Tver Region to mark Memorial Day of Siberian soldiers who died in WW II

BELY, Tver Region, August 14 (Itar-Tass) — The Belsky district of the Tver Region will stage on Sunday Memorial Day of warriors from Siberia who perished in the years of the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945. Events will be held in the framework of Day of Martial Glory, announced in the Tver Region.

“We are waiting delegations from Siberian communities from Moscow, Velikiye Luki, guests from the Krasnodar Territory, the Novosibirsk Region and other Siberian areas as well as kith and kin of fallen soldiers, veterans from Tver and neighbouring districts,” first deputy head of the Belsky district Anatoly Katayev told Itar-Tass.

Volunteer squads unearth every year remains of dead warriors in Belsky district soil. Over 5,000 remains of dead soldiers have been found by them in former battlefields since 1993 and re-buried at the Petropavlovsky cemetery in Bely. The remains of more than 140 Soviet soldiers laid at rest here on the eve of Memorial Day, August 14.

Volunteer squads from Moscow, Khanty-Mansiisk, the Novosobirsk Region, Nizhny Novgorod as well as local volunteers work now in the district. A requiem rally will be staged here on Sunday. Candles in memory of war heroes will be lit up at the Memorial of Glory to Siberian soldiers – 12,500 of whom were killed here in battles against Nazism.

The architectural complex consists here of a chapel 12.5 meters high – one meter per 1,000 of the fallen warriors — and of 125 cubes of black polished stones. The memorial was erected 15 years ago near the village of Ploskoye, destroyed by fascist troops, with donations of residents of all Siberian regions as well as funds, appropriated by the Russian government.

In became a monument to all Siberians, fallen at the fronts of the Second World War. This status was granted to it by governors of Siberian territories, regions, autonomous republics and areas, incorporated in the Inter-Regional Association “Siberian Agreement”.

According to historians, “the battles near Bely laid down foundations of military traditions that determined the further martial road of Siberians”. This town, located in the southwest of the Tver Region, became an important point of the Rzhev-Vyazma operation late in the autumn of 1942, that was code-named “Mars”.

The destiny of Stalingrad was largely determined there. Siberian troops and marine units, staffed by the Pacific Fleet and the Amur Flotilla servicemen were countered here by crack SS units and infantry outfits of the Wehrmacht.

Troops of the sixth volunteer Siberian Rifle Corps, the 17th Guards Krasnoyarsk Rifle Division and the 19th Mechanised Brigade liberated nearly 50 towns and villages in a matter of several days. Siberians called battlefields near the village of Ploskoye “the death valley” and Germans – “the valley of hell”.

The land here was not cultivated till the middle of the 1960s: every inch of it was packed with mines and shells.

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