Wreaths have been laid to Soviet war memorials in Germany in honour of the Victory Day.
In Berlin, flowers and wreaths were laid to the war memorials in Treptow-Park, Tiergarten and the memorial cemetery of Schonholzer Heide in the north of the German capital.
The Great Patriotic War veterans, Russian diplomats and their families, clergy of the Russian Orthodox church, staff members of various Russian institutions in Germany, representatives of the Berlin authorities, Bundestag deputies, diplomats from various countries took part in the celebration ceremonies arranged by the Russian Embassy to Germany.
The ceremonies of laying wreaths also took place in other German cities: Eisleben, Magdeburg, Cottbus, Rostock, Schwerin, Brandenburg, Zossen, Neuruppin.
The day before, flowers and wreaths to the Soviet war memorials were brought by members of the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgraberfursorge (society for care of military graves), the Berlin-based Society of Russia's Friends, the Party of Democratic Socialism, the German Communist Party, some other leftist organisations - all those who celebrate this date as the day of the German people's liberation from Nazism.
Over 500 Soviet military burial places are situated in former East Germany. They became the last resort for about 390,000 Soviet soldiers and officers killed as they advanced towards Berlin. The German capital alone has about a dozen memorials to those who gave their lives in the very last hours of the sanguinary fight for the freedom of European nations.
The former West Germany has over 3,500 cemeteries where more than 800,000 Soviet POWs and civilians dragooned for work in the Third Reich are buried. A law adopted in Germany in 1953 provides that all graves are regarded as "graves of war and tyranny victims" and are under permanent care.
On Thursday, Soviet veterans convened in the former officers' casino in Karlhorst, where unconditional capitulation of the Nazi Germany was signed late on May 8, 1945 and at midnight, Moscow time, they raised the traditional 100-gram glass to the Victory, in memory of those killed on the battlefield or gone within the 58 years after that war.
In 2011, Russia signed a 1.2 billion-euro contract with France for the construction of two Mistral-type vessels