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Putin Pays Tribute to Siege of Leningrad Victims

Published: January 28, 2014 (Issue # 1794)



  • A ceremony Monday marked 70 years since the end of Nazi Germany’s siege of Leningrad, now St. Petersburg.
    Photo: Igor Tabakov / SPT

President Vladimir Putin paid tribute to victims of the Siege of Leningrad on Monday in St. Petersburg and spoke to survivors who said that the name for the celebrations marking the end of the blockade should be changed.

Putin attended a ceremony at the Piskaryovskoye cemetery in St. Petersburg, which was called Leningrad during the Soviet era, on the 70th anniversary of the devastating World War II siege being lifted.

He laid a wreath at the Motherland monument and also honored his older brother, who died in childhood during the siege and is interred in a mass grave at the cemetery, the Kremlin said in a statement.

During a meeting with Putin on Monday, siege survivors complained that the name for the celebration — "the complete liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi blockade by Soviet troops" — completely neglects the role played by the city's people, Interfax reported.

You may also be interested in: City Remembers Siege of Leningrad

Putin agreed, saying that the Red Army "without a doubt made a decisive contribution to the defense and eventual liberation of Leningrad," but that "without the civilian population...we would hardly have been able to achieve this victory."

"Without those who worked on the erection of the defensive lines, without those who worked in the factories, without volunteers and units that were formed by the citizens of Leningrad, I know this from my own family history, without these people victory would have been impossible, this is obvious. And this name — it really dilutes some of this," the Putin said.

Putin, who was born in St. Petersburg, called for the city's legislative assembly to rename the anniversary and, if necessary, to elevate the proposal to federal level.

On Sept. 8, 1941, the German army cut Leningrad off from Russian lines. The city's residents struggled for almost 900 days as Adolf Hitler's troops attempted to starve them into submission. On Jan. 18, 1943, the first ray of hope appeared, when the Red Army established a single supply line to the city. Still, the blockade was not fully lifted until Jan. 27, 1944, by which time about 750,000 civilians had died.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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