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On May 9th, an annual laying of the wreaths ceremony took place at the Soviet War Memorial in the grounds of the Imperial War Museum. The event commemorates the Soviet soldiers who died during the Second World War.
The event was organised by the Soviet Memorial Trust Fund in association with the Borough of Southwark, and was part of the 73rd anniversary celebrations of the victory in the Second World War.
Mr Erlan Idrissov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UK, heads and staff of diplomatic missions from other CIS countries and other foreign states, as well as the Borough of Southwark, and representatives of public and veteran organisations attended the ceremony.
Following the laying of wreaths, participants of the ceremony observed a minute of silence in tribute to victims of the Second World War.
Among the war veterans who attended the ceremony was a native of the Aktobe region, retired Colonel Vassiliy Mrug. Currently, Mr Mrug works as the Secretary of the Veterans Council of the 1st Guards Tank Corps, which was awarded with the Order of Lenin and the Red Banner Order. During the war, he participated in a strategic operation 'Bagration', as well as in battles in Poland and Germany.
The Embassy management and the staff of the Military Attaché of Kazakhstan in the UK handed thank you letters, gifts and souvenirs to the veterans.
The official ceremony was followed by 'a toast to the Victory' organised by the embassies of the CIS countries, during which all veterans and guests enjoyed stalls serving national cuisines.
The monument, dedicated to the more than 20 million Soviet citizens who died in the struggle against fascism, was opened on 9th May 1999 in the grounds of the Imperial War Museum. The monument is a three metre high bronze statue of a woman bowing her head, above which there is a bell, and at the foot of the monument lays a granite slab with a commemorative inscription. The soils of Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries which contributed to the victory over fascism are kept inside the base of the granite slab.