21:44 GMT +322 November 2019
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    Red Army soldiers greet one another after an operation to lift the siege of Leningrad.

    Russian Embassy in Madrid Concerned Over Spanish Media Glorifying Blue Division

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Historical context must be accounted for when talking about the "heroism" of the Spanish soldiers from the Blue Division, a special unit of Spanish volunteers that served in the German Army during World War II, the Russian Embassy in Spain said.

    "We should not forget about historical context [while reading ABC's article]… Who can be proud of assisting the Nazis in maintaining a blockade that lasted 872 days and claimed the lives of about million of Leningrad's residents, most of whom starved to death," the Russian Embassy in Spain said Tuesday, recalling that the division helped the Nazis during the Siege of Leningrad (now the Russian city of St. Petersburg).

    The embassy's remarks were in reference to an article published by Spain's ABC newspaper earlier in February, which praised the "heroism" of Spaniards who fought in the ranks of the Blue Division during the Second World War. The author of the article called the soldiers "fearless and brave fighters," who resisted the Red Army "with dignity."

    The Siege of Leningrad, which began on September 8, 1941, lasted for almost 900 days. The blockade was broken on January 18, 1943, but the city's residents had to wait for one more year until it was completely removed on January 27, 1944. According to various estimates, somewhere between 400,000 and 1.5 million people died in the siege, primarily from starvation.

    Commemorative events dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the end of the Nazi siege of Leningrad were held in St. Petersburg on January 27.

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    Tags:
    Leningrad Siege, Nazi, Red Army, Russia, Spain
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