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Donetsk celebrates 71 years since liberation from Nazi occupation

September 08, 2014, 21:10 UTC+3 DONETSK
A 3,000-strong rally took place on the third day of the truce, which came into force on Friday
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© EPA/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO

DONETSK, September 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) held a gala rally on Monday commemorating the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Donbass from Nazi invaders during the Great Patriotic War that the Soviet Union fought against Nazi Germany in 1941-1945.

A 3,000-strong rally took place on the third day of the truce, which came into force on Friday.

“The Minsk agreements confirmed that we are not terrorists and are open to a dialogue,” DPR Prime Minister Aleksandr Zakharchenko told reporters before the rally adding that “human lives are above political ambitions for us.”

Zakharchenko said that the Ukrainian side was holding captive very few militia fighters as they were holding “civilians - activists detained by the Ukrainian military on charges of separatism.”

After the Minsk agreements were signed, “the militia headquarters received over 700 telephone calls from the relatives of detainees. They will be released, too,” the prime minister said.

“Our fathers and grandfathers could liberate this country 71 years ago from the most horrible plague of the 20th century,” Zakharchenko told the rally participants.

“71 years ago they managed to do the thing that no-one believed then in the world. Liberating our country from the aggressors who are like those, you start realising how difficult it was for our grandfathers and great-grandfathers to build the life, to sow, cultivate, harvest this land and fight and die for it,” he said.

“I can promise only one thing that this land was, is and will be ours forever,” he said.

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