January 27 is the Leningrad Victory Day. On this day in 1944 the troops of the Leningrad and Volkhovsky fronts broke the defense of the Nazi army and liberated Krasnoe Selo, Pushkin and Pavlovsk lifting the Siege of Leningrad.
Alexander Beglov, Governor of St. Petersburg, and Vyacheslav Makarov, speaker of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, congratulated the city residents on the important occasion. Together with other representatives of the city authorities they took part in the solemn ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Siege at the Piskaryovskoe Cemetery.
Alexander Burenin, reporter: ‘There is no family born in Leningrad that has not been affected by the tragedy of the Siege. Since our childhood we all remember the stories our grandparents told us about the blockade bread, bombardments, and the Road of Life across Lake Ladoga. Every year we have fewer and fewer witnesses of those days with us. But those who can consider it their duty to come to the Piskaryovskoe Cemetery on this day to commemorate those who did not survive.’
Tamara Zaitseva, a survivor of the Siege of Leningrad, tells: ‘I was alone in our flat when bombing started. I was running around trying to hide somewhere, and I hid in the lavatory with my chamber pot. I was three.’
‘I remember the taste of durynda we ate. You know, it was like a cake of soap, like sunflower seeds.’
Many of those who came to the Piskaryovskoe Cemetery were children during the Siege. Telling about that time they cannot believe that it was happening to them. They survived under the conditions that, as the enemy reckoned, made any chance of survival impossible.
Svetlana Roschina, a survivor of the Siege of Leningrad, recalls: ‘My mother worked in a hospital. She brought me there and left in the furnace room, because it was warm there. She told me, I was all black in coal. She gave me some kasha they gave her in the hospital.’
The ceremony started with a minute of silence. Then, Governor Alexander Beglov, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko, St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly Chairman Vyacheslav Makarov and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy Alexander Gutsan laid flowers to the monument.
Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Federation Council of Russia, said: ‘I believe it is our scared moral duty to those who gave their lives not only for the freedom of our country but liberated Europe and the world from the Nazi scourge to do everything to keep the memory of these events and to never let them happen again.’
Photo anf video: St. Petersburg TV channel