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    Russia's St. George ribbon campaign launched in Tajikistan

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    DUSHANBE, May 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's St. George ribbon campaign was launched in Tajikistan on Tuesday, with over 1,000 ribbons handed in just half an hour, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

    Major Rafael Usmanov, a spokesman for Russia's 201st military base in Tajikistan, said 20,000 ribbons were delivered to Tajikistan on Monday.

    Over 280,000 ethnic Tajiks took part in fighting in World War II, and about 80,000 of them laid down their lives in the heroic struggle against Hitler's forces.

    In Russia, the campaign is being held for a fifth year. It was started by RIA Novosti and the Student Community youth organization. More than 45 million ribbons are distributed throughout the world, including in Ukraine, Estonia, Germany, Britain, the United States and China.

    The St. George Ribbon campaign has become a symbol of Russia's sacrifices during WWII. On the eve of Victory Day, May 9, people attach ribbons with black and orange stripes to their car antennas, jackets, backpacks, or hospital beds for veterans. Some people keep the ribbon for the entire year.

    Orange and black are the traditional colors of Soviet and Russian awards for military achievements. The black and orange stripes symbolize smoke and fire.

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