SLOVAKIA CELEBRATING 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF NATIONAL UPRISING AGAINST NAZI INVADERS

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BANSKA BYSTRICA, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - This weekend, Slovakia is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the national uprising against Nazi invaders. The occasion has made Russian President Vladimir Putin send a message of greetings to the Slovak government.

Banska Bystrica, a city in central Slovakia where the insurgents' headquarters were located, has been chosen as the venue for formal ceremonies involving President Ivan Gasparovic and other top government officials, as well as WWII veterans who took part in the uprising.

A photo exhibition entitled "People Who Defeated a War" is another high-profile event to mark the occasion. It has been staged by the RIA Novosti news agency, and features over a hundred Sovinformburo archive photographs of battlefield scenes, taken by Soviet war correspondents during the uprising in Slovakia.

The insurgency broke out in late August 1944, after forces of the Nazi Germany, an ally of Slovakia's clerical pro-Nazi regime, had occupied the country at President Tisso's request.

About 60,000 servicemen of the regular Slovak army and 18,000 guerrillas took part in the national resistance movement. Representatives of other European nations fought here hand in hand with the Slovaks. The Soviet Union, too, committed troops to assist in Slovakia's anti-Nazi effort. In the first few weeks of fighting, the insurgents, who enjoyed wide support with the local population, managed to liberate as many as thirty districts, with the total population of over a million.

The Slovak national uprising against the Nazi occupiers proved one of the brightest pages in the anti-Hitler Coalition's history.

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