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Hundreds celebrate WWII anniversary

SEVERAL hundred people attended a ceremony at the Slavín monument in Bratislava to commemorate the 60th anniversary of World War II. Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič laid a wreath at monument at the May 8th gathering.

The Slavín memorial honours the 7,000 Russian soldiers who died in the liberation of Bratislava in World War II.

Celebrations also took place in other parts of the Slovak capital. A flypast of army helicopters and Albatross aeroplanes started the celebrations in Bratislava's Hviezdoslavovo square.

Defence Minister Juraj Liška met Victory relay-runners who had started their race in Dukla (Prešov region), where the Soviet liberators entered Slovakia. The relay-racers passed through some 240 towns and villages in Slovakia.

Visitors to Hviezdoslavovo square could also watch a show by the president's honour guard, a demonstration of martial arts put on by the Rapid Reaction Forces 5th battalion from Žilina, plus military bands and majorettes.

Many Slovak dailies emphasized that the celebrations in Slovakia were far less well attended than in other European cities.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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