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    PUTIN LAYS WREATH TO NEVSKY PYATACHOK MEMORIAL

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    KIROVSK /Leningrad region/, January 27, 2004. /RIA Novosti/. On Tuesday Russian President Vladimir Putin laid a wreath to the Nevsky Pyatachok (Patch) memorial.

    The Russian leader came to Kirovsk from St. Petersburg by helicopter. He stopped by the Nevsky Pyatachok memorial on the left bank of the Neva River in the southern part of the city. It is located on the site of bloody battles of Leningrad in 1941-1943.

    Nevsky Pyatachok was a key to besieged Leningrad. The small beachhead chained Nazis for two years and gave the Soviet troops a possibility to attack.

    The memorial belongs to the museum-preserve "The Breakthrough of Leningrad's Siege".

    The Great Patriotic War revealed heroism of Brest and Stalingrad's defenders, but the defense of besieged Leningrad is a particular case, Putin said after the laying of wreaths.

    "I mean not only the heroism of soldiers but also the outstanding feat of civilians," the head of state noted.

    According to Putin, his father was fighting and was badly wounded on this patch. He was taken to army hospital and it helped Putin's mother to survive in besieged Leningrad. He sent her food from his hospital ration but they failed to save their son. "My brother whom I had never seen died in blockaded Leningrad," the President said.

    Putin's father Vladimir fought in a guerrilla detachment, which was formed in Peterhof in June 1941. The detachment was thrown to Kingisepp /the Leningrad region/. Four out of its 28 fighters survived, including Putin's father. The guerrilla detachment number 80 was enlisted in the Leningrad front.

    After that, the President's father was transferred to the 330th rifle regiment and fought on the Nevsky Pyatachok. On November 17, 1941 he was badly wounded near Nevskaya Dubrovka and hospitalized.

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