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Russians banned from celebration

REPRESENTATIVES of Liptovský Mikuláš, Žilina Region, have rejected the request from the Russian Embassy to Slovakia to have a Russian military attaché attend celebrations commemorating the 69th anniversary of the town’s liberation from Nazi Germany. The decision came in response to the situation in Crimea, the TASR newswire reported on April 3.

REPRESENTATIVES of Liptovský Mikuláš, Žilina Region, have rejected the request from the Russian Embassy to Slovakia to have a Russian military attaché attend celebrations commemorating the 69th anniversary of the town’s liberation from Nazi Germany. The decision came in response to the situation in Crimea, the TASR newswire reported on April 3.

The Russian Embassy was surprised by the decision, saying that the town’s mayor is obviously affected by current anti-Russian sentiments.

“We believe that the Russian Federation currently violates the international treaties and agreements it has signed,” said Alexander Slafkovský, mayor of Liptovský Mikuláš, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

The Russian Embassy responded that the town’s mayor has allegedly forgotten about timeless values that should not be manipulated, like the fight against fascism, as reported by TASR.

“We are convinced that such an attitude is the personal opinion of Mr Slafkovský and that it does not correspond with the opinion of the town’s inhabitants, nor the whole of Slovakia,” said Alexej Kulagin, press attaché of the Russian Embassy, as quoted by TASR.

Despite the ban, embassy representatives laid wreaths at the Red Army memorial in Liptovský Mikuláš, considering it their duty to honour Soviet soldiers who liberated the town, as reported by the Sme daily.

Historian Stanislav Mičev, from Banská Bystrica’s SNP Museum, considers the decision by the town hall a mistake.

“This has nothing to do with the situation at hand,” Mičev said, as quoted by TASR. “I fail to understand the reason why someone would mix two completely different and unrelated historical events.”

The Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry also disagreed with Liptovský Mikuláš’s officials. Regardless of Slovakia’s attitude toward Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the town, like others across the country, was liberated by the Red Army during the Second World War, the office said, as reported by Sme.

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