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MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded on Monday the diplomas to confer the honorary title of City of Military Glory to representatives of the cities of Staraya Russa, Gatchina, Petrozavodsk, Grozny and Feodosia. The ceremony dedicated to the Day of Remembrance and Mourning was held in the Kremlin.
Opening the ceremony, the president noted that the Soviet people "at the cost of enormous sacrifice upheld freedom of their home land, won a stunning victory, defeated a powerful enemy thanks to its unity and unprecedented love for their Motherland." "Our sacred duty is to be devoted to these great values of patriotism, to preserve memories of our fathers and grandfathers’ heroism, to honor our war veterans. Conferring the title of City of Military Glory has become not just a tradition but also a symbol of our loyalty to the generation of victors," Putin said.
The president noted that not the Cities of Military Glory had been defended not only by their residents but also by citizens of the entire Soviet Union. "That was what united us during the harsh war years, this is what unites us today and this is what will always unite us in the future, leading the country to future victories," he added.
The presidential decree on bestowing an honorary title upon the five cities was signed on April 6. The document states that this is the way to honor courage, endurance and mass heroism of their defenders in the struggle for freedom and independence of their Motherland.
The City of Military Glory honorary title was established in 2006. This year the number of cities bestowed upon the title has reached 45.
Earlier in the day, the Russian president paid homage to the fallen soldiers of the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany, which began on June 22, 1941. Vladimir Putin laid a wreath at the Eternal Flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Garden, just outside the Kremlin walls.