President Putin notes veterans’ moral contribution to accession of Crimea, Sevastopol to Russia

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said he thanked veterans of the Great Patriotic War for heroic acts and noted their contribution to Crimea and Sevastopol’s accession to Russia. “We look up to you, dear veterans and your great moral contribution is in the fact that Crimea and Sevastopol have returned to the home country, you gave us great values of unity, justice and integrity and taught us to act according to conscience,” said Putin when speaking at the parade in Sevastopol dedicated to the 70th anniversary of freeing the hero-city from fascists.

“Generations, which grew up in Sevastopol, have always leaned on these values and remained faithful to the memory of those, who rebuild this region, this wonderful city and who, fought on this land at different times protecting the Homeland,” the Russian president said.

As to the heroism of Sevastopol residents, “the example of Sevastopol has shown the entire world that, where people are determined to fight for own land, their dignity and freedom, the enemy will not pass,” Putin said.

The year 2014 is a special year for Sevastopol and is rich in truly outstanding events, the president said.

Sevastopol got its name 230 years ago in February 1784 upon the order of Empress Yekaterina, Putin said. “The 160th anniversary of Sevastopol’s heroic defense during the Crimean war will be marked in September. I am certain that 2014 will also make it into the [city’s] chronicles and the chronicles of our entire country as a year, when ethnicities living here determined firmly to be together with Russia. Thus, they have confirmed the commitment to the historical truth and memory of our ancestors,” he said. Much work is ahead but all difficulties will be overcome, Putin said. “Because we are together, which means, we have become even stronger,” he said.

President Putin inspects parade of ships in Sevastopol

Russian President Vladimir Putin is inspecting the maritime element of the parade on the water in Sevastopol bay. Putin, accompanied by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Black Sea Commander Admiral Alexander Bitko, has used a power-boat to tour the line of participating battle ships. The Russian president welcomed and congratulated students of the Krusenstern barque, who came to Sevastopol specifically to participate in the parade, on the 69th anniversary of the Victory.

Putin is participating in the ceremonial events in Sevastopol dedicated to the 69th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the 70th anniversary of freeing Sevastopol from German Nazi invaders, Interfax reports.

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