BELGRADE, October 19. /TASS/. Bilateral relations between Russia and Serbia are the best in history, and the common Victory in World War II is a guarantee of such relations, Serbian Minister of Innovation and Technological Development Nenad Popovic said on Monday.
"Serbia’s Minister of Innovation and Technological Development Nenad Popovich said that relations between Serbia and Russia and the state leadership of the two countries were the best in history. In the run-up to the celebration of October 20, when the Russian army liberated Belgrade in World War II, he noted that the common legacy and the joint victory in World War II were a guarantee that no one and nothing could mar the excellent relations between the two countries," the minister’s press service quotes him as saying.
Popovic was certain that cooperation between the two countries would only strengthen in the future, and Russia will remain one of Serbia’s closest partners in strengthening its economic, military, scientific and medical capabilities. The minister also highlighted Russia’s special role in supporting his country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
About 8,000 Soviet soldiers and officers were killed during the liberation of Yugoslavia. A total of 1.7 million people lost their lives during the occupation of Yugoslavia and during the liberation struggle in the country, more than half of them were Serbs. According to experts, during World War II, Serbia lost 30% of its population, but Yugoslavia’s guerrilla movement played a substantial role in the fight against Nazism. The Serbian people sustained huge losses in Nazi concentration camps, with up to 700,000 people killed in the Jasenovac death camp.
During the liberation of Belgrade from September 28 to October 20, 1944, 4,350 Red Army troops were killed, 14,488 others were wounded. The fatalities of the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia amounted to about 3,000.
There are nine large memorials dedicated to Soviet soldiers in Serbia: in Belgrade, Subotica, Sombor, Zrenjanin, Gornji Milanovac, Vrsac, Jagodina and Zajecar. The largest burial site in Serbia is the Liberators of Belgrade Memorial located opposite the New Cemetery near Russian graves from the World War I era and the emigration period.