On Wednesday, the city of Caen in Normandy, Northern France, hosted a grand ceremony in commemoration of millions of Soviet people who died fighting against fascism during World War II.
The monument stone from Russia erected on the territory of the memorial museum reads "In commemoration of 27 million of its sons and daughters who died fighting against fascism for Motherland and freedom. Thankful Russia".
The 300-kg granite monolith took up the central place among other stones from countries which participated in the fight against fascism during World War II.
Chairman of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, Sergei Mironov attended the ceremony and described the erection of the Russian monument in the memorial that originally was devoted to the days of allies' invasion in Normandy and the opening of the second front as "a historic event".
Head of the French Senate Christian Poncelet said, Russian soldiers did not take part in the battle for Normandy, they fought on other fronts, but it's important that we fought on the same side". France Will never forget Russia's crucial role in the Second World War and the courage and valour of Soviet soldiers, he emphasised.
On the occasion of the ceremony, Sergei Mironov gave memorable awards to the veterans of the renowned Normandy-Neman squadron and the French Resistance.
The distinguished guests opened in the memorial the exhibition "900 Days of Leningrad Blockade" which reproduces the heroic days of the city-front, the courage and stoicism of its residents.
The memorial museum in Caen was opened in 1988. It is one of Europe's largest military historical museums. It is annually visited by about 500,000 people from different countries.
The museum is actively co-operating with the Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow. Thus, it exhibits the well-known Soviet missile artillery mount Katyusha, the only exhibit in West European countries.