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China, Russia Stage Photo Show to Mark WWII Anniversary

A photo exhibition hosted by China and Russia opened in Beijing Thursday to mark the 60th anniversary of the victory of Russia's "Great Patriotic War," known in the West as World War II.

More than 160 photos, collected by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Russian Embassy in Beijing, were displayed in the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution, bringing visitors back to the WWII era.

The photos recorded many historic events during that period, such as the siege of Leningrad by German troops in August 1941, the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the parade at the Red Square in June 1945 and the surrender of Japan in September 1945.

Different from the usual bloody pictures of war, the photo show more displayed the valor of the former Soviet Union soldiers during the battles.

The exhibits also includes 30 photos to illustrate how China and the former Soviet Union fought against Japan side by side.

"I myself didn't experience that war, but I feel greatly touched by these photos," 69-year-old Qin Dadi said.

In addition to the more than 20 foreign ambassadors in Beijing, the visitors were mostly gray-haired elderly Chinese citizens, many of whom spent their childhood in Moscow during the war.

"The teachers in Moscow often brought us to hospitals to visit wounded soldiers. It was really terrible to see some soldiers had broken their arms or legs," 74-year-old Wu Shaoyun recalled.

To the young Chinese visitors, the exultation of the victory of six decades ago is ancient history.

"I can't fully understand the situation at that time, but I feel very happy to live in the era like ours. Therefore, I can't wear away the beautiful times of today," said Zhang Cha, a postgraduate of the Communications University of China. "The photo show teaches us a lesson of heroism and optimism."

Russian Ambassador to China Igor Alexeyevich Rogachev said at the show that they are deeply grateful to the Chinese people, because China very much respects and remembers the Russian soldiers who fought shoulder to shoulder with Chinese soldiers.

The 73-year-old ambassador, called "the old friend of the Chinese people," had many stories with WWII and China. In 1936, the 4-year-old Rogachev spent the long winter with his family in the Soviet Union's Consulate General in northeast China's Harbin, which was blocked out by Japanese troops.

Rogachev said that he felt very happy to see young Chinese people show interest in the photos.

To commemorate the anniversary, Chinese President Hu Jintao will attend the celebration ceremony held in Moscow on May 8 and 9,at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang announced Thursday at a regular press conference.

Leaders from approximately 50 countries are expected to sit in on the celebration.

"We are discussing with Chinese leaders about how to hand down the torch of friendship and cooperation between Russia and China from the older generation to the younger generation," the Russian ambassador said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2005)

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