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Kerch and other Crimean cities mark 70th anniversary of liberation from Nazis

April 11, 2014, 9:40 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
It is symbolic that the date is marked shortly after the reunification with Russia
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Soviet sailors in liberated city of Kerch, 1944

Soviet sailors in liberated city of Kerch, 1944

© ITAR-TASS

SIMFEROPOL, April 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Three Crimean cities— Kerch, Dzhankoi and Krasnoperekopsk mark on Friday the 70th anniversary since the liberation from Nazi invaders in 1944.

It is symbolic that the date is marked shortly after the reunification with Russia, which Crimea also views as a great victory. For the first time, the date is marked on the peninsula under the Russian state three-color flag.

Commemoration events began in the Hero City of Kerch on Thursday, when remains of 39 Soviet soldiers, found in search near the city in the autumn of 2013, were reburied at a military cemetery.

A ceremony will be held in the city on Friday to lay flowers at the Eternal Flame at Glory Square.

During World War II, Kerch was almost completely destroyed.

The title of Hero City was awarded to Kerch in 1973.

In Dzhankoi, commemorations will begin with a meeting and flower laying ceremonies at memorial places. Later, meetings of veterans with schoolchildren, history lessons, excursions to museums, a memorial relay and other events will be held in the city, where streets, squares and memorials were cleaned and tidied up by the date.

The Nazi occupation of Dzhankoi lasted 893 days. Thousands of Soviet war prisoners were killed in Nazi camps, and thousands more were shot dead on the northern outskirts of the city. Many Dzhankoi residents were driven to Germany for work.

Krasnoperekopsk was almost razed to the ground. Liberation Day is the second birthday for the city, Mayor Taras Filipchuk notes. A meeting on the central square, a concert and fireworks are planned in Krasnoperekopsk to mark the anniversary.

Kerch, Dzhankoi and Krasnoperekopsk were freed from the Nazi occupation at the beginning of the Soviet troops' Crimean liberation operation that lasted from April 8 to May 12, 1944.

The Soviet troops liberated Armyansk on April 8, Simferopol, Feodosia and Yevpatoria on April 13, Sudak, Alushta and Bakhchisarai on April 14, Yalta on April 16 and so on. Memorial events will be held in all the cities.

Sevastopol will celebrate the liberation anniversary (May 9, 1944) together with Victory Day.

The anniversary of the end of the battle for Crimea is marked on May 12, when remains of Nazi troops surrendered on Cape Khersones.

On Thursday, Odessa in southern Ukraine marked the 70th liberation anniversary amid the complicated political situation in the country.

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