he said.
Putin made an especial emphasis on the “cordiality and creative manner”, in which all the festivities should be held, since “the veterans and the young should feel the same kind of warmth likewise.”
“No one needs formal undertakings for the sake of appearances,” he said adding that the professionals who will stay in charge of designing the events will be asked to pay maximum attention to their artistic and humanitarian element.