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Russian WWII commemorative coin infuriates Lithuania's Foreign Ministry

A jubilee coin dedicated to Vilnius' liberation and issued by Russia's Central Bank from its series called, Capitals Liberated by Soviet Troops from Fascist Invaders, has prompted a negative response from Lithuania's Foreign Ministry.

"We know Russia's position and the coin issuance only confirms that Russia is not ready for the historical truth about Soviet occupation," according to a statement by Lithuanian Foreign Ministry Political Director Rolandas Kacinskas on Wednesday.

Inscribed on the commemorative coin are the words - 'Vilnius' and 'July 13, 1944' - the day when the Soviet Army emancipated the city from Nazi occupation. It also depicts the sculptural composition "On Guard for Peace" that was dismantled for allegedly being in dilapidated condition. The statue had been installed on a Vilnius bridge in 1952. Local radicals, however, constantly pressure authorities to pull down "such symbols of Soviet occupation." According to Kacinskas, Lithuanians do not consider it to be liberation.

Among the other cities freed from Nazi occupation, which the Russian Central Bank coin series commemorates are Belgrade, Berlin, Bratislava, Budapest, Bucharest, Warsaw, Vienna, Kiev, Chisinau, Minsk, Prague, Riga and Tallinn.

[Source: Itar Tass, Vilnius, 03Aug16]

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