President Of Russia To Take Part In Festive Events Marking Victory Day

On Tuesday President Vladimir Putin of Russia will take part in festive events marking the 56th anniversary of Victory in World War II. In the morning President Putin placed a wreath to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin wall in the Alexandrovsky Garden, and then met with the heads of All-Russian veteran organizations. On the same day President Putin will present the Banner of the Armed Forces to Sergei Ivanov, head of the Defence Ministry. That red banner was endorsed last December by the State Duma in the package of bills on state symbols together with the National Emblem and the National Flag of the Russian Federation. On May 9 the new Banner of the Armed Forces will be carried through Red Square during Victory Parade for the first time. Among the events planned for the evening is a ceremony when President Putin will present state awards, and a Victory Day gala concert be given in the State Kremlin Palace. Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said at an earlier meeting with war veterans that the Russian government intends to pay increasing attention to the participants in the Great Patriotic War, as World War II is called in Russia. At the given moment a little over a million war participants are living in Russia, among whom 826,000 are disabled. Apart from that, 370,000 survivers of the Leningrad blockade and 350,000 nazi prisoners are still alive. About half-a-million war veterans die every year. Although over 15 million people have been decorated with orders and medals for courage and heroism displayed during the war, not all the awards have found their heroes so far.

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