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30 January 2017 → A solemn meeting devoted to the 73rd anniversary of the complete lifting of the blockade of Leningrad was held in Minsk

A solemn event dedicated to the 73rd anniversary of the complete lifting of the blockade of Leningrad was held in the House of Moscow on January 30, the "Minsk-news" agency reports.

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More than 60 victims of the siege of Leningrad residing in Minsk participated in the celebration. Among those who came to the meeting to congratulate its participants on the event was the Advisor for Culture of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Belarus Margarita Novodvorskaya.

"We know that the residents of the besieged Leningrad experienced a terrible tragedy, thousands of people died. On the one hand, it is a symbol of the tragedy. On the other hand it is a symbol of fortitude and courage. You defended your beautiful city on the Neva. You wouldn’t submit to fascism. So is the fate of those who had to go through the blockade that they are now living in different countries of the former Soviet Union. For many of you, Belarus became your home. I wish you good health, continue to be so persistent and unconquered as it was in those terrible years", said M. Novodvorskaya, and on behalf of the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Belarus Alexander Surikov handed a bouquet of flowers to the Chairman of the Belarusian Union of Leningrad Blockade Victims Mariya Yagodnitsyna.

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"We have arranged this solemn event in honor of the residents and participants of the defense of Leningrad. Many years have passed since then - 73 years, but nothing has been forgotten. Our youth can never be returned, we were deprived of it by the war", said M. Yagodnitsyna. "The month of January is a great holiday in the lives of those who had to go through that terrible blockade. On January 18, 1943 the blockade of Leningrad was broken and on 27 January 1944 it was completely raised".

According to M. Yagodnitsyna, today Belarus is the home of 510 victims of the siege of Leningrad and there are only 191 of them in Minsk.

"Today there are only 23 residents of the capital who were awarded the medal "For the Defense of Leningrad". But as to the participants in the defense, their number is even less, because this medal was also awarded to members of the home front", emphasized M. Yagodnitsyna.

As part of the concert-requiem, the memory of those killed during the siege of Leningrad was revered by a minute of silence.

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The participants in the event were happy to listen to the heart-piercing poems about the war read by the poetess Valintina Polikanina. Various pop groups presented their skill and talent too.

"For 8 years the House of Moscow in Minsk together with the Belarusian Union of Leningrad Blockade Victims and the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Belarus has held yearly events dedicated to the complete lifting of the blockade of Leningrad, as well as the beginning of the blockade on 8 September. It is sacred to all of us. We always invite not only those who went through the blockade, but also college students, university students, because there must be a continuity of generations. Young people should not only be aware of this event, but also to feel its importance", said Svetlana Panteleyeva, Chief Specialist of the Representation of the Moscow Center for International Cooperation (House of Moscow in Minsk).

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Photo by Yelizaveta Dobritskaya

News provided by "Minsk-News" Agency

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