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Putin thanks WWII veterans for their heroism during war

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived on Friday to the Crimean port city of Sevastopol to take part in Victory Day celebrations, thanked Crimean WWII veterans for their heroism during the war and for their contribution in Crimea's reunification with Russia.

The Russian head of state congratulated Crimea's residents on the Victory Day and said he was glad to be in the heroic city of Sevastopol on this day.

"The heroic feat of the generation that defeated fascism, Nazism will always be an example of courage, valor and unbending will, an example of selfless service to the Fatherland," he stressed.

"We are looking up to you, dear veterans," Putin said and thanked veterans for their huge moral contribution to Crimea's and Sevastopol's reunification with Russia. "You have passed on to us the greatest values of unity, fairness, solidarity, you have taught us to act in good conscience. Generations that were raised in Crimea and Sevastopol have been relying on these values, being honest to the memory of those who worked on this land, in this beautiful city, who fought here defending Russia," the Russian president said.

The year 2014, according to Putin, will go down in history of Sevastopol as the date when the city residents expressed firm will to be with Russia.

"The current year is the year of milestone events for the hero city," Putin stressed. "It is rich in outstanding historic events." Two hundred and thirty years ago, in February 1784, the city was given its present name by an Empress Ekaterina II decree. In September, it will mark the 160th anniversary of the heroic siege of Sevastopol in the Crimean War.

"I am confident that the year 2014 will also go down in its history, in the history of our state as the year, when peoples living here decided to be with Russia. This way they reiterated their fidelity to the historic truth and to the memory of our ancestors," he said.

Putin noted that today the home city of the Russian Black Sea Fleet was marking another holiday - the 70th anniversary of its liberation from the Nazi aggressors.

[Source: Itar Tass, Sevastopol, 09May14]

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