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Russian Consul General Visits Anti-Japanese Aviator Martyrs Monument

Andrei Krivtsov, consul general of the Russian Consulate in Shanghai, visited the Monument to the Aviator Martyrs in the War of Resistance Against Japan in Nanjing, the capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, on Monday. 

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of Russia's Great Patriotic War, known in the west as World War Two, Krivtsov and five colleagues paid their respects to the 236 Soviet airmen who died in China during the war.

"Today is a special festival," Krivtsov said. "Everybody is commemorating the end of World War Two, and the Russian people are celebrating the anniversary of the Great Patriotic War."

"We are here to show our respect to the Soviet martyrs, who sacrificed their precious lives to gain the victory."

In the autumn of 1937, a Soviet volunteer air unit came to China and by February 1939, the number of Soviet airmen here had reached 3,665.

From 1938 to 1940, the Soviet air unit shot down 81 enemy planes and bombed 14 enemy warships.

The Nanjing Aviator Martyr Cemetery was first built in 1932 to remember the Chinese airmen who died in anti-Japanese battles.

In August 1995, the Monument to the Aviator Martyrs in the War of Resistance Against Japan was built. It is inscribed with the names of more than 3,000 airmen who died from 1932 to 1945, including 870 from China, 236 from the Soviet Union, 2,186 from the United States and two from Korea, in Chinese, Russian and English.
(Xinhua News Agency May 10, 2005)

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