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|Veliky Novgorod is a special city for Russia, it is one of those cities that played a key role in the formation of Russian statehood, it is a city "from where the Russian land came". The XX century brought new challenges to Novgorod, the most terrible of which was the occupation of the city by the Nazi invaders from August 1941 to January 1944. It was believed that Novgorod was located in the deep rear, and therefore the city was not ready for an urgent evacuation. Many things were not taken out of the city before the arrival of the Hitlerite army. Moreover, Leningrad children were evacuated here. But in the summer of 1941, the ancient walls of Novgorod were again besieged by the enemy. After a failed attempt by the German infantry to capture the city, on August 15, the entire power of the Luftwaffe air corps was brought down on the city. The Red Army troops stubbornly counterattacked, but the forces of the Soviet fighters were severely drained of blood and our soldiers occupied a defensive line along the Maly Volkhovets. For two and a half years, almost within the borders of the city, military operations did not stop for a day. The ancient walls of the city were used by the invaders as an impregnable fortress: machine guns on the bell towers , artillery crews in the towers. The history of the liberation of Veliky Novgorod from the fascist aggressors is amazing. To minimize losses during the assault on the ancient fortress, the Soviet command decides to conduct a "rehearsal" of the military operation to liberate the city. For this purpose, models of German fortifications were built 5 km from the front line. After the "rehearsal", on January 14, 1944, the Soviet troops begin an offensive operation, which turned out to be a complete surprise for the German invaders. The Fascist troops hastily retreated from the city, throwing heavy weapons. A tragic sight appeared before the Soviet troops after the liberation of the city. 51 Novgorodians survived, the Germans executed more than 15 thousand inhabitants, more than 200 thousand people were sent to concentration camps. Veliky Novgorod was reduced to ruins. Of the 2.5 thousand houses, only 40 survived. Many of the valuables were stolen by the invaders, which the Germans could not take away-they were burned. Before the retreat of the enemy had mined the Novgorod Kremlin. In 2008 the decree of the President of Russia Velikiy Novgorod, its more than thousand-year history of devotion to the Fatherland, defending Russian borders, passing on from one generation to the glory of the Russian army, was awarded the title "City of military glory" courage, steadfastness and heroism of the defenders of the city in the struggle for freedom and independence of the Motherland.|