Russia’s northern capital St. Petersburg is marking 77 years since the breaking of the Nazi blockade. Formerly known as Leningrad, the city lived through 900 days of starvation and horror.
The President visited the Nevsky Pyatachok military historical complex, where he laid flowers at the Landmark Stone monument. Then he honoured the memory of Leningrad residents and soldiers defending the city who died during the siege, by laying a wreath by the Motherland monument at the Piskaryovskoye Cemetery.
The siege of Leningrad by Nazi troops lasted 872 days from September 8, 1941, until January 27, 1944.
The Landmark Stone commemorates the soldiers who fought during the siege at Nevsky Pyatachok. Nevsky Pyatachok is the conventional designation of a bridgehead on the left bank of the Neva River, which soldiers of the Leningrad Front defended during the Battle of Leningrad. Fighting here was conducted with the aim of breaking the siege.
Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery is the largest cemetery of World War II victims. Buried in 186 mass graves are 420,000 city residents who died from starvation, bombing, and shelling, as well as 70,000 soldiers who defended Leningrad.
Operation Iskra to break the siege of Leningrad took place on January 12–18, 1943 on Nevsky Pyatachok and triumphantly ended in a meeting of the Volkhov and Leningrad fronts near the village of Maryino. The siege was broken completely one year later on January 27, 1944.