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Putin commemorates Great Patriotic War participants

May 08, 2014, 15:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The president also laid flowers to the monuments with the names of the hero cities located along the Kremlin wall and a monument of the cities of military glory
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metsel

MOSCOW, May 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has laid a wreath to the Eternal Flame at the Unknown Soldier Tomb on the eve of Victory Day as a sign of respect to those who perished on the battlefields of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

Traditionally, at the start of the wreath-laying ceremony servicemen from the Guard of Honor squad have laid a wreath of fir-tree branches decorated with flowers and belted with a ribbon in the colors of the Russian national flag with the inscription saying “To Unknown Soldier from the Russian president” and placed it at the Eternal Flame. Coming to the wreath the president has bowed his head for some time in a sign of respect to the memory of those who died in the war years and after that the Russian national anthem was performed.

Then other participants in the festive ceremony, particularly Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, members of the government, chief executives of the presidential staff, war veterans, lawmakers and high-ranking military officials laid flowers to the Unknown Soldier Tomb.

Servicemen of the Moscow military garrison represented by all arms of the country’s armed forces have marched along the monument to accompaniment of the orchestra.

The president also laid flowers to the monuments with the names of the hero cities located along the Kremlin wall and a monument of the cities of military glory. He paid special attention to an obelisk dedicated to the hero city of Odessa. This monument sank in flowers. Laying carnations to the monument Putin has had his head bowed for about a minute paying tribute to the memory of those who were killed in the tragedy on May 2 when clashes and a major fire at the Odessa House of Trade Unions claimed 46 lives.

This year the Eternal Flame at the Alexandrovsky Garden celebrates the 47th anniversary. On May 7, 1967, a torch was lit up from the Eternal Flame on Marsovoye Pole Square in the city of Leningrad and was brought to Moscow in a relay in the morning on May 8. Hero of the Soviet Union Alexey Maresyev received the Eternal Flame torch on central Moscow’s Manezh Square where Secretary General of the Soviet Union Communist Party Central Committee Leonid Brezhnev lit the Eternal Flame.

In 2010 the war memorial was overhauled. During the repair the Eternal Flame was brought to Poklonnaya Hill. The Eternal Flame was not out for a second.

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