Russians mark 70th anniversary of Stalingrad victory

Reuters
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More than 20, 000 residents of the Russian city of Volgograd celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad.

The battle marked on Saturday was World War II's most deadly and lasted 200 days.

Germans and Russians fought street by street and room to room, while enduring Russia's bitter winter cold -- and for Germans -- starvation.

German Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus defied Hitler's orders to fight to the death and surrendered on February 2, 1943.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, honoured the sacrifice and resolve of those who fought in the city, which was renamed in the 1960s.

He said while other European cities gave up without a fight, the Soviets gave their lives for every building and street.

(SOUNDBITE)(Russian) RUSSIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER DMITRY ROGOZIN, SAYING:

"Glory to Stalingrad! Glory to our veterans! Glory to the great victory! Glory to Russia!"

About 920 Stalingrad war veterans still live in the region, with many demanding the city take back its original name of Stalingrad.

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