JERUSALEM, January 23. /TASS/. No tragic event in history can be compared to the Siege of Leningrad and the Holocaust, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the Jerusalem-hosted ceremony to unveil the Memorial Candle monument dedicated to the wartime defenders and residents of Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg.
The Russian leader pointed out that he was honored to participate in the ceremony. According to Putin, the event was taking place ahead of two important dates, the anniversary of the lifting of the Siege of Leningrad on January 27, 1944, and the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp on January 27, 1945.
"History has numerous examples of unprecedented resistance, sacrificial valor and large-scale human tragedies. But nothing can be compared to the Siege of Leningrad and the Holocaust," Putin emphasized.
The Russian president noted that the whole world was aware of the heroism of the defenders of Leningrad thanks to the multitude of documented evidence on the matter. At the same time, in Putin’s words, no written record can convey, "what these people had to go through." He said that he knew about it from his parents. "My father defended the city on the frontlines and my mom lived in the besieged city with an infant who died in the winter of 1942 and is buried in the Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery along with hundreds of thousands of other city residents," Putin revealed.
He added that the sacred memory of the courage and martyrdom of those millions of people, and the stories of their suffering that they had endured, had been passed down through the generations, as well as "the righteous anger against what the Nazis did." He pointed out that the enemy had condemned Leningrad residents to a brutal death through starvation and had also sought to wipe the city off the face of the Earth through an incessant aerial bombing crusade. "However, the enemy failed to fulfill the order that had been put on paper. Leningraders, people of various ethnic backgrounds, refused to surrender and did their utmost at the front, where the fighting raged, and behind the lines on the factory floors, where they produced ammunition and weapons for the army non-stop," Putin stated.