14:09 GMT22 January 2021
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    © Sputnik
    Soldiers of the Red Army during World War II, 1943

    While being the bloodiest and darkest period of the 20th century, World War II had a particular impact on the Soviet Union when Nazi Germany decided to launch Operation Barbarossa and invade the USSR.

    Once referred to as the “Patriotic War” during a radio address in 1941, this period in WWII was subsequently named the Great Patriotic War and has been etched in the hearts of all people born in Russia and other post-Soviet countries.

    The overall number of the USSR’s casualties in the war is estimated to have exceeded 27 million. Soviet military casualties alone surpassed 8.7 million, which is more than half of the total allied death toll.

    This year, Russia is marking the 75th anniversary of the victory against Nazi Germany.

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