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English>>Special Coverage >> Xi Jinping visits Russia,Kazakhstan,Belarus,attends WWII celebration in Moscow

WWII veterans recall China-Russia wartime friendship

(Xinhua)    15:38, May 06, 2015

MOSCOW/VLADIVOSTOK, May 6 -- "We four came to China. In a fierce battle in northeastern China's Jilin Province, three of us died, and I was the only one that came back," Vladimir Konovalov, a Russian veteran, told Xinhua about his story in World War II (WWII).

Konovalov, a retired captain of the Russian Pacific Fleet and now the deputy chairman of the Pervorechenskiy Veterans Council, said that there are 183 WWII veterans in his district in the port city of Vladivostok in Russia's Far East, and that about 150 of them had ever fought Japanese troops in China.

As this year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, China and Russia, two main battlefields in Asia and Europe during WWII, have decided to celebrate the victory in both countries. Leaders of both nations have warned on various occasions against attempts to distort and disdain the wartime history.

Prior to the Victory Day celebrations on May 9, a number of memorial medals awarding ceremonies have been held across Russia to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Great Patriotic War, Russia's term for WWII.

Vasily Zinenko, 91, and his wife, 90-year-old Ekaterina Zinenko, are among the around 4,000 WWII veterans in Vladivostok who were awarded medals. Wearing Soviet-era uniforms with old medals, the excited couple received new medals from the head of the Pervorechenskiy district administration, Aleksander Zhirnov.

"These medals were established according to the Russian president's decree of Dec. 21, 2013," Zhirnov said. "I proudly hand them to you and praise your heroic deeds for our country. I wish you a long life and hope to see you at the 75th anniversary of the Victory Day."

Ekaterina Zinenko also recalled her experience in 1945, when she came to China with an army field hospital. She worked as a nurse firstly in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province and then moved to Jilin Province. The field hospital she worked with frequently came under fire from Japanese troops, and one of her friends died in an assault by the Japanese.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yao Xinyu,Zhang Qian)

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