MOSCOW, February 2 (RIA Novosti) – Russia commemorates the 70th anniversary of the epic 200-day battle of Stalingrad on Saturday with a military parade and patriotic remarks.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, the country’s former envoy to NATO, opened the anniversary parade in Volgograd with a brief speech stressing out Russia’s role in the World War II.
“In Europe I’ve seen cities which were not touched by the war,” Rogozin, who is responsible for the country’s military industry, said at the aired ceremony. “But we are not like them. Our grandfathers and fathers were fighting here for every building and every street... Glory to Stalingrad!” he said.
President Vladimir Putin, who didn't show up at the parade, is expected to visit the city’s main World War II memorial, “Mamayev Kurgan”, a Tatar burial mound, meet veterans of the battle and attend evening celebrations later on Saturday.
Rogozin also said that “the military factories are reviving” in Russia to prove its present-day status of a top power. "Any enemy and potential aggressor should see this, understand this and feel this," he said.
The parade in Voldograd was modest compared to the pompous Victory Day celebrations traditionally held every year in Moscow on May 9. Hundreds of soldiers marched wearing present-day and Soviet-era uniforms across a square in downtown Volgograd wet with melted snow. They were followed by a legendary T-34 tank topped with a red flag. Some 200 veterans of the famous battle attended the parade, Rossiya 24 state television reported.
The massive pivotal battle started on July 17, 1942 and ended on February 2, 1943 with the surrender of the Axis forces. A total of around two million people were killed on both sides. The battle became one of the key victory symbols in Russia.
Volgograd was originally named Tsaritsyn until 1925, when it was renamed after Stalin for his role in leading the Red Army in the city during the Civil War. The city's name was changed to Volgograd in 1961, following the campaign against Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's "cult of personality." Rogozin has repeatedly backed the idea of renaming the city, not so far the city legislature said that Volgograd can be named “hero-city Stalingrad” on February 2 and five other milestone dates of the war.
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- mrgenieStatements of a undereducated person16:37, 02/02/2013"In Europe I’ve seen cities which were not touched by the war"
Please name me this city where not 1 house was hit by a bullet, where not 1 bomb has been dropped, where not 1 person was killed, or 1 person was injured or hungered to death!
You won't find any city where this doesn't apply. Just as in Russia where many cities weren't hit by bombs, at least some person and thus family was affected by loosing someone. (except very small villages existing of few houses with maybe 10 people both in Russia as in Europe such villages indeed got all their people alive through the war)
"But we are not like them. Our grandfathers and fathers were fighting here for every building and every street"
Insulting for the hundreds of thousands french, British, dutch, Americans, etc. who fought this war as well. Maybe politics in the west was too slow to respond. That's the drawback of a democracy, running bluntly into a war is not possible in real democracies. But a soldier isn't responsible for the politics. And those soldiers dying in the Ardennes to help Russia are very insulted by these statements.Canadians, Americans, Australians, Polish even Russians in the west fought and died to help Russia. Those soldiers are insulted by Mr. V.V.Putin and his ministers.
Shame on you!
"Any enemy and potential aggressor should see this, understand this and feel this,"
Terrible! How can you say such a thing Mr. Rogozin! Do you really like war and people getting killed? Are you sick in your head? I hope no soldier, no civilian, no woman and no child ever has experience war. I hope no one ever has to "feel" the might of warfare! Terrible to say such a thing! You sound like this moron that lead Berlin 70 years ago, he also said "others will feel the might of the Wehrmacht" terrible, you are sick in your head!
By such statements, we now all know what Putin and his warmongering fools are preparing for! Terrible, a new war again initiated by Russia.
Shame on you! Russians don't want to wedge war for the oligarchs!
If Putin keeps supporting this Madman rogozin, it means he's supporting his vision of "others feel Russian weaponry."
I hope Putin is not for war and thus will dismiss Mr. Rogozin within the next few hours. If he doesn't, we all know what Mr. Putin is up to.
The world saw what happens with such people 70 years ago.
Terrible, I'm speechless.
- staljingradWhy worry01:33, 03/02/2013Well I won't agree that you are speachless, whatsoever you did make a long one.
Sure that Rogozin is not going to get dismissed cause you don't like what he says.
I don't see a problem in a sentence telling that potential agressor should consider Staljingrad battle, circumstances of it and its results.
There was Napoleon and Adolf after him.
Are you worried for the third one yet to come ? Or you are sorry for the destiny of the mentioned two ?
I am not, the third if he appears will be taken care off as he should be.
Those thousands of western heroes that you mentioned are not insulted at all and they new very well who indeed has defeted Nazy Germany.
Sretan vam praznik Rusi.
- pushkinlovRogozin is absolutely right.19:07, 02/02/2013It does not take much effort to find cities which were untouched during WWII, just Google them. Rogozin is also right in putting Stalingrad as the city which endured big human sacrifices compared to the untouched cites, and his speech was not intended to demean other countries or soldiers that fought against the Axis. What is significant are his remarks that potential aggressors be on notice that Russia sees in Stalingrad and the improvements of the Russian military industry a solid defense of the Motherland.