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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, this is the city "where the Russian land came from."
The 20th century brought new trials to Novgorod, the worst of which was the occupation of the city by 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 urgent evacuation. Much did not have time to take 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 a failed attempt by German infantry to capture the city, on August 15, the full power of the Luftwaffe air corps was brought down on the city.
The troops of the Red Army stubbornly counterattacked, but the forces of the Soviet soldiers were greatly bloodless and our soldiers occupied the defensive line along Maly Volkhovets. For two and a half years, almost within the borders of the city, hostilities did not stop for a day. The ancient walls of the city were used by the invaders as an unassailable fortress: machine guns on bell towers, artillery calculations in towers. The story of the liberation of Veliky Novgorod from fascist aggressors is amazing. 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. For this, mock-ups 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 to the German invaders. Fascist troops hastily retreated from the city, throwing heavy weapons.
The tragic spectacle 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 turned into ruins. Of the 2.5 thousand houses, only 40 survived. Much of the valuables were stolen by the invaders that the Germans could not take away - they were burned. Before the retreat, 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, which stood on the defense of Russian borders, passed on the glory of the Russian army from generation to generation, was awarded the title "City of Military Glory" for the courage, resilience and heroism shown by the city's defenders in the struggle for freedom and independence of the Motherland.