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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 "where the Russian land came from." 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 did not have time to be taken out of the city before the arrival of the Nazi 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 the failed attempt of 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, practically 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. In order to minimize losses during the storming of the ancient fortress, the Soviet command decides to conduct a "rehearsal" of the military operation to liberate the city. To do this, models of German fortifications were built 5 km from the front line. After the "rehearsal", on January 14, 1944, Soviet troops began an offensive operation, which turned out to be a complete surprise for the German invaders. Fascist troops hastily retreated from the city, abandoning heavy weapons. A tragic spectacle appeared before the Soviet troops after the liberation of the city. 51 Novgorodians remained alive, the Germans executed more than 15 thousand inhabitants, more than 200 thousand people were sent to concentration camps. Veliky Novgorod was turned into ruins. Out of 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 retreating, the enemy mined the Novgorod Kremlin. In 2008, by Decree of the President of Russia, the city of Veliky Novgorod, with its more than a thousand-year history of devotion to the Fatherland, standing on the defense of the Russian borders, passing from generation to generation the glory of the Russian army, was awarded the title "City of Military Glory" for the courage, steadfastness and heroism shown by the defenders of the city in the struggle for freedom and independence of the Motherland.|