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Russian prosecutor seeks to recognize siege of Leningrad as genocide

Overall, during the blockade, the Nazi invaders and their collaborators exterminated more than one million Soviet citizens
View of Leningrad, 1942 Boris Vasyutinsky/TASS
View of Leningrad, 1942
© Boris Vasyutinsky/TASS

MOSCOW, September 8. /TASS/. A St. Petersburg Prosecutor has filed a lawsuit to recognize the siege of Leningrad as a war crime and genocide of the Soviet people, the press service of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office told TASS on Thursday.

"On instructions from Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, on the 81st anniversary of the start of the siege of Leningrad by the German occupational authorities and their collaborators, the St. Petersburg’s Prosecutor filed a petition with the city court to recognize it [the siege] as a war crime and a crime against humanity, as well as genocide of the Soviet people," the press service said.

The Prosecutor General's Office stressed that before filing the lawsuit that together with experts, it had combed through archived documents and materials that factually indicated the mass extermination of Leningrad’s inhabitants during the Great Patriotic War. "During the period of 1941-1944, Leningrad was blockaded by Nazi invaders and their cohorts. The population of the city, urban infrastructure facilities, including essential services, were subjected to systematic shelling and bombardment, and in order to destroy the population, the conditions for starvation to arise were created," the General Prosecutor's Office stated.

Overall, during the blockade, the Nazi invaders and their collaborators exterminated more than one million Soviet citizens. The stated facts are supported by the testimonies of numerous residents of the blockaded city, along with verdicts and archived data. That said, the Nuremberg trials of 1945-1946 did not provide a legal assessment of the siege of Leningrad, including the creation of conditions for hunger to engulf the city.

"The abovementioned [lawsuit] was filed with the St. Petersburg City Court in order to protect the national interests of the Russian Federation, the legal rights and interests of an indefinite circle of people: residents of the then besieged Leningrad, relatives and descendants of the peaceful residents who died in the city, as well as publicizing information about the victims of the [Nazi] occupational authorities and the executioners in the Great Patriotic War," the Prosecutor Office stressed.