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    PUTIN SPEAKS ON LENINGRAD RESIDENTS' FEAT DURING SIEGE

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    ST PETERSBURG, January 27 (RIA Novosti) - The defense of Leningrad (now St Petersburg) during the Nazi siege is a special page not only in the history of the WWII but also in Russia's history.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said about this in St Petersburg, where on Tuesday WWII veterans and siege survivors gathered to attend a gala concert devoted to the 60th anniversary of Leningrad siege lifting.

    "It's the people who saved St Petersburg, saved their beloved city," Vladimir Putin said.

    He recalled that in September 1941, Nazi troops reached Leningrad, but were unable to take the city either by storm or siege.

    "The enemy calculated everything: the number of shells, cannons, tanks, aircraft, all was accounted for and calculated. They just failed to take into account the most important thing - our national character, the unprecedented courage of Leningrad residents and their love for their native city," the president said.

    Each city resident made his or her own contribution to Leningrad's defense, to the victory over the enemy. But the price for this victory was too high - hundreds of thousands of Leningrad residents, who are in the quiet graves at the Piskarevskoye cemetery now, the president said.

    Leningrad residents not only made an unassailable fortress but also made a real defense enterprise out of their city, the head of the Russian state said.

    Vladimir Putin recalled that when the enemy approached the Kirovsky Works, part of workers took weapons in hands, and part of them continued to produce tanks.

    What is even more wonderful is that when the battle near Moscow started, the city under siege sent armaments to Moscow - mines and ammunition, said the president. Leningrad residents thought not only about themselves but about the country in general, they understood the role of the battle near Moscow, thought about their country, the president noted.

    "Our joint aim is to make our children remember it and tell their children not to forget about the feat of the Leningrad residents," said the head of the Russian state.

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