Russian president Vladimir Putin attended commemorations on Friday marking the 75th anniversary of the Nazi surrender that ended the battle of Stalingrad, lauding the Red Army’s victory as a shining example of Russia’s perseverance amid adversity.
Mr Putin on Friday visited Volgograd, the current name of the city in southern Russia that stretches along the western bank of the Volga River.
The city was renamed in 1961 as part of the Soviet Union’s rejection of former dictator Joseph Stalin’s personality cult. But the name Stalingrad remains inextricably linked to the historic battle that perhaps turned the tide of Second World War more than any other.
Most of the city was reduced to rubble before Nazi forces surrendered on February 2 1943.
“Such degree of resistance, self-sacrifice and spiritual power were invincible, incomprehensible and terrifying for the enemy,” Mr Putin said.
Mr Putin hailed the Stalingrad victory as a reflection of the “courage of our soldiers and the talent of their commanders”.
“The defenders of Stalingrad … have left us a great heritage: love for the Motherland, the readiness to defend its interests and independence and to show resistance while facing any trials,” he said.